The Best Literature Movies, Ranked

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There are a number of forms of literature, but the three main categories should be represented in every classroom. Classics, genre stories and contemporary works of synonym for communicator should all be included in the high school curriculum. But what are some of the best movies based on literature? We’ve created a list which includes many classics that are constantly watched by new people as well as contemporary films that have received plenty of good reviews. Check them out!

1. “The Great Gatsby” (2013)

Who’s in it: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton.

What to say about this one: Paramount Pictures needed to adapt The Great Gatsby to a film after it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. So they grabbed Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan who did not disappoint because The Great Gatsby is a timeless classic. It’s the story of an American man named Jay Gatsby who makes his private yacht known as “the green light” and finds love with a wealthy girl named Daisy Buchanan. But his life soon spirals away from him when he meets Nick Carraway, her cousin. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the novel The Great Gatsby has sold well over a million copies and was translated into nine different languages. The original novel first appeared in 1925 and was re-issued in 2013 to commemorate its 80th anniversary.

2. “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962)

Who’s in it: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford and Brock Peters.

This classic novel by Harper Lee is one of the best literature movies of all time because although it is set in the 1930s and 1940s, the issues that are addressed within the movie are still present today. The plot takes us to the fictional town of Maycomb and introduces us to Scout, a daughter of Atticus Finch who is a highly respected lawyer. Because of his reputation, he is recruited by the Cunningham family in an effort to bring a positive outcome to their trial. They are being tried for the alleged rape of a black girl named Mayella Ewell. This movie is truly iconic, and we bet that if you haven’t seen it before you will enjoy it.

3. “Of Mice and Men” (1992)

Who’s in it: John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Bonnie Bedelia and Danny Glover.

Based on the novella by John Steinbeck, this movie version of “Of Mice And Men” follows George and Lennie as they attempt to build a life together on their own. George is extremely protective of Lennie, who is mentally disabled. He also happens to be stronger than most people with that mental deficiency. When they arrive at an isolated farm, their hopes for a new life are destroyed when the boss’s son Curley begins to make unwanted advances towards Lennie’s girlfriend. When Curley’s wife comes to the ranch, Lennie accidentally kills her by stroking her hair. These incidents lead to tragic consequences.

4. “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994)

Who’s in it: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton and Clancy Brown.

This classic film has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and won two of them including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption , the movie follows Andy Dufresne who is a banker who is sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife and her lover. His only hope of survival is his friend and former cellmate, Ellis Red’s. The two get involved in a drug deal that ends in murder, but Andy manages to escape.

5. “Into the Wild” (2007)

Who’s in it: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, John Krasinski and Woody Harrelson.

This story is about a young man named Christopher McCandless who plans to travel to Alaska by himself. But when his father dies in an accident, he leaves home and heads out on his own course of action, which includes hitchhiking around the country among others and avoiding family members. After a particularly harsh blizzard, he ultimately dies in an abandoned bus, which is found by his family. The film received positive reviews and it was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

6. “Atonement” (2007)

Who’s in it: James McAvoy, Saoirse Ronan, Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch.

This movie adaptation of Ian McEwan’s famous novel begins as a tragedy but eventually becomes an unforgettable romance that leaves love and pain intact with an ending that makes us analyze our own memories from the past. The movie is based on a true story about an English teenager named Cilla who is coming to terms with her own love lost. Her loss sends her into a downward spiral of alcoholism, and she can’t stand the sight of a young boy that reminds her of him and the loss. The story goes back to WWII when Cilla’s father falls in love with a married woman named Pauline, who rejects him but they later fall in love. As they grow closer and closer, they begin to have an affair. When Pauline’s husband discovers them, he burns down their house by throwing gas on it.

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