User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 579 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 579

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  1. Jan 7, 2012
    10
    This is a great movie, highly recommend all to watch it. I saw both this version and the Swedish version, The English version was WAY superior. I cannot wait to read the book.
  2. Jan 21, 2012
    1
    I'll reiterate what others have said: this is a totally unnecessary remake of a much better Swedish film. Daniel Craig is a bore, the girl is merely adequate and this version is nowhere near as creepy as the Swedish version, which is available via streaming on Netflix. Director Fincher did much better in this genre with Se7en and Zodiac. Skip it!
  3. Dec 27, 2011
    7
    While it's certainly not as great of film as the Swedish version, this American remake still provides an intriguing mystery even if the plot points have all been covered before. The movie is over two hours long, but with the storyline and Fincher's pacing, the whole movie goes by rather fast. I already knew the storyline, and I never felt the movie drag. I can only imagine how fast this movie would fly for those unfamiliar with it. The performances are also solid. Craig plays a good Blomkvist, but the real standout is Rooney Mara. When I heard that "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was getting an American version, my prime concern was who would play Lisbeth Salander as credibly as Noomi Rapace did in the Swedish film. Then when I found out Mara was cast, I had my doubts. It was kind of like when I heard Heath Ledger would be playing the Joker in "The Dark Knight." But just like Ledger, Mara turned all of my doubts away the second she appeared in the film. I'm not going to go so far as to say I liked her better than Rapace, but the fact that she was able to go toe-to-toe with her was pretty damn impressive. She definitely has an exciting career ahead of her after giving one of the most transformational performances of the year. In fact, she is pretty much the only reason to see this if you have read the books or seen the Swedish film. If you haven't seen the Swedish movie be sure to do so before you see this. Like I mentioned before, the mystery here is intriguing, but in the Swedish version it is absolutely fascinating, and it all has to do with the pacing. Yes, the pacing is faster here causing the running time to breeze by. But the Swedish version played it smart. It took its time slowly enveloping you in the mystery. This is an element that's missing here, and it constantly keeps this version from reaching greatness. Also, Fincher spends far too much time developing a subplot at the very end. The Swedish version wrapped up the same subplot in a shorter amount of time, giving us the exact same information in a more efficient and focused way. What I would recommend is this. First, rent the Swedish movie and avoid seeing this in theaters. Then, rent this version when it comes out on DVD. It'll make for an interesting comparison to see how two expert directors (one unproven, the other legendary) helm the same story. Expand
  4. Jul 30, 2012
    10
    A remake done really well that complies with the plot and understand when it is terrible violence suffered by women and when they are horrible people who violate them. Excellent photography and the dark atmosphere and dramatic film, fantastic actors especially that of Rooney Mara, who has managed to give us a wonderful interpretation of Lisbeth.
  5. Jan 30, 2012
    10
    This movie was just brilliant. Arguably my favorite movie of the year David Fincher brought us something that only be described as cinematic art. Fincher struck gold with his Lisbeth, Rooney Mara. She steals the show as is made obvious by her much deserved Oscar nomination. She really should win in my opinion but probably won't because the Academy messes up most of the time. Really just a beautifully written, perfectly acted, and professionally directed work of art. Perfect. Expand
  6. Jun 9, 2013
    7
    meh, not really that much to say about this, it's enjoyable and adequately paced. having a boring tuesday afternoon and apparently nothing better to do watch this
  7. Dec 22, 2011
    5
    There is plenty of sex in the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which Liz and I saw last night at the AMC Van Ness at the first screening of this long awaited film.
    I must admit to being vaguely disappointed. Perhaps it is due to the fact I over hyped myself the past six months. Or the fact I have read all three books in the trilogy and seen each of the three Swedish
    films several times. Finally, I am susceptible to films spoken in another language. The story moves along at a brisk pace, the sound track by Trent Razor contributes to the atmosphere of this dark story involving, at its heart, a serial killer. The photography, set mostly in Sweden, is excellent
    I am unsure why the critics are so generally enthusiastic. The film is OK. But after all the self induced hyped I can only, sadly, award it a three or even 2.5 stars on the four scale.
    The David Fincher production appears to be more choppy than its Swedish original which flowed at a steadier pace. Perhaps it is the opening credits which Liz says remind her of a James Bond send-up. This opening sets the tenor for the movie, high energy and somewhat disjointed.
    Mara Rooney is getting all sort of positive buzz for her work as hacker queen Lisabeth Salander. Sheâ
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  8. Feb 22, 2013
    7
    Does the international sensation The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo live up to all the hype? In my estimation, no! There is no denying that the story is amazing. The book may be amazing, and the original Swedish version of the film might be equally amazing, but David Fincher's adaptation of it is not. From the very beginning it seems as thou he's trying to turn this story into something it's not, a sequel to Seven. The story is fantastic, however, there are so many odd names and so many mumbled lines thrown at you so quickly, that you're easily confused. At many points in this film I was confused, and even when the killer was revealed, my reaction was "which one is that?" Besides being confusing, the film has about an hour of footage that has nothing to do with the main story and just adds to the overall confusion of the film. Like I said, the story is really good, the actors were really good also, but the film was just very long and confusing, and to be honest, I really wasn't all that impressed by it. Expand
  9. Dec 25, 2011
    4
    I think the Fincher film is a reasonable effort but I found an interesting analysis of the original Swedish version at www.4thdimensionfilms.wordpress.com.

