Best Movies Made from Books: #10 Rising Sun by Michael Crichton

rising sunAs a child I purposely read books for which I had seen movies because it helped me visualize what I was reading. Now as an avid reader I find myself constantly saying “the book is much better.” Anyone who reads frequently has said this and will continue to say so when your favorite books are made into movies. This countdown is my favorite books that were made into movies and were comparable, not better, but at least were good. My focus is narrowed and is not all encompassing; please see the selection criteria. Our list begins with…

Rising Sun by Michael Crichton


Crichton certainly had more high profile film releases (Jurassic Park Trilogy perhaps) but I believe Rising Sun is a better book while Jurassic Park was more film oriented with special effects. Rising Sunweaves an intricate plot surrounding a murder which is linked to a high profile business negotiation between an American company and a Japanese company. The investigation headed by Lieutenant Webb Smith, played by Wesley Snipes, and Captain John Connor, played by Sean Connery, uncovers a massive cover-up meant to discredit a high level individual key to the merger. I will still say the book is better than the movie however the film adaptation is very good.

The interesting undertone is the contrasting cultures at play and a perceived racism when one culture doesn’t understand the traditions of the other. It’s an idea that was highly relevant in the early 90’s when the book and subsequent movie were released. Japanese imports was a hot button issue that was heavily publicized at the time. Interestingly, economic exposure remains a major issue twenty years later only now with China.

I exclude classics such as Maltese Falcon or Dracula and focus on recent books primarily those from the mystery, thriller, or action genres. I readily admit there are other genres that I am discounting that have fine books and subsequent movies however for my purposes I have narrowed the focus to books and movies on which I am informed.

Other movies from books that almost made the cut:

rising sun rising sun rising sun
by Tom Clancy by John Grisham by Robert B Parker

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