films that are better than the book

More often than not, if you ask any reader, we will tell you the book is better than the film adaptation. I mean, 9 times out of 10 we’re not wrong. But, every now and again, a book will be adapted to the big screen and blow our reader socks off!

Here is a list of all the films that I personally think were better than their book. You’ll notice the list is pretty small but I’m 100% confident that the films are better than their book (sorry, not sorry!)

The Martian

Hear me out… I thoroughly enjoyed the book for this one. I read it last year and it was everything I wanted it to be. That being said, I think, as far as adaptations go, The Martian is incredible. I thought it embodied the book perfectly. While we do get snippets of the other characters perspectives in the book, I enjoyed how much more we got to see of them in the films. It’s also one of those books that’s extremely descriptive so you visualise a lot of what’s going on, but the science can be off-putting and difficult for some people to visualise, which is where I think the film truly excels.

Ready Player One

The book is marmite. You either love it or hate it. I have a complicated relationship with the book because I think the concept is great. But I absolutely despised the writing and the characterisations, particularly the main character. While the film isn’t great and I probably wouldn’t ever re-watch it, I still preferred it over the book, and that is why it gets a place on this list. If you ask me to recommend the book or film, it would be the film every time.

The Lord of the Rings

This one is going to be controversial. I can feel it. For me, personally, I’ve tried to read the Tolkien books but I really struggled with the tiny print, the flow of the story, and the writing style. I may give it a go again but as an audiobook because I’ve heard really good things about it and it seems like the perfect kind of book to listen to. But I adore the films. These films are really special to me. I have fond memories of watching the extended editions with my dad. Watching these films brings me immense joy, whereas the books don’t. For me, it’s a no-brainer that they’re on this list.

The Hobbit films, on the other hand… I try to forget that they even exist.


Are you as surprised as I was to learn Jumanji is originally a picture book? Jumanji is one of my all-time favourite films. This includes the 1995 film and the sequels, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level. I absolutely adore the sequels but the original film is one of those films I’ve seen hundreds of times and never get bored of.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

If you like cheesy, coming of age rom-coms then I’d definitely recommend this! I read the book years ago and I ended up giving it two stars. I’m not big on YA contemporary or romance, but I read it before I really knew what my reading tastes were. So when the film was adapted by Netflix, I thought I’d give it a go and see how it compared and it was much better! For me, personally, it’s a light-hearted, feel-good, junk food kind of film. But I would happily watch it 100x over than ever read the book again.


There’s no denying that both the book and the film are children’s classics. Yet, for me, I much prefer the film. Mara Wilson does an incredible job bringing Matilda to life and I feel she’s a much more likeable character as a result. It’s humorous, yet also tender, especially at the end. I remember watching the film as a kid, having already read the book, yet still being on the edge of my seat with suspense.

What films do you think are better than the book? What book do you think is better than the film?

19 thoughts on “films that are better than the book

  1. Jumanji was a picture book? I did not know that!!! I adore the movies, especially the original.

    I am actually going to agree with you about Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s writing took me the whole of the first book to get use to, but the films are my go-to comfort film. They just completely captured the spirit of the books and I think the soundtrack played a big part in that. Plus even the changes/additions they made to the narrative served to boost the story/character.

    The Hobbit, on the other hand, did not achieve that feat and, the more I think about that franchise the angrier I get.

    Love this post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Williams even narrated an audiobook version for the books 30th anniversary!

      Ooh yes the LotR soundtrack is phenomenal and really sets the atmosphere! So glad someone else agrees with me about The Hobbit!

      Thank you!


    1. Same! I absolutely adored Matilda as a kid. Ooh, I’ve never seen The Witches film, definitely gonna have to at some point. Right?! I was so surprised to find out Jumanji was a book first. If you’re into audiobooks, Robin Williams narrates the audiobook version!

      Liked by 1 person

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