User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 581 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 581

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  1. Dec 29, 2011
    10
    "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was an extremely interesting and intense film. Though some elements of this film were not necessarily for me, primarily the rape scenes, I was still very able to appreciate its beauty. It is a bit long (about 2 hrs 45 minutes), but the pace and the variety of scenes allowed the movie to flow seamlessly and created a very aesthetic atmosphere. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, since this movie is chock full of them. I see that most of the bad reviews on here are from people complaining that a remake was unnecessary since the original Swedish version came out just recently. Honestly I feel that it was a smart move to make an English remake to appeal to the predominantly English speaking countries. Having not seen the original, I canâ Expand
  2. Dec 28, 2011
    10
    Alright, let's get one thing straight. David Fincher directed an ADAPTATION of the original novel by Stieg Larsson. And it's an EXCELLENT one at that.
    The film is dark, eerie, creepy, and disturbing and graphic... and that's what makes it excellent! The cinematography is gorgeous, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross once again compose another Oscar-worthy film score, and David Fincher's
    direction is exceptional. What makes it better is Rooney Mara's portrayal of Lisbeth Salander (she's a GIANT badass in the film) and its being more faithful to the novel.
    Should you see this film? Yes, you should.
    Ps. To the negative reviews saying that it drags on too long, quit your **** You couldn't be any more wrong. I saw the film and I felt the time go way too fast, I desired more when the credits began to roll, even if I know how it ends.
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  3. Dec 28, 2011
    10
    As a big fan of the books and the Swedish movies, went to see the Fincher movie with my husband and sister who are equally big fans of the books and Swedish movies. All three of us LOVED this new version. The plot followed the book closely, Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig hopped right out of the book. Fincher improved on the original and was a big hit with the three of us. BRAVO!!! Haven't seen it??? GO!!! NOW!!! Then post your review. Expand
  4. Dec 26, 2011
    9
    The US version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo proves to be a very well-done film and in my opinion is an improvement over the Swedish version. I know there are a bunch of disgruntled fans of the original Swedish version that don't like this film but I think that it works well and the characterizations are good in their own right. There are some changes to the US version from the Swedish version, especially towards the end but in my opinion it flows better than the Swedish version and I found the ending to be much more satisfying than the Swedish versions ending. Also, you simply cannot beat Trent Reznor's and Atticus Ross' score for the film. Rooney Mara is simply outstanding and brings a different interpretation of Lisbeth that I felt was better with the more vulnerable characteristics. Noomi Rapace's more confident an empowered version is also very good and I don't want to take anything away from that either. This film also provides a good opportunity to create better sequels. After the original GWTGT, the next two swedish films were really weak and were disappointing efforts. Hopefully Fincher and company return to bring the other two books to the screen. Expand
  5. Dec 25, 2011
    9
    I was fully prepared to loathe this film. I was very affected by Larsson's written work. (I sent for English publishers editions rather than wait for the douche American conglomerates' one-year-between-volumes of the trilogy separation) I think that the Swedish versions are absolutely what the novels demanded and are sufficient on their merits to have been the only cinematic versions. That said, I left the theater just pleased, and impressed. I hd fears of any overly glamorized, sanitized Hollywood version. Fincher has brought none of that to the screen. This is as stark as it should be. Daniel Craig is very good as Kalle Blomkvist and Rooney Mara is a more damaged Lisbeth. My only serious quibble with this film is Fincher's decision to have Blomkvist be a father and in touch with his daughter and ex-wife. I se nothing added to the character (in fact I think that Larsson intended that Mikael be a self-absorbed workaholic, as Larsson seems to have been). I sincerely hope that this Dragon Tattoo version earns enough to provide backing for an entire trilogy. If that comes to pass, inclusion of the daughter and ex-wife characters promises the possibility of some cheesy plot devices that will ruin the remaining chapters if used. If Fincher avoids that temptation and pitfall, the debate will rage for decades to the delight of film geeks everywhere! Expand
  6. Dec 25, 2011
    9
    This movie adaptation was as good as it could be and I have no criticisms in that regard but the problem occurs when it is compared to the novels which is unfair because not every detail can incorporated into the actual movie. This movie was very well done in terms of production and Rooney Mara was phenomenal as Lisbeth Salander. The original swedish verions were also very good but they should not take away from what this version has to offer. The two trilogies can be compared and contrasted to no end but each should not be viewed as better or worse based on the other. Apart from these comparative issues, the movie was excellent but not everyone will be able to enjoy the depth that this movie offers without reading the books. I do hope that adaptations of the next two books are made and that they are done just as well as this one was. Expand
  7. Dec 25, 2011
    10
