Must-See Movie Adaptations Of Classic Novels On Netflix

Buena Vista Pictures

On some days, it's nice to curl up on the couch with a good book. On other days, it's nice to lounge in front of the TV and stream movie adaptations of classic novels on Netflix. Sure, people often say the book is better than the movie, but sometimes you just feel like vegging out in front of a good ol' film and that's OK. What makes it even better is if the movie is based on — or expands upon — the classic books you love, so it's kind of like getting double the entertainment from the comfort of your living room.

And luckily, there's no shortage of movie adaptations of classic novels on Netflix. You can stream get your '90s and 2000s nostalgia on with reimagined or modern adaptations of the books, or you can indulge in the movie versions of the books that have become classic films in their own right. So many options, so little couch time — but I know you can make it work. I believe in you — and Netflix.

So grab some snacks, get comfy on your couch, and settle in as you choose one of these movie adaptations of classic novels to watch and enjoy, presented in no particular order.


'Bridget Jones' Diary' (2001)

This modern classic romantic comedy is based on the novel of the same name by Helen Fielding, which is an adaptation itself of Jane Austen's classic book Pride & Prejudice. There is even a Mr. Darcy — ahem, Mark Darcy — played by Colin Firth, who famously played Mr. Darcy in the classic miniseries version of Pride & Prejudice.


'The Giver' (2014)

The novel by Lois Lowry has been a fixture on young adult bookshelves since the 1990s and was finally made into a movie in 2014. The Giver stars Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Jeff Bridges, and Brenton Thwaites.


'Forrest Gump' (1994)

Believe it or not, this quintessential '90s movie is based on the novel of the same name by Winston Groom. Both the novel and the film follow the title character as he accomplishes amazing feats throughout modern history.


'10 Things I Hate About You' (1999)

This '90s teen flick was inspired by William Shakespeare's play The Taming Of The Shrew and has become a modern classic movie in its own right. I mean, who could forget Heath Ledger singing Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" on the bleachers? So it's not entirely Shakespeare, but it shows that some stories are timeless.


'To Kill A Mockingbird' (1962)

This famous adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Harper Lee novel of the same name stars Gregory Peck and Robert Duvall. Both the novel and movie follow a rape trial in which racial tensions are explored.


'Laura' (1944)

Based on the novel by Vera Caspary, Laura tells the tale of a detective who becomes obsessed with a murdered woman named Laura as he investigates her life and who may have shot her. The film noir was helmed by legendary director Otto Preminger.


The 'Dragon Tattoo' Trilogy: Extended Edition

Before the she wowed moviegoers, Lisbeth Salander was the star of Stieg Larsson's Millenium novel series, which includes The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The books were made into Swedish films starring Noomi Rapace, which are streaming on Netflix under this collection.


'The Crucible' (1996)

This is an adaptation of the Arthur Miller play of the same name, which is set in the time of the Salem Witch Trials. The '90s film stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, and Joan Allen.


'The Great Gatsby' (1974)

Nope, this isn't the recent Leonardo DiCaprio movie version of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. This '70s adaptation of the book stars Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, Mia Farrow as Daisy, Bruce Dern as Tom Buchanan, and timeless unrequited love.


'Great Expectations' (2012)

Based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens, the movie stars Jeremy Irvine as the orphan Pip and Helena Bonham Carter as the iconic Miss Havisham.


'Jane Eyre' (2011)

This film adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel stars Mia Wasikowska as the title character and Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester. The movie is directed by Cary Fukunaga, who would later gain fame for helming the first season of True Detective and directing the feature Beasts of No Nation.

As you can see, there are plenty of film adaptations you can stream on Netflix right now, so go ahead and enjoy.