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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 669 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 669

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User Reviews

  1. Apr 25, 2016
    7
    No one should making the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo look so dull just by looking at it. It's not what you're thinking. It's the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that makes us want to wear one just for the heck of it.
  2. Jan 2, 2012
    8
    If you've seen the original Swedish version, there's not much new here. If you haven't, this is the American-language adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel about a journalist (Daniel Craig) and his unusual assistant (Rooney Mara). He's hired by a wealthy old man to solve the mystery of his missing granddaughter, but discovers a series of brutal murders. Meanwhile, she's got her own problems,If you've seen the original Swedish version, there's not much new here. If you haven't, this is the American-language adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel about a journalist (Daniel Craig) and his unusual assistant (Rooney Mara). He's hired by a wealthy old man to solve the mystery of his missing granddaughter, but discovers a series of brutal murders. Meanwhile, she's got her own problems, when she's enlisted to help him on his search. This film, which runs 2:38, unfolds with a slow anxiety, but never really manages much tension. Even the violent scenes are underplayed. Perhaps it's that cold Swedish outlook. The musical score is often pervasive and occasionally in the way. Director David Fincher has crafted a compelling, but slightly-confusing film. Expand
  3. Apr 10, 2012
    9
    Brutal, dark, intense, shocking, interesting, and enjoyable, these are just some of the words I would use to describe this movie, it's fantastic but not in the way you'd expect, honestly after watching this I was pretty surprised at what I just watched, let me just tell you this it's earned it's R rating, and that this is definitely one you don't want to end up in the hands of a kid, theBrutal, dark, intense, shocking, interesting, and enjoyable, these are just some of the words I would use to describe this movie, it's fantastic but not in the way you'd expect, honestly after watching this I was pretty surprised at what I just watched, let me just tell you this it's earned it's R rating, and that this is definitely one you don't want to end up in the hands of a kid, the plot is enjoyable, it has a fantastic soundtrack, and Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara both deliver outstanding and exceptional performances, Rooney Mara's performance as Lisabeth in particular was phenomenal, she made her character come to life and made me want to learn everything about Lisabeth, and I hope they make the sequels just so I can, it's an outstanding, intense, and fantastic movie experience that I highly recommend, just be sure your ready for it first. Expand
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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'sDoes 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
  7. Sep 24, 2012
    7
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a really great thriller with good central performances. It has just the right amount of creepiness to give it that nerve-wrangling edge. It isn't quite perfect, however. It's overlong and has a far too many subplots (probably set ups for the sequel). That said, the meat of the movie is fantastic... It just needed a little bit more of the fat cut off.
  8. j30
    Mar 25, 2012
    7
    When I heard David Fincher was remaking the excellent Swedish film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I wasn't as worried as most people were. Fincher, having made Seven and Fight Club, I thought the source material was right up his alley. The film itself doesn't surpass the Swedish original, but is well acted and a well made film. The score is excellent by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. IWhen I heard David Fincher was remaking the excellent Swedish film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I wasn't as worried as most people were. Fincher, having made Seven and Fight Club, I thought the source material was right up his alley. The film itself doesn't surpass the Swedish original, but is well acted and a well made film. The score is excellent by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. I guess the one thing is missing is the discomfort from the original. Expand
  9. Dec 21, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
  10. 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
  11. Jun 12, 2016
    8
    A beautiful, touching and sometimes horrifying film. Rooney Mara beautifully captures the character of Lisbeth and her chemistry with Craig is wonderful. The best part? The score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
  12. Dec 6, 2012
    9
    I loved it! I personally liked it a lot more than the Swedish version (both are brilliant films). A little long. Rooney Mara is brilliant, we'll be hearing about her in the future. The opening credits are super stylish and epic.
