Of all the Harry Potter books to hit the big screen, it is Alfonso Cuaron who mastered the art of the page to screen effort. He, more than any other helmer, truly captured what J.K. Rowling put on the page.
Nicholas Sparks books don't have the best record of coming to the big screen. Sure, they succeed, but are they that good? The Notebook, on the other hand, is one of the more perfect romance movies captured on film. That is why we can watch it over and over.
Getting inside the mind and the pages of Hunter S. Thompson is an almost impossble task. But, who better than Terry Gilliam as director and Johnny Depp as star to bring Thompson's beloved Fear and Loathing to the big screen. We get a hangover just watching it.
Say what you want about The Help, but there is no question that writer-director Tate Taylor totally nailed the spirit and emotional force (and humor) of Kathryn Stockett's novel. You'll never look at pie quite the same again.
We're making an exception here because The Shawshank Redemption is such an outstanding example of how one takes a short story and makes it a film worthy of Oscar nominations and the judging of history that it is one powerful and moving film.
Off all of the Jack Ryan books, in terms of their page to screen effort, The Hunt for Red October truly nails it. John McTiernan was the perfect director to take Tom Clancy's hero and not only bring him to the big screen, but to introduce him to movie audiences for the first time.
Cormac McCarthy is one tricky writer to bring his novels to the screen. What better choice than to have the Coen brothers take on the effort with No Country for Old Men? Brilliant on so many levels. No need to flip a coin on this one, it's perfect.
Stephen King has had spotty success with his written word making the leap to the silver screen. But there is something truly extraordinary and magical about The Green Mile. Is it Tom Hanks? Is it director Frank Darabont? Perhaps it's Michael Clark Duncan's tender performance. Whatever it is... The Green Mile is glorious.
There's nothing to keep confidential about this instant classic. L.A. Confidential brought noir filmmaking back to the masses and took James Elroy's novel and (this is funny to say about a noir movie) gave it real color. Powerful performances abound and it still remains one of our favorite movies to this day.
When Steven Spielberg was announced as the director of Alice Walker's The Color Purple, it was not a popular decision. The man had only made sci-fi and spectacles. But, he took Alice Walker's beloved book and brought it to the screen with heart, power and it is completely and utterly unforgettable.
Sure, there are many great Jane Austen page to screen efforts. But, each has something that gets us... just a little bit. But, there is absolutely nothing to fault Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley. It captures Austen's prose, landscape and characters unlike any other.