20 Good, Bad And Abysmal Movie Adaptations Of TV Shows

It’s not easy making something good for one medium, let alone translating the magic across multiple. It often doesn’t turn out well. We decided to take a stroll through previous TV show to big screen adaptations – some of which were triumphs, others that sank without a trace…


121 Jump Street

21 Jump Street
21 Jump Street: Resurrecting the '80s cop show that gave Johnny Depp his break, the big screen version of 21 Jump Street had Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as cops undercover at a high school tasked with exposing a drug ring. Packed with wry teen and action movie parodies, plus a great supporting turn from Ice Cube, it and its deliciously meta sequel are must-sees.

2The Simpsons

The Simpsons
The Simpsons: Spiderpig, Spiderpig, does whatever a Spiderpig does… One of the most anticipated TV-turned-film updates of them all came in 2007 when the Simpson family finally got given the feature-length treatment. Thankfully, The Simpsons Movie continued the legacy with more of the same warm-hearted wit that made them so loved in the first place.


Flintstones: It was tricky to imagine the classic stone age cartoon family in live action form, but John Goodman was the perfect Fred Flinstone, and Halle Berry's 'Miss Sharon Stone' made a generation of teenage boys' beds' rock.

4Lost In Space

Lost In Space
Lost In Space: Danger, danger, Will Robinson! This film is a piece of shit. Yes, strangely, a science-fiction adventure starring Joey from Friends wasn't quite the marvel fans of the cult original show had hoped.

5The Inbetweeners

The Inbetweeners: The travails of four teenage lads finishing school and going to Crete on holiday holds the record for the biggest box office opening of any UK comedy, with takings of more than £13m. Who knew wank gags could be so lucrative?

6Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible: It may have descended into set-piece stunts and an over-reliance on Scooby Doo-style face masks these days, but the Mission Impossible movie series actually got off to a pretty cool start with a film about Tom Cruise outwitting Angelina Jolie's dad way back in 1996.


Entourage: Sure, nobody was expecting the Entourage movie to be The Seventh Seal, but we were still surprised by the depths the big screen version plumbed. Film critic Mark Kermode called it a "soul-scraping orgy of crass bros-before-hos cliches".

8Get Smart

Get Smart
Get Smart: Got dumber.

9The A Team

The A Team
The A Team: It might seem an immediately ill-advised idea to recast one of the most well-known shows from the whole of the '80s, but 2010's The A-Team film did just that. Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson were among the stars, while Mr. T’s legendary role was taken by wrestler Quinton Jackson. Needless to say, the new bunch were a B-Team at best.

10Ali G In Da House

Ali G In Da House
Ali G In Da House: For a few years around the turn of the 21st century, Sasha Baron Cohen’s Staines-dwelling faux gangster Ali G was everywhere: harassing politicians and interviewing celebrities. Surely, this beloved star would be a sure-fire crossover success? Not so much, as 2002’s ham-fisted, annoyingly over-egged flick Ali G Indahouse showed.

11The Magic Roundabout

The Magic Roundabout
The Magic Roundabout: A sweet, slightly drug-addled children's favourite from the '60s was transformed into a dodgy film starring the vocal talents of Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue a few years ago. Sadly, the pop pair were unable to capture the intense sexual chemistry of their famous 'Kids' video, on account of playing a shaggy dog and a small girl respectively.

12Charlie's Angels

Charlie's Angels: A franchise of increasingly diminishing returns, Charlie’s Angels began life as a late '70s series combining super-sleuthing and bouffant hair-dos. Then came the passable 2000 film starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, then a 2003 film with little point before finally giving way to a 2011 TV reboot that not even the cast remembers.

13Miami Vice

Miami Vice
Miami Vice: There were some good things about Michael Mann's remake of this 1980s cop caper show. They were: the shirts, and Colin Farrell's 'tache. The bad things were: literally everything else.


Spooks: The BBC spy series drafted in Game of Thrones' John Snow (Kit Harrington) in for what was essentially an extended TV episode on the big screen. He still knew nothing.

15The Saint

The Saint
The Saint: Simon Templar aka The Saint has cropped up in various forms over the years – first in a 1928 series of books, then in some 1940s films, a '50s radio series, a Roger Moore-starring TV series from the '60s and, most recently, a 1997 film starring Val Kilmer. While Templar’s no Bond, it’s all-in-all been a reasonably tasteful transition.


Bean: Mr Bean has become one of the most popular global comedy characters, in part because he works without language. 1997's Bean thus drew a mixed response for falling into the traditional big-screen trap of sending him to LA, and making him talk.

17Alvin and the Chipmunks

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Prior to the squeaky-voiced girl out of Aluna George, Alvin was the most successful musical chipmunk in the world. The live action version of the cartoon starred both Jason Lee and David Cross, who were presumably both glad to finally star in something they could show their kids.

18Sex And The City

Sex And The City
Sex And The City: For a certain generation, the lives, loves and shags of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda were an era-defining obsession. After the TV show, the first film was silly but fine, but Sex and the City 2 was a culturally-insensitive minefield that all but shat on the show’s legacy from a great height.

19Starsky and Hutch

Starsky and Hutch
Starsky and Hutch: And it’s back to the nostalgic cop show niche now with everyone’s favourite '70s crime-fighting duo, Starsky and Hutch. Bringing in established safe hands Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson to take over the main roles, the 2004 film was a decent, often genuinely amusing remake, complete with Snoop as Huggy Bear.

20Kevin & Perry Go Large

Kevin & Perry Go Large
Kevin & Perry Go Large: The story of stroppy teenagers Kevin and Perry attempting to launch their DJ careers and lose their virginities while on holiday in Ibiza. Timeless, timeless stuff.

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