These 25 Netflix Original Movies Got Their Inspiration From Amazing Books
Netflix's library includes a wide variety of Netflix original movies based on books, ranging from adaptations of memoirs and other nonfiction to YA, horror, and other genre fiction. Adapting a book into a movie comes with a big set of challenges, but these Netflix originals each find their own unique ways to translate from the page to the screen. Still, part of the fun of watching a movie adapted from a book is getting to read the book, watch the movie, and compare the two versions. If you're looking for something new to add to your Netflix queue as well as your reading list, check out these 25 titles — there's sure to be something that's just what you're looking for!
All the Bright Places
The teen drama is based on a popular YA novel, which follows two teens struggling with mental illness who fall into each other's orbits and make a pact to see as many beautiful things as they can. It's emotionally intense and a definite tearjerker!
Watch All the Bright Places on Netflix.
Not only is this thriller based on a book, but it's also based on a true story. Amid the high tensions of the 1970s, an Egyptian man becomes a spy for Israel, walking a fine (and dangerous) line in hopes of achieving lasting peace between the two nations.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
In a farming village in Malawi, a young boy figures out how to use the supplies on hand to build a wind turbine to help save the village from a famine. It's based on the memoir of the real-life, now-adult protagonist and is directed by Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Watch The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind on Netflix.
Brain on Fire
Writer Susannah Cahalan has her life turned upside down when she begins experiencing strange neurological symptoms. When she goes for medical help, she's given a terrifying diagnosis and faces a lifetime in a psychiatric ward, but one doctor suspects something else is wrong and fights to help her find out what's really going on.
Climber Nadir Dendoune's memoir becomes a movie in this French adventure comedy. In order to impress the woman he's in love with, Nadir sets out to climb Mount Everest, and along the way, his story and personality catch the eye of the media.
Based on a Brazilian YA novel, this movie retells the Cinderella fairy tale in a quirky modern setting. A young, ambitious DJ is determined to forge her own path in the music world, but things go sideways when a pop star unknowingly falls in love with her music.
A Fortunate Man
Peter "Per" Sidenius's life changes when he's accepted to an engineering program and breaks free of his restrictive family, but he soon discovers the rest of the world has plenty of challenges as well and that his own pride and ambition may be his downfall. It's based on Lucky Per, one of the most famous Danish novels of all time.
The Fundamentals of Caring
A writer suffering from writer's block after a personal loss winds up as the caregiver for a sarcastic teenage boy with muscular dystrophy. When they set out on a road trip, picking up a couple of new friends along the way, they wind up learning a lot more about each other and finding new things to look forward to in life.
Based on a novel by Stephen King, this psychological thriller centers on a woman whose husband dies while she's cuffed to their bed for sexual role play. As she struggles to escape, her mind begins playing tricks on her and forcing her to relive past horrors.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
In the aftermath of World War II, a successful author begins a correspondence with a book club in the small community of Guernsey. When she impulsively decides to visit, she finds herself caught up in a web of wartime secrets, deep loyalties, and even romance.
Watch The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix.
Hold the Dark
An expert on wolf behavior is hired to investigate wolves that are apparently killing children in a small Alaskan village. When he gets there, however, he finds that the small town is full of dark secrets that are much more frightening than wolves.
An introverted horse-lover begins experiencing a series of increasingly bizarre events and dreams that seem to become real. Even more unsettling: the more she tries to figure out what's going on, the more she can't remember.
Based on a story in the French novel Jacques the Fatalist, this French historical drama centers on a wealthy widow who is scorned by her aristocratic lover. But she doesn't take this lying down — instead, she enlists the help of another woman to enact a delicious and complicated revenge.
The Land of Steady Habits
A divorced couple and their adult son struggle to cope with all the changes in their lives. Each of them attempts to rebuild their relationships with each other and with the other people in their lives, but their personal demons keep setting them back even as they make small steps forward.
The Little Prince
This beautifully animated movie is based on a famous French novella for children. It's a story-within-a-story, as an aviator tells a girl about a young prince who travels across the universe, visiting many planets and making poignant observations about life, love, friendship, and loss.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
There are tons of screen versions of Mowgli, the little boy from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, but this one is a little bit different. Based on a later collection of short stories, the movie follows Mowgli from his discovery as an infant to his fate as the one who could potentially bring peace to the jungle.
In the aftermath of World War II, two veterans — one Black and one white — return to rural Mississippi, where they and their families struggle with lingering trauma from the war, racism, and economic turmoil. Although the two men bond over their shared experiences in the war, the racism in their community threatens both of them with horrible consequences.
Nappily Ever After
When her perfectly planned life (and hair) goes awry, a young woman goes through a journey of self-discovery. With a little help from her friends — and a series of new hairstyles — she finds a way to embrace the parts of herself that she's been keeping hidden for a long time.
Another Stephen King story gets the film treatment thanks to Netflix, with this horror flick set on a farm in 1922. A married couple argue over what to do with their farm and with the wife's recently inherited land, leading her husband and son to commit a gruesome act that haunts them.
Our Souls at Night
A pair of widowed neighbors begin spending time together platonically to try to stave off the loneliness they're both suffering from. Of course, the "platonic" part doesn't last long, as they begin to develop real feelings for one another.
Netflix codistributed this British horror film about a quartet of friends who go on a hiking trip in memory of their friend who was recently murdered. As you might suspect, the trip quickly takes a turn from a pleasant, rugged boys' trip to a horrifying fight for their lives.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Jenny Han's YA books kick off a trilogy of films with this smash-hit rom-com. Romantic Lara Jean writes letters to all her past crushes that aren't meant to be sent. But when the letters get out, she teams up with one of the recipients to start a fake relationship that will benefit them both — although they both get more emotionally involved than they bargained for.
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
The sequel sees Lara Jean trying to settle into a real relationship this time, but the past keeps getting in the way. As she worries about her boyfriend's ex still hanging around, another of her letter recipients comes back into her life in swoon-worthy fashion.
In 2011, 77 people died in a series of terrorist attacks in Norway, which were described in a nonfiction book in 2013. 22 July, named after the date of the attacks, follows the terrorist's actions as well as the desperate attempts of ordinary people to escape and survive.
Jack London's classic novel comes to life in this original animated film. A wolfdog explores the world around him while also working loyally for a series of humans, all of whom have their own complicated lives and agendas.