Top Ten Best/Worst Book to Movie Adaptations

I am a big proponent of the book is just about always better than the movie concept, but I also can’t resist a movie based on a book I enjoyed (refer to this post for more on that).  

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and the Bookish is the top ten best and worst book to movie adaptations.  I am going with 5 of each, just to balance things out.


  1. The Hunger GamesI am excited for Catching Fire to come out.  I feel like they stayed true to the concept of the books and to the plot.  Sure, a few characters were a bit different than I pictured, but overall, it wasn’t too glammed up or altered.
  2. Marley & MeI confess, I saw the movie before I read the book, but I still argue that it was actually true to the book and equally as hilarious and heartwrenching.
  3. Matilda.  I love all of his books, but this was a fabulous and fun movie adaptation.  Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but I feel like the movie captured the spirit of the book well.
  4. The Life of Pi.  Again, it wasn’t completely true to the book, but I liked how it was approached and how they kept the overarching plot, characters and sequence of events correct.
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird.  This is an all-around classic!  The book and the movie were pretty similar.  It wasn’t a perfect cross-over, but the movie elicits the same emotions and life lessons as the book and was so well put together, especially for its time.


  1. Twilight series.  They deviated from the plot, made things even more glitzy than the book and some of the acting was, well, interesting.
  2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the new one).  The 1970-something classic is one of my favourite movies of all times!  I don’t think it was an amazing adaptation, but it was pretty darn good.  However, the 2000-something one was horrible.  They made Willy Wonka uber creepy and the whole thing just seemed bizarre.  Nowhere near the delight that was the children’s novel!
  3. My Sister’s Keeper.  Way to change the ending completely.
  4. Anne of Green Gables.  I love this book.  For some reason, the movie aggravates me.  It follows the plot reasonably well, but there is something about it that makes it exaggerated and hokey to me.
  5. The Harry Potter series.  I know some people will judge me on this one, but I couldn’t get into them.  They just didn’t seem to work for me, even though the books were lovely.  I actually skipped watching the middle few because they just seemed pointless to me.

What are some of your favourite or least favourite movie adaptation from books? 

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Best/Worst Book to Movie Adaptations

  1. Yes, I judge you!! ; ) I love the Anne of Green Gables movies and books. Except the last movie (The Continuing Story) totally and completely deviates from the books. They just made up their own new story. That ruined it. Plus they waited too long to film it and the actors and actresses had aged too much. But I loved the previous movies.

    Harry Potter movies had to grow on me. After the 2nd movie, I found them pointless too! The middle movies seemed like the exact same plot just slightly changed circumstances. But then I decided to read the books, enjoyed them, and got pulled into the whole Hogwarts world – and then the movies seemed much better to me – including the middle ones.

    • Hahaha!
      The last movie is by far the worst! I still love the books. But, the movies… Nope. I know lots of people who are with you and love them, though!
      Interesting. I found the middle movies the worst, but that was despite reading the books first. Okay, confession, I haven’t seen all of the middle movies. I skipped from halfway through 3 to the last one. So, maybe I need to give them more of a chance.

  2. The Hunger Games was on my list too! I’ve seen a lot of hate for Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, but I actually like it quite a bit. If you think about it, there’s some creepy stuff in the original, with the scary tunnel where the chickens are getting their heads cut off and bugs crawling on people’s faces, and the oopma loompas are awful! The new one has a nice message about family and I appreciate the lack of singing in it (though I did miss hearing “I Want it Now”!).

    • I agree, the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie also has a good bit of creepy in it. I don’t deny that. That is why it isn’t in my top book to movie picks. I love it, but not in entirety because it wasn’t true to the book. I consider the music the best part (I may or may not have a special anniversary DVD edition complete with a sing-a-long and the full song book). But, wow. You are the first person I have talked to who liked the second one.

      • That’s the thing, I’ve seen a lot of people talking about their dislike of it today, but I like it, my husband likes it, my mom likes it… there are at least three of us, but I think there might be a few more, ha ha.

        I do also like the “Pure Imagination” song from the first movie. 🙂

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