    It is a more succinct review.
  10. Dec 26, 2011
    1
    Edeltraud Dec 25, 2011 10 This may be an obnoxious observation, but if one of the themes is female empowerment why isn't the name of the movie "the woman with the dragon tattoo". Lis is in her 20's and an independent person ( despite guardianship). Clearly, she is exploited by the author and not respected as an adult.
  11. Jan 13, 2012
    7
    Although a negligible amount of minutes longer than the Swedish version, it has so many extra parts that are totally not necessary and detract from the main aspects of the film. I found the final act particularly dragging. The film was also too glossy for such a gritty story. That said, it is still a decent film due to the source material and overall good acting
  12. Jan 29, 2012
    9
    Millenium trilogy? What's that? I haven't read Larsson's books, I haven't seen the previous movies. Probably that's why I'm able to give this movie a sound 9. I don't care if this is a good adaptation of Larsson's book. What I can say is that I was simply captivated by this movie for 2,5 hours. The plot is good, makes you wonder, fear, doubt, and shock all the time. The gloomy atmosphere of a Northern Swedish town with a lingering mystery that surrounds the Vangners' possession is overwhelming and well presented. Trent Reznor's music is just great in stressing the hideous danger that creeps literally out of everything: iMacs, forests, photographs, neat Swedish homes etc. The acting of Craig is good (and just that), while the critic appraisals for Mara's performance are justified -- she is truly mesmerizing as Lisbeth Salander, and her acting, in which she speaks more with her eyes than actually words, is fantastic. The director of photography and the editing team did also a great job: fast-changing scenes truly capture all the necessary elements, gestures, and moments. What are you waiting for? Go watch it! Expand
  13. Dec 28, 2011
    2
    do you want to be entertained? then don't see this movie. do you want to think? don't see this movie. the Acting: it was good. everyone was believable The music: bad. It was used so little that when it was used I went "oh music, maybe something will happen now" and it did every time. the Plot: the movie is about a guy doing research. I have not read the books but I suspect they are about the girl with the dragon tatoo. the movie is not about her. It feels like it should be but it is about Daniel Craig and he does do anything but research the entire movie.

    there are 3 tense moments in the movie. they are not exciting and they play out exactly as would be expected. The reaction of the theatre was discomfort. everyone distracted themselves by talking to each other during these sense. they distract from the movie not add to it. which doesn't work when those scenes are all that happens during the 2.5h film
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  14. Dec 30, 2011
    3
    The only people rating this movie over 40% are those that have not seen the Swedish version. Do yourself a favor and watch that one rather than this crappy version.
  15. Jan 4, 2012
    8
    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. My first review on Metacritic and I couldn't be happier it's a David Fincher film. Not his best work, I'll reserve that for Fight Club and Se7en, but on par with his work on Zodiac and The Social Network. In fact, think of this as Zodiac with some flashes of Se7en depravity. Daniel Craig is solid as always but the film soars with Rooney Mara's Lisbeth Salander. I literally couldn't keep my eyes off her. Yes, Noomi Rapace was also great in the French version, but Mara's Salander is much more damaged, more timid, and in turn, scarier.

