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30 Best Movies Based on Books 2018
The Land of Steady Habits
Nicole Holofcener directs this adaptation of Ted Thompson’s novel, which stars Ben Mendelsohn as a suburban Connecticut who is desperate for a life change—which leads him to quit his job, leave his wife, and spark an unlikely friendship with a teenage drug addict.
Gerard Butler stars the commanding officer of USS Arkansas, who’s on the hunt for a missing American submarine and the Russian sub that might be to blame for its destruction.
Julianne Moore stars in this movie, based on Ann Patchett’s celebrated novel, as a famous American opera singer who travels to an unnamed Latin American country for a lavish birthday party hosted by a Japanese businessman—only to become swept up in a violent hostage situation organized by a group of guerrilla rebels.
The Children Act
Emma Thompson plays a judge in England’s High Court who is faced with a difficult decision regarding the fate of a teenage boy in need of a life-saving blood transfusion—despite his family’s religious objections—in this adaptation of Ian McEwan’s 2014 novel.
The Little Stranger
Just following WWII, a handsome doctor (Domhnall Gleeson) makes a house call to Hundreds Hall, a tony English estate where two damaged siblings (played by Will Poulter and Ruth Wilson) live with their aging mother (Charlotte Rampling). But the doctor soon learns that there are secrets buried within the mansion’s walls.
Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg offers up an onslaught of ’80s pop-culture references in his adaptation of Ernest Cline’s dystopian novel. Set in the year 2044 and in a virtual reality simulator, Ready Player One offers countless pop-culture references that balance the taut sci-fi elements with sly humor.
Based on two memoirs by David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy tells the story of a father-and-son relationship that is constantly put to the test because of the son’s staggering drug addiction. It’s an uneasy and unflinching look at a family in crisis from multiple perspectives.
The House of Tomorrow
Asa Butterfield and Alex Wolff star in this coming-of-age tale, based on Peter Bognanni’s novel, about two bored teens living in the titular tourist community who long to break free, get laid, and achieve punk-rock greatness.
On Chesil Beach
Ian McEwan’s novella is the source material for this period romance starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle as a pair of young newlyweds who are completely unprepared for their wedding night.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
The Crown’s Claire Foy is the latest actor to play Swedish computer hacker Lisbeth Salander in this continuation of the Millennium trilogy based on Stieg Larsson’s book series (with this sequel based on a new book by author David Lagercrantz).
After an injury derails her ballet career, Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is recruited by the Russian government to be a spy. Tasked with seducing a handsome CIA agent played by Joel Edgerton, Dominika sees her chance for freedom from the state that is controller her—and her body.
This adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel stars Rose Byrne and Chris O’Dowd as Annie and Duncan, a bickering couple who are on the brink of separation. Their relationship becomes even more rocky when Annie begins an unlikely online friendship with Ethan Hawke’s Tucker Crowe, a faded indie rocker—who happens to be Duncan’s favorite musician.
The Sisters Brothers
This adaptation of Patrick deWitt’s comic novel stars John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as Eli and Charlie Sisters, two hitmen in the old west who are on a search for a chemist (Riz Ahmed) who has concocted a special formula used for prospecting gold during the California Gold Rush.
A Simple Favor
A friendship blossoms between a widowed single mom with a blog (Anna Kendrick) and a gorgeous PR professional in an unhappy marriage (Blake Lively). But when the latter unexpectedly vanishes, it’s up to the former to figure out where she is. But she learns way more than she expected in this sharp and clever adaptation of Darcey Bell’s novel directed by Paul Feig.
A Wrinkle in Time
Ava DuVernay directs this adaptation of Madeline L’Engle beloved classic. Meg Murray (Storm Reid) learns that her missing astrophysicist father is still alive—thanks to three mysterious women (Oprah Winfrey’s Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon’s Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling’s Mrs. Who) who reveal that he has traveled through time to another dimension.
Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) is an all-American teen with a secret: he’s gay. When Simon’s correspondence with another closeted kid in his school is intercepted by a classmate—who threatens to out Simon unless he sets him up with his friend—everything spins into turmoil as he tries to protect his secret and find love for himself.
Directed by Sebastian Lelio (who won an Oscar for A Fantastic Woman), this English-language drama—about a rabbi’s lesbian daughter who returns to her orthodox London neighborhood—stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola and is based on the novel by Naomi Alderman.
Ryan Gosling stars as famed astronaut Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle’s biopic, based on James R. Hanson’s acclaimed biography, which recounts the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon—and its central figure’s obsessive drive to be the first man to step foot on the lunar surface.
Gerrard Conley’s memoir serves as the basis for Joel Edgerton’s drama, in which Lucas Hedges plays a young man who is convinced by his Southern Baptist parents (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) to attend a gay conversion therapy camp to “fix” his homosexuality.
The Front Runner
In May 1987, Colorado Senator Gay Hart launched his presidential campaign—and he seemed like a sure bet for the Democrats to regain the executive office. But a sex scandal derailed his efforts in a matter of days, which is the subject of Jason Reitman’s darkly comic film which stars Hugh Jackman as Hart.
Paul Dano makes his directorial debut with this striking film based on Richard Ford’d novel (which he co-wrote with Zoe Kazan) about an unhappy couple (Casey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal) whose marriage disintegrates because of infidelity.
The Hate U Give
The movie version of Angie Thomas’s bestselling novel stars Amandla Stenberg as a strong-willed high school student whose life is turned upside-down when she witnesses the brutal killing of her friend by a white police officer.
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Melissa McCarthy plays Lee Israel, a writer whose career takes an unfortunate turn. Struggling to live in New York City, she embarks on a life of literary crime by forging letters from icons like Dorothy Parker and Lillian Hellman—a spree she outlined in her 2008 memoir.
A Prayer Before Dawn
Joe Cole stars as former boxer Billy Moore, who earned a stay in the notorious “Bangkok Hilton” after being sentenced on drug charges. A brutal and stark adaptation of Moore’s memoir, the film offers an unrepentant examination of the violence and terror Moore faced behind bars.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Lara Jean (Lana Condor) is your typical lovelorn teenage girl who drafts love letters to her former crushes for her eyes only. But when the letters wind up being mailed to the former objects of her affection, her life is turned upside-down—and she finds unexpected romance in this comedy based on Jenny Han’s novel.
Let the Sunshine In
Based on Roland Barthes’s 1977 A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, French auteur Claire Denis’s Let the Sunshine In is a melancholy comedy about a divorced woman (Juliette Binoche) who seeks a new partner, but is drawn to men who are ill-suited for sustained relationships.
Crazy Rich Asians
Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel, told through the perspective of five narrators, follows a Chinese-American professor who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend for a lavish wedding—and discovers he is crazy-rich. Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, and Awkwafina star in the irresistibly smart, hilarious and gorgeous film adaptation from Jon Chu.
You Were Never Really Here
Joaquin Phoenix stars in writer-director Lynne Ramsay’s devastatingly dark adaptation of Jonathan Ames’s novel. The actor stars as an emotionally damaged veteran who, after returning home to Brooklyn, spends his nights as a freelance vigilante who rescues young women who have been trafficked into sex work.
Spike Lee’s latest tells the crazy-but-true story of detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a Colorado Springs cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1979 with the help of his Jewish partner, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver)—the former over the phone, the latter in person.
Natalie Portman stars as a biologist whose husband returns from a secret mission in a quarantined area called The Shimmer, a mysterious growing bubble taking over the southern United States. She joins a team of women who go into The Shimmer to investigate the bizarre mutations taking place inside—which soon begin to take over their own bodies and minds.