The movie adaptation genre is popular among both moviegoers and bookworms since they are successfully published material with well-executed ideas and a vision that book readers cannot wait to see becoming a reality. However, turning a 300-page book into a two-hour film isn’t an easy task because not everything in the book can be translated to the screen.
As a result, while many are successful, some fail to please their intended audience for a variety of reasons. Yet occasionally, instead of book readers and moviegoers, those who are dissatisfied with the adaptation are the critics. These movies are proof of that.
10 ‘The Ultimate Gift’ (2006)
Audience Score: 84%; Critic Score: 33%
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Gift follows a spoiled adult grandson (Drew Fuller) of a deceased millionaire who is given a series of strange tasks to complete in order to obtain “the ultimate gift,” but he has no idea what that might be.
The film, according to critics, tries too hard to embrace a strong Christian message but ends up overdoing it. Fans of the book, on the other hand, adore the film because they think it perfectly captures the spirit of the book and conveys a touching message about humanity and becoming a better person.
9 ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ (2004)
Audience Score: 84%; Critic Score: 33%
Based on the 1910 French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera follows the brooding Phantom (Gerard Butler), from his hiding place beneath a 19th-century Paris opera building, who falls in love with the vocalist Christine Daae (Emmy Rossum) who also happens to be his pupil.
Viewers laud Butler for giving a stunning performance with such an engrossing and moving musical selection. Some people even contrast the movie with its musical counterpart and applaud its superb production. However, the reviewers vehemently disagree with all the positive remarks made by the spectators, branding the film as a failure to successfully translate either the book or its Broadway counterpart.
8 ‘The War with Grandpa’ (2020)
Audience Score: 85%; Critic Score: 29%
Based on the novel of the same name by Robert Kimmel Smith, The War with Grandpa centers on a young kid named Peter (Oakes Fegley), who engages his grandfather (Robert De Niro) in a game of pranks to force him out of his room after the grandfather moves in with the family.
In general, the movie is a fun family comedy that audiences of all ages may enjoy. The portrayal of De Niro, nevertheless, is criticized by critics as being humorless, draggy, and pulling the film down. Additionally, others believe the movie’s message is disrespectful because no grandkids should engage in a prank war with their grandparents of that nature.
7 ‘The Power of One’ (1992)
Audience Score: 87%; Critic Score: 39%
Loosely based on the novel of the same name by Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One follows PK (Stephen Dorff), an English orphan terrorized in Africa due to his family’s political ideas, who turns to Geel Piet (Morgan Freeman), a gentle and intelligent prisoner. Using the adage “fight with your fists and lead with your heart,” Geel teaches him how to box. Later, during a time of conflict, he becomes a representation of hope.
The critics criticize that the movie starts with a canvas that depicts every contemporary South African conundrum and concludes as a boxing movie, making it manipulative and patronizing. Contrarily, fans of the book and movie appear to disregard all of that for the soundtrack, gorgeous setting, and the cast’s excellent performance.
6 ‘The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry’ (2022)
Audience Score: 88%; Critic Score: 35%
Based on the novel of the same name by Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry follows the titular character (Kunal Nayyar), whose wife passed away, whose bookstore is having financial difficulties, and now his valued rare volume of Poe poems has been taken. But when a strange parcel shows up, he has the chance to start over and look at things objectively.
Received a quite low score on Rotten Tomatoes of 35%, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is said to blend grief and sentiment in subtle ways that give the film a formulated, and predictable feel. Contrarily, spectators think the critics are unreasonable to give the film such a low score since it is wonderfully created, expertly acted and delivers a sentimental and moving message about life.
5 ‘The Song of Names’ (2019)
Audience Score: 90%; Critic Score: 39%
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Norman Lebrecht, The Song of Names follows a young boy who befriends a Polish violin prodigy whose parents have abandoned him in the care of his family. Up until the musician vanishes, the two boys are close like brothers. He (Tim Roth) discovers his first hint as to what happened to his boyhood best friend forty years later.
Although providing new insight into that horrible time in history, audiences realize the film is more than just another Holocaust story, but a heartwarming tribute to the fallen Jews. In contrast, the critics have a different idea since they think The Song of Names is a movie adaptation that borrows sequences from the book’s pages but lacks the intensity of the original, and since the film drags on for too long, it fails to elicit the intended emotion.
4 ‘After Ever Happy’ (2022)
Audience Score: 92%; Critic Score: 0%
Based on Anna Todd’s 2015 novel of the same name and serves as the fourth installment in the After film series, After Ever Happy continues when a shocking revelation about Tessa (Josephine Langford) and Hardin’s (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin) family leads to the realization by the two that they aren’t all that dissimilar from one another and they are no longer who they once were.
Critics had little to say about the film, which received a score of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the audience has lots to say about it. Although earning mixed reviews from the fandom, the film’s popularity among fans is mostly due to its stellar main actors and valiant efforts to produce an exotic romance.
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3 ‘After We Collided’ (2020)
Audience Score: 93%; Critic Score: 13%
Serves as the second installment in the After film series, After We Collided is based on Todd’s 2014 novel of the same name and continues to follow Tessa and Hardin’s love life as young adults following the events in 2019 After.
Despite receiving a little higher rating than its sequel, the movie was nonetheless panned by critics for its weakly written storyline, dreadful acting, and low expectations for its intended demographic. Yet, viewers who are interested in straightforward romance with intimate sequences, plenty of profanity, and attractive lead actors, continue to enjoy the movie.
2 ‘Redeeming Love’ (2022)
Audience Score: 95%; Critic Score: 11%
Based on Francine Rivers’ 1991 novel of the same name, Redeeming Love centers on Angel (Abigail Cowen), a girl who was sold into prostitution as a child. She persevered through anger and self-loathing, but when she meets Michael Hosea (Tom Lewis), she learns that love can cure any brokenness.
The critics deem Redeeming Love as a cheap soap opera that passes for a religious film that provides an inappropriate message about womanhood and promotes sexism. Yet, the leading characters’ chemistry is thought to be outstanding by both book and movie fans, and the film is a heartwarming and beautiful tale that should be watched often.
1 ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ (2022)
Audience Score: 96%; Critic Score: 34%
Based on the 2018 best-selling novel of the same name by Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing centers on Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), an abandoned but resilient girl who grows up in a marshland in North Carolina and eventually becomes a naturalist. She is then charged with murder after a young man in town is discovered dead.
The movie is said to not have the fearless essence of the original book which was a phenomenon. Moreover, the movie fails to adequately convey the themes of classism, poverty, survival, trust, and growing up that the book was famous for. Nonetheless, because of the murder mystery and convoluted love triangle, the movie is adored deeply by the audience.
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