10 Movies That Were Better Than The Book
Updated: Feb 26
We know, we know, this is a pretty bold statement, but trust us! These movies exceeded our expectations and we thought that in comparison to their books, they were simply better.
Every bookworm has either heard or said at some point, “the book is better”. Usually that is the case; however, every once and a while there is a film that surprises us by being better than the book from which it is based. Sometimes it can even be more popular, more successful, or better yet bring more attention to the book. Here are some of the movies that we personally feel outshine their book!
The Hate U Give directed by George Tillman Jr.
When this film was released in 2018, we were shocked at how amazing it was. We love the book and were excited for the movie, but we didn’t want to get our hopes up because it could have easily ruined the book.
Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give discusses difficult topics that could have been covered poorly in its movie adaptation. The movie, however, handles them beautifully. The cast is spectacular and every sense is perfectly combined to make it even more emotional. We would highly recommend this book and its movie!
Little Women directed by Greta Gerwig
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women has been the inspiration for several movies, but none seemed to capture the true wonder and beauty of her book. When we saw the trailer for Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation to say we were hopeful would be an understatement.
This movie did not disappoint! Every character was portrayed to perfection and each scene was wonderfully executed. What made this film standout among all the others was how the timeline was set up, bouncing back and forth between past and present, fiction and nonfiction. Additionally, this movie did something truly amazing; it helped us to see more of Amy’s character and finally come to understand why her and Laurie got married in the end (which is a fact we had struggled to come to terms with in the original adaptation). This movie is amazing and one we suggest you watch!
The Princess Bride directed by Rob Reiner
We grew up watching The Princess Bride which was released in 1987. In fact, we didn’t even know that it was a book before a movie. Once we found out, we immediately read William Goldman’s story, only to be *inconceivably* disappointed.
Having seen the film first, we had high expectations. The characters are more personable and humorous and the narration balanced wonderfully with the dialogue. Although the book was still good and one that everyone should read at least once, we would pick the movie over the book any day!
Forrest Gump directed by Robert Zemeckis
Similar to the last book on our list, we saw this movie before we read the book. The 1994 film based on Winston Groom’s novel, Forrest Gump, is a cinematic masterpiece. With a stellar cast and excellent screenplay, this movie raised our expectations of the book tremendously.
We still enjoyed the book and although it was not as good as the movie, it is definitely worth the read. Both the book and the movie are fantastic, but we just think that the movie was slightly superior in its delivery of the storyline. Tom Hanks does a phenomenal job as Forrest Gump in the movie, and really brought the character to life in a way we didn’t quite get from the book.
The Notebook directed by Nick Cassavetes
Known as one of the most romantic movies of all time, The Notebook, released in 2004 is based on Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name. With a fascinating storyline and a now well known cast, The Notebook is one of the best book to movie adaptations ever done.
Known for his romantic novels, Nicholas Sparks can certainly tell a story and The Notebook is no exception. The actors on screen chemistry and the gorgeous film locations all helped this iconic film outshine its book!
Crazy Rich Asians directed by Jon M. Chu
Jon M. Chu’s 2018 version of Kevin Kwain’s book, Crazy Rich Asians, exceeded our expectations. It was able to bring the story off the pages and into the real world with both its sets and characters.
The movie was colorful and vibrant, which made for a magical watching experience better than we could have ever hoped for. The movie also brought the characters to life in the best way possible, we loved how well they were translated from the book on to the big screen and would highly recommend you go watch it!
Gone with the Wind directed by Victor Fleming
In 1939, Gone With The Wind made it to Hollywood. This classic, which was written by Margaret Mitchell in 1936, was only enhanced by its film. With both stunning costumes and realistic sets, this movie truly brought Margaret Mitchell’s novel to life.
We especially loved how well the characters translated onto the big screen while still remaining true to the novel. Although the movie is long, (like really long…) we feel that it is necessary in order to keep the book's integrity intact, which us book worms can all appreciate!
The Martian directed by Ridley Scott
After watching Ridley Scott’s film, The Martian, we were thrilled to learn that it was actually a book first! The Martian, written by Andy Weir, takes a lot of brain power to read. We were shocked that the movie was even based off of the book.
Ridley Scott was able to transform, in our opinion, a rather boring book into a fast paced, action, survival, space film is beyond us, but we are sure glad he did! We are not ashamed to admit that we liked this movie much more than the book, which is why we had to include it on our list.
Stardust directed by Matthew Vaughn
Based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, Matthew Vaughn released his film Stardust in 2007. With an extraordinary cast that brings the characters to life and an amazing screenplay, as fans of the original novel, we loved the action-packed adaptation of this timeless story.
Although everything may not be played out exactly as it was in the book, we felt that every change made only improved the overall story as well as making it more movie friendly. Watching a movie and reading a book are two very different experiences, and the direction that Matthew Vaughn took his film made us love the story even more!
The Help directed by Tate Taylor
Tate Taylor released The Help in 2011, based on Kathryn Stockett’s novel of the same name. It was brave of Tate Taylor to tackle such a deep book and it could have easily gone south; however, he was able to produce a movie that could provoke thought and change perspective.
The movie was emotional and handled heavy topics gracefully. Having the novel as a jumping point surely helped in creating such a touching film. We were certainly moved by both the movie and the book. Tears will be shed, and tissues will be needed.