February 6, 2022

15 Movies that were (maybe) Better than the Books.

We’re admittedly huge book nerds over here at Elephant Journal.

But sometimes, I think we can let our snobbery get the best of us when it comes to books versus movies. I do think it’s true that the book is often better than the movie, and in most cases, we should read first and watch next.

But movie-making is an art form that shouldn’t be so discounted. You know that feeling when you finish a movie and something within you has been profoundly changed? (For some reason, “The Matrix” did this to me!) There’s something about all the elements that go into filmmaking that, in some cases, a book alone just can’t quite accomplish.

That said—when the movie doesn’t do the book justice, it kind of ruins the book too, doesn’t it? Which is why the age-old advice of read first, watch next exists.

I asked our readers which movies lived up to or were better than the books. So, if you haven’t seen these films yet, and you’re wondering if you should read the book first, here’s your answer:

1. “The Green Mile”

2. “The Lord of the Rings” (Trilogy)

3. “Stardust”

4. “Station Eleven” (TV Series)

5. “The Cider House Rules”

6. “Life of Pi”

7. “Memoirs of a Geisha”

8. “The Princess Bride”

9. “The Shawshank Redemption”

10. “Bridget Jones’s Diary”

11. “Practical Magic”

12. “Fight Club”

13. “The Help”

14. “Gone Girl”

15. “Harry Potter” (Series)

Bonus: I also asked our audience what their all-time favorite movie soundtracks are, and here are the 15 most recommended—give them a listen.

1. “Guardians of the Galaxy”

2. “Forrest Gump”

3. “The Greatest Showman”

4. “Into the Wild”

5. “Pulp Fiction”

6. “Singles”

7. “Dirty Dancing”

8. “The Crow”

9. “Grease”

10. “Garden State”

11. “Romeo + Juliet”

12. “Lord of the Rings” (Trilogy)

13. “Top Gun”

14. “Almost Famous”

15. “The Big Chill”


What’s your take? Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree with these—or leave some more suggestions!

Read 2 Comments and Reply

Read 2 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Cat Monkman  |  Contribution: 14,640

author: Catherine Monkman

Image: Amazon/Fair Use