(Photo by Warner Bros/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Stephen King Movies Ranked

For as long as King’s been been publishing, Hollywood’s been knock-knock-knockin’ on Stephen’s door for more. First came 1976’s Carrie, two years after he published that first novel, which made household names of the author, Brian De Palma, Sissy Spacek, and the humiliating viscosity of pig’s blood. The 1980s saw a slew of adaptations, the highlights being The Shining, Stand by Me, and The Running Man (the book for which was published under pulp fall-guy name Richard Bachman). As for the ’90s, well…it’d be the best decade ever for just The Shawshank Redemption. But nope, there was also Misery and The Green Mile!

In recent years, it’s been about cats (Pet Sematary), clowns (It Chapter Two), and kids (Doctor Sleep, a new adaptation of Firestarter). So let’s get this fire started with all rated Stephen King movie adaptations by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

(This is a guide to theatrically released King adaptations. If you’re interested in King on different platforms, look to our guide of Stephen King TV Series, Miniseries, TV Movies Ranked.)

#1

Carrie (1976)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98555%
Critics Consensus: Carrie is a horrifying look at supernatural powers, high school cruelty, and teen angst -- and it brings us one of the most memorable and disturbing prom scenes in history.
Synopsis: In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#2

Stand by Me (1986)
92%

#2
Adjusted Score: 96307%
Critics Consensus: Stand By Me is a wise, nostalgic movie with a weird streak that captures both Stephen King's voice and the trials of growing up.
Synopsis: After learning that a stranger has been accidentally killed near their rural homes, four Oregon boys decide to go see... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 96101%
Critics Consensus: The Shawshank Redemption is an uplifting, deeply satisfying prison drama with sensitive direction and fine performances.
Synopsis: Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#4

Misery (1990)
90%

#4
Adjusted Score: 95006%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by standout performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, this taut and frightening film is one of the best Stephen King adaptations to date.
Synopsis: After a serious car crash, novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#5

The Dead Zone (1983)
88%

#5
Adjusted Score: 90857%
Critics Consensus: The Dead Zone combines taut direction from David Cronenberg and and a rich performance from Christopher Walken to create one of the strongest Stephen King adaptations.
Synopsis: When Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) awakens from a coma caused by a car accident, he finds that years have passed,... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#6

It (2017)
86%

#6
Adjusted Score: 115331%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core, It amplifies the horror in Stephen King's classic story without losing touch with its heart.
Synopsis: Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare -- an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 85278%
Critics Consensus: Post-Misery Kathy Bates proves to be another wonderful conduit for Stephen King's novels in this patient, gradually terrifying thriller.
Synopsis: In a small New England town, Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) works as a housekeeper for the rich but heartless Vera... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#8

The Shining (1980)
82%

#8
Adjusted Score: 90736%
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
Synopsis: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block.... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#9

1408 (2007)
79%

#9
Adjusted Score: 86667%
Critics Consensus: Relying on psychological tension rather than overt violence and gore, 1408 is a genuinely creepy thriller with a strong lead performance by John Cusack.
Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena -- before he checks into... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

#10

The Green Mile (1999)
79%

#10
Adjusted Score: 83843%
Critics Consensus: Though The Green Mile is long, critics say it's an absorbing, emotionally powerful experience.
Synopsis: Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) walked the mile with a variety of cons. He had never encountered someone like John Coffey... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#11

Doctor Sleep (2019)
78%

#11
Adjusted Score: 99065%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Sleep forsakes the elemental terror of its predecessor for a more contemplative sequel that balances poignant themes against spine-tingling chills.
Synopsis: Struggling with alcoholism, Dan Torrance remains traumatized by the sinister events that occurred at the Overlook Hotel when he was... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan

#12

The Mist (2007)
72%

#12
Adjusted Score: 77379%
Critics Consensus: Frank Darabont's impressive camerawork and politically incisive script make The Mist a truly frightening experience.
Synopsis: After a powerful storm damages their Maine home, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his young son head into town to... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#13

Cat's Eye (1985)
69%

#13
Adjusted Score: 68147%
Critics Consensus: An effective if knowingly silly Stephen King anthology that combines comedy and terror.
Synopsis: Stephen King tales follow a cat into a smokers clinic, onto a penthouse ledge and into a girl's (Drew Barrymore)... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#14

Christine (1983)
69%

#14
Adjusted Score: 68331%
Critics Consensus: The cracks are starting to show in John Carpenter's directorial instincts, but Christine is nonetheless silly, zippy fun.
Synopsis: Unpopular nerd Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) buys a 1958 Plymouth Fury, which he names Christine. Arnie develops an unhealthy obsession... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#15

The Running Man (1987)
67%

#15
Adjusted Score: 68920%
Critics Consensus: The Running Man is winking sci-fi satire with ridiculous clothes and workmanlike direction.
Synopsis: In the year 2019, America is a totalitarian state where the favorite television program is "The Running Man" -- a... [More]
Directed By: Paul Michael Glaser