  13. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    It’s quite an accomplishment when a fine young actress with lesser known credentials than her A-List co-star, manages to steal the spotlight away in dramatic fashion, Rooney Mara does exactly that to Daniel Craig, this remake of the 2009 Swedish film packs quite the punch in terms of mystery and intrigue, it drew me in with the separate storylines which eventually intertwined, but the leadIt’s quite an accomplishment when a fine young actress with lesser known credentials than her A-List co-star, manages to steal the spotlight away in dramatic fashion, Rooney Mara does exactly that to Daniel Craig, this remake of the 2009 Swedish film packs quite the punch in terms of mystery and intrigue, it drew me in with the separate storylines which eventually intertwined, but the lead performances are the real gold stars of the film. Lisbeth Solander is the girl in question, and what a fascinating specimen this girl is, underneath the gothic clothing, erratic eating and one night stands, Solander has a brilliant mind, but a fragile state is the even ground, we know that she has been raising herself from a young age, she does what she wants and really because she can, dresses as she does probably due to a lack of opinion from others and has taught herself to remain alone and isolated from society, yet when she is faced with a problem she will try her hardest to figure out a way around it, including her appointed guardian (Yorick van Wageningen) abusing her to the point of desperation, she isn’t a girl to be taken lightly, but she finds an unlikely friend in the man she was hired to investigate earlier, Mikael Blomkvist (Craig), who has his own problems. His story picks up surrounding a court battle which he has little chance of coming out on top, he decides to help out an old and tiring millionaire called Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) who lives on a private island, cut off from the mainland, he hopes journalist Blomkvist will help him try and solve the disappearance and probable death of his niece Harriet 40 years earlier, but when Blomkvist starts to dig, he realises the mess the family is in, relatives not speaking to each other, Nazi beliefs, estranged children and how clues seem to lead back to one or the other, a family matter indeed. The paths of the two leads cross as Blomkvist seeks the help of the young Solander, and their unorthodox relationship ensues.
    The film has much more than what it is at first glance, its a fascinating script with excellent performances being brought to life through the likes of Stellan Skarsgärd and Steven Berkoff, they all have secrets and unknown tales in their secluded island, but they all want to know why now? Why look for clues to the young girl now? Director David Fincher has a talent for making the little details count, the smoking habits, the sexual nature of the characters and the seclusion of it all, he captures the mood of a typically murky and gritty time with a beaten cottage beside a lake with snow falling heavily to the ground, the two leads come from very different lives, yet wind up on the hunt for a potential murderer on a secluded island. Mara holds her own with edgy brilliance and the damaged genius of Solander, Craig is a confident individual passes this to Mikael Blomkvist, a man who had it all but let his status get the better of him, Solander could be the very thing to bring him back down. This is a fascinating thriller that rightfully relies on its characters to spark the mystery of the story, its smart, intriguing and offers a different view in terms of heroic actions from unlikely individuals.
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  14. Jan 20, 2012
    7
    As much as I adored the first, Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel, I was intrigued, for once, by a big-budget Hollywood remake as soon as David Fincher was announced as director. A jet-black murder-mystery which analyses the darker aspects of human nature seemed the perfect project for the director of Fight Club and Zodiac to helm. In a lot of ways, Fincher doesn't disappoint.As much as I adored the first, Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel, I was intrigued, for once, by a big-budget Hollywood remake as soon as David Fincher was announced as director. A jet-black murder-mystery which analyses the darker aspects of human nature seemed the perfect project for the director of Fight Club and Zodiac to helm. In a lot of ways, Fincher doesn't disappoint. Like all his films, it looks great, flows well and keeps you engaged throughout. Rooney Mara is quite captivating as the new Lisbeth Salander, and smartly has a different interpretation of the character from the acclaimed performance of Noomi Rapace. Stellan Skarsgard and Christopher Plummer also impress as Henrik and Martin Vanger respectively, both either equalling or improving on the performances of their Swedish film counterparts Sven-Bertil Taube and Peter Haber. The rest of the cast are decent enough, apart from one extreme disappointment - Daniel Craig. He doesn't give a particularly bad performance as such, but is completely miscast as Mikael Blomkvist. Blomkvist should be an everyman - someone you wouldn't look twice at in the street, someone who's perhaps put on the pounds in recent years as he approaches middle age. You should not cast an international sex symbol as such a character, and the notion that Daniel Craig "gained weight" for the role is laughable - he still looks too lean and Bondlike to portray a slightly-past-his-prime journalist. There are some truly stunning sequences in the film, particularly the opening titles with accompanying cover version of Led Zepplin's 'Immigrant Song', which resembles a strange hybrid of a James Bond title sequence and a Marilyn Manson video, and sets the right tone for the film. The shots of the arctic Swedish landscapes are also stunning, and credit must be given to cinematographers Jeff Cronenweth and Fredrik Backar for complete mastery of their art. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross deliver another great soundtrack in their second collaboration with Fincher - their eerie, dark, electronica-driven music is perfect to reflect the personalities and state of mind of the numerous fractured, tortured souls we follow throughout the film. Also worth noting is a very unexpected and very clever use of Enya's Orinoco Flow in a key scene in the film - I won't spoil it for you, but suffice to say, the result is one of the funniest, yet most utterly terrifying film horror moments in recent memory.
    Unfortunately, despite all the undeniable talent on display, the result of this story getting the Hollywood treatment (something I truly hoped would be avoided) is it has been over-sentimentalised. The main body of the story is as dark, and in some cases darker than the original film, but as soon as the main plot has been wrapped up, Fincher unashamedly tags a slushy, romantic resolution onto the story. I liked the ambiguous ending of the original film - why, oh why, David, did you think it was necessary for Lisbeth to become open about her emotions? She's a deeply complex, damaged and disturbed individual who'll likely never be able to lead a normal life, yet you've completely bypassed that fact and shattered the illusion with a rather incongruous finale that wouldn't look out of place in a Richard Curtis movie. David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is good entertainment - dark, engaging and with some great performances, but the miscasting of Daniel Craig and some fundamental misjudgements in tone do ruin the magic a little. At the end of the day, it just isn't in the same league as Niels Arden Oplev's delightfully macabre original adaptation. Perhaps in the inevitable sequels, some of these issues can be addressed and improved upon, and I look forward to more of Rooney Mara's punky reinterpretation of Lisbeth, though sadly now we're stuck with Daniel Craig's simply wrong "Bond-kvist" for another two installments.
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  15. Dec 23, 2011
    7
    The whole point of making the film for English audiences is so we can watch the movie with people speaking English. So what do they do? Make all the actors have a thick accent and mumble the lines so they are hard to understand. I would say I missed about 20% of the dialogue due to poor enunciation and bad recording, not to mention the irritating loud electronic soundtrack which drownsThe whole point of making the film for English audiences is so we can watch the movie with people speaking English. So what do they do? Make all the actors have a thick accent and mumble the lines so they are hard to understand. I would say I missed about 20% of the dialogue due to poor enunciation and bad recording, not to mention the irritating loud electronic soundtrack which drowns out some of the dialogue as well. There is a large cast of characters and it is important to hear what they are saying so you can keep up with the story. Still, the acting was good to great (Rooney Mara is especially noteworthy) and the story was good. I felt it was one of those never-ending movies, where you think it's over but it continues on. Overall a solid movie, but not as good as others in the genre such as Silence of the Lambs. Expand
  16. Aug 11, 2012
    7
    Not even Fincher with admittedly inspiring casting, and an impressive list of nail biting movies such as "Seven," "Fight Club" and "Zodiac", was able to emulate the edge of the Swedish original film which in turn could not compare with the depth of the original material in the book. And although Craig, in contrast with Nyqvist in the original film, brings extra umpf with the surplus ofNot even Fincher with admittedly inspiring casting, and an impressive list of nail biting movies such as "Seven," "Fight Club" and "Zodiac", was able to emulate the edge of the Swedish original film which in turn could not compare with the depth of the original material in the book. And although Craig, in contrast with Nyqvist in the original film, brings extra umpf with the surplus of erotic charisma needed to unfold the book's main character, it is the other way around between Mara and Rapace who steals the show in the Swedish version with her unflinching raw performance of one of the most complex characters on the silver screen to date. Expand
  17. 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 andHere 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
  18. Feb 17, 2016
    8
    A compelling ride for die-hard fans of the book series, dramatic thriller enthusiasts, as well as anyone who enjoys Fincher's darker works.

