After reading the book, viewing this movie was mandatory for both of us. We both loved the book and we both liked the movie, which is not a bad result, given that literary adaptations aren't always successful.
I guess that to those that haven't read the book, the story might seem a little rushed towards the end, and I did feel like a couple segments were treated a little too summarily, but the product as a whole is good.
We all heard the horrible stories coming out of Afghanistan when the Taliban regime was in control. This intimate look at the lives of two little boys helps in understanding that terrible time in that country's history.
The actors, unknown over here, all do a very good job, including the two little Afghan kids that, I remember reading, had to be removed from the country in order to protect their lives before the movie premiered. Can you imagine living in a place where your life in is danger for a role you played in a movie when you were barely old enough to know what acting is?
I would heartily recommend this movie. It's an eye opener, even though the book is ten times more powerful and descriptive, so between the two, I'd pick the book.