The Best Book-to-Film Adaptations of 2024 (So Far)

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The Best Book-to-Film Adaptations of 2024 (So Far)
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Fine, I’ll admit it: I’d rather watch a movie than read a book. It’s not that reading is bad; it's just that movies are better. What can I say, I’m a visual learner. If you’re like me, here’s a bit of good news. We don’t have to be ashamed anymore. 2024 is the year of book-to-film adaptations. You don’t have to read all the Dune books—head over to Max and start streaming. So free yourself from the shackles of literacy, make a Letterbox account, and call yourself a film buff.

To help with your rebrand (you’re welcome!), we’ve rounded up the best book-to-film adaptations of the year. There are comedies, adventures, thrillers, romcoms, family flicks—you name it, we watched it. One is still in theaters, but the rest are available to view from your very own couch. Scroll down and prepare to impress your friends with your extensive movie knowledge. I bet they don’t know that Owen Teague's face was superimposed on a chimpanzee in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Or that it looks damn good. That’s the power of cinema, baby! Movies rule. Books drool (kidding). Ok, I’m done. Happy streaming!

Dune: Part Two

From director Denis Villeneuve, Dune: Part Two continues the adaptation of author Frank Herbert's spellbinding tale about Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), Chani (Zendaya), and the fate of the galaxies. In this sequel, which is still focused on the events of Herbert's first Dune novel, Paul fights the Harkonnens, challenges Shaddam for the throne, leads the Fremen into a holy war, and (and!) falls in love with Chani. If you think you’re busy, try being Paul.

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The Idea of You

Anne Hathaway's ability to turn what could’ve been a Lifetime flick into a genuinely good film is simply inspiring. The Idea of You stars Hathaway as Solène, a newly divorced single mother. When her ex can’t take their daughter to Coachella, Solène swoops in and meets Hayes Campbell—a member of the boyband August Moon. They fall madly in love. The only issue? He’s 24, and she’s 39. (It’s not so bad when you remember that in the book, Solene is 39 and Hayes is 20.)

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Stolen

If you haven’t had a chance to read Stolen by Ann-Helén Laestadius, just queue the movie version up on Netflix. Stolen follows Elsa—an indigenous child whose reindeer is murdered and who, years later, seeks to settled the score.

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Spaceman

In this adventure film, Adam Sandler takes the concept of needing some space to a whole new level. The Sandman plays Jakub, an astronaut on his first solo mission. He’s completely alone, and his marriage is failing. Without a therapist, or you know, cell service, he sorts out his problems with an alien that crawls on board. It sounds strange, but it makes for some interesting character development—and if you're left wanting more, pick up the source material. There's plenty more in Spaceman of Bohemia.

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Lisa Frankenstein

This wacky and (very) loosely-adapted take on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a complete and utter delight. Kathyrn Newton stars as Lisa, a teenage girl with a crush on a dead man. When he’s suddenly brought back to life, Lisa and The Creature embark on a journey to find his missing body parts. Don't overthink it!

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Arthur the King

I’m no track star, but I’d consider investing in some sneakers if it resulted in a story like Arthur the King. This film is based on the remarkable story of Mikael, who (played here by Mark Whalberg) befriends a stray dog while competing in a mad dash across the Dominican Republic. (Real life Mikael published a book about his experience in 2017, called Arthur: The Dog who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home.)

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Argylle

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Argylle is not a serious movie. It's not even a good movie. It’s fun. It’s strange. It’s about a cat-loving espionage novelist whose stories begin to mirror real life. Dua Lipa is in it! If you want to be intellectually stimulated, try reading Elly Conway’s novel of the same name, which strips back the cinema antics for a more streamlined story. If you want to see Bryce Dallas Howard kick ass on skates with your whole family, then press play.

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The Watchers (In Theaters)

Ever since Dakota Fanning uttered “pain” in the Twilight saga entry New Moon, I’ve known she was destined for horror movies. Finally, she’s accepted her calling with the delightfully chilling movie The Watchers, based on A.M. Shine's novel of the same name. Here, Fanning plays Mina, a 28-year-old artist who’s stranded in Ireland. She finds shelter in a giant forest, but she’s forced to cohabitate with three strangers who are stranded, too.

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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (In Theaters)

Remember the ape-face thing I was talking about? This is that. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is based on Pierre Boulle’s best-selling novel and stars Owen Teague as Noa—a young chimpanzee who defends his community from a rival group of killer apes. Did we mention the CGI is like, really great?

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