All Stephen King Movies: Listed and Rated from the best to the worst.

Stephen King is without a doubt one of the most famous and recognizable authors this world has ever seen. His works have been appreciated by both the young and the young at heart and have been translated into many different languages. They have even been studied in schools and lauded by some of the most renowned critics of literature.

The name Stephen King carries a lot of weight and expectations. He has published nearly 100 books and over 200 short stories. Of these works, nearly 50 have been turned into movies.

In this article, we’ll take a look at all the Stephen King movies, ranked from best to worst and we’ll also tell you a bit about each one and explain why it got that rank.

Let’s go!

Table of Contents - Article Hierarchy

1. Shawshank Redemption (1994) 9.3/10

Starring : Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman

At the top of the list is the Shawshank Redemption, originally written in 1982, by Stephen King. This movie follows the wrongful conviction of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) over the death of his wife and her lover. Dufresne bonds with inmates and forms an especially strong bond with another convic , Red (Morgan Freeman) as the men withstand the brutality of the prison system and its hypocrisy.

This movie was nominated for 7 Oscars and is now a cult classic, making it the best Stephen King movie released to date.

2. The Green Mile (1999) 8.6/10

Starring: John Coffey, Tom Hanks, Sam Rockwell

The Green Mile stars Tom Hanks who plays a death row corrections officer during the Great Depression. Here he meets Coffey who plays a black man who is convicted of the murder of two young sisters who seemingly has supernatural powers and a kind, gentle spirit. This makes things more difficult for Hanks and his other collaborators who are in charge of his execution.

The movie was nominated for 4 Oscars, and other awards such as the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

3. The Shining (1980) 8.4/10


Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, moves his entire family to an old, isolated hotel in Colorado in hopes of curing his writer’s block. His son (Danny Llyod) is plagued by psychic premonitions, as was his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall). The family soon realizes the horrific past and future of the hotel turning what was supposed to be a bonding/work experience into a nightmare.

The Shining is without a doubt a horror cult classic and has 4 award wins and 7 nominations.

4. Stand by Me (1986) 8.1/10


Starring: River Pheonix, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connor, Corey Feldman, Kiefer Sutherland

This classic coming-of-age story of four young boys from Oregon who decides to go exploring after hearing a stranger has been killed near to their homes. Little did they know that they would be embarking on a journey of self-discovery and the world around them.

Stand by Me is an American Classic and was nominated for an Oscar.

5. Carrie (1976) 7.4/10


Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, William Katt, John Travolta guy

Carrie is based on Stephen King’s 1974 novel, Carrie. The story is about a teenage girl with an overbearing, religious mother who is bullied by her classmates daily. When humiliated at the senior prom, she goes ballistic and unleashes a supernatural force on her peers and her mother.

Named one of his best novels to date, Carrie was even nominated for 2 Oscars, had 3 award wins and 5 additional nominations.

6. I.T (2017) 7.4/10


Starring: Bill Skargård, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard

I.T, a clown played by Skargård, emerges from the sewers to haunt a Maine town every 27 years. This year, the 27th year, Pennywise or I.T has returned and has already begun wreaking havoc. The adults are unprepared for this and it is up to a band of misfits to overcome their fears and defeat Pennywise to save their town.

The outstanding acting of the child actors raked in 8 wins and 43 nominations, not to mention topping the box office for weeks.

7. Dolores Claiborne (1995) 7.4/10


Starring: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judy Parfitt

Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) finds herself in hot water when her employer, Vera Donovan (Judy Parfitt), a snobby, rich woman turns up dead. It is up to her daughter, Selena (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a big-city reporter to uncover the truth about the murder, along with some secrets about her childhood.

This psychological thriller was King’s 27th novel and a fan favorite.

8. The Dead Zone (1983) 7.2/10


Starring: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Martin Sheen

When Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) awakens from a coma years later, he is heartbroken when he discovers that his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) has moved on with her life. He also discovers that he has psychic abilities which are activated through contact. When he shakes hands with an aspiring politician (Martin Sheen) he devises a plan to kill him after sensing the dangers presented if he succeeds in the elections.

The movie based on King’s bestseller of the same name is appreciated by fans worldwide as they remain glued to screens to see how the story unfolds.

9. The Mist (2007) 7.1/10

Starring: Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Marcia Gay Harden, Andre Braugher

When a powerful storm threatens their small town in Maine, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his son head out to the local supermarket for food and supplies. It is not long after that a thick fog covers the town and Drayton, his son, and other shoppers find themselves trapped in the store. Soon after they realize a monster lurks in the mist and attacks anyone caught outside. Tension mounts and Drayton has to figure out a way to keep himself and his friends alive, especially with a bloodthirsty religious zealot creating further chaos.

