Based on the Book…
Literature has inspired some of the greatest films ever made.
Literary adaptations often get a bad press, with the books’ fans lamenting the necessary excision of events in the book or the loss of tone and character. Yet the best film adaptations capture the mood of the original or completely reimagine the stories in their transition to the big screen. Works by Emile Bronte, Joseph Conrad, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Thomas Hardy and more inspired these great films, with Francis Ford Coppola transporting Heart of Darkness to Vietnam in Apocalypse Now and Michael Winterbottom reimagining Tess of the d’Urbervilles in 21st century India in Trishna. Shelley and Stoker certainly couldn’t have predicted the influence their books would have in the future, with Frankenstein and Dracula having been adapted countless times for the big screen.
Drama2021179 minsDirector: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Inspired by Haruki Murakami’s short story, Ryusuke Hamaguchi takes us on an unpredictable and self-revelatory journey in this serene yet riveting Oscar-winning drama.
Documentary202082 minsDirector: Jerry Rothwell
Award-winning director Jerry Rothwell's compelling documentary is a rare cinematic and sensorial insight into the world of non-speaking autistic people.
Drama2019140 minsDirector: Karim Aïnouz
A deserving winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard prize, this sumptuous tale of two sisters cruelly separated by family and fate makes for deeply moving drama.
Documentary202083 minsDirector: Keith Fulton
Terry Gilliam battles with obsession and self-doubt in this poignant, insightful documentary on the making of his long-anticipated screen adaptation of Don Quixote.
Drama2019129 minsDirector: Pietro Marcello
A stylistically dazzling and ambitious Italian adaptation of Jack London’s autobiographical novel about a self-taught and outspoken working-class writer who climbs the ranks of society.
Drama2019102 minsDirector: Amjad Abu Alala
How do you live, knowing the exact date of your death? A young man is haunted by a prophecy that his life will end as soon as he turns 20.
Fantasy2019125 minsDirector: Matteo Garrone
In this unnerving live action adaptation of the classic tale, wood carver Gepetto (Roberto Benigni) crafts a wooden boy named Pinocchio who magically comes to life.
Drama201997 minsDirector: Lucas Santa Ana
An Argentine teenager finds life and love difficult following the death of his gay best friend, in this powerful recreation of adolescence.
Drama2017113 minsDirector: Isabel Coixet
Words run riot when a free-spirited bookseller (Emily Mortimer) introduces a sleepy town to a host of provocative literature
Thriller201790 minsDirector: Lynne Ramsay
Lynne Ramsay journeys with Joaquin Phoenix into the mind of an ex-soldier gun-for-hire whose own demons are as brutal as the actions of his adversaries.
Drama2017110 minsDirector: Dominic Cooke
Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle play a young, married couple struggling to physically connect in this sensitive adaptation of Ian McEwan’s acclaimed novel.
Drama1988111 minsDirector: Mike Newell
Hong Kong newlyweds seek a fresh start in 60s Britain, but fall foul of the Triad underworld in this adaptation of Timothy Mo's blackly comic novel.
War1979141 minsDirector: Francis Ford Coppola
Transplanting Joseph Conrad’s colonial-era novel Heart of Darkness to Vietnam, Coppola created a mesmerising fantasia on the spectacle of war.
Drama2015131 minsDirector: Paul Verhoeven
Isabelle Huppert gives an unforgettable performance in Paul Verhoeven’s provocative thriller about one woman’s response to a violent attack.
Drama2019104 minsDirector: Coky Giedroyc
Beanie Feldstein stars as a young rock journalist in this coming-of-age comedy, based on the novel by Caitlin Moran.
Comedy2011111 minsDirector: Lasse Hallström
Two London office workers find love on a Yemeni Sheikh's ambitious fishing scheme. Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt star.
Biopic2017127 minsDirector: Destin Daniel Cretton
Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson and Naomi Watts play members of an anarchic family that refuses society's norms, in this moving and offbeat drama from the director of Short Term 12.
Drama2015102 minsDirector: Marielle Heller
The US indie hit tells the bold, bawdy and hilarious story of a teenager's sexual awakening after she sleeps with her mother’s boyfriend.
