The 10 Best Stephen King Movies

Stephen King movies aren’t all great, that’s why Stars & Popcorn is here!

Stephen King is easily one of the most prolific writers of all time. So, it makes sense that there would be a ton of movies and tv series based on his work. Let’s face it though, not all Stephen King movies are, well, good. However, there are a few diamonds in the rough out there. Luckily for you, you don’t have to sit through dozens and dozens of terrible films to find them. That’s right, I took this noble burden upon myself to bring you the 10 Best Stephen King Movies.sat through several pretty terrible movies for you, the fans, because I know your time is valuable. Besides, I wasn’t really doing anything anyway.

Hopefully, this list of Stephen King Movies saves you from watching some terrible flicks. I mean, the other option would be reading a few thousand pages, and who does that anymore? So get set, because this list is coming in hot.

10. The Running Man

I can’t believe the 80’s knew we would all be wearing this today!

This 1987 “classic” comes in at number 10. I know you’re thinking, “what an unconventional choice. How bold!” Seriously though, this is not only one of the better Stephen King movies, but it’s probably one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. It’s a look at a dystopian future, where the well to do watch the have not’s fight for their lives in a gladiatorial-esque televised event against the likes of Buzzsaw, Dynamo, and Captain Freedom. Unfortunately for them, Schwarzenegger is tossed into the mix and they’re faced with the most brutal (and pun filled) fight for their lives. Besides, it’s fun to look back and laugh at how the 80’s saw the future (it’s set in 2017). The death matches don’t start until next year.

9. The Mist

You can’t see it here, but there’s a lot of mist.

This is probably the most controversial of the Stephen King movies on this list. A lot of people don’t like it because of the ending, but even King said it was better than the book. I mean, imagine that. A movie better than the book? Take that book nerds! It’s about a small town enveloped by a mysterious mist filled with monsters. Of course, it takes a whole heart of darkness turn when people start turning on each other, but hey we’ve got plenty of that already. Like I said, a lot of people weren’t huge fans of the movie, but I think it’s classic King. Besides, it can’t be that bad, they’re making a television series based on it.

8. 1408

I feel the same way in new hotel rooms.

I’ll admit, I’m a big John Cusack fan. So, I like to try to work him in on most lists some how. Lucky for me, he was actually in one of the better Stephen King movies. 1408 is one of the more recent adaptations to hit the big screen, but it’s definitely one of the better ones. It features a haunted hotel room with a history of terrible tragedies and a ghost debunker hoping to write his best book to date. Unfortunately, he meets his match when he finally discovers a true haunting that could just be the end of him. Sold yet? Well, what if I told you that Samuel L. Jackson also appears in the film? Yeah, I knew you’d like that.

7. Pet Sematary

Ah, kids. Just… Just look at ’em.

I’m a grown man and this one still freaks me out. Before The Walking Dead made zombies popular, Stephen King movies were showing us just how messed up the dead coming back was. As the late Fred Gwynne said, “sometimes, dead is better.” This twisted movie is about a pet cemetery (not Sematary) that has the power to bring the dead back to life. However, they don’t really come back how you might hope. The family cat doesn’t come back all snuggly. It wouldn’t be King though if it was just a bunch of pissed off pets… Well, maybe it would be (Cujo), but this isn’t. Things go from bad to worse and you’re just going to have to watch to find out.

6. Misery

Can you guess what happens next?

Of all the Stephen King movies this one makes me a little paranoid. It’s the tale of a world famous author that is in a terrible accident. Luckily a nice lady rescues him and she just so happens to be a fan willing to nurse him back to life. Unluckily, she’s a psycho and forces him to rewrite his latest book when she doesn’t like the ending. Just thinking about it makes me terrified that one of my adoring fans might do the same if they didn’t like my latest review. Seriously, this is a spine tingling thriller that shows fame really does have it’s downsides. It also features one of the most brutal scenes in film history. Saw has nothing on the hobbling scene.

5. Carrie

Your 1976 prom queen!

Honestly, I think this film should be shown to everyone in their freshman year of high school. We all had to watch Red Asphalt, so why not? Bullies would definitely think twice after seeing it. It was the first of the Stephen King movies to hit the big screen, and to this day it’s still one of the best. It might be a little dated, but the themes are all still relevant. Carrie is about a girl in high school, who isn’t exactly normal. Besides from being psychologically tortured by her mother, she happens to have telekinesis. An ability she happens to discover (and lose control of) after bullies ruin her life. If you’re interested just make sure you don’t accidentally rent the 2013 version.

4. The Green Mile

He’s got the heart of an innocent, the mind of a child, and the body of a juggernaut

This is a painful one to remember because I honestly really miss Michael Clarke Duncan. No one will be able to fill his enormous shoes. The movie is about a mountain of a man who is imprisoned for murder. The guards slowly learn that looks can be deceiving as it turns out he’s quite the gentle giant with remarkable powers. It’s a heart-wrenching film, but it proves a Stephen King movies don’t just stick to creepy horror. Sure there’s the whole darkness in the heart of man destroying beautiful things they don’t understand, but we all know that already. Plus, it stars Tom Hanks, so you know it can’t be that scary.

3. Stand by Me

Kids get up to the darnedest things.

Who doesn’t love a classic coming of age story? Nothing like good friends on an adventure… To find a dead body. Yeah, King won’t let something go without adding a dark twist. Though as far as Stephen King Movies go, this is a pretty light hearted one. Good friends spend a summer day bonding as they set off to see the “coolest” thing ever. Of course, it doesn’t turn out to be that cool in the end, but that’s the point. King shows us that it’s the outcome that really matters, it’s the journey that gets us there. It’s pretty insightful stuff, almost a feel good movie. Don’t worry Kiefer Sutherland shows up to ruin it.

2. The Shining

He just looks so happy.

Here’s another slightly controversial entry. There’s no arguing that this is an outstanding flick, but King wasn’t a big fan of it. In fact, he supposedly flat out hates it. Now, his opinion is pretty important, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was right. After all, Stanley Kubrick directed it, and film teachers sure do love him (trust me on that one). So, is it a bad movie? Not at all, it’s a great movie. It might be what King wanted, but that’s kind of how adaptations role. It’s two visions colliding, and one might not agree with the other. If you haven’t seen it, it’s Jack Nicholson at his best and really gets into the nitty gritty of insanity. It’s definitely, one you’ll want to watch.

1. The Shawshank Redemption

I’m glad everyone gets along so well in prison.

Not only is this the best of all of Stephen King’s movies, but it’s one of the best movies of all time. Don’t believe me? Just check out the IMDB top movies. It’s been sitting pretty there at number one since I started using the internet back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. It might have been robbed at the Oscars, but the fans have spoken. While it’s a film about hope, there is plenty of darkness sleeping just below the surface. King really should be proud of the justice Frank Davenport did his work. The movie itself stars Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, as prison mates who develop an unbreakable bond of friendship. It’s nice to think all prisoners experience a little of that magic.

There you have it, the best Stephen King movies Hollywood has to offer. Of course, like every list, this is just my take. I’d love to hear what you think though. So comment below if there are any movies I missed or if you think I was pretty spot on. More importantly, though, do you think the new It movie will earn a spot on here?