Top 10 Best Movies Based on a TV Series

Script written by Max Lett. Time to put a fresh spin on those beloved classics. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 best movies based on a TV series. For this list, we’re looking at live-action film remakes or reboots of TV series that did justice to the source material, and that are not considered a continuation of the shows in question. That means they don’t feature the original cast members, unless it’s in a different role than they originally played or in a small cameo. Special thanks to our users sarahjessicaparkerth, Ruston BlackBatman Henry, DoctorXander, Awesome One, Andrew A. Dennison, Erica Jones, Mattyhull1 and Chance Ellison for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Credits
Tags
Comments

You must login to access this feature

Transcript
Script written by Max Lett.

Top 10 Best Movies Based on a TV Series


Time to put a fresh spin on those beloved classics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 best movies based on a TV series.

For this list, we’re looking at live-action film remakes or reboots of TV series that did justice to the source material, and that are not considered a continuation of the shows in question. That means they don’t feature the original cast members, unless it’s in a different role than they originally played or in a small cameo.

#10: “The Twilight Zone: The Movie” (1983)

Before being adapted into a feature film, this hit Rod Serling show terrified avid watchers on a weekly basis with its series of unrelated and paranormal stories. The movie doesn’t stray from its original format and is presented in multiple vignettes, each helmed by a different director, including notable names like John Landis and Steven Spielberg. Though the film is notorious for a helicopter accident that killed actor Vic Morrow and two child extras, it’s best remembered as a faithful re-tread of its early-‘60s source material.

#9: “Starsky & Hutch” (2004)

An influx of TV show remakes in the early-2000s brought with it this comedy based on the original late-’70s buddy-cop series. Though the show took itself somewhat seriously, this film is the no-holds-barred zany action adventure you’d expect from Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Though the personalities of the main characters are swapped, the movies is replete with all kinds of subtle and overt references to the show, making sure “Starsky & Hutch” is very much its own film.

#8: “Maverick” (1994)

This Richard Donner-directed film started its life as a 1950s TV series about two poker-playing brothers and their experiences in the Old West. One similarity shared by the show and its big-screen adaptation is James Garner: the actor played the main character in the original, and took a role among the star-studded movie cast. Both rooted in comedy and the western genre, both light-hearted and fun, “Maverick” is a remake done right.

#7: “Traffic” (2000)

The world of illegal drug trafficking is a dark and seedy place, as evidenced by both the mini-series and feature film versions of “Traffic.” Originally produced as a 1989 British serial, the movie remake explores this criminal universe from different perspectives in order to represent a balanced view of the international assembly line of narcotics from start to finish. Steven Soderbergh’s distinctive visual separations of each different story won him much acclaim.

#6: “The Addams Family” (1991)

In the mid-‘60s, there seemed to be a demand for out-of-the-ordinary family dynamics. Aired during the same period as “The Munsters,” “The Addams Family” was about a functionally dysfunctional family of morbid individuals who basked in the idea of death and misery – and its 1991 film adaptation and its sequel were not much different. Dark and twisted, but always ready with a one-liner, “The Addams Family” movies breathed life back into this undead franchise.

#5: “21 Jump Street” (2012)

What started off as a serious teen drama back in the late-‘80s was transformed, maybe predictably, into a buddy action comedy for contemporary audiences. The story, in both cases, centers on a team of youthful looking police officers who infiltrate a high school’s student body in order to bust an underground drug ring. The result is a zany update of what used to be darker subject matter – with a little visit from a familiar face.

#4: “Star Trek” (2009)

This contemporary update had a mission to boldly go where no man has gone before…again. J.J. Abrams’ slick and stylish update of Gene Roddenberry’s beloved 1960s series had die-hards split down the middle. While fans of the original series may not have warmed up to it quite as much as the younger audience it was aimed at, “Star Trek” does justice to the classic characters we all know and love, creating a whole new generation of trekkers in the process.

#3: “Mission: Impossible” (1996)

Notable for its familiar theme song and self-destructing assignment tapes, “Mission: Impossible,” both the late-‘60s series and the movie franchise, are about specialized agents who take on missions that are deemed, well, impossible. In Brian De Palma’s reimagined take, the entire team of agents is murdered and Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt must clear his name while evading enemies on all sides. Though many original cast members expressed their displeasure with the remake, critics and audiences found it impossible to get enough.

#2: “The Untouchables” (1987)

Another De Palma-helmed remake, “The Untouchables” tells the story of incorruptible Prohibition-era officers who took the law to the streets. Both the film and the TV series are fictionalized retellings of Eliot Ness’ autobiographical account, and both were wildly successful. With an all-star cast that includes Kevin Costner and Sean Connery, as well as Robert De Niro as Al Capone, the film recaptures the time perfectly, and reminds people why they loved the early-‘60s series it’s based on.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Get Smart” (2008)
- “Charlie’s Angels” (2000)
- “The Brady Bunch Movie” (1995)

#1: “The Fugitive” (1993)

Dr. Richard Kimble is not a lucky man. First his wife is murdered, then he’s convicted of the crime, then his train crashes. What follows is a frantic attempt to find the real killer, while also trying to evade the law. Whereas the 1960s’ show had ample time to breathe as Kimble searched for the one-armed man, the movie was a succinct and super-successful retelling of the same story. Though there were some minor changes, Dr. Kimble was the same man on the big and small screen: intelligent, kind and desperate.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite big screen remake of a TV show? For more epic Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Download

You must register to a corporate account to download. Please login

Related Videos

+ see more

More Top 10