Which Hollywood movies are based on books

It's always a blessing and a curse to see a great book turned into a movie. Most film adaptations never compare to their book predecessors, yet there's still the thrill of seeing the same story play out in two wildly different versions. And, of course, it's nice to know a story before you see a movie. This year, plenty of movies based on books have hit the big (and small) screen. Here are the year's best—just read the books before you watch them.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

30The Land of Steady Habits

Netflix

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

29Hunter Killer

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

28Bel Canto

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

27The Children Act

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

26The Little Stranger

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

25Ready Player One

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

24Beautiful Boy

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.

Buy Beautiful Boy on AmazonBuy Tweak on Amazon

23The House of Tomorrow

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

22On Chesil Beach

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

21The 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).

Buy the book on Amazon

20Red Sparrow

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

19Juliet, Naked

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

18The Sisters Brothers

Amazon

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

17A Simple Favor

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

16A Wrinkle in Time

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

15Love, Simon

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

14Disobedience

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

13First Man

AmazoniTunes

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

12Boy Erased

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.

Buy the book on Amazon

11The 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.

Buy the book on Amazon

10Wildlife