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We love us some Daniel Radcliffe Harry Potter action. After all, even though certain details from J.K. Rowling’s books were left out, overall, the series was an awesome fit for the big screen. Other books, not so much. Cases in point: These seven films that would’ve been better off left on paper.

movie adaptations faulkner

“As I Lay Dying”

Faulkner’s stream-of-consciousness masterpiece is basically unadaptable (what with its 59 chapters and 15 narrators), especially with James Franco as the director, screenplay writer and star.

movie adaptations gatsby

“The Great Gatsby”

Visually gorgeous, Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel falls short on pretty much everything else, including the addition of scenes and plotlines that didn’t appear in the original text.

movie adaptations midnight

“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”

John Berendt’s spectacular 1994 work of nonfiction is so fantastically reported, you can basically smell Savannah, Georgia. Clint Eastwood’s adaptation, however, is just a total mess. (Although we guess it's where Kevin Spacey first developed his iconic Frank Underwood voice.)

movie adaptations eat pray

“Eat Pray Love”

Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir is smart and spiritual. Ryan Murphy’s 2010 film is way too long, and Julia Roberts’s Gilbert comes across as a whiny Miss Privilege we’re more annoyed than inspired by.

movie adaptations twilight


Say what you will about Stephenie Meyer’s outlandish plot, but that book is entertaining. The movie seems more like an SNL skit.

movie adaptations davinci

“The Da Vinci Code”

Dan Brown’s 2003 novel is a twist-filled must-read. The Ron Howard-directed 2006 movie got mostly negative reviews for its slow pace that doesn't live up to Brown’s gripping story.

movie adaptations time traveler

“The Time Traveler’s Wife”

Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 debut novel is clever and sad and emotional. The 2009 film, on the other hand, is melodramatic and overly contrived. We get it, McAdams, it's super weird your true love keeps "traveling" and showing up again.

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