    Others have bemoaned the film's final act but I didn't mind it; mainly because of the final scene. Pitch perfect, and beautifully sets up the next film.
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  16. Jan 4, 2012
    7
    This is a very complicated case. Basically, this is a well done remake of a well done foreign film. Fincher played it safe with this one. I don't think he surpassed the original aside from the soundtrack. Ignoring that this was Fincher and the exceptional original film, I would give it 9/10. Considering that this was Fincher and a perfectly good Swedish film exists, I give it 7/10.
  17. Jan 7, 2012
    0
    I joined Metacritic to comment on this film. Count on Hollywood to botch a genuine classic - the Swedish original. I would have given it a lower rating except that people who have not either read the book(s) or seen the previous version(s) might like David Fincher's current flick. HOWEVER (where do I start), the current cast is OK, but not up to comparison - especially Fincher's Rooney Mara as super-sleuth Lisbeth Salandar vs. the amazing portrayal by Swedish actress, Noomi Rapace. And the relationship between LS and her male counterpart, Mikael Blomkvist, seemed pretty superficial - not the intense mysterious personality of the original heroine. All that aside, here are my biggest beefs with the plot: (1) the court-appointed guardian of Lisbeth, Nils Bjurman, was cast showing a soft side - totally in contrast to the evil, sadistic villain we grew to hate in the book. (2) In the rape revenge scene, how was the tied-up Nils Bjurman supposed to use the wire cutters left him by Lisbeth to free himself - with his knees? (3) Why does the ultra-careful, think-of-everything Lisbeth toss her jewelry in a sink and blond wig out the train window, exposing herself to capture after you know what (if you read the book)? And finally, (4) the ending - since Fincher ignored the actual story plot - didn't make any sense connecting the many, many dots in this incredibly intriguing story. If you really want to see a better version, see the original on DVD - either sub-titled or with English dubbing (which wasn't bad). I'm glad I have all three Swedish films in my library - absolute classics! But pass on Hollywood's unfortunate flop. Expand
  18. Jan 8, 2012
    9
    After seeing the film, I was left with the impression that you only truly get to understand and enjoy this film if you have read the book before hand. I got the feeling that if I hadn't read the book, I would be left confused and unable to appreciate everything that happened. Having said that, I was intrigued to see how the story would be condensed into a film, and enjoyed this interpretation immensely. The cast are very good, and Rooney Mara was brilliant as Lisbeth Salander. Would recommend highly! Expand
  19. Jan 8, 2012
    7
    Being a fan both of the books and the Swedish film, I found it very hard to objectively review the American version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Over Xmas I got my hands on the original extended version of the Swedish films (9 hour miniseries) which I am in the process of making my way through. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of days between seeing the Swedish version and the American version in the Theatre. It was very hard to look past all of the small differences made for the American film. There were some really good aspects to the American film that are worth mentioning. I definitely felt that both the tone, music and cinematography of David Fincher's Film was superior to the Swedish film. I also enjoyed both Stellan Skarsgard and Daniel Craig's performances. I think anyone who goes to see this film, who has not yet been exposed to either the books or the Swedish movie will be blown away by it. There were a few annoyances thought - and if you have seen the other film or read the book - it may reduce your enjoyment of the film. The terrible accents were a distraction. I hated that they gave Mikhail's character a daughter (I can't help but feel that this was only added to satisfy some censor's want to show the negative consequence of Mikhail's womanizing) and I liked the harder Lisbeth of the Swedish version (not that Rooney Mara was weak, or that her acting was bad, but she came across a bit softer than Rapace's Lisbeth). That said I think it was still a very good film. Expand
  20. Jan 18, 2012
    8
    David Fincher never fails me, even including the underwhelming THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008) (which I think I seriously need a re-watch), the American remake of THWTDT is as excellent as its Swedish archetype if not excels in every aspect. Karen Oâ
  21. Jan 10, 2012
    7
    The movie wasn't perfect, but it was good. The actors were amazing and Lisbeth Salander came to life in my opinion. At first I thought a lot of the book was left out, but if you have read the book you can tell why a lo was left out, yet the movie was still almost three hours. See it.
  22. Jan 11, 2012
    8
    Not nearly as dark as Id hoped, but a really great movie regardless. I can't wait to read the novel, which as always I hear is better. Someone said this is a remake of a foreign film; I saw this one on a lark with a friend the other day - had no idea!
  23. Jan 11, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is an incredible movie. Having seen the original Swedish version of the movie I was able to compare them both. Both takes on Lisbeth Salander are amazing and each actress brings something a little different to the role that's one of the most difficult characters to play in any movie in a while. The U.S. version of the film is more stylish and clean than the original - the opening credits play like a James Bond opener complete with a cover of a Led Zeppelin song by the always awesome Karen O. In addition, Fincher adds an extra 20 minutes to the movie after the big climax that work perfectly to extend on Lisbeth as a character. While this also works as a more elaborate ending wind-down than the original, I agree with the critic that said that neither movie is superior to the other as they compliment each other very well and ultimately make for an even more solid understanding and likability of the story and characters. That being said, you don't have to have seen the original to enjoy this movie. It's still hard not to get wrapped up in the mysterious case until the very end and find compassion for Lisbeth as the movie unfolds. But while there are so many good things about the movie just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into by seeing it - there are multiple scenes that are difficult to watch but are equally as necessary to the story... maybe not the dismembered cat, though. But once you get passed the darker scenes what you're left with is an incredible story and film with gifted actors and actresses portraying characters who, regardless of appearance, prove to be incredibly human. Rooney Mara's take on Lisbeth is easily the standout of the film as she brings a needed vulnerability to the role but commands your attention every time she's on screen - I couldn't take my eyes off her. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that it'll be very hard to find any complaints with David Fincher's take on 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'. It's easily worth seeing again and I can't wait for the much-needed sequels in the, hopefully, near future. Expand
  24. Jan 26, 2012
    6
    I was a little disappointed with this. I'm a huge Fincher fan, recently The Social Network really surprised me considering it's dull subject matter, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat.