While critics may have mixed reviews on the film, it is undeniably one of the most captivating and memorable of King’s adaptations.

10. Creepshow (1982) 6.9/10


Starring: Stephen King, Adrienne Barbeau, Joe Hill, Leslie Nielsen

To fans delight, Stephen King made an appearance in this film, consisting of five short horror-comedy stories. Even if you aren’t into horror, you can’t deny that this was well made and well put together, earning itself a place in the top 10 Stephen King movies.

11. Hearts in Atlantis (2001) 6.9/10

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Mika Boorem, Hope Davis

The Australian-American mystery drama thriller film tells a story of an unlikely bond between a widower and her son and a strange old man they meet and how this friendship changes all parties for the better

12. Salem’s Lot (1979) 6.8/10

Starring: David Soul, James Mason, Lance Kerwin

When a young novelist discovers that a vampire has taken residence in his New England hometown and is turning residents into vampires, he tries to save everyone

It gets this ranking for its suspense and ability to captivate the audience at the time with superior sound effects and visuals

13. 1408 (2007) 6.8/10

Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L Jackson, Mary McCormack

In this film, John Cusack plays Mike Enslin, a successful author who specializes in debunking the supernatural. He spends the night at the Dolphin Hotel, despite the warning of the hotel’s manager, played by Samuel L Jackson. He soon learns the meaning of true fear.

The film is unnerving and its delivery creepy, earning it the number 13 slot on this ranking.

14. The Running Man (1987) 6.7/10

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, María Conchita Alonso, Richard Dawson

This movie is set in the year 2019 where the United States is a totalitarian system and the favorite TV show of the people is The Running Man, a game show where prisoners compete for a chance at regaining their freedom.

15. Apt Pupil (1998) 6.7/10

Starring: Bran Renfro, Ian McKellen, David Schwimmer, Bruce Davidson

When a college student discovers his neighbor is an escaped Nazi death camp criminal hiding in America, he strikes a deal with him to tell him everything he knows about the Holocaust or get turned in. It sounds simple enough until these stories start affecting his health and work.

The plot is suspenseful, unpredictable and thrilling, earning it the number 15 spot.

16. Christine (1983) 6.7/10

Starring: Keith Gordon, Alexandra Paul, John Stockwell

When a nerd, Arnie, buys himself a car and names it Christine, he develops a noticeably unhealthy obsession with it. Knowing this, a bully defaces Christine and this drives Arnie to the point of no return. He kills the bully and his friends, and is threatening anyone who comes near Christine. It is left up to his friends to put a stop to it by destroying Christine.

This type of tale is not the usual material from Stephen King, but it was interesting to see how he twisted the tale of a young man and his car into a horror story.

17. Gerald’s Game (2017) 6.6/10

Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Carel Struycken

Previously thought to be unfilmable, this movie was brought to life by Netflix creators and features a man and a woman playing kinky sex games. Something goes wrong and her husband dies, leaving her handcuffed to her bed. She then begins to hear creepy voices and has strange visions that start to drive her crazy.

18. Secret Window (2004) 6.6/10

Starring : Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro

An ugly divorce between a writer (Johnny Depp) and his wife (Maria Bello) forces him to take solitude in a remote cabin in upstate New York. While repairing his mental health, he is confronted by John Shooter( John Turturro) who claims he stole his work. Shooter has no intention of letting his grudge go that easily.

While many critics find this movie cliche or outworn, we beg to disagree as the actors immaculately bring the characters to life to create a thrilling film, earning itself a spot in the top 20 movies.

19. Silver Bullet (1985) 6.4/10

Starring: Corey Haim, Gary Busey, Megan Follows

In the small town of Tarker’s Mill, a number of unexplained murders have its residents up in arms. But one by one, the vigilantes themselves begin to disappear until Marty (Corey Haim), a cripple encounters a werewolf. This explains everything and Marty along with his Uncle Red (Gary Busey) and his sister came up with a plan to capture the werewolf.

This low budget film managed to snag the number 19 spot because of how well it was directed and the likeability of the characters.

20. 1922 (2017) 6.3/10

Starring: Thomas Jane, David Schmid, Molly Parker

When his wife decides to sell their farmland and move to the city, Wilfred James (Thomas Jane) convinces his teenage son to help him murder her and the two lie to police and neighbors telling them she abandoned them. His crimes against his family result in years of badluck for himself and his son, leading to their eventual ruin and a confession.

This film earned a top spot because of the excellent performance by Jane and his co-stars.

21. Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990) 6.3/10

Starring: Deborah Harry, Christian Slater, David Johansen, William Hickey

Sometimes called Creepshow 3, though never confirmed, a young boy tells three stories to a witch in order to distract her from eating him.

These captivating stories compressed into the length of a feature film earns its mid-ranking.

22. Cat’s eye (1985) 6.3/10

Starring: Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Robert Hays, Alan King

This film is about the journey of a stray cat as seen through its eyes and combines three of King’s short stories “Quitters Inc”, “The Ledge” and “General”

In the first of three stories, James Wood visits a smokers clinic run by Alan King to curb his addiction. The second features Robert Hays and tackles a common fear of heights as he walks around a skyscraper on a narrow ledge. The last story shows a young Drew Barrymore who tries to convince her parents something is living within her bedroom walls and finds comfort in the cat.

The creative and unique concept behind this earns it this rank.

23. Needful Things (1993) 6.3/10

Starring: Max von Sydow, Bonnie Bedelia, Ed Harris

Leland Gaunt (Max von Sydow) moves to a small town in Maine and sets up an antique shop. At first glance,  things seem normal but the secret is, Gaunt has a way of selling customers their true heart’s desire. This soon leads to residents being at each other’s throats and it is up to Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Ed Harris) to restore order.

This masterpiece translated well to film and taught viewers and important lesson about appearance versus reality, making it one of the better adaptations of King’s work.

24.Firestarter (1984) 6.1/10

Starring: Drew Barrymore, Heather Locklear, David Keith

When a couple takes part in an experiment that gives them telekinetic abilities, they find that their daughter is born with pyrokinetic abilities.

Though not perfectly translated to film, it was still enjoyable nonetheless and the young Drew Barrymore played her part well enough to secure this spot on the list.

25. Cujo (1983) 6.1/10

Starring: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelly

This thriller starts  with a cute, friendly St. Bernard who is bitten by a bat and suddenly becomes aggressive to humans. The canine killer goes on a rampage, stalking and attacking whoever he comes across.

This story of man’s best friend becoming evil is more plausible than much of King’s work and is why it lands the number 25 spot.

26. Creepshow 2 (1987) 6.1/10

Starring: Stephen King, Tom Savini, Holt McCallany

When Creepshow became a huge success, it was time for part 2 which would showcase three new stories.

The first is about a Native American statue that animates, the second about a lurking danger in a lake which devours swimmers and the third is about a woman being stalked and killed by a hitchhiker on a remote country road.

This movie followed Creepshow which was a classic but did not live up to its name because of inferior production and gimmicks. This is why it is ranked lower than it’s predecessor yet holds a middle rank since the stories were interesting.

27. The Dark Half (1993) 6/10

Starring: Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker

In this film, Timothy Hutton plays Thad Beaumont, a novelist who publishes under his own name and a pseudonym, George Stark. A scandal unveils that the two are one and  the same and shortly after, the events of Stark’s novels begin to happen in real life.

Hutton and his wife Liz, played by Amy Madigan must collaborate with Sheriff Pangborn, played by Micheal Rooker, to put a stop to it.

The movie earns this spot because of Hutton’s incredible ability to play a good Thad Beaumont and an evil George Stark, along with the movie’s seriousness throughout and plot.

28. The Night Flier (1997) 6/10

Starring: Miguel Furrer, Julie Entwisle, Micheal H. Hoss

Competing reporters played by Miguel Furrer and Julie Entwisle follow a vampire who travels by airplane and kills victims at small, remote airports.

Originally one of King’s short stories, this film is interesting, but so drawn out that it loses is beauty. It picks up at the end and its climax makes up for all the plot holes and flaws.

29. Carrie (2013) 5.9/10

Starring: Chlöe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde

This is another rendition of King’s “Carrie”, already brought to the big screen in 1976, and tells the tale of a downtrodden teenage girl seeking revenge on her classmate bullies and religious zealot mom when she harnesses her telekinetic ability at her senior prom.

Though it is more recent, the film cannot compete with its sister as it fails to give us anything new and falls flat in some areas.

30. Pet Sematary (2019) 5.8/10

Starring: Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, Lucas Lavoie

Dr. Lewis Creed (Jason Clarke) and his wife (Amy Seimetz) relocate with their kids (Jeté Laurence and Lucas Lavoie) from Boston to rural Maine and in their new backyard, they discover an old, unusual burial ground. When they turn to their neighbor (John Lithgow) following a tragedy, their luck worsens as their dead dog comes back to life and all hell breaks loose.

Though not the best adaptation, it is far from the worst which makes it deserving of the number 30 spot.

