The Best Stephen King Movie Adaptations

2017 has been an eventful year for Stephen King fans everywhere, but perhaps no time has been as exciting as this week, with the long-awaited release of director Andy Muschietti’s IT. So in honor of that film hitting theaters this weekend, here are the five all time best Stephen King adaptations to ever grace the silver screen.


Based a short story by King, The Shawshank Redemption is perhaps the most emotional and optimistic adaptation of Stephen King’s work that’s ever been made. The performances by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are pitch-perfect, and the same can be said for Frank Darabont’s work as the director, who captures the heart of this riveting and dark prison tale with an inimitable level of grace and ease.


Directed by Rob Reiner, Stand By Me takes the premise of a group of kids venturing into the woods to find a dead body and turns it into one of the most iconic, coming-of-age stories in cinema history. The film is set in the 1950s and came out in the 1980s, and still feels as universal and true today as it did back then.


Made by director Brian de Palma in the prime of his career and based on King’s novel of the same name, Carrie is the kind of horror movie you’ll have a hard time forgetting once you see it. There are few, if any, scenes in the entire history of the genre too, quite as iconic and artful as the film’s fateful climactic prom scene.

IT (2017)

There’s a reason that this new take on IT has been receiving such unbelievably positive early reviews and reactions over the past few weeks. The film is one of the most consistently scary and emotional horror films to come along in recent years. At the end of it, you’ll feel like you yourself just survived a +2-hour attack by Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and that’s about the best possible praise IT can receive.


While Stephen King himself might not be as big a fan of The Shining as the rest of the film community is, there’s no denying how truly unsettling and effective it is. Technically brilliant and featuring an all-star turn by Jack Nicholson, The Shining maintains its place as not only one of the greatest horror films of all time but one of the greatest movies – period.