    This however, I found fairly dull. The payoffs were pretty week, the casting rather dry. I found the score lacking at times, and far more of it was predictable than should've been. The
    relationship was poorly developed, and it's not something I'd recommend to either Hollywood fans, or fans of good cinema. It wasn't a bad movie at all, but it just wasn't particularly remarkable in any way. Expand
  25. Jan 14, 2012
    1
    I was really disappointed by Fincher's remake. It pales in comparison to the Swedish version. I guess it would be acceptable if you haven't already been spoiled by the superiority of the original.
  26. Jan 15, 2012
    8
    Well, I can't help comparing it to the sweedish version which I loved. I loved the first half of this one betterr but. Was just not as satisfied at the end I was confused with the last half hour, I need to see it again. Over all great movie and definetly worth seeing. Extremlygraphic and disturbing at times...be prepared.
  27. Apr 6, 2012
    7
    This is an engagind movie, yet, that is all it is. I heard so much about it! I thought it would be original and gripping, not just a fun, 'refined' cliche but what I found was that even though it has good elements, The Girls With the Dragon Tattoo is still little more than an average movie. This film recurs to stereotypical situations and characters to create tension. They are well developed but the movie lacks depth. Still, I enjoyed it so I went and rented the 2nd and 3rd sequels They were bad! Truly disappointing...Boring!. This one at least, has a defined plot and keeps the suspense until the end. Expand
  28. Jan 21, 2012
    9
    I'm one of those snobs who feels like the original Swedish version was a little better. The first half of this version felt rushed while the latter half seemed extended--drawn out for every minute it was worth. I did think the casting was superb and was glad they didn't water down the sensitive parts for the American audience. All in all a solid effort.
  29. Apr 1, 2012
    7
    I liked it. Solid performances by the cast. It was an interesting mystery that was nice to see unfold. I think the huge flaw of the movie is that it was a bit too long for my taste. Other than that, It was good.
  30. Jan 28, 2012
    10
    Undoubtedly, the best motion picture of the year. Besides the great screenplay and perfect music it has magnificent view in every moment. Outstanding performance of Rooney Mara made this film. It is more than thriller, more than drama. It is the whole life in the one film.
  31. Jan 29, 2012
    9
    This movie exceeds my expectations of my all-time favorite book. When seeing it, I was worried that it would be a rehashed clone of the Swedish hit movie, but, to my delight, I was wrong. Once the opening credits started, I knew I was in for the ride of my life. This movie, led by supreme acting by Mara Rooney, is artistic and moody. It is deeply disturbing, and does not shy away from its dark subject matter. The only complaint I can say is that for a movie set in Sweden, the accents are from all over the world. Daniel Craig never drops his British accent, and even Stellan Skarsgard lacks a Swedish accent. Only Mara Rooney embraces the role completely, and takes the movie from a good movie and ensures it to be a mind-blowing movie. Collapse
  32. Jan 31, 2012
    9
    An amazing movie: definitely one of the best of the year of 2011. Craig and Mara were gods... A truly great thriller. The opening scene is perfectely obscure and awesome; its even appropriated to say: legendary! The movie begins very calm and starts to speed up. David Fincher - I did not liked that much The Social Network, but this one? This one you got it right. Keep up the good work (like Benjamin Button and Fight Club...)! I strongly recommend! Expand
  33. Feb 3, 2012
    10
    Best remake so far,,if you already watched the original dont watch it anymore,,Rooney Mara was awesome,very good acting,,she deserve an oscar for this,,Daniel Craig very good,,and a cool opening,,thuoght i was watching james bond filmm..
  34. Feb 4, 2012
    7
    Rooney Mara vs. Noomi Rapace, that is the question. There is no real way to review this movie for me without comparing the two versions. I really love the Swedish version, so I was a little hesitant about seeing the American remake. However, a friend told me that is was good, and I should see it, so I did. This is what I think; the American remake is a solid movie, and in some cases it may be more true to the book (thatâ Expand
  35. Feb 8, 2012
    0
    This film is utterly unsatisfying.
    Not even slightly entertaining, some of the performances were utterly laughable, and the script was horrifyingly bad.
  36. Feb 9, 2012
    2
    I will tell you that I didn't read the book so I cannot make any comparison with the movie. The movie though is totally disappointing: bad acting, slow pace, annoying and totally unjustified sex scenes... Also I'm wondering why did they need to remake an already boring swedish movie with british and american actors playing swedish characters?
  37. Feb 15, 2012
    8
    David Fincher doesn't need great source material to turn in celluloid excellence: The Social Network proved that if one does than something great will occur, but the original 'Dragon Tattoo' novels are not such material. The Swedish adaptation left me cold feeling back in 2009, but given Fincher's track record, I felt like I owed this film a shot. When the opening scene of the film opens with Vanger's phone call, I started to get antsy, is this going to be a shot-for-shot redux? No. No, it's not. The pulsing opening credits scored to Karen O's "The Immigrant Song" made me quite aware of that.