31. Thinner (1996) 5.8/10

Starring: Stephen King, Robert John Burke, Kari Wuhrer, Bethany Joy Lenz

When Billy Halleck(Robert John Burke), a wealthy overweight lawyer, accidentally hits a gypsy with his car and it is overlooked by the town, the gypsy’s father puts a spell on him to cause him to shed pounds at an alarming rate, along with other unexplained and unexpected events.

The casting for this movie is fairly decent and was directed in such a way to build suspense and invoke fear, earning it this rank.

32. Children of the Corn (1984) 5.7/10

Starring: Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, John Franklin

Burt Santon(Peter Horton) and his girlfriend Vicky (Linda Hamilton) drive across the midwest to Stanton’s new job as a physician. On their way there, they come across the body of a young boy on the road. When trying to contact the authorities, they come across a town of children, lead by a young preacher(John Franklin)who believe everyone over the age of 18 should be murdered. Soon the couple finds themselves trying to escape from the cult who is ready to sacrifice them.

Though it is full of cheap scares, soft violence and has gotten bad press over the years, the concept of the movie, it’s efficient score and cinematography earn it this rank

33. Sometimes They Come Back (1991) 5.7/10

Starring: Tim Matheson, Brooke Adams, Robert Rusler

In this film, school teacher (Tim Matheson) and his wife(Brooke Adams) move back to his hometown to pursue a teaching job. When he is there, old memories of his brother being murdered begin to haunt him, along with the memory of the teen murderers getting struck by a train before they could finish him off.

Now, the teenagers have returned to town to finish the job and have transferred to his class. Soon his students begin to die off and he is suspected of the murders.

The movie started strong and the villains sent a chill down the spine, but the ending was a bit disappointing and flat.

34. Dolan’s Cadillac (2009) 5.7/10

Starring: Wes Bentley, Christian Slater, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Al Sapienza

After witnessing a gangster named Dolan (Christian Slater) kill a man, Elizabeth Robinson (Emmanuelle Vaugier) is murdered to prevent her from testifying in court. Her husband, a school teacher named Robinson(Wes Bentley) is determined to get revenge on Dolan, but finds it difficult since Dolan’s car is bulletproof. He devises a masterplan to trap him and get his revenge once and for all.

Though the short story was a masterpiece written by Stephen King, the movie writers had to stretch it out to make it a full-length movie and thus the quality was sacrificed.

35. The Dark Tower (2017) 5.6/10

Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor

The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) has to battle with the evil Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey) or “The Man In Black” for eternity to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower which holds the universe together.

With these big names, you’d expect a higher ranking but in reality, the writing was poor and the directing was sloppy. What saved it from a lower rank were the graphics, the actors and the fight scenes

36. Big Driver (2014) 5.6/10

Starring: Maria Bello, Joan Jett, Ann Dowd

While driving on a lonely road, a woman’s tire blows out. To her delight, she is assisted by another driver but it is short lived as her savior becomes her assailant. She awakens after her attack to find three other bodies and makes up her mind to exact her revenge on her own terms.

Bello’s impressive acting skills helped push this movie up the list but it wasn’t enough as this story has been told many times and the directors offered nothing original.

37. In The Tall Grass (2019) 5.5/10

Starring: Laysla De Oliviera, Harrison Gilbertson, Patrick Wilson, Avery Whitted, Will Buie Jr., Rachel Wilson

After hearing a young boy’s cry for help in a field of grass in the middle of nowhere, a brother a sister venture in to rescue him. It isn’t long until they discover an ancient evil that prevents them and many others from escaping.

While one may not think of grass as a scary thing, the movie manages to turn the usual into the unusual and evoke a fear of the unknown.

The movie starts out fast-paced and features a bit of romance, along with mystery and suspense, but it was poorly executed as many fans were left confused and annoyed, hence the low rank.

38. Maximum Overdrive (1986) 5.5/10

 

Starring: Stephen King, Emilio Estevez, Laura Harrington

After a comet causes a radiation storm on Earth, machines become animated and turn against humans. In a truck stop in North Carolina, customers in a truck stop fend off killer trucks and create a plan of escape.

If you like mass destruction and carnage, then this film is for you but many critics disagree because of the numerous plot holes. The film was directed by King himself and he intended for it to be a fun film, but it wasn’t enough to secure a top spot.

39. Dream Catcher (2003) 5.5/10

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Lee, Thomas Jane

While on a hunting trip, this group of friends discovers that the town is being plagued by parasitic aliens from outer space. They use their telepathic powers given to them as children to fight the infestation.

This film is perfect for sci-fi heads and viewers who just want something to watch on a Saturday night and won’t ask too many questions. Sure the plot had many holes, but is entertaining nonetheless.

