[Editor’s note: While your editors take the day off, Flavorwire will be counting down some of our most popular features of 2011 so far. This post originally ran on March 23rd. Enjoy your Memorial Day!] One of several slight disappointments at the box office last week was The Lincoln Lawyer, an adaptation of a Michael Connelly novel with Matthew McConaughey in the lead. We haven’t seen the film, but based on the poster, it appears to be about a lawyer who works from the hood of his car. Yeah, we’re gonna go with that. Anyway, it came in fourth for the weekend, so whoever approved McConaughey wearing a shirt in the poster is surely fired already. But the film met with warm reviews, garnering an 82% at Rotten Tomatoes and positive comparisons to the source material (even from the author himself).
Though many would consider Connelly’s books to be serviceable genre potboilers rather than fine literature, this may very well be a case where the movie is better than the book — the exception to the rule. Or is it? The notion that film adaptations of novels are always inferior to the original isn’t always borne out by the facts. Join us after a jump for a look at ten movies we think were better than the book.
As you may have noticed, we love this movie. Based on the novella The Body in the Stephen King anthology Different Seasons (which also included the source stories for The Shawshank Redemption and Apt Pupil, which could have easily made this list as well), Rob Reiner’s 1986 coming-of-age drama gave King’s nostalgic tale a timeless pulse and immediacy, aided immeasurably by a pitch-perfect period soundtrack and a quartet of unforgettable performances by Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, and the late, great River Phoenix.