Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations

Posted July 9, 2013 by Kara in Lyn, Top Ten Tuesday / 31 Comments

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations.


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Book versus Movie – talk about bloodshed and ruin.  Anytime we see a movie crammed down our throats advertised, the immediate and obligatory battle breaks out and both sides begin in guerrilla warfare, determined the be king or queen of the entertainment hill.
More often than not, the book reigns supreme.  Sometimes, the movie studios mess up and put out an awesome movie that first started as a literature piece. This week, I will share five of the best movies and 5 of the worst movies based on books. Note: There are plenty of filmed adapted from novels out there. However, this list was composed on titles that I have read and seen in books and movies.
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Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief  by Rick Riordan: I loved Percy and Medusa, but the rest of the cast killed it.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: All of them – K Stew makes me cringe.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss: I even like Jim Carrey. The movie was horrifying. The short cartoon is awesome.
Watchmen by Alan Moore: Why would you change the ending? Why?
Watership Down by Richard Adams: I dare you to find the cartoon and watch it without getting sick.

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Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien: Yes, I love the movies more than the books – sue me.
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle: One of my favorite cartoons. Odlly, I rank the film higher than the book.
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton: I love this movie! Yes I do! It never gets old! The music is to die for, to boot.
The Secret of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien: Outstanding cartoon. Creepy as hell, but great.
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger: I am not a Hathaway fan, but I loved this film. I actually connected to the characters in the movie. The book, oddly enough, was horrible.
What did you share this week? Leave a link below!

31 responses to “Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations

  1. They changed the ending of Watchmen??? I’ve never read it, but I loved the movie. But now I’m so curious, I might need to order the book. asdfjkl;

    Lord of the Rings always and forever. I like the movies more than the books too, but it was also a really close adaptation. They just gave the characters more personality and stuff and I loved that 🙂

    I didn’t even think about The Devil Wears Prada. I love that movie but haven’t read the book. Though I was planning on it at some point. But I may change my mind if you say it’s horrible.

    Nice list! 🙂

    • Yes – I was okay with the movie, until the ending rolled around. UGH.

      That is one thing that turns me away from Tolkien – the lack of character development. At least his world building is amazing!

      The book was very mediocre.


  2. Amy

    What an awesome list!! We did a books and movies topic for Book Girls Don’t Cry a while back. I totally agree with you on Twilight and The Lightning Thief. I also think Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was an awful adaption. It’s my favorite of the books, but I almost can’t stand the movie.

    Ahhh The Last Unicorn!! I can watch that movie over and over again. I love it!! I actually wore out my VHS of it when I was a kid. Lol! The Princess Bride is another fab adaption.

  3. Excellent list! Completely agree with The Secret of Nimh and Watership Down. How can one cartoon be so wonderful and another so AWFUL?

    To that, I’d like to add Arietty, the wonderful Miyazake version of The Borrowers. I love the book, but I think I love the movie more.

  4. Oh my gosh… The Secret of NIMH was one of my favorite cartoons ever. I cried everytime. lol Loved the book too, definitely deserved a place on my list. 🙂 And YES… The Lightning Thief WAS awful. Lol I see it on so many lists today (on the good side) and… no.
    Bonnie @ Sweet Tidbits

    • I was happy that I remembered SoN – good stuff right there! When cartoons actually took a chance.

      Lightning Theif…..even Sean Bean couldn’t save the movie…

  5. What? They made Watership Down into a movie?? How did I miss that? Horrible! That’s one of my all-time favorite books, so I completely agree with you, even though I haven’t seen the movie.

    And I agree with all your choices on the Best side, especially The Devil Wears Prada and Jurassic Park!

  6. Lord of the Rings – um, yes. It’s way better than the books. They’ve been sitting on my TBR pile for a while because I tried reading the first a while back, and I just couldn’t do it. The writing was too dense… and the movies were so vivid and stunning and the acting and :).

    Twilight – Lol. Oh, K Stew.