    Harriet Vanger has been missing for the better part of forty years, given that piece of information the fact that Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) keeps receiving portraits from his niece is disconcerting. Enter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig). Facing a major libel suit and perhaps jail time, the last thing the journalist wants to do is add another opportunity to be wrong again.

    Before Vanger hands the investigation over to Blomkvist to find out why Harriet may have disappearedâ
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  38. Feb 19, 2012
    10
    David Fincher's great direction...
    Rooney Mara's remarkable performance...
    Steven Zailian's well-written screenplay...
    Easily one of the best works Fincher has done...
  39. Mar 3, 2012
    8
    Hopefully is the best movie of 2011, quite interesting script, two characters as different as they seems, a perfect combination as a team. Just one well done movie.
  40. Mar 7, 2012
    10
    This movie is a modern masterpiece. Incredibly well done, with amazing performances and a golden direction from David Ficher. Far superior than the swedish version in all the possible ways, and true to the book, this is what Dragon Tattoo fans were waiting for.
  41. Apr 12, 2012
    5
    I loved that some of the cast went for scandinavian lilts to their accents, and some of them didn't. She's great, but the whole thing is such obvious trash, that the director's good taste and desire for realism makes the whole thing a bummer instead of a juicy guilty pleasure. Definitely a miss, despite the craft on display.
  42. Aug 1, 2012
    7
    Simply put, good but not amazing. I prefer the original miniseries from Sweden (the 6-part series, not the condensed 3 films, which remove almost 1 hour of content). While this was faithful for the script, one of the main problems for me was the English language, as it does not fit the setting of the film and loses some of the realism and grit present in the originals. That being said, Craig and Mara are a convincing pair, which makes this a good alternative for people who dislike reading subtitles. Expand
  43. Mar 14, 2012
    8
    This movie may not be perfect but it definitely grows on you, and Fincher has still got it. Rooney Mara, who bagged two nominations (the Golden Globes and the Oscars as well) for her goth-punk character Lisbeth Salander, pours her heart and soul into it . Her performance is the best part of the movie. But mind you, this movie isn't for the faint of heart, But a must watch for Rooney's Electrifying performance as Lisbeth! Expand
  44. Mar 16, 2012
    10
    LOVED THE CASTING. DAVID FINCHERS PERSONAL TWIST. ALL OF IT. Haven't read the books or the seen the first takes of the films, but I loved this one and hopes Fincher signs on to Direct the second and so on and so forth.
  45. Feb 5, 2013
    8
    I liked this movie. The whole investigation is so captivating and casts were great. Rooney Mara is just amazing being Lisbeth, so real and raw. I totally believed that person that she is. Plot and script were also good. Although some parts can be quite boring, but you just can't take your eyes away from Lisbeth, the girl with the dragon tattoo.
  46. Mar 25, 2012
    1
    Too much un-needed explicit sex, and rape scenes if it weren't for the gratuitous sex scenes it would have been an enjoyable movie. The plot was good, acting was good. Had to fast forward many scenes, especially the rape scene and the oral sex scene. I don't know why they choose to put the trash in this movie.
  47. Nov 11, 2012
    8
    Why did I watch it?
    I am a massive fan of Steig Larsson's series of books so I was keen to see Hollywood's take on the story. I've haven't seen the original Swedish versions of the films yet.

