18 Netflix Movies Based On Books.

Netflix Movies Based On Books

I love reading, and I love film. And when the two intersect, I’m overjoyed. Funny enough, my tastes can be different for each category. For example, I barely ever read romance or romcoms but I love a romcom film. Give me all of the Nicholas Sparks and cheesiness. Recently I watched Red, White, and Royal Blue (on Amazon Prime) and I liked it even more than I liked the book. It got me thinking about movies based on books.

Netflix has a ton of movie adaptations from suspense thrillers to romantic comedies. Today, I am sharing a round-up of satisfying Netflix movies that translate well from the pages to the screen. Bookmark this post for your next movie marathon. In the meantime, what are your favorite movies based on books? I’d love your recs!

Speaking of books and movies: some of the best comfort movies, some favorite books by women of color, some recommended books for young adults!

18 Netflix Movies Based On Books

Thrillers

Luckiest girl alive

This is one of my favorite Netflix adaptations in some time. It was just so good (but I also really loved the book). Mila Kunis plays a writer with a past. She’s worked tenaciously to achieve her ideals of both beauty and success, and is engaged to a handsome, rich man. Her perfect life starts to crumble when a true crime documentary forces her to confront her harrowing past. TW: violence, disordered eating. Watch on Netflix.

the woman in the window

This one was another favorite as I just adored the book! Amy Adams plays an agoraphobic psychologist (my favorite sort of unreliable protagonist) who has suffered a tremendous amount of trauma. She becomes obsessed with her picture-perfect neighbors – and solving a crime that she witnesses through the window. Watch on Netflix.

Lost Girls

A desperate woman is determined to find her missing daughter. Unsatisfied with help from the police, she launches a personal investigation that leads police to the unsolved cases of murdered sex workers. Watch on Netflix.

Rebecca

A young newlywed arrives at her husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast and finds herself battling the shadow of his first wife , Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house long after her death. She also must contend with a sinister housekeeper. This one is a Netflix Original. It was creepy and disturbing but I like creepy and disturbing. I really enjoyed it – especially the set and the costumes and of course, I love Lily James! Watch on Netflix.

Leave the World Behind

This was the rare scenario where I liked the film better than the book! First of all, it has an absolutely all star cast (Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, and Kevin Bacon star!). A family decides to rent a home for the week on Long Island. They are interrupted when two strangers (who own the home they’ve rented) arrive, bearing news of a blackout. Crisis looms. I don’t want to give too much away but this one has end of days/apocalypse energy so make sure you’re in the right headspace to watch. Watch on Netflix.

More Serious / Drama

hillbilly ellegy

An urgent phone call pulls a Yale Law Student back to his small Appalachian hometown, causing him to reflect on his past and how he got out of his small town and was able to advance himself. It has a star-studded cast: Amy Adams, Glenn Close, etc! Watch on Netflix.

the glass castle

I always confuse The Glass Castle with Hillbilly Ellegy as they have similar themes. A successful New York writer tries to reconcile her hard-earned life of privilege with her nomadic childhood ruled by an unstable father. Another incredible cast: Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts all star. Watch on Netflix.

Passing

In 1920s New York City, a Black woman finds her world up-ended when her life becomes intertwined with a former childhood friend who’s passing as white. I loved the book (written in 1929!) and really enjoyed seeing it come to life on the screen. Watch on Netflix.

A Man Called Otto

I loved the book A Man Called Ove so much and was so excited to see this adapted, with Tom Hanks no less! Enraged by the world and hardened by grief after losing his wife, a grumpy old man plots his own demise. His plans are ruined when a young family bursts into his life. Watch on Netflix.

Romance/Lighter Stuff

happiness for beginners

I never read the book but I thought that this was really cute. Ellie Kemper plays a recently divorced woman who decides to sign up for a wilderness survival course and grueling group hike. Of course, a romance manages to ensue. I had a few issues with this one (and it dragged at times) but overall found it enjoyable. Watch on Netflix.

The Last Letter from Your Lover

This one (based on the Jojo Moyes Book) is worth the watch just for the outfits. After finding a trove of love letters from 1965, a reporter sets out to solve the mystery of a secret affair — while embarking on a romance of her own. Watch on Netflix.

