I would say the book is always better than the movie if anyone asked me. But the truth is, I have seen some movies that I enjoyed more than the book.
The animated film, “How To Train Your Dragon” was so enjoyable that I bought the book it was based on. I don’t really care for the book, it’s characters do not have the same charm or emotional pull that I found in the movies. The main dragon in the book is tiny and not very friendly, while Toothless, the main dragon in the movie is very charming and has a wicked sense of humor. All of the fun names in the movie are taken from the book, as is the premise, but in this case, I like the movie better.
Another example is the play “Wicked”. I rushed out to buy the book the day after I saw the play. I really did not like the book. I thought was was written in a very pompous manner, was way too long and had a terrible ending. The play on the other hand is a hit for good reason. The characters are charming, the story is fun, funny and thought provoking; a hard mix. And the Play has a terrific ending. I disliked the book so much I refused to keep it in my house!
I liked the movie Julia and Julia better than the book, I found the younger Julia to be very unkind in the book and I did not like her.
Now, the Harry Potter books were also made into movies. Most of my Harry Potter book buddies enjoyed the movies very much. I have only seen two completely and bits and pieces of the others. I think the characters are all very well cast, though I thought Umbridge, Prof. Lupine and Mr. Weasly looked very different than I (with JK’s help) imagined. My problem with the movies was the stuff they changed and the parts they left out. I could list dozens of scenes and moments when I thought the book far superior and was angry at what was left out, but I will just mention one. In my mind the most horrifying change was when Dumbledore was killed. In the books, Dumbledore’s last act is to put a freezing spell on Harry to keep him safe. Because of this spell Harry was forced into helplessness when Dumbledore was killed. The Harry Potter in the books would NEVER have stood by, as Harry did in the movie, and let a friend be harmed.
Books and movies all have their place and many movies, especially the older ones, have done an amazing job of bringing books to life. I believe that most of the time the book will be better, but now and then, perhaps the movie / play capture the story in a way that makes it more relatable and enjoyable.