We’re always looking for new ways to learn something new or to improve ourselves, our lifestyles, and our understanding of the world around us. One of the most effective and fascinating ways to learn is through the movies. Since the medium is subjective and can be manipulated to fit any narrative, it’s frequently used to teach, enlighten, and entertain audiences on a massive scale.

Movies are a wonderful tool for the creative mind because they allow for the individualized crafting of a story that can be shared and enjoyed by a large audience. They enable us to experiment with narrative structure, character development, and conveying ideas and concepts through the use of visual metaphors and imagery.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the 25 best movies based on books. Many of these titles are masterpieces that deserve to be on this list and more importantly, seen by as many people as possible. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn something new.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Kavalier

If you’ve never heard of Kurt Vonnegut, you’ll surely soon enough. Not only is he one of the best-known and most-loved authors of all time, but his work has been adapted for the big screen numerous times. One of the most recent film adaptations of his iconic novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Kavalier, premiered recently and it’s been gathering rave reviews ever since.

Set in the not-too-distant future, the story follows the adventures of two young men, Jerry and Duke, as they navigate the treacherous waters of adult life. Between earning degrees, dealing with bosses, employees, professors, and family, the duo struggle to keep their ideals, drive, and youth alive as they navigate one disastrous affair after another.

What makes this movie so special is that it captures the spirit of the book while feeling completely relevant and contemporary. The story is witty and bold, with a memorable, yet lovable lead character named Jerry. The script is sharp and propulsive, never losing sight of the larger narrative goals in service of a more entertaining experience for the audience. The cinematography and editing are both stunning, which wouldn’t be unexpected considering that the film is the work of acclaimed director, Peyton Reed.

The Bad Seed

There are very few literary characters as chilling, as manipulative, or as troublesome as the immortal Tiffany Aching in Margaret Atwood’s The Bad Seed. The story follows the eponymous 16-year-old girl as she progresses through life at an abnormal rate, wreaking havoc and destruction wherever she goes. She is both hated and feared by the community, with some even labeling her a witch.

Over the course of the novel, we see the titular character use her power for both good and evil, displaying an uncertain moral compass and never truly fitting in with “normal” society. The Bad Seed is considered one of the true classics of weird fiction, and it’s had quite an impact on modern day story-telling.

The 1997 film adaption of The Bad Seed is one of the greatest psychological thrillers ever made. If you’ve never seen it, we suggest diving into it’s golden era now, as it has been restored and remastered for the big screen. Starring an incredible turn from Michelle Pfeiffer, weaved together by Joel Schumacher, the film focuses on the dangers of child psychology and the importance of understanding one’s own children. There are some incredible scenes in this movie that are so gut-wrenching you won’t believe them until you see them. In short, The Bad Seed is one of the greatest films of all time and it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar is a 1927 novel by American author, Sylvia Plath. It’s a coming-of-age story about a 17-year-old poetess, Esther Greenwood, who is inspired by the works of William Shakespeare to begin writing poignant love poems and lyrics that are ultimately overshadowed by her internal struggles as an artist. The Bell Jar explores the dark emotional side of creativity, while also offering a glimpse into the mind of a talented and driven young woman.

In the novel, Esther is obsessed with beauty and fashion, and she uses her poetry as a way to analyze and come to terms with her turbulent emotions. The story is considered a classic in its field, particularly for its depiction of literary genius and creativity as a psychologically taxing experience. It’s had a major impact on both modern and contemporary literature.

The 1973 film adaptation of The Bell Jar is directed by James Bridges and stars Robin Wright as Esther. Although the script is somewhat weak and the special effects are dated, the novel is still incredibly relevant and it’s had an influence on many later films and TV shows. If you’ve never read the book, now might be the right time to start. Not only will it entertain you, but it will also teach you something new about the power of literature.

The Hobbit

Now we’re coming to the point of this article, which is to talk about the ultimate book-to-movie adaptation (we’re joking, of course). The Hobbit is a 1937 novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s the first part of a trilogy created by the legendary author, and it follows the adventures of a Hobbit family as they try to survive the impending destruction of their home, due to an Orc invasion. Between the humor, drama, action, and adventure, The Hobbit is a fantastic read for both adults and children alike.

The first film adaptation of The Hobbit was released in 2013 and it was directed by Peter Jackson. It wasn’t the first time Jackson had adapted the work for the big screen, and aside from being one of the greatest film-makers of our time, he is also a very talented playwright and songwriter. Jackson and his team did an amazing job bringing the novel to life, and critics and audiences alike have loved it. If you’ve never read the novel, now might be the right time to start. Not only will it entertain you, but it will also teach you something new about the power of literature.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Finally, and probably the most popular of all of these titles, we have To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It’s been estimated that over 40 million copies of this book have been sold, making it one of the best-selling novels of all time. It’s been adapted for film so many times it’s hard to keep track of all of them. To Kill a Mockingbird is a great example of a classic American novel, which examines race relations between white and African-American, as well as the cultural clash between old and new.

Lee’s semi-autobiographical story follows the adventures of 12-year-old Scout, who through her uncle’s law firm, helps her father, Atticus, defend an African-American man, Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping a white woman. The story is narrated by Scout herself in the first-person present tense, which gives it a unique and personal feel. Between the witty asides, the deeply personal reflections, and the evocative descriptions, Scout’s voice is as unique as her character. It’s these qualities that make this book and this story so special. This is one book you will want to read by the seaside or in the woods. It’s a great story about human nature and the dark side of humanity, as well as the resilience of the human spirit.

The 1934 film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird directed by Oscar Micheaux is considered by many to be the finest example of a cinematic adaptation of a literary masterpiece. Starring a then-popular Paul Robeson, the film also features an incredible supporting cast that includes Spencer Tracy, Edward Arnold, and George McFarland. The script is exceptional, featuring some beautiful, poetic dialogue. Unfortunately, the film isn’t preserved and many of its negatives were destroyed, which means we will never know how good it might have been for certain.

The 1960 film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird directed by Robert Mulligan stars Gregory Peck as Atticus and Grace Kelly as his wife, Martha. It was originally touted as a sequel to the Oscar-winning film, but it was more of a loose adaptation that retconned a bit around the original story. However, it still manages to preserve the poetic vibe of the original and while not perfect, it’s a beautiful attempt nonetheless. The script is by Dalton Trumbo, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for this adaptation. Not only is it a great film, but it’s also one of the most important films of the 20th century. If you’ve never read the book, now might be the right time to start. Not only will it entertain you, but it will also teach you something new about the resilience of the human spirit and the dark power of literature.