    Excellent. Engaging for the whole time. I'm thinking Brendan shouldn't go to anymore movies... just in case they might be a remake; it is obvious he didn't judge this movie on it merits. Though it is a long movie, it keep me wondering what was going to happen next, and I wasn't bored (and I don't like movies over 2 hours, just too self-indulgent by the director usually) but this one succeeds where other directors and editors lose their way. Expand
  8. Dec 24, 2011
    10
    I saw this movie without seeing any of the swedish films or having read any of the books. I thought this movie was amazing. I thought everything about it was amazing. I went home and read that about half of everyone who saw it thought the original was superior, so i watched the first swedish film. THE SWEDISH FILM DOESN'T EVEN COMPARE, IT IS A PILE OF GARBAGE COMPARED TO FINCHER'S VERSION. David Fincher told the story perfectly, and then when i watched the swedish version, i was like "what is this" a story is barely present, and is told so horribly. Expand
  9. Dec 23, 2011
    10
    I've read the books and seen the original Swedish movies - I'm a fan. This was very well made, engrossing, enjoyable and well worth the time spent. The fact that I knew the plot and had seen the prior film did not diminish the experience - it was intriguing to see what another director would do with the book, and he did a great job. Go see it - you won't be disappointed (as opposed to the Mission Impossible film, by the way, which was ridiculously bad. Just had to put that negative plug in there). Expand
  10. Dec 23, 2011
    10
    Better than the Swedish version and stays surprisingly true to the text and does not hold back in terms of nudity and violence as North American films often do. Rooney Mara makes for an excellent Lisbeth Salander while acting under Social Network Director David Fincher once again.
  11. Dec 23, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First I want to put a stop to all those people out there claiming this is a remake. That's like saying I'm making a Frankenstein movie today would be a remake over the bunch of others that came out before that was adapted from Mary Shelley's book. This movie is Fincher's adaptation on Stieg Larson's novel of the same name. Just like the Swedish one was there adaptation of the same book. It's a 2nd American, Fincher's, whatever you want to call it, adaptation of the book. Now that I got that out of the way I gotta say it's rare to have a movie come out as good or better then the book. Godfather for example but this "adaptation" of Stieg Larson's novel in ways is as good if not better then the book. I am a fan of the Swedish adaptation and though it followed the mystery element of the story I was disappointed at the key elements they took out from the book that were important to building depth and substance to the characters. I thought non readers of the book were a little robbed on knowing more about the unique and original character of Lisbeth Salander. David Fincher brought those elements into this movie so well that I felt after seeing it that somebody could watch the movie and get everything from the book without reading it. The story was told so beautiful keeping the character depth, the elements, and the story true to the book. Fincher even shortened long sequences in the book into brilliant short scenes that in a way was better then the book. The parts they took out were minimal things that didn't effect character building or the story one bit and even thought what they left out should've been left out of the movie when I first read it. There's even a slight twist at the end that was welcoming to me that read it differently. It was a twist that didn't effect the story and I actually enjoyed it more then how it played out in the book. The nice grey hue Fincher films it makes it look like a disturbing cold winter that I felt in the book. Throw Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's music into the mix really put to ear the feeling and emotion taking place throughout the story. Fincher being known for his amazing and original open title sequence doesn't let us down. Opens to Karen O Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross remake of Zepplin's Immigrant song really get's you into the mood for the movie and only gets better from there. If you're looking for a great mystery with dark elements this is your movie.
    Now I just have to say Noomi Rapace is a great actor but I thought Rooney Mara was way better as Lisbeth Salander. Not saying Noomi was bad , it's just for this role Rooney fit and played her better. In fact good enough for a best actress nod. She had Lisbeth's quirks down all the way to how she held and smoked her cigarettes. She did her homework and really became Lisbeth Salander. She did a brilliant job make her a believable intelligent, tough, and at times vulnerable person. Now in the book she's a uniquely beautiful, 90lb 23 year old with tattoos piercings and a childlike face. Rooney Mara has that physical look more then Noomi Rapace did. Add that to everything else made her nothing short of amazing. Heard Natalie Portman and Keira Knightly were to get the part and it landed on Rooney. Even as brilliant as those actors are I wouldn't think they would've been Lisbeth Salander as well as Rooney. Natalie is too tan and Keira is too pretty. She has to be a beauty that is different and unique. Rooney Mara's beauty still showed after the dyed hair tattoos and piercings and unique. I fell in love with her by the end of the movie. I want to see Rooney not only in the next 2 movies from the Larsson trilogy but want to just see more of her in movies in general. I became an instant Rooney fan after she played Lisbeth so brilliantly. I hope to see Oscar nods for best actress Rooney Mara best music Trent Reznor Atticus Ross and Karen O, Best Director David Fincher, after his shaft last year for Social Network by The King's Speech. Also would love to see a Best Adapted Screenplay for David Zallian. Must go see this movie. Can't believe anyody who would hate this unless you dislike mysteries. If your looking for mindless action with non depth characters and weak plot point storylines then don't see this movie. It's a great breath of fresh air from all the holidays movies. It's a brilliant non heartearming dark murder mystery for the holidays.