#16

Creepshow (1982)
65%

#16
Adjusted Score: 69761%
Critics Consensus: It's uneven, as anthologies often are, but Creepshow is colorful, frequently funny, and treats its inspirations with infectious reverence.
Synopsis: A compendium of five short but terrifying tales contained within a single full-length feature, this film conjures scares from traditional... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#17

It: Chapter Two (2019)
62%

#17
Adjusted Score: 85103%
Critics Consensus: It: Chapter Two proves bigger doesn't always mean scarier for horror sequels, but a fine cast and faithful approach to the source material keep this follow-up afloat.
Synopsis: Defeated by members of the Losers' Club, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to terrorize the town of... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

#18

Cujo (1983)
60%

#18
Adjusted Score: 63265%
Critics Consensus: Cujo is artless work punctuated with moments of high canine gore and one wild Dee Wallace performance.
Synopsis: In this tale of a killer canine, man's best friend turns into his worst enemy. When sweet St. Bernard Cujo... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#19

The Dark Half (1993)
59%

#19
Adjusted Score: 58561%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Half is a highly serious psychological study that can be faulted for being more curious than actually scary.
Synopsis: Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) has had success writing novels under both his real name and his pseudonym, George Stark, which... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#20

Pet Sematary (2019)
56%

#20
Adjusted Score: 73497%
Critics Consensus: Pet Sematary takes its source material in a few different directions, but this remake feels like an exhuming almost as often as it does a revival.
Synopsis: Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple... [More]

#21

Apt Pupil (1998)
53%

#21
Adjusted Score: 54338%
Critics Consensus: A somewhat disturbing movie that works as a suspenseful thriller, yet isn't completely satisfying.
Synopsis: A high-school student (Brad Renfro) forms an unhealthy relationship with a former Nazi death-camp officer (Ian McKellen).... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#22

Pet Sematary (1989)
51%

#22
Adjusted Score: 53165%
Critics Consensus: Pet Sematary is a bruising horror flick that wears its quirks on its sleeves, to the detriment of its scare factor.
Synopsis: Doctor Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) moves his family to Maine, where he meets a friendly local named Jud Crandall (Fred... [More]
Directed By: Mary Lambert

#23

Carrie (2013)
50%

#23
Adjusted Score: 56636%
Critics Consensus: It boasts a talented cast, but Kimberly Peirce's "reimagining" of Brian De Palma's horror classic finds little new in the Stephen King novel -- and feels woefully unnecessary.
Synopsis: High school can be tough for many teenagers, but for Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz), it's especially hellish. A shy... [More]
Directed By: Kimberly Peirce

#24

Big Driver (2014)
50%

#24
Adjusted Score: 22813%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: With her mind shattered, a novelist seeks revenge on the man who brutally assaulted her on a desolate New England... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Salomon

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 53290%
Critics Consensus: Hearts in Atlantis is well-acted and beautiful to look at, but the movie is nothing more than a mood piece.
Synopsis: "Hearts In Atlantis" is a drama based on Stephen King's best seller of the same name. It is the story... [More]
Directed By: Scott Hicks

#26

Secret Window (2004)
46%

#26
Adjusted Score: 51433%
Critics Consensus: Depp is quirkily entertaining, but the movie runs out of steam by the end.
Synopsis: While in the process of an ugly divorce from his wife (Maria Bello), writer Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) relocates to... [More]
Directed By: David Koepp

#27

Silver Bullet (1985)
45%

#27
Adjusted Score: 46027%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a series of unexplained murders occurs in the normally quiet town of Tarker's Mill, the residents decide to hunt... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Attias

#28
Adjusted Score: 42727%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The first of three dark tales involves resentful student Bellingham (Steve Buscemi) looking to an Egyptian mummy for help in... [More]
Directed By: John Harrison

#29

Firestarter (1984)
38%

#29
Adjusted Score: 37531%
Critics Consensus: Firestarter's concept hews too closely to other known Stephen King adaptations, though it's got nice special effects (including scenery-chewing George C. Scott).
Synopsis: As youths, Andy McGee (David Keith) and his future wife, Vicky (Heather Locklear), participated in secret experiments, allowing themselves to... [More]
Directed By: Mark L. Lester

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 37888%
Critics Consensus: The Lawnmower Man suffers from a predictable, melodramatic script, and its once-groundbreaking visual effects look dated today.
Synopsis: The eccentric Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) puts mentally disabled landscaper Jobe Smith (Jeff Fahey) on a regimen of experimental... [More]
Directed By: Brett Leonard

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 37505%
Critics Consensus: Children of the Corn's strong premise and beginning gets shucked away for a kiddie thriller that runs in circles.
Synopsis: As physician Burt Stanton (Peter Horton) and his girlfriend, Vicky (Linda Hamilton), drive across the Midwest to his new job,... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Kiersch

