"The Man From UNCLE" is the latest television series to hit the big screen. Director Guy Ritchie's take on the 1960s spy show joins a long list of network and cable offerings to find a second life at a theater near you. Here are 21 more movies based on TV shows that you need to see.
'21 Jump Street' (2012)
"Eff you, science!" Filmmakers Chris Miller and Phil Lord turned a very '80s (and not particularly great) TV show into both a hit movie and a franchise, with the help of undercover cops Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum engaging in some very quotable -- and very R-rated -- banter.
'Mission: Impossible' (1996)
With four movies under his belt, and a fifth -- "Rogue Nation" -- on the way, Tom Cruise has managed to turn this popular TV show from the '60s into an even more popular movie franchise. Each film, helmed by different directors, has at least one "build the trailer around it" moment, but it doesn't get more iconic than the "stealing the NOC List" scene (pictured left) from the first "Mission".
'The Fugitive' (1993)
'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' (1982)
After the bloated misfire that was "The Motion Picture," "Star Trek" took a second shot at big-screen success and hit big with "Khan." With character-driven stakes stemming from Khan's vendetta against Admiral Kirk, coupled with great space battles and even greater dialogue, this thematically-rich sequel is still the high bar that the other films in the franchise strive to meet.
'Star Trek' (2009)
J.J. Abrams' first, and best, "Trek" is basically a two-hour demo reel bidding for the job the filmmaker would eventually get: directing a "Star Wars" movie. It is also a very fun and entertaining ride that reboots "The Original Series" while simultaneously paying homage (Spock Prime!) to elements that fans enjoyed to begin with.
'Star Trek: First Contact' (1996)
The cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” first hit the big screen in 1994’s “Generations,” but their best outing was their second feature, directed by cast member Jonathan Frakes. Captain Picard pulls a Captain Ahab when the Borg -- who once assimilated Picard into their evil ranks -- travel back in time and threaten to destroy humanity before Starfleet exists.
'South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut' (1999)
"South Park's" loyal fanbase got the R-rated movie they deserved, along with an Oscar-nominated song and several foul (and hilarious) jokes at the expense of both Satan and Canada. If you haven't seen it yet, you're some kind of wrong person.
'The Untouchables' (1987)
Brian De Palma's bloody and violent take on the classic crime series won Sean Connery the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Malone, a veteran beat cop who mentors an untested Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) in his efforts to take down Al Capone. The only thing better than David Mamet's taut script is Ennio Morricone's stirring score.
'The Addams Family' (1991)
The best movie Tim Burton never made, “The Addams Family” deftly mixes black comedy with the vintage TV show’s brand of tongue-in-cheek humor to deliver a then-hit that, now, is sorely underrated. Both it, and the even more underrated sequel, “Addams Family Values,” deserve a second viewing.
'Batman: Mask of the Phantasm' (1993)
Joker bleeds and Batman goes darker than usual in this movie based on the still-good animated series from the '90s. Even though the movie fell way short at the box office, for some fans “Phantasm” is Batman's best – right up there with “The Dark Knight.”
'Sex in the City' (2008)
Refill those cosmos and insert sassy joke about sex here – but skip the disappointing sequel based on HBO’s hit show. While the second film is a hot mess, the first achieves a solid balance between earned character moments and the sassy banter fans love.
Universal resurrected the cancelled-to-soon FOX series, giving creator Firefly" fans one very "shiny" movie about their favorite "big damn heroes" flying the titular spaceship.
'Jackass: Number Two' (2006)
This sequel, based on the popular MTV stunt show, seems to be in a race with the first film to see which can out-nausea the other. “Two" wins.
"Maverick" is the perfect Dad movie, and not just because your fathers grew up watching the classic Western series upon which the film is based. Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster have endless sparkage as their characters find themselves one-upping the other in a long con on their way to high-stakes poker game. The original Maverick, James Garner, costars.
'The Muppets' (2011)
Before this 2011 crowd pleaser, the best movie based on “The Muppets Show” was arguably “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” Thanks to star and co-writer Jason Segel, fans of Kermit and Company now have a new favorite Muppet adventure.
‘The Naked Gun: From the Files of “Police Squad!”’ (1988)
Former straight man-turned-comedy star, the late Leslie Nielson had a career resurgence thanks to the Zucker Brothers’ “Naked Gun.” Audiences responded much better to the “Airplane!”-like antics of bumbling cop Frank Drebin on the big screen than they did on the small one, where he debuted in the short-lived “Police Squad!”
'Wayne's World' (1992)
The first movie based on an “SNL” sketch since “The Blues Brothers,” “Wayne’s World” minted money at the box office as audiences couldn’t get enough of Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) lip-synching to “Bohemian Rhapsody” and asking such age-old questions as what does one do when their crazy ex gifts them a gun rack.
From ghost sex to Val effin’ Kilmer, this cult-favorite has everything. Another movie based on a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, Will Forte’s MacGyver-inspired, mullet-draped idiot found an audience on home video – and they’re getting restless waiting on the long in-development sequel.
'State of Play' (2009)
While the movie falls a bit short of the dramatic highs set by its source material, a six-hour BBC miniseries, attention must be paid to this slow-burn thriller. Russell Crowe stars as a veteran newspaper reporter struggling to cover a political scandal in the digital age, one that involves an old friend on Capitol Hill (Ben Affleck) and his dead mistress.
'Veronica Mars' (2014)
“Marshmallows,” fans of the UPN and CW series, practically willed this movie into existence – along with their generous Kickstarter donations. Kristen Bell reprised the titular role as the intrepid private eye with the sharp wit, forced to go back to her home town to help solve a murder case that involves her old flame, Logan.
'The X-Files: Fight the Future' (1998)
Mulder and Scully’s first feature film takes place between Seasons Five and Six of the TV series, giving the big(ish) budget treatment to the show’s alien conspiracy mythology. Don’t feel bad if you skipped the meh 2008 sequel, “I Want to Believe.” Here’s hoping the truth, and more worthwhile stories, are still out there for the pending TV reboot.