Michelle Kung and Hannah Tucker
January 05, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

Which is better — the book or the movie?

CHARLOTTE’S WEB
E.B. White

Runt-turned-”terrific” pig Wilbur and spider pal Charlotte (Julia Roberts’ voice) learn about love and loss in Susannah Grant and Karey Kirkpatrick’s faithful version of White’s classic.
Last Word The celeb factor can’t compete with White’s witty and compassionate prose. — Michelle Kung

WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?
Zoë Heller

In Notes on a Scandal, screenwriter Patrick Marber plays up the sexual motives of Judi Dench’s dour schoolmarm, who discovers an affair between a colleague (Cate Blanchett) and one of her students.
Last Word This melodramatic film lacks Heller’s dark wit. — Hannah Tucker

THE CHILDREN OF MEN
P.D. James

Director/coscripter Alfonso Cuarón retains James’ sci-fi premise of a disillusioned divorcé (Clive Owen) protecting the world’s last pregnant woman, but excises the main villain and alters the hero’s relationship with rebel Julian.
Last Word The film’s dystopian vision is more terrifying. — MK

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