Literary Listings: 4 Great + 4 Bad Movie Adaptations

Saw this Top Ten Tuesday post from Nancy @ Tumbling Books and thought I’d adapt it for my own Literary Listings. Credit is given to The Broke and The Bookish team.

The Great:

Harry Potter Series

So, everyone here knows that I am a renowned Potterhead. I just love the Harry Potter series, so much so, that I am willing to ignore and gloss over obvious issues with the films for this to become my No. 1. Best Movie Adaptation.

There are a lot of things that don’t sycn up, plot lines or characters were skipped or glossed over and fake story lines added for the film’s sake. However, I still love these damn movies. All 8 of them. During my surgery they saved my butt, as I watched them over and over. It was magic getting to see the world come alive visually. Plus, there are some gems in the films: Dumbledore is amazing, McGonagall is my hero, Bellatrix was terrifying and Ginny was a treat!

The Hobbit + LOTR Series

I have a few issues with The Hobbit, but other than that I thought the film was well done (certainly well cast!) and entertaining. I don’t like the CG effects but I’ll be cordial and gloss over that.

The LOTR series adaptations are better, slower and much better fleshed out. The book has a lot of action and things to draw from, hence why the producers and directors had less work to do I think, pulling off a better film. I love the series, especially the extended versions.


I had to watch this for IB English A1 and I was struck immediately. I’ve only read snippets of the book but I feel that this adaptation is faithful to the book (not strictly following it but adapting to the book in a way that you can still sense the book’s tone).

Actors were amazing, but its the moody music and dark, crisp shadows that make this film such an artistic success.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

There has been some debate on which film is better, the Swedish version or the American version? I like both. A lot. The American version is sexier, with much better looking people but Lisbeth is stunning in this version. The Swedish actress is also amazing, but the American one manages to make her seem so much moodier and scarier.

The Bad

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Why would anyone do this to my beloved series? I loved the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series, I thought the world building was fascinating and the inclusion of Greek mythology was original and seamless.

So why is the film so damned disjointed? It wouldn’t have been hard to stick a bit more faithfully to the book– Indeed, I don’t see why they didn’t because the book wasn’t complex at all. They essentially rewrote the book for the film and went Pfft! Screw the plot! They invented a totally new mission. Ugh. Dislike. Plus, the character are supposed to be 11, so why do they look like puberty hit them at childhood?

The DaVinci Code

Well, it’s almost too easy blasting this one. The books were great but how exciting could they possibly make the films?

I almost felt sorry for Dan Brown.


I felt betrayed by this film adaptation. I loved the books and was eager to see the world come to life in a film, but everything, everything about this was a disaster.

Casting? Bad. Costume design? Dreadful. Makeup? Dude, Durza wasn’t fooling anyone, that’s bad foundation and worse lipstick. Plot? Dragged– How?! The Book didn’t drag but this film sure as hell did.

Wide Sargasso Sea (BBC Edition)

Ok this one left me feeling worse than betrayed, I was horrified. Wide Sargasso Sea is my favourite book of all time– All. Time. And there was an older film out there that was pretty good, it was great actually.

So why, in this BBC adaptation is everything dreadful? I especially dislike the lead actress, she couldn’t quite pull of the mixed-frailty-and-strength that the protagonist had.



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
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20 Responses to Literary Listings: 4 Great + 4 Bad Movie Adaptations

  1. Pingback: Book Bloggery Week-in-Review (22)

  2. DoingDewey says:

    I completely agree with you about LOTR and Percy Jackson was just awful! The other two I’ve seen, some of the Harry Potter movies and The DaVinci code, I would swap from the way you have them, I thought the first two Harry Potter movies were pretty good, but with the third, I felt like the added some really weird unnecessary things (the talking head on the night bus for instance – yuck!). And I liked The DaVinci code pretty well, but on that one, it’s possible I just hadn’t read the book recently enough to notice differences πŸ™‚

  3. Kelley says:

    Hmm, I’ve only seen the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and I haven’t read the book), but I really liked it. Not sure if I’d agree about the American version, but now I feel compelled to go watch it.

    I also completely agree with you about the Eragon movie. That was seriously just disappointing. And not to mention — they completely changed the ending!

  4. TheSkepticalReader says:

    I hated the Percy Jackson adaptation of the first film! Urgh.

  5. Oh God I definitely agree about Percy Jackson! Have you seen Sea of Monsters? I’m scared to!

  6. I actually like The Da Vinci movie. It’s not as exciting as the books, but it wasn’t bad. The same for Angels & Demons. Percy Jackson was horrible. I can’t stand Logan as an actor.. I LOVE LOTR and The hobbit. The books were boring, but the movies are one of my favorites ❀ and despite the fact that the movies weren't that good, I loved seeing all my HP friends on screen. Hello Alan Rickman πŸ˜€

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      Alan Rickman, sigh, he’s mah main man! McGonnagall + Dumbledore love too! The Davinci Code was…. Interesting. I found it … I was disappointed in a lot of things. I expected a lot out of it.

  7. I never saw any of the “bad” and only saw a few of the “goods”. But I would like to add a good and a bad.

    Good: Matilda by Roald Dahl
    Bad: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

  8. I haven’t seen many of these but the ones I have (HP, LotR, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) I completely agree with. And don’t even get me started with Eragon. That was HORRIBLE!

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