Ever since cinematography was born last century, filmmakers found inspiration in literature. The novels of Jane Austen became romantic comedies, and Isaac Asimov’s books were turned into SF blockbusters. Lately, producers and directors have become more interested in the latest best-sellers who managed to make reading cool again. This year we got to see a substantial number of books turned into movies, and many of these films managed to become critically acclaimed on their own. Here’s a list of the best books that were turned into movies released this year.

I am number four books turned movies 2011

Poster from I Am Number Four Facebook page.

I Am Number Four

The book written by Pittacus Lore is one of the three part series entitled Lorein Legacies. The plot of this book is very similar to many teenage novels – a teenage boy is used to move from one small town to another and change his identity, because he is actually an alien and evil forces are looking to kill him. There’s also a pretty, young girl and, of course, a love story between the two of them. The movie premiered in February, with Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron and Timothy Olyphant.

Unknown movie books turned movies 2011

Poster from Unknown Facebook page.

Out of My Head / Unknown

Out of My Head by Didier van Cauwelaert was the inspiration for the movie Unknown, who also premiered this February. Both the book and the movie tell the story of an American professor who travels to Berlin for work, but, after a violent car crash, he realizes that his wife and the life he thought he had is not actually real. Or is it? Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger and January Jones play the main characters. The movie respects most of the book’s plot and it actually has a surprise ending. If you haven’t read the book before, of course.

The Lincoln Lawyer books turned movies 2011

Poster from the Lincoln Lawyer Facebook page.

The Lincoln Lawyer

This is the movie that showed a serious side of the eternal surfer dude Matthew McConaughey. The book, written by famous crime novelist Michael Connelly, had the same success as most books written by the Philadelphia – born writer. Both the movie and the book follow a defense attorney that uses his Lincoln town car as an office to defend his mostly guilty clients. One case, however, will make him choose between his life and his last shred of integrity. Alongside, Matthew McConaughey, you’ll recognize Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe and William H. Macy.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 books turned into movies

Poster from the Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 Facebook Page.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Probably the most anticipated movie of the decade and one of the most famous novels, the last installment of the Harry Potter series did not disappoint. Of course, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint rose once again to the fans’ expectations and increased the level of success of the beloved books.

water for elephants books turned movies 2011

Poster from Water for Elephants Facebook page.

Water for Elephants

The book made Sara Gruen a household name after her novel was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 12 weeks in 2006. The book and the movie show the world of the circus travelers during the Depression, in US. Jacob Jankowski is the new vet at the Benzini Brothers circus and, of course, he falls for the star of the show, Marlena, who happens to be married to the head animal trainer. The details of that area are wonderfully described in the book and the movie does its best to envision that era. However, Rosie, the elephant, manages to steal most of the spotlight in both the movie and the book. Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattison and Christoph Waltz play the main characters.

something borrowed books turned movies 2011Poster from Something Borrowed Facebook page.

Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed was one of this summer’s overestimated comedies, but few people know the rom-com was actually inspired by Emilly Giffin’s novel with the same name. The book is about two best friends who’s friendship will be tested when one of them falls for the other’s fiancé, right before their wedding. The movie features Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin.

This is the first batch of books turned into movies that actually became a hit at the box-office or just the critic’s darlings, this year. Stay tuned for the second part.