15 Most Critically Adored Stephen King Adaptations

Surprisingly, they're not all as terrible as the Carrie remake.

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There's a pretty persistent rumour that Stephen King books don't make good films. Fandom aside, you can sort of see where the accusation comes from: of the massive number of adaptations that have been released since Carrie in 1976, only a handful are generally held as even passably good, while far more are dismissed as utterly garbage. There's not a great deal of middle ground. But such is the enduring popularity of King's work, and the strength of the material that there have been an astonishing 81 adaptations (including ruinous sequels and prequels that weren't down to him at all) in the past almost 40 years. It's just a shame that about 80% of them have been made by and starred people who shouldn't ever be trusted to make a film again. On rare occasions though the pieces fit together perfectly and a film-maker manages to cast of the burden of precedent to make an adaptation genuinely worthy of King's work. He doesn't always offer his blessing, of course, but then neither would you if you'd seen so many idiots try and ruin your good reputation with films that Nicolas Cage wouldn't even star in. According to the people who get paid to give their opinions, these are definitively the best adaptations of Stephen King's work ever committed to screen (as collated by their Rotten Tomatoes scores)...

15. The Shining (1980)

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Warner Bros.

Rating: 92%

Officially, The Shining ties with Carrie by virtue of scoring the same aggregate RT score, but the fact that it survived an initially disinterested box office and two Razzie nominations to become not just a classic but a cultural phenomenon in its own right.

King seems to flip-flop on how he feels about the film, but the latest thinking seems to be that he does like it, which is obviously a bonus. But regardless of any of his reservations, few films can claim to have the cultural impact that The Shining has had since its release.


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