Top 10 Stephen King Movies

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10. Rose Red

Rose Red (also known as Stephen King’s Rose Red) is a television miniseries scripted by horror novelist Stephen King. The series was first broadcast in the United States on ABC in 2002. The story involves a cavernous Seattle mansion called Rose Red, which is investigated by parapsychologist Dr. Joyce Reardon and a team of psychics. Rose Red, which aired during sweeps, was a ratings hit with an average of 18.5 million viewers over three nights and an 8.5 rating. -Wikipedia.org

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9. Secret Window

Secret Window (2004) is a psychological thriller film, starring Johnny Depp and John Turturro. It was written and directed by David Koepp, based on the novella Secret Window, Secret Garden by Stephen King, featuring a musical score by Philip Glass and Geoff Zanelli. The story appeared in King’s collection Four Past Midnight. The film was released on March 12, 2004, by Columbia Pictures. Successful writer Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) has discovered that his wife Amy is having an affair with Ted Milner (Timothy Hutton). In the face of a divorce action from his wife, (Maria Bello), he retreats to his secluded cabin, living alone in the woods and suffering from writer’s block. -Wikipedia.org

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8. Hearts in Atlantis

Hearts in Atlantis is a 2001 film directed by Scott Hicks. It is loosely adapted from Stephen King’s novella “Low Men in Yellow Coats”, from his story collection Hearts in Atlantis. This movie received mixed reviews. As of March 2009, it has a score of 49% on Rotten Tomatoes, which concludes that “Hearts in Atlantis is well-acted and beautiful to look at, but the movie is nothing more than a mood piece.”

The story that it was based on had deep ties into King’s epic The Dark Tower. In the original novella, the ‘low men’ were in fact Can-toi, agents of the Crimson King. Ted Brautigan was a ‘breaker’, a psychic whose abilities made him able (unwillingly, of course) to ‘break’ down the beams surrounding the Dark Tower, the linchpin of all existence. In order to gain wider audience appeal, the film version of Ted is written as a runaway government agent, his psychic powers being used for national-security purposes. This ties logically to Stephen King’s 1980 novel, Firestarter. -Wikipedia.org

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7. The Green Mile

The Green Mile is a 1999 American drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted by him from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The movie is told in a flashback format and stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey and tells the story of Paul and his life as a corrections officer on Death Row during the Great Depression and the supernatural events he witnessed. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor, Best Picture, Best Sound, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film received positive reviews from critics with a 78% “Certified Fresh” approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave the film 3 and a half stars out of four, writing “The film is a shade over three hours long. I appreciated the extra time, which allows us to feel the passage of prison months and years.” -Wikipedia.org

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6. The Shining

The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd. The film is based on the novel of the same name, by Stephen King, about a writer with a wife and young son who accepts the job of off-season caretaker at an isolated hotel.

The son, who possesses psychic abilities, is able to see things in the future or past, such as the ghosts in the hotel. Soon after moving in, and after a paralyzing winter storm that leaves the family snowbound, the father becomes influenced by the supernatural presence in the haunted hotel; he descends into madness and attempts to kill his wife and son.  

Unlike most films by Stanley Kubrick, which saw a slow graduated release building on word-of-mouth reputation, The Shining was released in a manner more like a mass-market film, opening at first in just two cities on Memorial Day, and then a month later seeing a nationwide release (including drive-ins) after extensive television advertising.

Although initial response to the film was mixed, later critical assessment has been more favorable and The Shining is now viewed as a classic of the horror genre. Its iconic and surreal imagery has become deeply embedded throughout popular culture. -Wikipedia.org

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5. The Mist

“The Mist” is a horror novella by the American author Stephen King, in which the small town of Bridgton, Maine is suddenly enveloped in an unnatural mist that conceals otherworldly monsters. It was first published as the first and longest story of the 1980 horror anthology Dark Forces.

A slightly edited version was included in King’s 1985 collection Skeleton Crew. The story is the longest entry in Skeleton Crew and occupies the first 134 pages. To coincide with the theatrical release of the film based on the novella, The Mist was republished as a stand-alone paperback book by Signet on October 2, 2007. -Wikipedia.org

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4. The Stand

The Stand is a 1994 television miniseries based on the novel The Stand by Stephen King. King also wrote the teleplay, and has a cameo role in the series. It was directed by Mick Garris and stars Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, and Molly Ringwald. The miniseries closely parallels the events of King’s post apocalyptic novel by the same name.

A superflu devastates the United States, leaving only a few survivors. These survivors gravitate towards either the side of good or evil, driven mainly by very vivid dreams in the aftermath of the plague. The climax is a final showdown between good and evil in Las Vegas, Nevada. -Wikipedia.org

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3. Stand by Me

Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age, adventure-drama film directed by Rob Reiner. The title comes from a song with the same title by Ben E. King (which plays during the closing credits), while the story itself is based on the novella The Body by Stephen King. The film is narrated by an adult Gordie LaChance, known as “The Writer” (Richard Dreyfuss), writing the memoir about his youth.

Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Oregon, over Labor Day weekend in September 1959 young Gordie (Wil Wheaton) is a quiet, bookish boy with a penchant for telling stories and writing. He is rejected by his father, following the death of his football-star older brother Denny (John Cusack) in a jeep accident. Denny paid Gordie much more attention than his parents. -Wikipedia.org

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2. Misery

Misery is a 1990 American psychological horror / thriller film, based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Stephen King. Directed by Rob Reiner, the film received critical acclaim for Kathy Bates’ performance as the psychopathic Annie Wilkes. Bates won both the Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe.

The film was ranked #12 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Misery was very well received by audiences and critics alike. On the critic website Rotten Tomatoes, this film currently holds a 90% “fresh” rating.

The consensus for the film states, “Elevated by standout performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, this taut and frightening film is one of the best Stephen King adaptations to date.”  Roger Ebert liked the film, stating, “It is a good story, a natural, and it grabs us.” On the movie website IMDB, the film was once a part of the Top 250 Movies of All Time list, but has since fallen off due to higher-scoring films in 2009. -Wikipedia.org

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1. The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont. It is an adaptation of the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, the film portrays the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who spends nearly two decades in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis “Red” Redding and finds himself protected by the guards after the warden begins using him in his money laundering operation.

The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1994 (Best Picture, Best Actor – Morgan Freeman, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Sound Mixing) but, in the shadow of 1994’s big winner Forrest Gump, did not win a single one. The film’s Academy Award nominations enabled it to fare well in the video sales and cable TV viewings. In June 1997, TNT, an American cable network, showed the film for the first time.

The film was the first feature in TNT’s Saturday Night New Classics. Since 1997, TNT has shown the film about once every two months. Entertainment Weekly reviewer Owen Gleiberman praised the choice of scenery, writing that the “moss-dark, saturated images have a redolent sensuality” that makes the film very realistic. While praising Morgan Freeman’s acting and oratory skills as making Red feel real, Gleiberman opined that with the “laconic-good-guy, neo-Gary Cooper role, Tim Robbins is unable to make Andy connect with the audience.” Gleiberman gave the film a B minus. -Wikipedia.org

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