12. Ghost World (2001)
Based on the comic of the same name by Daniel Clowes, Ghost World is a cult film about the trials and tribulations of two cynical girls who are transitioning out of high school. Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson bring the comic book characters to life but also add a bit of charisma to their roles by making the characters a little more relatable. This is especially true of Rebecca, Johansson’s character, who seems much more likable in the film version, as opposed to merely being something for Enid to react against.
The movie follows the source material in theme and tone as the girls wander around their unnamed U.S. town aimlessly, criticizing all the people and pop culture they see around them. Both the comic and the film provide an apt portrayal and examination of Generation X-ers relationships and outlooks on life. It was the perfect story for director and indie comics fan Terry Zwigoff to make into a movie, and, in 2002, the adaptation earned him and Clowes an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.
Source: Screenshot via United Artists
11. Snowpiercer (2013)
Though the movie faced a bit of a rocky road on the way to its U.S. and U.K. releases, Snowpiercer is one of the best comic book adaptations to come along in recent memory. It’s based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, and tells the story tells of what remains of the human race following a cataclysmic attempt to fix Earth’s climate which instead plunged the planet into a deep freeze. The only way for the people of this world to survive is by living out their entire lives on board a train powered by a perpetual motion machine. But as is the case in most dystopian futures, the division of classes on the train are appallingly apparent with the rich front section passengers living a lavish life of luxury while those in the rear compartments are crammed together and forced to exist in brutal conditions. That is until Curtis Everett (Chris Evans) decides the time has come to lead a revolution, and together with a group of tail passengers, attempts to battle his way to the front of the train.
The essential element that both the comic and the film focus on is social stratification, but they also each provide an excellent commentary on global warming and economic trickle-down philosophy. When you combine this thought-provoking material with a little high-octane action, you’ve got the recipe for a very compelling sci-fi movie with director Bong Joon-ho making every encounter in a new train compartment feel fresh and exciting. The movie also does a great job of capturing the aesthetic of the comic, with the production design selling it almost as much as the acting, which includes an incredible performance by Tilda Swinton as the middle managing Minister Mason. If you’re tired of all the movies coming out that herald dystopian futures as nothing more than arenas for sexy teenagers to compete in, you should really go watch Snowpiercer as soon as possible.
Source: Screenshot via RADiUS-TWC