    What's it all about?
    Based on the book of the same name and set in Sweden, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tells the story of disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and extrovert
    freelance researcher Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) investigate the disappearance of teenager Harriet Vanger decades earlier. As the pair attempt to hunt down the murderer they become entangled in an estranged family with shady history.

    Should you watch it?
    TGWTDT is essentially a cold case whodunit but what sets the story apart is not the complexity of the wealthy Vanger family and their whereabouts on that day but the characters investigating the mystery. Blomkvist is fresh from losing a libel lawsuit and accepts the case as a sabbatical from work while Lisbeth Salander is now probably one of the most iconic female characters of recent times. A gifted researcher and computer hacker under state guardianship due to a chequered adolescence, Salander only enters the story in its main sense half way through. The first half introduces her character's issues, her initiative and resolve in the face of difficulty. Despite being a whodunit, as the title suggests, the story is really about Salander.

    I enjoyed the US film version and thought David Fincher managed to do the book justice squeezing just enough detail from the book into the two and half hours without compromising some of the more extreme scenes. I was concerned that some of the complexity of the various generations of the Vanger family would be lost in the translation from book to film but Fincher managed to explain this carefully enough with visual aids for it to get across to the audience.

    The faults with the film are similar to the book in that the postscript ending seems just as tagged onto the end but this is a small gripe and it rests with Larsson's decision to set up the next instalment here. Rooney Mara is excellent as Salander, and the production team did a great job designing her appearance true to the story.
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  48. Mar 29, 2012
    8
    Good. Love the actors and the the tone of the movie. Its has some plot issues. It can be watched but don't really let under 17 people watched as they will either be board or just freak out as is a complex story.
  49. Mar 29, 2012
    10
    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo es la mejor pelicula que he visto desde hace mas de un año. La actuacion de Rooney Mara es perfecta y magistral. Daniel Craig nos da otra solida demostracion de su talento y es aun mejor que la version sueca. Me encanto y aunque dura casi 3 horas me parecio intrigante y inteligente.
  50. Apr 11, 2012
    10
    Engaging, intelligent, fantastic performances all round, masterfully shot and directed, David Fincher didn't put a foot wrong with this beautifully crafted thriller.
  51. Apr 21, 2012
    5
    I must admit I was disappointed with Mara's performance as Lisbeth. Lisbeth is a complicated character with complex emotions who suffers from constant inner turmoil. I was looking forward to seeing an actress's attempt to convey such complex behavior. And after all this is a story driven by a female lead character. Unfortunately I can't even recall seeing any versatility or depth in Mara's performance. She had only one facial expression, that of contempt for anyone who was present. And her delivery of lines was not memorable in the least bit. I believe what made this movie successful was the director's ability to put Mara into situations that were interesting. In conclusion, don't watch this movie if you expect an inspiring or moving portrayal of Ms. Salander. *Definitely give the English dubbed version of the Swedish movie a try, the voice acting is excellent, and quickly you can't even notice that its dubbed. Expand
  52. Apr 24, 2012
    9
    Great movie! I have not yet read the books, but I definitely did not expect the plot to be what it was. Mara Rooney was fantastic as well! I think that her role was very inspirational for women, and definitely got my adrenaline going, that's what makes a good movie-when the audience can connect with the actors through emotions and actions. Can't wait to read the books!
  53. May 22, 2012
    8
    Another Fincher classic, that's all I could think after leaving this film feeling satisfied as always. I had not seen the original Swedish film before I saw this (I did a few weeks after), and found that both had definite strengths and weaknesses. Call me a sucker for Fincher's style, but I preferred this version. Mara is perfect, Daniel Craig is charming and reeks of class as always, and everyone else is absolutely top notch. The process of the investigation leading up to the climax is all masterfully done by Fincher, he demonstrates further that there is no one better at building modern murder mysteries. The only instance in which this film falters is the last 20 minutes, after an intense climax and satisfying resolution we are treated to more of the story. It feels a little drudging and after dealing with so much ferocity in the last two hours it was difficult to become invested in the separate story (introduced in the very beginning for Craig's character). Either way, this is required viewing for any Fincher fan. Expand
  54. May 19, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Yes, I have watched the 2009 Swedish film. Yes, I have read the book trilogy. No, I do not think David Fincher's adaptation is worse than the Swedish film. It does not mean I think it is great either. However hard it must've been to adapt Stieg Larsson's trilogy to the big screen, I feel this film came closer to achieving the goal than the Swedish version, which - and I'm not speaking metaphorically - made me fall asleep (and I'm used to watching Bergman in Swedish!). The characters are well constructed, and I feel the actors playing them are better suited than the ones in the previous version (I mean, Erika is supposed to be attractive, Lisbeth is supposed to be a sociopath). Rooney Mara shows she has the potential to be one of Hollywood's great names. The photography is wonderful, with every single frame capturing the scenery beautifully. I would recommend this film to a friend, but I would specially recommend it to someone who has no plans to read the trilogy. Expand