    Watch here for free http://www.watchfree.to/watch-276ddf-The-Girl-with-the-Dragon-Tattoo-movie-online-free-putlocker.html
  19. 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.
  20. 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, DavidThis 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
  21. Apr 7, 2016
    9
    The dark seeps out of the screen like living thing, evidence that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is more than a paycheck to director David Fincher, who has improbably affixed his own imprint on a movie that comes weighted down with possibilities and expectations no filmmaker should have to contend with. Aided by a tightly-wrapped screenplay adapted from Stieg Larsson's global best-sellerThe dark seeps out of the screen like living thing, evidence that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is more than a paycheck to director David Fincher, who has improbably affixed his own imprint on a movie that comes weighted down with possibilities and expectations no filmmaker should have to contend with. Aided by a tightly-wrapped screenplay adapted from Stieg Larsson's global best-seller by Steven Zaillian, Fincher strips the material to its skeleton, then adds back the sinew and tissue to create something that is unmistakably The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but in no way a carbon copy of the earlier Swedish movie or the book itself. This is what a movie adaptation should be: a film whose base narrative has its roots in the source material but whose soul can be identified through the images that unfold on screen.

    When, in early 2010, Columbia Pictures announced their intention to film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the question that crossed many lips was, "Why?" After all, there was already a very good adaptation available, a 2009 Swedish production directed by Niels Arden Oplev with a star-making turn from Noomi Rapace. The intention to "remake" The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in English with an A-list star smacked of a cash-grab. Whatever the motivations, however, this interpretation of Larsson's story can stand proudly alongside the Swedish version. Both tell the same basic story, but there are enough differences - some subtle, some significant - that each can be enjoyed on its own terms. And, although Oplev will always have the distinction of being first, the strengths of Fincher's film reminds us that first is not always best.

    Two key elements differentiate Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from Oplev's (and please don't misread this in any way as a denunciation of the Swedish interpretation, which was one of my top films of 2010). The first is the aesthetic. Filmed with a bigger budget and an auteur behind the camera, the 2011 movie is steeped in bleak, cold darkness. Everything, from the wintery setting to the gloomy interiors to the way scenes are photographed, enhances this aspect. Oplev's approach was more straightforward and not as assured. The second is the way the characters are represented. Fincher softens the edges and presents us with more emotionally complex individuals. Oplev emphasizes individual characteristics. Some of the characters in the 2009 movie are little more than caricatures (the vile and sadistic Bjurman being an example), but Fincher quests for ambiguity.

    If The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo represents Fincher's view of human nature (and, considering the darkness of his early films, that may be the case), it puts him alongside David Lynch as one who believes society breeds hidden rot and corruption. Those elements lie at the heart of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and, despite occasional moments of macabre humor, Fincher allows them to fester. I am reminded of a line from I, Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out."

    Zaillian's screenplay does a better job than the one penned by Nikolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg in distilling Larssson's convoluted story into something movie audiences can absorb without a primer. In fairness to the writers of the Swedish version, their 180-minute original lost 28 minutes in the transition from TV mini-series to motion picture, and that's part of the reason for its occasionally erratic tone and discontinuities. Still, Zaillian has surgically altered Larsson's book for the screen by cutting, adding, and changing where necessary. The final result is a coherent, well-developed murder mystery that is neither rushed nor sluggish.

    The supporting cast includes well-known names like Christopher Plummer (as Henrik), Robin Wright (as Mikael's co-editor at Millennium magazine, Erika Berger), and Stellan Skarsgard (as Henrik's nephew, Martin), and less familiar ones like Steven Berkoff (as Henrik's lawyer, Frode) and Yorick van Wageningen (as the detestable Bjurman). Aside from Craig, there are no bona fide "stars" in the mix, but the cast is well-chosen. Everyone does an excellent job and Mara will undoubtedly receive as Oscar nomination for this brave, star-making turn.

    Regardless of what happens in the future, however, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo can stand on its own as Fincher's valentine to goth girl power, detective stories, and the grotesqueness of the human heart.
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  22. Feb 21, 2012
    7
    If the scene of the opening credits already affirms that it will be a heavy dip in a violent world, covered with dense blackness and incendiary, what follows is an attempt to reveal this evil once hidden behind the power and the many untruths that people from the story are trying to impose itself. The corrupt businessman to the meticulous killer, maybe even beyond that. The great ambitionIf the scene of the opening credits already affirms that it will be a heavy dip in a violent world, covered with dense blackness and incendiary, what follows is an attempt to reveal this evil once hidden behind the power and the many untruths that people from the story are trying to impose itself. The corrupt businessman to the meticulous killer, maybe even beyond that. The great ambition of the film is pervaded all these facts by the figure that resonates with insane intensity of credits lost in the narrative development, Lisbeth Salander cultivates in her "inability to live socially" - which the state condemns a hallucinatory force in her proper strangeness of being. Her impenetrability marks the film, or perhaps the latter is molded to it.

