Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week we get a new topic for a top ten list. I love when books are made into movies. I also hate it, because I get really agitated when things are different from the books. I’m the person in the movie theater yelling out “THAT WASN’T IN THE BOOK, MORON!” during every scene. Here are five movies that did justice to the book sources and five that I wish hadn’t been made.

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The Best

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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I’ve already written up the reasons why you should see this movie. It’s a brilliant adaptation of a heartbreaking and heartwarming novel that has changed so many people’s lives. It’s amazing and everything that a fan of the book could ever want.

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy

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I watched the movies before I read the books, which is the probably why I don’t mind the changes in the movies. I think the movies are great and capture the epic scope of Tolkien’s famed series perfectly. I never get tired of watching these movies. More than once, I’ve watched all three extended versions back to back in a single 13 hour sitting. That’s how intense my love is for this series.

3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

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I love this adaptation. Tilda Swinton as the White Witch is amazing. Also, Skandar Keynes plays the snottiness and vulnerability of Edmund (my favorite character) so well. The soundtrack is epic and the movie captures the right balance between magical wonder and intense action. This is exactly the Narnia movie that I wanted.

4. Twilight

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Ok, I know these movies are awful. I admit to laughing through most of them, especially during the moments you’re not supposed to be laughing. But as far as adaptations go, these are pretty spot on. I mean, the first one even uses dialogue from the novel.

5. Howl’s Moving Castle

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This adaptation is wonderful in a totally different way from the others. The movie is absolutely nothing like the book, and yet it’s still just as magical. This is a case where you have to read the book and watch the movie. You can’t substitute one for the other. They’re different but equally compelling.

The Worst

6. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

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As long as there is breath in my body, I will bitch about how terrible this movie is. Who was the moron who read The Lightning Thief and thought, “this book doesn’t have enough action, let’s totally change the entire plot and leave out all kinds of important plot information that we’ll need later on?” I was so upset to see one of my favorite series butchered like that. The only redeeming factor is Logan Lerman, who makes a good Percy even if he is older than he’s supposed to be.

7. The Golden Compass

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I actually didn’t hate this movie. I thought the actors were good, especially Nicole Kidman who I absolutely love. The problem came with the ending. The movie ends before the real ending of the book. This might not seem like a big deal, except the last scene in the book defines Lyra as a character for the rest of the series.

8. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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I already said how much I love The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I even liked Prince Caspian. Though they changed a lot from the book (I mean, come on, Peter would never get in a power struggle with Caspian), I still really enjoyed watching it. So I had high hopes for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Dear god, was I disappointed. They completely changed the plot and made it horrible.

9. Ella Enchanted

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Ella Enchanted frequently makes my favorites lists here on the blog. My love for the book knows no bounds. The same can’t be said for the movie. I know Anne Hathaway gets a lot of hate, but I usually love her in movies. Too bad I couldn’t in this one because I was too busy crying about how they were butchering one of my favorite books.

10. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

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Though the series declined in my opinion, I still enjoyed reading the books. The first movie was watchable; it wasn’t bad, and I’ll still watch it from time to time if it’s on tv. The second one was a train-wreck. They pulled elements from books 2-4, but little of the series’ magic remained. They really should’ve just stopped after the first movie.

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27 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations

  1. SO agree with you on Ella Enchanted! i can’t believe I forgot it. It was one of my favorite childhood books and the movie is just… I have NO idea what they were going for there.

  2. UGH. NARNIA. YES. NARNIA. I LIKE IT.

    I also get your feels on Percy, but I’ll be there with bells on at midnight for the second one. I just love Logan Lerman. I really do. Plus Nathan Fillion. Which means the movie just HAS to be seen.

  3. We have some of the same movies on our best and worst lists. Unfortunately I completely forgot about the Perks of Being a Wallflower. I should go back and add it. Amazing book and well-done movie.

  4. I finally watched Wallflower a couple of weeks ago and was impressed with how well it was done. I didn’t put it on my list, but it nearly made it – if I ever do another one of these it will.

  5. The Lord of the Rings films are absolutely brilliant adaptations and I can’t help but kick myself a little for forgetting to include them in my own Top Ten Tuesday list this week. They took on an almost impossible task and I think actually managed to capture the vast scope of Tolkien’s work while still making the story accessible to those who don’t ordinarily read fantasy novels.

    I was a big fan of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series growing up, and purposefully avoided the adaptations as I had read nothing but negative press about them. While I’m admittedly a little curious, I want to remember the stories as they were originally told, and not as they were bastardized in the film series.

  6. My daughter, too, hates The Lightning Thief with a passion. I never really made it past the beginning because I was annoyed at a lot of aspects, and her hate on meant I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it. Such a shame. Maybe in the future, they’ll film a better adaptation.

  7. The Golden Compass made my worst list also. You make a good point about the Twilight movie…I hadn’t thought of it that way. I agree that The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was really well done. I forgot about this one when making my list.

  8. Lord of the Rings (and Harry Potter) are always a definite on people’s list. I loved Howl’s Moving Castle. I had no idea it was a book first.

    Here’s my top ten!

  9. It’s been years since I’ve read Voyage of The Dawn Treader, though I have to admit that when I watched the movie something felt wrong about it, yet I couldn’t put my finger on it. Now I know I had that feeling for a reason.
    My TTT.

  10. Yes to The Golden Compass! I was totally enjoying the movie (and I really liked the little girl who played Lyra) and then, all of a sudden it was over. And I couldn’t believe it. If you remember the trailers that wereTV, you could tell they shot those final scenes from the book. So how they coudl not share them. RIDICULOUS!

    And Percy Jackson. Total let down. And I was a bit sad about Ella Enchanted, too. I agree about Twilight as well. They were very faithful to the book.

  11. I agree about Percy Jackson and The Golden Compass, definitely! LOTR is on my best list — I could watch it over and over again (and frequently do). Perks is also a great choice — the book and the movie are both terrific. Nice list!

  12. I read Ella Enchanted only a few years after watching the movie. So I guess because of that I actually enjoyed the movie. I found it incredibly funny poking fun at all the fairytale stuff as well as having a sweet story.

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