  55. Aug 18, 2012
    7
    I've seen both the original & this remake and I have to say that although Fincher's version obviously looks better, has better production design and values and cool soundscapes by NIN they both have a very similar feel and it's probably a matter of personal taste which one you prefer. But if you have seen one you don't real need to see the other.
  56. Jul 3, 2012
    10
    Rooney Mara nails Lisbeth Sandler's character, even better than Noomi Rapace. Daniel Craig also does a good job playing what he does best, an FBI agent. It's long because it is one of the few movies faithful to a book and can actually bring the emotion of it. From 2012's adapted screenplays, you won't be able to find one as faithful as this one and The Hunger Games, thanks to great acting and character relevance, as well as nice elaborate action sequences. Expand
  57. Jul 21, 2012
    9
    I thought this was excellent. Being a big fan of the book and Swedish film, I was prepared to be disappointed, especially after Noomi Rapace was soo good in the original. Rooney Mara's take on Salander is different but just as good, and I was really impressed by the film. Less depth but more polished.
  58. Aug 10, 2012
    8
    Compelling and, at times, brutally graphic mystery that entertains and signals the arrival of Rooney Mara as a star, but runs about a half hour too long, dragging at the finish.
  59. Oct 3, 2012
    9
    This movie was shocking in many ways - an excellent adaptation of the book, which was a shock - on par or better than its foreign counterpart - and a very engrossing cinematic experience, not to mention an incredible journey into the depravity of the darkest of mankind. I found this movie hard to watch at times but was compelled to not shy away as it hit me in the face with the reality of the book and the deep understanding I felt toward the characters. The acting is superb and the soundtrack is some of Trent Reznor's best and most mature work to date. Expand
  60. Jan 1, 2014
    4
    It has moments of grimness and Rooney Mara scenes that desperate teenagers will love but The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has unbearable pacing and a scattered plot that doesn't really make sense.
  61. Nov 9, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was really disappointed with the movie, Lizbeth is the story her skills & life is the essence of the story & they butchered her part. There was nothing to show her computer hacking / programming super abilities which are essential in her role & her life.
    They used the general plot of the story & neglect the essence of it.
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  62. Sep 2, 2013
    8
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is full of twisted characters that need to be locked away from the rest of us!It`s a mystery movie that mostly takes place on an Island that feels like a cold prison for the privileged.The Main character is odd but interesting. I didn`t know much about this movie but was surprised to like it so much since it`s really not the kind of movie I normally watch.
  63. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    Featuring an uncommonly sensational performance from Rooney Mara, David Fincher's take on "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" proves to be a cerebral, vicious and worthy addition to his repertoire overall.
  64. Jan 6, 2013
    6
    Well, it's complicated thriller far enough! The naked cruelty limits the sensitive audience while the tightly prescribed story keeps you deep breathing.
  65. Feb 24, 2013
    8
    After a sloppy hour, where you feel like you just made a mistake by starting this movie, the plot starts to catch up and the characters start to unfold. I haven't read the book, but the plot totally hooked me, and I loved every bit of it when the movie started to progress. Rooney Mara did a superb job on portraying Lisbeth.
  66. Mar 6, 2013
    10
    First of all, I'm a huge fan of the original Swedish film and Noomi Rapace's fantastic performance, but this one, OMG. Simply said, David Fincher's 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' is a phenomenal masterpiece. I've watched this film five times and I still can't get enough of it. I can write hundreds of essays about this film, it's a perfect film for film students to deconstruct and study about, but moreover, it's incredible entertainment. It's impossible to talk about the film without raving about Rooney Mara's hypnotic performance, which I believe is better than Noomi Rapace's performance. This girl does it all in this film, she is completely unafraid of the camera, it's as if David Fincher yelled ''action'' from another closed room and let her do her job on her own or with a cast mate in another. I seriously can't wait for the sequel... Expand
  67. Mar 8, 2014
    9
    Here comes an interesting and engaging thriller that presents itself with all kinds of twists and turns. While it may be to grotesque at times it still engages you as an audience member guessing what's going to happen next. The movie has a great cast led by Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara delivering a true oscar nominated performance. It also looks outstanding with its bleek setting and tremendous cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth. Overall, it's an outstanding fast-paced thriller filled with twists and turns. I give it an A! Expand
  68. May 17, 2013
    7
    I liked it, but I wasn't blown away by the movie. Even at two and a half hours, the story still feels cramped. This should come as no surprise, as the original book is about 600 pages of solid writing. Some elements had to be changed/cut out for the sake of pacing and cohesiveness, but overall the movie mirrors the book almost completely. Daniel Craig gives a good performance, but I felt like he was somewhat limited by the script. Rooney Mara fares better, bringing Lisbeth Salander to life, but I can't say that her performance was Oscar worthy.