    And it is in the journalistic curiosity that Mikael and Lisbeth in the particular vehemence that the entire film unfolds, not only the desire of Blomkvist to uncover the truth and try to prove to himself that after all is still a work in a universe capable unfair, but also a woman afflicted with many cruelties, far from innocent, but that is the search for a killer of women the desire to exterminate this scum of men who mistreated, echoing ghosts of Christmases past that the film does not reveal, but it suggests. Salander is the driving force that has long, affecting Mikael and the rising tension, which grows, in an investigation of a past that resonates even today.

    David Fincher here is in the same technical finesse of Social Network", but quite superior to echo the masterpiece of director who is "Zodiac." He is able to develop his work respecting the genius of suspense that Stieg Larsson writes in the text at the same time deepens the personalities of his intriguing characters, from a family background that exudes decadent bitterness, wickedness and misogyny that characterize the protagonists to be precisely to the contrary, whether feminism is a transgressor of Lisbeth or the breakup of this family structure represented by Mikael, all enrolled in a theatre now conscious and well thought out.
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  23. Apr 24, 2015
    9
    The dark seeps out of the screen like living thing, evidence that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is more than a paycheck to director David Fincher, who has improbably affixed his own imprint on a movie that comes weighted down with possibilities and expectations no filmmaker should have to contend with. Aided by a tightly-wrapped screenplay adapted from Stieg Larsson's global best-sellerThe dark seeps out of the screen like living thing, evidence that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is more than a paycheck to director David Fincher, who has improbably affixed his own imprint on a movie that comes weighted down with possibilities and expectations no filmmaker should have to contend with. Aided by a tightly-wrapped screenplay adapted from Stieg Larsson's global best-seller by Steven Zaillian, Fincher strips the material to its skeleton, then adds back the sinew and tissue to create something that is unmistakably The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but in no way a carbon copy of the earlier Swedish movie or the book itself. This is what a movie adaptation should be: a film whose base narrative has its roots in the source material but whose soul can be identified through the images that unfold on screen.

    When, in early 2010, Columbia Pictures announced their intention to film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the question that crossed many lips was, "Why?" After all, there was already a very good adaptation available, a 2009 Swedish production directed by Niels Arden Oplev with a star-making turn from Noomi Rapace. The intention to "remake" The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in English with an A-list star smacked of a cash-grab. Whatever the motivations, however, this interpretation of Larsson's story can stand proudly alongside the Swedish version. Both tell the same basic story, but there are enough differences - some subtle, some significant - that each can be enjoyed on its own terms. And, although Oplev will always have the distinction of being first, the strengths of Fincher's film reminds us that first is not always best.

    Two key elements differentiate Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from Oplev's (and please don't misread this in any way as a denunciation of the Swedish interpretation, which was one of my top films of 2010). The first is the aesthetic. Filmed with a bigger budget and an auteur behind the camera, the 2011 movie is steeped in bleak, cold darkness. Everything, from the wintery setting to the gloomy interiors to the way scenes are photographed, enhances this aspect. Oplev's approach was more straightforward and not as assured. The second is the way the characters are represented. Fincher softens the edges and presents us with more emotionally complex individuals. Oplev emphasizes individual characteristics. Some of the characters in the 2009 movie are little more than caricatures (the vile and sadistic Bjurman being an example), but Fincher quests for ambiguity.

    Zaillian's screenplay does a better job than the one penned by Nikolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg in distilling Larssson's convoluted story into something movie audiences can absorb without a primer. In fairness to the writers of the Swedish version, their 180-minute original lost 28 minutes in the transition from TV mini-series to motion picture, and that's part of the reason for its occasionally erratic tone and discontinuities. Still, Zaillian has surgically altered Larsson's book for the screen by cutting, adding, and changing where necessary. The final result is a coherent, well-developed murder mystery that is neither rushed nor sluggish. It also keeps us waiting for a while for the two main characters to meet - that doesn't happen until the one-hour mark. Until that point, their stories are kept separate to better clarify their places in the overall narrative and to provide a stronger sense of who they are as individuals (rather than as a pair). Once they meet, they get to share the screen often enough to generate a peculiar frisson.

    Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also manages to make Mikael into more than a nondescript detective and straight man for Lisbeth's weird brilliance. (In this milieu, she's Holmes to his Watson.) Craig, aided by the screenplay, fleshes out Mikael. He is never as captivating as Lisbeth, but neither does he vanish into her shadow. The quasi-romantic relationship that develops between the two is more intriguing than the more traditional one in the Swedish movie. Here, their emotional investment is unequal, with Mikael viewing it as casual while Lisbeth, for perhaps the first time in her life, has discovered feelings between the sheets (or, more appropriately, on top of them).