    Percy Jackson – Here’s to hoping that the second movie gets it right!

    Watchmen – I’ve yet to read any comics, but my friend who is a HUGE comic fan refused to see the movie because she was frightened that they would change something major like that and ruin it all.

    I never knew Jurassic Park was a book… Now, if I could get over the childhood nightmares I had thanks to that movie, I would definitely agree with you about the adaptation, though I don’t know that I paid attention to the music. *searches for it* 🙂

    • I am so happy that a lot of readers agree with me on LotR. I can’t believe I read through all three books.

      Yes she just…..ugh.

      I have some hope for the second film. They need to stop making it a HP rip off.

      Watchmen was… butchered.

      I hope you like Jurassic Park – it is a bit on the philosophical side, but it wasn’t too bad. Oh – GO LISTEN TO THE MUSIC!

  7. I agree that Twilight was terrible. And so was the live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas – wow, I totally forgot about that. My brain probably erased it to save my sanity haha. And LOTR will forever and always be my favorite book-to-film adaptation. I loved The Last Unicorn – both the book and the film! They’re equally great. I do admit that I thought Beagle used beautiful language in his story. Great choices here!

  8. bahaha omg yeah, that Fry pic at the top there pretty much sums up my life o.O I completely agree with you on the Percy Jackson film,it was not nearly as good as the book and they changed SO much! Agreed on your K-Stew comment, man she just ruined Bella! Oh and ditto on the Grinch movie, I adore Jim Carrey and that old cartoon but that movie was horrible. As for your bests, the only one I’ve read and watched is LotR and I couldn’t agree more 😀

    • Isn’t it great? I laughed and laughed when I found the Fry meme pics.

      The PJ movie caused me to rage when I left the theater. Seriously, I was so mad that my road rage almost made me flip out on someone.


  9. I don’t watch many movies so I’ve only seen a few of these. However I don’t blame you for LOTR. I read it in high school (right after Harry Potter when I fell in love with fantasy) and I read the Hobbit then all 3 books so I must’ve enjoy it but afterwards I mainly remembered that there was a hell of a lot of walking and describing things. I feel terrible for not actually remembering the plot much.

    • I listened to LotR on DC a while back, and I kept thinking “Hell, I don’t remember that….” I think I spaced out during certain portions of the book.

  10. Bahahaha, I’m glad it’s the Jim Carrey one. If you hated the original cartoon of The Grinch, I would loathe you. :-p

    Okay, so I didn’t like the ending change to Watchmen, but I liked the rest of it. Still, the graphic novel is worlds better.

    Jurassic Park, hell yes!

    Also, my childhood self is THRILLED that you put The last Unicorn. I’ve not actually read the book though.

    Not sure if I’ve read or seen The Secret of NIMH actually…

  11. Well, this is certainly an interesting list. Here are my thoughts:
    5) What is it with Percy Jackson movies sucking so much? The books are generally good and yet the movies are terrible. I’m shocked there was even more than one.
    4) Shockingly enough, the books are worse… that is really sad.
    3) I’m sorry, but I’m among the many who actually like this one. It’s got that strange charm to it even if Carrey does try too hard.
    2) I really don’t think one scene alone can make a movie terrible, but that’s just me. I thought everything else was fine.
    1) I’m sorry, but I love this movie. It’s very well-written and I applaud it for not shying away from the dark themes the book had. Also, don’t let the PG rating fool you. I don’t think this was ever truly intended for kids. (You should read the book sometime. You’d probably appreciate the movie better)
    5) I prefer the movies too.
    4) I’m at a crossroads with this one. On one hand, I found it very entertaining and interesting and the songs were really good too. That said, though, the unicorn herself I found more annoying than interesting (Seriously, she seemed like a plot device for everything that went wrong in the film) and the story does feel disjointed at times. Not sure why, it just kind of does.
    3) How can you not put this on an adaptations list? Really.
    2) Easily one of the best animated films ever.
    1) Wow, this is the only one I haven’t seen, so I can’t comment.

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