    While the movie is a good one, it is far from amazing. I still think the book is a much better telling of the story, and the limitations imposed by the movie medium do show. Then again, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a far better adaptation than most book-to-movie flicks.
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  69. Jun 25, 2013
    9
    This film is a masterpiece. I've seen the Swedish one I think) and I have to say that the american is much better. The actors are fascinating. Daniel Craig, which is not one of my favorite actors impressed me and Rooney Mara was beyond excellence. The plot though it is based on a book is smart and it has suspense through the whole movie. I can't wait to see the next one. Plus, David Fincher did a great job in this one. A must-watch Expand
  70. Jan 11, 2014
    9
    Thanks to David Fincher, the world now has Rooney Mara to admire (and stare at). She plays the Goth misfit Lisbeth in this film, her first lead role, and she’s actually pretty good. She does revenge particularly well. A fierce character, while not dominating every scene, Rooney dominates the film. She is the one we think a hour later.
    I will not try and compare her performance with Noomi
    Repace's, whom I also love to watch. Both do Lisbeth their
    own way.

    When Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) gets into some political hot water and needs to get out of Stockholm, he takes a job as an investigator in the Swedish countryside trying to solve the mystery of a disappeared girl, but there are people that do not want him to to find the answers. Eventually he teams up with Lisbeth and they work on the case together.

    In the first part of the film, the intersecting story lines between the two main characters are done with skill. Many scenes are not action or dialogue based, yet all they all add to the story. The decision to film this version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Sweden, as opposed to swapping it out for some American city, was a well made one.

    Since so much of the story is told in images, kudos goes to the editors Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall. Both are long time collaborators of Fincher, and they’ve both won multiple Oscars, including one for this film. I get the suspicion that they worked extra overtime on this movie; there are just tons and tons of scenes, a complete 180 from the style of Panic Room.

    The chemistry between Rooney and Craig really builds throughout the film as the two work great together. The irregularity of the pairing makes it much more interesting and intriguing to follow than most typical, on-screen romances.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not the most depressing of all Fincher productions, but it’s still pretty low down there, and I mean this in the best way possible. It’s either always raining or cold outside while sometimes this envorinment is contrasted against interior scenes that are pristine, white, clean. Tension. Clean rooms don't seem to apear often in Fincher films, and as expected there are many others that are dark and dirty.

    The film ends in a reasonably satisfying way leaving us hanging, waiting for the sequel.

    Errata: I could have gone without the final Stockholm scene when Lisbeth is riding her motorbike through the streets as it snows. A similar situation occurred in The Wolverine (2013) where Logan rode a motorbike through the mountains in Japanese winter. These situations would never occur. Motorbikes and snow are never a very convincing combination (for me anyway).
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  71. Mar 31, 2014
    8
    Best editing in a film adaptation you will see this side of the decade. The film runs at an arduous pace, yet that is welcomed by the audience due to its gripping story. Rooney Mara is strong, rugged, yet very human as Salander.
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 22, 2011
    70
    Has much to recommend it - high-end craftsmanship, a singular heroine, a labyrinthine mystery, an intriguing milieu - yet lacks a vital spark.
  2. 70
    David Fincher's American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adds nothing to the previous adaptation, but it's certainly the more evocative piece of filmmaking.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 22, 2011
    63
    From him (Fincher), we get – what? – a faithful adaptation that brings the dazzle but shortchanges on the daring.