17 Movies That People Swear Are Actually Better Than The Books They Were Based On

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No, you didn’t read that backward.

We’ve all heard it at least once (usually unprompted) while discussing a great movie: «Ya know…the BOOK was actually A LOT better!»


Walt Disney Studios

Well, Reddit user Valor25 recently decided to flip the script and ask, «What MOVIE was better than the BOOK?» and, WHEW BUDDY, there were some controversial opinions, y’all.


The Weinstein Company

So, here are just a few of the films people believe outdid the books they were based on:

1.

Jaws (1975)


Doubleday/Bantam

«Everyone in the novel is a terrible person. Also, a lot of the tension in the film is removed in the book because the guys hunting the shark get to go home every night whereas, in the film, they’re on the boat the whole time.»

—MysteryGirlWhite

2.

Jojo Rabbit (2019)


Harry N. Abrams, Fox Searchlight Pictures

«It was WAY better than Caging Skies. The book was so goddamn bleak that it probably wouldn’t have been adapted otherwise.»

—THACC-

3.

The Notebook (2004)


Grand Central Publishing, New Line Cinema

«Rachel McAdams brought flair and charisma to her character that just wasn’t in the book.»

—cleo1844

4.

Shawshank Redemption (1994)


Scribner, Columbia Pictures

«It was part of a four-part novella released by Stephen King. The story was very short, but very well-written. I just feel like the movie really captured the spirit of the story better and gave some depth to the characters. Plus, the acting was great.»

—jonny_walkman

5.

The Godfather (1972)


Arrow Books, Paramount Pictures

6.

Big Fish (2003)


Algonquin Books, Sony Pictures Releasing

«The movie explores the wondrous world of the father’s outrageous stories, whereas the book lacks all that lavish imagination. Instead, it’s just a bitter retelling from a spoiled child who thought his daddy didn’t love him enough.»

—cavaliereternally

7.

Arrival (2016)


Vintage, Paramount Pictures

«And this is coming from someone who really liked the short story. The movie was just better at telling that story overall.»

—GreatTragedy

8.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)


St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Orion Pictures

«It was incredibly drawn out at times, and they were right to cut a lot of it out of the movie. The author also feels the need to describe the hell out of everything, and it gets tedious to read.»

—dcbluestar

9.

Children of Men (2006)


Vintage, Universal Studios

«The movie was a million times better. The book had no scope.»

—garglebum

10.

Shrek (2001)


Square Fish, Dreamworks

«They took a 36-page book children’s book and turned it into one of the greatest movies of all time.»

—krakrocks

11.

Fight Club (1999)


W. W. Norton & Company, 20th Century Fox

«The book had a better ending, in my opinion, but it was written in such a bizarre style that it was a chore to read. Also, it’s a short book.»

—Driver_goon

12.

Holes (2003)


Yearling, Walt Disney Pictures

«I don’t know if it was truly better, but damn, that movie did the book justice. One of my favorite childhood books and movies.»

—FBI_ICE_CREAM_TRUCK

13.

Blade Runner (1982)


BOOM! Studios, Warner Bros.

«The novel was good, but the movie perfected the tone and — quite honestly — I thought Deckard was written better in the film.»

—mindfeces

14.

Matilda (1996)


Viking, TriStar Pictures

«The title character was just a hell of a lot more likable in the film than in the book.»

—Bethlizardbreath

15.

Jurassic Park (1993)


Ballantine Books, Universal Pictures

«The movie created more suspense than I think was possible in the book. The build-up to the first time we see the T-Rex just wasn’t as intense on the page as it was on the screen.»

—The_mightiest_peanut

16.

American Psycho (2000)


Vintage, Lionsgate Films

«The movie did a fine job of portraying how insane he was without going overboard. There were passages in the book that almost made me put it down and stop reading — it just got to be too much. Pure shock value.»

—xArbilx

17.

And finally, Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)


Vintage, Universal Pictures

«Listen — while they were both utterly atrocious — I have to say the film was better than the book because you didn’t have to listen to her awful inner monologue.»

—Sarcastic-Me

So, now it’s your turn! What’s one movie that — in your opinion — is far better than the book it’s based on? Share your pick and reasoning in the comments below. This is a safe space!

Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity. H/T Reddit!






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