In full disclosure, I did not read The Glass Castle before seeing the film adaptation. Typically I dislike movie adaptations because “the book was better,” but since I have not read the book I can only provide a review of the movie. 
The story follows Janette Walls (Brie Lawson) from her childhood through adulthood with a strong focus on family. For much of her young life, the Walls family lived nomadic-ally primarily because her father Rex (Woody Harrelson) could not hold a job due to his relationship with alcohol. Jannette’s mother Rose Mary (Naomi Watts) was an artist who was consumed by her art. With an alcoholic father and distracted mother, the four Walls children were often left to care for themselves. While there was a sense of fending for yourself, the movie really focuses on the moments of being a family.
I really enjoyed this movie because the story did not sugar coat a family in the 1970s. The imagery of packing up the station wagon with both kids and stuff is something I imagine was incredibly common in the times. I also like how the story shows that every family has issues. Often times these issues span generations. To see the parallels throughout the film was something not often expressed on the big screen. 
While I can not say “the book was better,” the film does have its flaws. There are story lines that I am sure were better fleshed out in the book (but unlike other films I have seen, the film does flow well without knowing the backstory). The film is a drama, so I expected a slower pace, but there were some parts that just seemed to drag. The film never lost my attention, but I do think it could have been just a few minutes shorter.  
I truly enjoyed this movie.  I give this movie an A. The acting was phenomenal. Brie Lawson is great in most things she does and Woody Harrelson can always be counted on to play a believable drunk. Even the child actors portrayed the characters unbelievably well. My favorite thing about this movie is that no matter how awful things may seem in the moment, you will always have memories of the good times.  

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