We have all undoubtedly heard or even been guilty of saying oh "it was ok but the book was so much better" and in many cases you are undoubtedly right. There are not many movie adaptations that really do the books justice many i find are rife with holes and mis-characterizations, and cast completely wrong for what I had envisioned in my mind when reading the book. The following is a list of the movies that in my opinion were as good if not better than the book (keep in mind for this article i have not included comic adaptations even though those probably would fit in this here.) This is by no means meant to be taken as the definitive list.
Directed by Darren Aaronofsky - Written by Hubert Selby Jr.
This movie is quite possibly one of my all time favorite movies, it is a fantastic look at how 4 lives can descend into addiction and how far people are willing to go to feed the need. The cast was superb anyone who has not seen this movie i ruge you to see at least once( to be honest you probably will only be able to get through it once, the ending will leave you completely awestruck)
Ben Affleck's feature length directorial debut was an amazing rendition of what for me today is still one of the greatest moral dilemmas I have ever come across in a book. Ben Affleck does an amazing job with this but the real surprise is his younger brother Casey Affleck who steals the show in the lead role. The story follows a private investigator as he tries to find a little girl who has been kidnapped from her drug addicted mother.
This movie is based off of a short story in the Different Seasons Book by Stephen King( which also has another story The Body that was adapted into the Movies Stand By Me) and directed by Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead) The story centralizes around Andy Dufresne is a young and successful banker whose life changes drastically when he is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. Set in the 1940's, the film shows how Andy, with the help of his friend Red, the prison entrepreneur, turns out to be a most unconventional prisoner and is widely regarded as one of the best movies of all time.
Based on the Philip K Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Misunderstood when it first hit theaters, the influence of Ridley Scott's mysterious, neo-noir Blade Runner has deepened with time. A visually remarkable, achingly human sci-fi masterpiece. This is truly one of the greatest science fiction films ever made, one that requires a thinking viewer in order to understand and appreciate it. The director's cut is the recommended one to see as it omits a somewhat distracting narration and avoids an unnecessary Hollywood-style ending that is at odds with the rest of the film's tone.
David Fincher's adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's acclaimed novel is dark, unorthordox and sickly in many ways. Fight Club presents a superb case of strong performances from Norton, Pitt & Bonham Carter along with an intricate presentation, making this a cult film that resonates in today's age of film-making.A ticking-time-bomb insomniac and a slippery soap salesman channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy. Their concept catches on, with underground "fight clubs" forming in every town, until an eccentric gets in the way and ignites an out-of-control spiral toward oblivion
The key to Trainspottings success is the perfect cast to play these imperfect characters that you love to hate or hate to love. I've read the book by Irvine Welsh. The movie changes a nice bit. I think the book is better but only marginally. It's the characters that make the movie exciting. I could write a paragraph about everyone in this movie, even people that are only in it for one scene. It reminds me of a junkie version of my favorite television show, Arrested Development. It's about guy who worries all the time and his family are crazy and they drive him nuts in a funny way. Renton is the "sane" one here. He's the most normal, but he's still not very normal and a bit of an asshole like everyone in the movie. This is both Irvine Welsh(Author) and Danny Boyle (Director) at their respective bests.
Rounding out the list is Brett Easton Ellis' controversial yet critically acclaimed American Psycho. Directed by relatively unknown Canadian director Mary Harron American Psycho is the story of serial killer Patrick Batemen and introduced the world to a new side of Christian Bale. As anyone who has read 'American Psycho' will testify, there are passages that are simply unfilmable, the film was always going to be toned down in comparison. Critically panned for the most part american Psycho has a huge cult following and even spawned a not very successful sequel.
The Bourne Identity, Mystic River, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Godfather, and the Lord of The Rings Trilogy.
Think i missed one? let me know in the comments below