10 Great, Good & Ugly Movies Based On Board Games

Who loves movies based on classic board games? We all do, right? Well, at least Hollywood seems to think so. Here are 10 movies based on board games that we either love or wish had died in development.

10 Great One Location Films - Clue


The favourite ’80s classic, Battleship, was turned into a sci-fi flick and its fans couldn’t have been happier. The game had clearly made impressive strides since its codebook and pegboard, but the aim remained – to sink the opponent’s ship. While it was universally panned, the movie had more depth than that. Oh, and there were aliens on board.

Searching for Bobby Fischer

Chess genius Josh Waitzkin is forced to balance his passion for the game with his father’s obsession with victory. Ben Kingsley, Joe Mantegna and Laurence Fishburne all put in stunning performances.

Word Wars

The documentary features the best four Scrabble players in the world: Matt Graham, Marlon Hill, Joe Medley, and G.I. Joel Sherman. The film ends with the 2012 National Scrabble Championship, where a top prize of $25,000 is up for grabs.


Jumanji, Robin Williams, Music by James Horner,

Based on a supernatural board game, the Robin Williams classic featured man-eating vines, ferocious lions, a ruthless hunter, and animal stampedes. There’s even a slot game called Boomanji, that while has nothing to do with the original game or movie, its name is surely a tribute to the film. Available in the UK on Bitstarz, it offers 30 instant free spins and bonus of up to 180 further spins and 58TC. It certainly sounds better than being chased by lions.

Uber Goober

This 90-minute subtitled documentary about gaming culture includes a look at historical miniature games and roleplaying games. The film includes interviews with author Mike Stackpole and Dungeons and Dragons creator E. Gary Gygax.


The game received the big-screen treatment in the 1985 Jonathan Lynn-directed movie. The cult classic gave us three different endings as viewers were compelled to solve the murder mystery. 20th Century Fox is now working on its own version: a remake of a movie that is based on a classic board game. How very Hollywood! Ryan Reynolds will assume one of the roles, reteaming with Deadpool screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese.

Dante’s Peak

The movie features flying fireballs and smouldering lava pits, both of which can also be found in the 1980s board game Fireball Island. There may be no hidden jewel or Vul-Kar, but there’s no shortage of people bidding to escape rolling fireballs.


Sneakers - Dan Aykroyd, Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford

While this movie isn’t based on a board game per se, it does include a very important scene that features the classic word game Scrabble. The 1982 tech-spy thriller starred Robert Redford, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, James Earl Jones, Dan Akroyd, and Timothy Busfield.

Geri’s Game

The Pixar short features an elderly man playing chess against himself. When it’s the turn of his alter-ego, he moves to the other side of the board and removes his glasses. When his opponent takes the lead, the first Geri pretends to have a heart attack and turns the board around. Checkmate!


Another documentary about Scrabble, this was largely shot during the World Scrabble Championships in Las Vegas, The highest-rated woman, a comedian, a gamble, a financial trader, and the National Scrabble association’s executive director all feature here.

Movies based on board games can turn out to be ridiculous yet fun, such as Clue. Others, like Jumanji, are pure fun start to finish. Let’s wait and see what Hollywood has in store for us next.

About the Author
Rory Fish has loved movies since he can remember. If he was to put together an "all time" top 10 of absolute favourites it would have to include North By Northwest, 12 Angry Men and Sunset Boulevard.

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