Top 15 Movies Based on Novels

Top 15 Movies Based on Novels

More often than not, movies adapted from novels are disappointing. Perhaps it’s impossible to capture the complexity and nuances of a 300-page (or longer) novel in two hours. I chose my top 15 book-to-movie adaptations based on how well the directors interpreted the novels in film. The movie may not be 100 percent faithful to the book, but it successfully preserved the novel’s essence.

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Christian Bale’s “Out of the Furnace” is a Cinematic Slow Burn that Shines Brightly

Christian Bale’s “Out of the Furnace” is a Cinematic Slow Burn that Shines Brightly

“Out of the Furnace” is not the kind of movie that jumps on you. It’s a cinematic slow burn that grows on you. The film, set in the steel town of Braddock, Pa., is about the Baze brothers—Russell (Christian Bale) and Rodney (Casey Affleck).

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“Dead Poets Society”: Robin Williams Will Stay “O Captain, My Captain” in Our Hearts

“Dead Poets Society”: Robin Williams Will Stay “O Captain, My Captain” in Our Hearts

Although “Dead Poets Society” is set in a boys’ prep school in Vermont in 1959, moviegoers relate to it because it puts them squarely on a familiar ground. Most people remember a teacher like John Keating (Robin Williams) who changes his students’ lives. In every school, there’s a passionate soul like Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard), a painfully shy kid like Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke), and a rebel like Nuwanda (Gale Hansen).

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Tom Hardy’s “Locke” Shows Extraordinary Power in Simplicity

Tom Hardy’s “Locke” Shows Extraordinary Power in Simplicity

It takes an actor such as Tom Hardy to pull off a film shot almost entirely inside a car, showing him alone, from beginning to end. Ivan Locke (Hardy) is a construction manager in Birmingham, with a reputation for “running a tight ship,” as a local official describes him. One evening, after work, he doesn’t go home. Instead he drives to London, a decision that changes his life within 85 minutes, which is how long the drive and the movie last.

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4 Lessons for Writers from Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”

4 Lessons for Writers from Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”

In “Rashomon,” the 1950 classic film by Akira Kurosawa, viewers can be certain of three things: A samurai is dead, his wife has been sexually assaulted, and a bandit is the main suspect. Everything else about the film is open to discussion. Every viewer is entitled to his or her own conclusion.

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Hollywood’s Love Affair with Lady Liberty: From “Saboteur” to “Adjustment Bureau”

Hollywood’s Love Affair with Lady Liberty: From “Saboteur” to “Adjustment Bureau”

From the 1942 Alfred Hitchcock film, “Saboteur,” to the Matt Damon-starrer “The Adjustment Bureau” (2011), Lady Liberty has been thrilling, scaring, and entertaining moviegoers over the years.

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5 Reasons Why Writers Should Watch Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”

5 Reasons Why Writers Should Watch Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”

A quick Google search will show you that “La Dolce Vita,” which means “the sweet life,” is a popular name for Italian restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops. The term has taken on a life of its own ever since Federico Fellini’s film of the same title was released in 1960.

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“The Savages”: A Small Film Showcasing the Giant Talent of Philip Seymour Hoffman

“The Savages”: A Small Film Showcasing the Giant Talent of Philip Seymour Hoffman

Like most film buffs, I was devastated when the news broke that Philip Seymour Hoffman died of accidental drug overdose on Feb. 2. He was 46. Described by the New York Times as “the most ambitious and the most widely admired American actor of his generation,” Hoffman was best known for “Capote” (2005), which earned him the Oscar for best actor.

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