Biopic2012111 minsDirector: Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in this adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s book about the long-standing affair between Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan.
Drama2015136 minsDirector: Terence Davies
Agyness Deyn stars in Terence Davies’ moving drama about a strong young woman facing many adversities in the run up to WWI.
Road movie2012124 minsDirector: Walter Salles
Walter Salles’ vibrant adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel follows three youths from the beat generation as they traverse America.
Period drama2016146 minsDirector: Park Chan-wook
Park Chan-wook (Old Boy, Stoker) channels Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, to create a sumptuous twisty psychological thriller full of erotic intrigue.
Drama2011114 minsDirector: Michael Winterbottom
Tragedy befalls a young Indian woman when she falls in love with a rich British man in Michael Winterbottom's sharp Thomas Hardy update.
Drama201393 minsDirector: Richard Ayoade
Richard Ayoade’s stylish and sinister adaptation of Dostoevsky’s story stars Jesse Eisenberg in a dual-role as a timid office clerk confronted by his confident, scheming doppelganger.
Period drama1967165 minsDirector: John Schlesinger
Terence Stamp and Julie Christie star in the classic adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s tale of tragedy and passion.
2006141 minsDirector: Tom Tykwer
Ben Whishaw first lead role in a movie was as the serial killer obsessed with smell in Tom Tykwer’s adaptation of the celebrated novel.
Drama201485 minsDirector: Ester Martin Bergsmark
A striking 21st-century love story about the passionate relationship between a transgendered teen and a straight man.
Thriller2011127 minsDirector: Tomas Alfredson
Gary Oldman leads an all-star cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy, in this acclaimed adaptation of John Le Carré's esteemed spy novel.
Drama201397 minsDirector: Jon S. Baird
The biting Irvine Welsh adaptation stars a sensational James McAvoy, boldly cast against type as the cop struggling to suppress his inner demons.
Drama1986109 minsDirector: Claude Berri
The sequel to Jean de Florette concludes the Provencal period saga about two farming clans, headed by Emmanuelle Béart and Daniel Auteuil.
Drama2016115 minsDirector: Jakob M. Erwa
A young man falls for the new boy at school in this energetic and inventive adaptation of Andreas Steinhoefel’s acclaimed YA novel.
Biopic2017119 minsDirector: David Gordon Green
Jake Gyllenhaal excels in a rousing story of strength and survival, from the acclaimed director of Prince Avalanche and George Washington.
Drama199797 minsDirector: Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar’s sexy and suspenseful thriller follows the intertwining destinies of a cop (Javier Bardem) and the criminal who paralyses him.
Drama2017116 minsDirector: Todd Haynes
Julianne Moore stars in Todd Haynes' playful adaptation of Brian Selznick’s acclaimed young adult novel, which follows two children from different eras as they set out to find people from their pasts.
Thriller194893 minsDirector: John Boulting
Richard Attenborough’s unforgettably sinister turn as ‘Pinkie’ pervades this classic adaptation of the Graham Greene novel.
Romance2015112 minsDirector: John Crowley
Saoirse Ronan shines as a woman who journeys from post-war small-town Ireland to New York, in Nick Hornby’s adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s best-selling novel.
Biopic2008110 minsDirector: Saul Dibb
Keira Knightley plays an 18th-century duchess who challenges convention by responding to her husband’s infidelities with affairs of her own.
Drama2014130 minsDirector: James Kent
Alicia Vikander brings to life the extraordinary life of Vera Brittain, whose affair with a dashing friend (Kit Harington) is cruelly cut short by the onset of war.
Comedy201097 minsDirector: Richard Ayoade
Richard Ayoade’s sweet and quirky directorial debut about a Swansea teen’s travails with his distant girlfriend and warring parents.
Thriller2008121 minsDirector: Fernando Meirelles
Fernando Meirelles (City of God) presents a haunting dystopian allegory about a sudden epidemic of blindness affecting humanity.
Animation & Artists Moving Image201667 minsDirector: Claude Barras
Both young and adult audiences will enjoy this funny and touching animated feature about an orphan named Courgette, written by Céline Sciamma (Girlhood).
