10 Must-See Thriller Movies Based on Best-Selling Novels | Jobi Cool


Novels remain one of the most important sources of cinematic inspiration, and it takes a special kind of film to stay faithful to the story. From the bone-chilling adaptation of Thomas HarrisThriller of Silence of the LambsAn intelligent and skillful novel by the author Stieg Larsonwho, The girl with the dragon tattooThere have been many successful adaptations of incredible books.


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Popular novels turned into movies create an exciting opportunity for the audience to see the story visually, many of which have become the biggest thrillers to hit the big screen. While some thrillers remain faithful to the author’s original novel, others take the source material to previously unexpected places. There have been many book-to-screen thriller adaptations, but few stand out as cinematic masterpieces.

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‘Children of Men’ (2006)

Theo and Kay walk among the soldiers in Children of Men

children of men is a dystopian action thriller that works on many levels, including a cautionary tale and a trailblazing human drama about society’s struggle for survival. The film unfolds in 2027 London, where humanity is on the brink of extinction, and global chaos ensues. When a woman becomes pregnant, the cynical bureaucrat Theo Pharaoh (Clive Owen) and his ex-wife Julianne Taylor (Julian MooreHelp transport a secretly pregnant refugee to safety. At the same time fighting to protect the world’s last remaining hope from danger.

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron and based on the 1992 novel children of men By the author PD James, the film received high critical acclaim but failed to achieve any success at the box office. However, the powerful thriller has recently enjoyed a remarkable resurgence with a glossy reappraisal on both sociopolitical and artistic grounds. The film and novel share common similarities, including a dystopian setting, developed main characters, and a strong plot that remains relevant with each passing year.

‘The Girl on the Train’ (2016)

The Girl on the Train 2x1

Psychological thriller The girl on the train Follows divorced Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt), who visits the house of her ex-husband and his new wife on his morning train journey. Along the way, she catches glimpses of her neighbors, a good-looking young couple, Scott and Megan. However, when Megan suddenly disappears, Rachel is caught between helping to investigate the disappearance and becoming a suspect in the murder.

Directed by Tate Taylor Based on the bestselling novel by and Paula Hawkinsmovie The girl on the train A great example of a great mystery. The book-to-film adaptation remains largely faithful to its source material with a few key changes, including switching the location of the film from London to New York City and the novel’s original pair of detectives becoming more complex characters. The film unfolds in a varied, engaging way as it plays with the timeline and the narrator and keeps the audience guessing till the end.

‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ (2011)

The-girl-with-a-dragon-tattoo-social-feature-rooney-mara
Image via Sony Pictures Release

In the movie The girl with the dragon tattoodisgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) played brilliant computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) to help solve the 40-year-old murder of Heinrich Vanger (Christopher Plummer) niece. As the two main protagonists uncover the truth, they discover more than they bargained for about the secrets of the powerful Vanjar family.

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By skillfully directed David Fincher and based on the novel by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, The girl with the dragon tattoo The film is an engaging psychological thriller. In the second book-to-film adaptation, Fincher creates a masterful neo-noir thriller that unfolds a truly captivating story and stays faithful to the novel’s complex plot.

‘Crash’ (1996)

an accident

A sensual thriller an accident One of the directors David CronenbergThe most controversial and provocative films. The film follows filmmaker James Ballard (James Spader) and his wife Catherine (Deborah Kara Ungar), who are looking to spice up their sex lives. After a car accident, they are lured into a strange subculture and underground community of sadomasochistic car-crash fetishists.

Adapted by Cronenberg JG BallardA highly controversial future-shock novel with impeccably directed, vivid depictions of graphic sex acts fueled by violence. Both the film and the book present a disturbing and equally profound curiosity about human desire. With its twisted and sensual depiction of sexuality, this drama/thriller will grip the audience completely.

‘American Psycho’ (2000)

American Psycho Christian Bale

Set in New York City in the 1980s, American Psycho Follows investment banker Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) an egotistical psychopath consumed by the social politics of upper-class circles. In the evening, Bateman’s corporate illusion changes dramatically as his sadistic desires take full effect, leading to a double life as a serial killer.

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Film producer Mary Harronadaptation of Brett Easton Elliswho American Psycho The epitome of cult cinema. While Ellis’ novel is a satire of the greed and heartlessness that consumed parts of America in the 1980s, Harron’s film explores similar themes but with an added touch of dark humor. Both the novel and the film have polarized their audiences with terrifying brutality as they examine the elements that make humans monstrous.

‘Shutter Island’ (2010)

'Shutter Island' blurs the line between what's real and what's not
Image via Paramount Pictures

Psychological thriller Shutter Island Troubled US Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) when he investigates the disappearance of a woman who escaped from an asylum for the criminally insane. As the investigation deepens, Daniel begins to realize that things are not as they appear, as he deals with his horrific past.

film Shutter Island Arguably one of the most popular thrillers of all time and a haunting adaptation Dennis LehaneA pulpy gothic novel. Director Martin Scorsese Brilliantly uses visceral horror imagery to convey the despair of Daniel’s tortured psyche. Detailed psychological components in both the book and the film keep the audience guessing as to what is fact and what is fiction.

‘Gone Girl’ (2014)

Amy Dunne bathing in Gone Girl.

In the movie Gone GirlNew York-based author Nick Dunn (Ben Affleck) and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) seems like the perfect pairing. However, when Amy suddenly disappears under suspicious circumstances, Nick becomes the prime suspect. The resulting media frenzy quickly erodes the image of the couple’s blissful union, leading to compelling questions about who the real Nick and Amy are.

Director David Fincher’s adaptation Gillian Flynnwho Gone Girl resulting in a dark and intelligent psychological thriller, receiving widespread critical acclaim. While the film looks like a straightforward mystery, it gets very complicated with its jaw-dropping twists and turns. The book-to-film adaptation has managed to remain faithful to the novel while introducing its own creative style.

‘Fight Club’ (1999)

Fight Club Brad Pitt narrator Edward Norton
Image via 20th Century Fox

movie Fight Club observes depressed office workers (Edward Norton) and a soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) formed an underground fight club. The club also attracts other people who lead dull lives as they return to express their inner rage by beating each other senseless. However, as the group grows, chaos soon reigns.

Adaptation from acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel is an insightful satire of masculinity and consumerism and observes how both can be equally toxic to society. While Fincher’s brilliant adaptation of Palahniuk’s acclaimed novel is dark and unconventional in many ways, the cult classic proved remarkably faithful to the book.

‘No Country for Old Men’ (2007)

There are no country facilities for the elderly

2007 thriller There is no country for the old Men tell the story of Llewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin), which explores the dire consequences of drug deals. Unable to resist temptation, Moss takes the cash he left behind. However, it isn’t long before a tense game of cat and mouse begins, as ruthless killer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) begins to follow Moss.

The Coen brothers adaptation of Cormac McCarthy‘s brilliant novel is a true masterpiece in which the filmmakers have created their most suspenseful and terrifying film yet. At the same time, the film adaptation remains highly faithful to the novel in terms of its primary elements, namely tone, twists and surprises.

‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991)

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs

A cinematic masterpiece Silence of the Lambs is an intoxicating and absorbing thriller. The film follows young FBI cadet Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) as he Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a cannibalistic serial killer imprisoned to track down another serial killer.

Jonathan DemmeAdaptation of the fascinating novel by Thomas Harris Silence of the Lambs Considered one of the scariest and most iconic thrillers of all time. In the book-to-film adaptation, Demme has successfully created an exciting, thought-provoking pop-culture phenomenon that is close to Harris’s novel in most aspects, including story and dialogue.

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