Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Dec 20, 2011
    The remake is an altogether leaner, meaner, more high-powered, stylish, and deftly directed affair, though similarly hampered by a too-long narrative fuse.
  2. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Dec 21, 2011
    The task of dramatizing this proved too difficult for Niels Arden Oplev when he directed a Swedish adaptation in 2009, but as Fincher demonstrated in "Social Network," he knows how to make information technology eerily seductive. Unfortunately Larsson's salacious plot elements - mass murder, Nazism, and the like - feel just as shallow as they did in the earlier version.
  3. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Dec 20, 2011
    Fincher is a master of mood and atmosphere, but this chilly, efficient movie never transcends the shallowness of its source material.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 20, 2011
    This film's cold, almost robotic conception of Salander as a twitchy, anorexic waif feels more like a stunt than a complete character, and so the best part of the reason we care enough to endure all that mayhem has gone away.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 20, 2011
    Seeing Fincher's version is like getting a Christmas gift of a book you already have. This edition has a nicer binding and prettier illustrations than your beloved old paperback, but it's essentially a reproduction of the same old dragon. Dragon Tat-two.
  6. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Dec 19, 2011
    There are waves of brilliantly orchestrated anxiety and confusion but also long stretches of drab, hackneyed exposition that flatten the atmosphere. We might be watching "Cold Case" or "Criminal Minds," but with better sound design and more expressive visual techniques.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 19, 2011
    He (Fincher) gives in to its mimicry of an Agatha Christie parlor game. Only instead of Miss Marple, the old-gal crime-solver with piercing blue eyes, we get Lisbeth Salander, pierced goth-girl investigator with raccoon eyes.
  8. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Dec 13, 2011
    Fincher's film tips much more in the indulging direction of crowd Comic-Con - delighting the franchise junkie above all other considerations.
  9. 60
    You'll be happier with the film if you don't expect fidelity to source material, but that doesn't mean you'll hate it if you loved Niels Arden Oplev's movie.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 630 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 176
  1. Dec 21, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I have special love for the original Swedish version which I listed as my fourth favorite film of 2010. If that movie didn't exist, I may have very different feelings about this one - for good AND for bad. Rooney Mara is terrific in this role, but I don't think she's necessarily better than Noomi. Noomi had that smoldering, caged heat feeling about her. It was more of a masculine slow burn, whereas Rooney is much more feminine, and her character is a bit less focused. Both are solid in their roles, but I think I prefer Noomi's take on it. The Swedish version focuses much more on the the mystery of Harriet's death, and it's much more process-oriented, which I preferred. The Fincher film glosses over much of the detail of that investigation ,and I feel that if I hadn't seen the original, I might have been a bit lost with regard to the family tree, the unlocking of the old photographs, and the tic toc on the day of the car crash on the bridge. I also liked the original's resolution of the murder mystery storyline much more, with Harriet coming back from Australia - the acting and the sense of relief was palpable and enormously satisfying. Comparatively I didn't feel that Christopher Plummer cared nearly as much to see her. Now, on the other hand, the "theft" sequence with Mara draining bank accounts and her subsequent show of real love for Bloomquist at the end was much more fleshed out - and to a more satisfying degree - in the Fincher film. The bottom line for me is that there's nothing like the first time, and this film simply didn't stack up to the power of original which really did cut like a knife. To me, it's a classic. To compare these two to another pair of films - I loved Let The Right One One, the Swedish original, but Let Me In, the American version, stacked up very well against it. It brought something special to the story - perhaps more so than than Fincher's Dragon Tattoo does. ALL this being said, I certainly was entertained by Fincher's movie and recommend it. Full Review »
  2. Dec 31, 2011
    The best movie I've seen all year. Mara Rooney deserved top billing! Struck me as much as Saving Private Ryan: fascinating to watch, parts ofThe best movie I've seen all year. Mara Rooney deserved top billing! Struck me as much as Saving Private Ryan: fascinating to watch, parts of it were shocking, and I spent a long time thinking about it afterward. Full Review »
  3. Dec 21, 2011
    David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is exceptional. I write this having read the novel only one week before. It was amazing toDavid Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is exceptional. I write this having read the novel only one week before. It was amazing to see a master filmmaker lend his vision and excellent craft to a story that I truly enjoyed. Fans of the novel will note that a few side-plots are deleted and unfortunately a very revelatory journey at the end of the story is omitted. But the the detailed character development, thriller, mystery, romance (?), and real-life horror elements are all there.

    For a few days I've been reading deprecatory reviews that said this is a "slicker" version than the original Swedish film. They were correct in that it is more streamlined and wrong in that it is the worse for it. The book is 682 pages, how do you fit that into 2.5 hours? The director and screen-writer have to move plot points along at a brisk pace.

    Immediately after seeing Fincher's version I watched the original Swedish movie online. The difference is night and day. I loved the original movie when I saw it in an art-house theater a few years ago. But now that I've seen Fincher's vision? David Fincher and his Director of Photography bring a true cinematic brilliance to what is at first a whodunnit and then turns out to be a mix of emotional character study and real life horror on many levels.

    Daniel Craig as the male lead is great but maybe not as "real" and haggard as Nyqvist in the original film. But the standout of the whole movie, above and beyond the harrowing script, is Rooney Mara's portrayal of Lisbeth Salander.

    Where Noomi Rapace excellently portrayed Salander in the original film as an aggressive punk, Mara conveys social and emotional scars not just through her appearance (peircings and black leather) but also through her physicality and dialogue. Mara's Salander averts her gaze from the world, but when she looks into your eyes you see pain and fear that will quickly turn to aggression. In the original film Salander's sexuality is an extension of her aggressiveness. Here it's a crack in her armor that makes her human. My only complaint is not in the length of the denouement but how the details go by so quickly. All in all, f@#king brilliant. I want to see it again soon.
    Full Review »