These days it seems like comic book movies are more popular than ever, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the behemoth that just keeps on rolling. Some people prefer movies that are a little more original, however, there is something to be said for adaptations, and graphic novels are one of the more successful and popular sources.
The chances are there will be at least one movie adapted from a graphic novel that you have seen and enjoyed. And, let’s clarify something right away – comic books are different to graphic novels. They are fundamentally similar, but a graphic novel is a much longer piece of work, and generally, lacks the serialized format of a comic book. Here are some of the great movies based on graphic novels.
Whatever you think of Zack Snyder as a director, Watchmen is a wonderfully put together movie. The pacing is tremendous, it sticks as close to the source material as possible, the soundtrack is phenomenal, and it looks gorgeous. In many ways, Watchmen went a long way toward paving the way for a lot of the comic book movies we have today. The long run time, the violent fight scenes, and the political espionage are all themes that have occurred in later works. The graphic novel is widely regarded as a masterpiece, and, while the movie isn’t quite at that level, it still packs plenty of punch.
V for Vendetta (2005)
Aside from The Matrix, this is perhaps the best thing The Wachowskis have ever done. Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, this is a dystopian look at a possible future for mankind, as well as a criticism of totalitarian governments and political corruption. The movie has a powerful message and captures the heart of the influential graphic novel with respect. If you want to see a movie about rebellion, skip the Hunger Games, and head straight here first.
The Crow (1994)
Arguably the movie that kicked off the graphic novel and comic book movie adaptation craze. The Crow is dark, dreary and utterly brilliant, in spite of the tragic backstory during production. This is a movie that evokes the graphic novel wonderfully and has been a major influence on many other works that have followed it. Brandon Lee’s last film is a triumph in so many areas, and the movie has aged brilliantly well.
Sin City (2005)
Sin City is a violent, moody, neo-noir anthology with grizzled detectives, corrupt cops, all-female gangs, psychotic priests, and a girl called Goldie. The movie is every bit as surreal, fantastical, and over the top as the graphic novel, and this is why it works so well. Fanboy Robert Rodriguez is such a lover of the source material that his vision is perfectly in tune with what you’d expect. Stylistic, gripping, and heaps of fun, Sin City is an excellent addition to the graphic novel film market.
There have been so many excellent movies over the years adapted for graphic novels, and there are a load we could have added here but had to miss out. For example, honorable mentions should go to Tank Girl or Hell Boy. But, these are the ones that we have chosen that we feel rank among the best graphic novel adaptations.