Not by much, both very good. This blog is mostly a comparison of the movie to its theatrical counter-part. If you don’t want to know or care, stop reading.
First of all, Anne Hathaway out-acted and out-sang Hugh Jackman who was not bad either. Amanda Seyfried, as adult Cosette, was awesome. Samantha Barks made Éponine so much alive and memorable.
You expect better acting and scenes from a movie. After all, theater is, comparatively, much limited than what a camera can do. In this regard, the movie did not disappoint. 19th century France/Paris was realistic. The miserable was indeed. If you have never been to the musical, the movie is not a bad substitute.
There is a magic about live performances. I can somehow better connected with a real persons singing on the stage. The movie is not bad at all, particularly with better acting. I am very impressed by those supposedly real singing. It is not easy to be an actor these days. They can probably out-sing many on-stage performers.
In a strange way, Javert’s falling into the river is less dramatic than the theater, yes, even with the bone crushing. I also felt the opening scene for Thénadier was more comical and enjoyable in the theater too.
I highly recommend this movie, even for those who have been to the theater.