40. The LawnMower Man (1992) 5.4/10

Starring: Jeff Fahey, Pierce Brosnan, Jenny Wright

When a doctor (Pierce Brosnan) performs experiments on his mentally disabled gardener, Jobe Smith(Jeff Fahey), to make him smarter, he finds that Jobe becomes more intelligent and has no trouble with the ladies. He later develops psychic powers which unveil how he was taken advantage of his whole life. He devises a bloody plan of revenge.

The film isn’t terrible but it isn’t that great either. Perhaps if the acting improved and the graphics weren’t over the top, this loose adaptation could be saved.

41. Sleepwalker (1992) 5.3/10

Starring: Stephen King, Mädchen Amick, Brian Kraus, Alice Krige

When Charles (Brian Krause) and his mother (Alice Krige) move to a new town to feed on their neighbors unsuspecting teen girls, he befriends Tanya(Mädchen Amick) to drain her lie force to feed his mother. She finds out and tries to thwart their plans.

This isn’t a very good movie, but Alice Krige made it watchable.

42. Riding the Bullet (2004) 5.2/10

Starring: Johnathan Jackson, David Arquette, Erika  Christensen

Following the death of his father, Alan Parker (Johnathan Jackson) goes into a gloomy state, plagued with nightmares and vision. When his girlfriend (Erika Christensen) breaks up with him, it drives him over the edge and he tries to kill himself unsuccessfully. The next day he learns his mother has suffered a stroke and is in the hospital so he hitchhikes to meet her. On his way, he comes across a stranger with a deadly secret.

The movie had the potential to be as big as Carrie or The Shining but after all the hype, it fell flat because of mediocre directing and acting.

43. A good marriage (2014) 5.2/10

Starring: Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, Stephen Lang

On the outside, it appears that Darcy and her husband of over 20 years have the perfect marriage
But when he leaves for a trip, she finds some things in the garage that make her realize that she may have been lying next to a stranger all these years.

The acting was not horrible in this movie, but the flakey ending and anemic projection weighed it down.

44. Mercy (2014) 5/10

Starring: Chandler Riggs, Joel Courtney, Frances O’Connor, Shirley Knight

When these brothers (Chandler Riggs and Joel Courtney) go to visit their dying grandmother (Shirley Knight) in her house, they discover an ancient witch.

This is supposed to be a horror movie but it is far from scary. Maybe it was meant for a younger audience.

45. Quicksilver Highway (1997) 4.9/10

Starring: Clive Barker, Christopher Lloyd, Matt Frewer

Traveling Showman Aaron Quiksilver (Christopher Llyod) tells the horror tale of a psychotic hitchhiker who falls prey to a set of chattering teeth and a reanimated human hand.

It’s interesting to say the most. It isn’t a classic.

46. Graveyard shift (1990) 4.9/10

Starring: Stephen Macht, Kelly Wolf, Brad Dourif, David Andrews

When a drifter named John Hall (David Andrews) wanders into a small Maine town seeking employment at the textile mill, he gets hired to work the graveyard shift where he and his co workers encounter their worst fear.

The film is nasty and disgusting, with images of rats, dirt and muck throughout. Definitely only for a specific audience.

47. Pet Sematary II (1992) 4.9/10

Starring: Edward Furlong, Clancy Brown, Anthony Edwards

When his mother dies, Jeff Matthew’s (Edward Furlong) father moves them back to his hometown where he meets a new friend who tells him about an ancient Indian burial ground that can bring people back to life. Ignoring the warnings, Jeff brings his mother back to life only to realize he made a huge mistake and she is now a zombie.

Though a good story, the movie itself lacks the horror element is it is supposed to have, along with tension and suspension.

48. Cell (2016) 4.3/10

Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabella Fuhrman, Ethan Andrew Casto, Clarke Sarullo

A mysterious cell phone signal has turned once innocent New Englanders into insane killers and it is up to a novelist (John Cusack) to find his son (Ethan Andrew Casto) and estranged wife (Clarke Sarullo) before they are affected, or worse, killed.

Even though the movie had great actors, somewhere along the line it ended up being a boring movie.

49. The Mangler (1995) 4.3/10

Starring: Robert Englund, Ted Levine, Daniel Matmor

A laundry-folding machine goes haywire and turns evil, attacking and killing anyone unlucky enough.

The below-average writing and direction of this movie make it the worst Stephen King adaptation to date. Hopefully, they will stop putting out diluted versions of his art.

You may not agree with this ranking, but remember it is all subjective. What does your list look like?

Leave a Reply