#32
Adjusted Score: 12016%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rival reporters (Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle) tail a vampire who travels by airplane, claiming victims at small isolated airports.... [More]
Directed By: Mark Pavia

#33

A Good Marriage (2014)
32%

#33
Adjusted Score: 31004%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While her husband (Anthony LaPaglia) of more than 20 years is away on a business trip, a woman (Joan Allen)... [More]
Directed By: Peter Askin

#34

Needful Things (1993)
31%

#34
Adjusted Score: 30288%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a creepy older man named Leland Gaunt (Max von Sydow) moves to a small town in Maine and sets... [More]
Directed By: Fraser C. Heston

#35

Creepshow 2 (1987)
29%

#35
Adjusted Score: 29102%
Critics Consensus: Not even the melding of Stephen King and George A. Romero's writing sensibilities can elevate this spineless anthology, which is too simple in its storytelling and too skimpy on the genuine scares.
Synopsis: This second horror anthology presents more eerie tales based on Stephen King stories. One episode finds a cigar-store Native American... [More]
Directed By: Michael Gornick

#36

Sleepwalkers (1992)
29%

#36
Adjusted Score: 22635%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When newcomers Charles (Brian Krause) and his mother, Mary (Alice Krige), settle into town, the local residents do not suspect... [More]
Directed By: Mick Garris

#37

Dreamcatcher (2003)
28%

#37
Adjusted Score: 33558%
Critics Consensus: An incoherent and overly long creature feature.
Synopsis: "Dreamcatcher" tells of four young friends who perform a heroic act -- and are changed forever by the uncanny powers... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#38

The Mangler (1995)
27%

#38
Adjusted Score: 13627%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A laundry owner's (Robert Englund) employee falls victim to an ironing machine with a mind of its own.... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 23745%
Critics Consensus: As disposable as its predecessor is indispensable, The Rage: Carrie 2 mimics the arc of Stephen King's classic story without adding anything of value.
Synopsis: When her closest friend commits suicide after being manipulated by the popular crowd, quiet and bookish Rachel Lang (Emily Bergl)... [More]
Directed By: Katt Shea

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 22009%
Critics Consensus: Stephen King adaptation veteran director Mick Garris has lofty storytelling goals which ultimately flail and undercut the story's terror.
Synopsis: Ever since his father passed away, art student Alan Parker (Jonathan Jackson) has been hypnotized by thoughts of death. After... [More]
Directed By: Mick Garris

#41

Pet Sematary Two (1992)
22%

#41
Adjusted Score: 21062%
Critics Consensus: Not realizing that it had no unfinished business, Pet Sematary rises from the grave once more to beat an undead corpse.
Synopsis: When his mother, Renee (Darlanne Fluegel), dies, young Jeff Matthews (Edward Furlong) moves back to his hometown with his father,... [More]
Directed By: Mary Lambert

#42
Adjusted Score: 8969%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A newsman (Terence Knox) and his son (Paul Scherrer) snoop around a Nebraska town where children kill many adults.... [More]
Directed By: David F. Price

#43

The Dark Tower (2017)
15%

#43
Adjusted Score: 36414%
Critics Consensus: Go then, there are other Stephen King adaptations than these.
Synopsis: Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O'Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known... [More]
Directed By: Nikolaj Arcel

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 15390%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a comet causes a radiation storm on Earth, machines come to life and turn against their makers. Holed up... [More]
Directed By: Stephen King

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 13011%
Critics Consensus: A bland, weightless horror film that seems to want to mock itself as the proceedings drag on.
Synopsis: Billy Halleck (Robert John Burke) is an obese lawyer who accidentally hits a Gypsy with his car after his wife... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#46

Cell (2016)
11%

#46
Adjusted Score: 12877%
Critics Consensus: Shoddily crafted and devoid of suspense, Cell squanders a capable cast and Stephen King's once-prescient source material on a bland rehash of zombie cliches.
Synopsis: A graphic novelist (John Cusack) begins a desperate search for his estranged wife (Clark Sarullo) and son (Ethan Andrew Casto)... [More]
Directed By: Tod Williams

#47

Firestarter (2022)
10%

#47
Adjusted Score: 18182%
Critics Consensus: There was plenty of room to improve on the original, but Firestarter trips over that low bar and tumbles toward the bottom of the long list of Stephen King adaptations.
Synopsis: For more than a decade, parents Andy (Zac Efron; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; The Greatest Showman) and Vicky... [More]
Directed By: Keith Thomas

#48
Adjusted Score: 4199%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jobe (Matt Frewer) exists as a malevolent consciousness in virtual reality and seeks to discover the technology to hack into... [More]
Directed By: Farhad Mann

#49

Graveyard Shift (1990)
0%

#49
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: John Hall (David Andrews) is a drifter who wanders into a small town in Maine. He needs a job and... [More]
Directed By: Ralph S. Singleton