Eat, Pray, Love

A classic. This is one that I like to rewatch. Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, starring Julia Roberts. Reeling from a divorce, she decides to take the adventure of a lifetime. She travels to Italy, India, and Bali; in search of good food, spirituality and true love. Watch on Netflix.

Movies based on Nicholas Sparks books on Netflix

This needed its own category but of course also falls under lighter stuff and romance. Sometimes you need a good cry and for that, we thank Nicholas Sparks.

the choice

Oh my goodness, this one was an emotional rollercoaster. Travis Parker, a handsome vet is enjoying the single life in his seaside North Carolina town when the beguiling Gabby Holland moves in next door. I won’t tell you what happens but it has all the tropes of a Nicholas Sparks tearjerker: choosing between love and money, a serious illness, I could go on! Watch on Netflix.

dear john

While on summer leave, a U.S. soldier falls for a college student. But when he’s forced to reenlist, their handwritten letters hold the lovers together. Amanda Seyfreid and Channing Tatum star. This one is a tearjerker! Watch on Netflix.

The Best of Me

This was a bit of a thriller/romance hybrid from 2014, starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan. Amanda and Dawson, old high school sweethearts, reunite when they return to their hometown for the funeral of a mutual, beloved friend. They rekindle their love but soon discover that the forces that drove them apart when they were younger pose even more threats today. Watch on Netflix.

Forever My Girl

Another satisfying (predictable, but satisfying) romance. A country-music star returns to his hometown after ten years. There, he reconnects with an old love (who he had left at the altar in favor of pursuing fame and fortune). He’s shocked to learn they have a child together and is determined to win her back. Watch on Netflix.

Young Adult

the kissing booth

I didn’t read this book (it would have been to saccharine for my reading tastes but appeals to my movie sensibility?) but the movie (a Netflix Original) is very cute. A high school student finds herself face-to-face with her long-term crush when she signs up to run a kissing booth at the spring carnival. I’ve only seen the first one but there are three now! Watch on Netflix.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved

I read the first book of the series and thought it was cute but a little too young for me. The movie (and the rest of the franchise)? I devoured. Very fun and very cute. Lara Jean has written secret love letters to each of her crushes. When each of the letters somehow end up getting mailed, her entire high school existence is turned upside down. I have an age inappropriate crush on Noah Centineo and loved that John Corbett is the dad. Watch on Netflix.

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8 Comments

  1. M:

    The classic novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence is currently on Netflix and it is SPICY! Whew!

    8.28.23 Reply
  2. Jasmine:

    Oh what a fun post! I’ve only seen the YA ones, so adding the rest to by TBR/TBW lists! Currently finishing up Xoxo, Kitty, Lara Jean’s little sister’s mini series. It’s a fun mindless watch.
    The first one that came to mind was Me Before You, loved the book and the movie. Thought the casting was great.
    Also loved both of The Light Between the Oceans, great if you want a good cry. And The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a very quick read and an enjoyable movie, also with Lily James.
    The rest that came to mind were shows: Firefly Lane (didn’t even finish, they change the story too much), Little Fires Everywhere (liked both)… but maybe this is for another post!

    8.28.23 Reply
    • Oh my gosh thank you for the recs!!! How did I leave out Me Before You? (And I loved both of those shows).

      8.28.23 Reply
    • Just a note on the casting of Me Before You – I love Sam Claflin, but disabled roles in major films are so few and far between that it really would’ve been great to have a disabled actor in this role instead of him. Just something I wanted to mention!

      I loved Guernsey a lot, and if you liked that, I bet you’d love The Jane Austen Book Club, too – both the book at the movie!

      8.28.23 Reply
      • Katherine:

        Hi Heather. I just wanted to say how much I appreciated your comment. As a member of the disabled community, representation is so hard to come by in film and it means a lot to come across comments like this that acknowledge it. Thanks and have a great day!

        8.28.23 Reply
      • This is such a great point — thank you for sharing!

        8.28.23 Reply