I read No Country For Old Men and Charlie Wilson’s War in the spring before they were released later the same year. Both books were great, but I left the theater unhappy with the muddled ending on the film. It was chaotic, didn’t answer some questions, etc. Nevertheless, it WAS an amazing film on a couple levels. First, that no music soundtrack or fake “tension-building” sound was used. That is, the tension was as gripping as any film ever produced simply based on the characters. Javier Bardem was a villain like we’ve never seen on the screen and due to those factors the movie was still an A+ even with what I will call a botched last segment. (I am not referring to Bardem’s car accident but the hotel shootout.)
Hanks is always great (almost) but in Charley Willson’s War it was Philip Seymour Hoffman who created the memorable character that brought it to a higher level.
As a reader I often vote for the book over the film, but many films have been wonderful translations into film.
One more comes to mind. The Diving Bell & the Butterfly. The film, which I saw first, was amazing. The book was as well… You can read my review here. (No obligation, but you it may prompt you to follow up if you have not seen it or read the book.