Fantasy2015134 minsDirector: Matteo Garrone
Mythical monsters, shape-shifting sisters and a giant flea are all on the menu in Matteo Garrone’s fulsome feast of gothic fantasy.
Comedy2016101 minsDirector: Taika Waititi
Juvenile delinquent Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) forms an unlikely partnership with Sam Neill’s grizzled bushman in this hilarious wild adventure from Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows).
Drama2016161 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese
Scorsese’s epic meditation on spiritual strength, with Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver as missionaries on the search for their missing mentor.
Drama201398 minsDirector: Stephen Frears
Judi Dench and Steve Coogan star in the deeply moving yet warm-hearted drama about a woman’s search for her forcibly adopted son.
Biopic2015103 minsDirector: Stephen Frears
Ben Foster is Lance Armstrong in this kinetic account of the cyclist who fell from grace, from acclaimed director Stephen Frears.
Crime2015131 minsDirector: Brian Helgeland
Tom Hardy’s magnetic double-performance as infamous East End gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray commands Brian Helgeland stylish biopic.
Drama1988106 minsDirector: Ken Russell
Ken Russell returns to D. H. Lawrence for the story of a young girl’s sexual awakening and immersion in a love triangle with both a man and a woman.
Drama1986116 minsDirector: Claude Berri
The film that inspired a wave of British migration to Provence, Claude Berri’s magical evocation of a bygone rustic France, with Gerard Depardieu.
Animation & Artists Moving Image196724 minsDirector: Diana Potter
“Live animation” of Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem adventure from the maker of Captain Pugwash
196649 minsDirector: Ted Kotcheff
James Mason plays a middle-aged businessman in this East-West Berlin thriller, based on a story by John Le Carre.
Drama198796 minsDirector: Pat O'Connor
A young Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh star as two tormented WWI veterans who strike up a friendship when they meet in a rural Yorkshire village.
Horror2013108 minsDirector: Jonathan Glazer
An alien Scarlett Johansson prowls the streets of Glasgow in Jonathan Glazer’s astonishing, mind-bending mixture of existential sci-fi and inner-city realism.
Biopic2017107 minsDirector: Marc Meyers
Marc Meyers' adaptation of Derf Backderf’s revered graphic novel is an unnerving teen horror-drama about the makings of a murderer.
Biopic2016123 minsDirector: Jérôme Salle
Jérôme Salle's candid biopic of the underwater explorer and photographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau is a bold tribute to the lure of the sea.
Drama200294 minsDirector: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg directs Ralph Fiennes in this chilling psychological drama about a mentally-disturbed man facing his horrifying childhood memories.
Biopic2015128 minsDirector: Neil Armfield
A sweepingly romantic adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s best-selling memoir, an impassioned love letter to his partner, John Caleo.
Documentary201587 minsDirector: James Spinney
James Spinney and Peter Middleton's highly original documentary uses cinematic interpretations and textured sound design to express a ‘world beyond sight.’
Thriller2016109 minsDirector: Juan Carlos Medina
Bill Nighy plays the arch detective investigating a series of grisly murders around the music halls of Victorian London, in this pungent Gothic mystery.
Biopic1992124 minsDirector: Robert Redford
Two contrasting and occasionally conflicted brothers find solace while fly fishing the rivers of their Montana home.
Horror195882 minsDirector: Terence Fisher
Hammer's 1958 version of Stoker's Gothic novel was the most exciting to date, boasting lavish costumes and sets, a vibrant score and red, red blood.
Drama1962126 minsDirector: Bryan Forbes
Bryan Forbes directs the Oscar-nominated story of a French woman (Leslie Caron) moving to London while unmarried, pregnant, and alone.
Horror195071 minsDirector: Ivan Barnett
An eerie British version of the classic Poe chiller, strong enough for a rare 'H' (for Horrific) certificate.
Crime1953153 minsDirector: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Henri-Georges Clouzot's classic, nail-biting suspense thriller won both The Golden Bear and the Palme d'Or in 1953.