    Personally, I would love to see what this creative team could do with those books (which are inferior to the first one). Regardless of what happens in the future, however, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo can stand on its own as Fincher's valentine to goth girl power, detective stories, and the grotesqueness of the human heart.
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  24. Apr 15, 2012
    9
    Fincher is once again brilliant and his films still remain an event. Rooney mara's performance also is on the line of perfection. I am excited for his next film.
  25. Feb 11, 2012
    10
    David Fincher did his lurid best. See this English adaptation with fresh look. Rooney Mara's Lisbeth Salander is different with Noomi Rapace's. And also the movie, although a drawback but it's different air. Not Fincher's best work but it also great in every level.
  26. Feb 26, 2012
    9
    David Fincher definitely kept his charm on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo . Its an amazing mystery film that I was waiting so long. Amazing screenplay and amazing directing . Daniel Craig was really good at his role . Rooney Mara definitely pulled off her emo look and her acting was her best (undoubtedly ). Filming location was in one word AMAZING . It was perfect for the film . It wasDavid Fincher definitely kept his charm on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo . Its an amazing mystery film that I was waiting so long. Amazing screenplay and amazing directing . Daniel Craig was really good at his role . Rooney Mara definitely pulled off her emo look and her acting was her best (undoubtedly ). Filming location was in one word AMAZING . It was perfect for the film . It was Snowy , Dark , Cold , The three best weather for an amazing mystery .
    So much looking forward to see a Sequel . Sony said they will be filmed back to back and I wish they would release those the same way.
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  27. 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
    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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  28. Feb 15, 2012
    8
    from Kate Winslet in "The Reader" did not see nudity as explicit and worked. Rooney Mara endorsed this film where there is also praise for the editing and sound fabulous.
  29. Dec 22, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have not read the books, nor have I seen the original version of the movie. Therefore, some of my pet peeves about the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo may lie somewhere in the story itself rather than the editing. Don't get me wrong. The movie is great. I immensely look forward to sequels. Rooney Mara's performance alone is enough to want to see the series continue. The entire cast is fantastic, but what seemed to bug me most during the movie is the extended amount of time spent on some elements of the story, like her being a ward of the state, but how much time wasn't spent on explaining the backstory re: Daniel Craig's lawsuit and relationship with Robin Penn. A lot effort was spent building up the need for Christopher Plummer to hire Daniel Craig to solve this mystery, yet very little into connecting Craig and Mara together. For someone so unsociable, she unnaturally connected quickly with Craig. Then, when it was all said and done, the story seemed to wrap up too quickly as compared to the build up. So, while the story was good, the directing was good and the cast was good, the piecing together of the film itself seemed haphazardly done. Was this editing? Was it the story itself? At 2:34 long, I would have expected a better flow, but nonetheless, my high expectations were met and I look forward to more. Expand
  30. Jan 28, 2012
    9
    De la part de David Fincher, réalisateur de Se7en, j'en attendais beaucoup de ce remake américain et seconde adaptation de l'oeuvre de Stieg Larsson, à commencer par un travail soigné au niveau de l'atmosphère. L'envie de voir un véritable chef-d'oeuvre qui s'est confirmée dès le (sublime)De la part de David Fincher, réalisateur de Se7en, j'en attendais beaucoup de ce remake américain et seconde adaptation de l'oeuvre de Stieg Larsson, à commencer par un travail soigné au niveau de l'atmosphère. L'envie de voir un véritable chef-d'oeuvre qui s'est confirmée dès le (sublime) générique de début, ce dernier nous mettant immédiatement dans l'ambiance. D'accord, il n'y a pas trop de prises de risques, du fait que l'ensemble reste fidèle à l'esprit du livre. Mais ce remake se montre bien plus imposant que son prédécesseur suédo-danois. Il faut dire que le casting est de qualité, au point qu'on laisse de côté les acteurs originaux (Rooney Mara remplaçant sans mal la pourtant excellente Noomi Rapace); que l'ambiance du film est au-delà de mes espérances car étant prenante, dérangeante et palpitante (grâce aux effets sonores et à la BO); que le scénario est légèrement différent (question détails); et que l'on ne s'ennuit pas une seule seconde pendant 2h38. Bref, une réussite! Expand
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.