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  12. Dec 22, 2011
    10
    This movie is a solid 10. They made some changes from the book of the same name. It's hard to say it's better than the book but I can say it's an upgrade over the Swedish film adaptation. Rooney Mara is perfect as Lisbeth and Daniel Craig gives the best performance of his career as Mikael. David Fincher did an amazing job directing as was expected. There's chilling and intense moments as well as endearing ones. It's all highly effective. Truly brilliant. Expand
  13. Dec 21, 2011
    9
    David Fincher's take on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a bleak, gruesome, and some times hard to watch film, yet its amazing style and intriguing story keep the audience captivated. We don't want to watch, but we can't look away because Fincher doesn't hold back and because every moment Rooney Mara's Lisbeth is on screen she commands attention. She gives perhaps the best performance of the year and even tops Noomi Rapace's amazing portrayal of the same character in the Swedish version. It seems many critics have decided to diss this movie on the only basis that it came out so soon after the Swedish version. These critics/people are trolls and should be ignored. Remakes and alternate adaptations should be able to stand apart and be judged on their worth rather than on their predecessors. All in all Fincher's version is on par with the Swedish adaptation, though I felt the longer drawn out ending in the American film was inferior to Niels Arden Oplev's ending version. Expand
  14. Dec 21, 2011
    10
    God Damn, this film is excellent. Fincher has that signature style that keeps audiences entertained and engaged with the story, characters, and dialogue. I can honestly say that there was nothing that i disliked about TGWTDT. I was a little skeptical about how the soundtrack would turn out, because I'm not a huge Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross fan, but it surprisingly complimented the movies dark and ominous tone in the most subtly effective way possible. The cinematography is nothing short of amazing, along with the lighting, sound, and editing. Fincher has this uncanny ability to keep the camera "calm" in the brutally graphic, high-tension scenes. I could go on and on about how good this film is, but just go see it for yourself. Expand
  15. Dec 21, 2011
    10
    Anyone that is complaining about how this is a remake of a movie that came out last year, the original film of the same name actually came out in 2009. Also, it is a remake, but it's a remake by one of greatest directors in our time, David "F*ckin" Fincher. Deal with it, not every American saw the original film, so give the remake a break everyone. Next, Daniel Craig is a marvelous actor throughout the film, next with Rooney Mara, who was also in the film "The Social Network." The film looks beautiful, Fincher's creative way of capturing the settings and the realistic emotions of the characters are superb. You can see prior films by Fincher in this film, including "Se7en" and "The Social Network." The soundtrack is also great by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who previously created the soundtrack for "The Social Network." All in all, everyone who is "angry" about this remake should shut it and just enjoy the film as it was intended from Fincher's and Zaillian's perspective. Expand
  16. Dec 21, 2011
    10
    I LOVED the original, Swedish version. I though "ok, this will be good, but it's still a remake." Sure, the film is a remake of the Swedish version because "American's don't read subtitles," but usually they aren't as good as the original, they certainly don't surpass it, TGWTDT did that. It's better than the already great original film.
  17. Dec 21, 2011
    9
    Following the very successful adaptation of Stieg Larssons millennium trilogy into three very successful Swedish language films, it came as no surprise when Hollywood announced that it would be making an English-language version of the series. Director David Fincher was announced to craft the first book in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The new version follows very close to the original material with one fairly big exception which I will detail later in the review. Daniel Craig stars as Mikael Blomkvist, who at the opening of the film has recently lost a court case for which he was being sued for libel by a prominent business figure. His career is in ruins and virtually all of his savings gone as a result of the trial and punitive damages. So when he is contacted by an attorney representing the wealthy and powerful Vanger family, he agrees to meet. Although highly reluctant to take a meeting, Mikael takes the four hour train ride north of Stockholm to a cold and remote island to meet with Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer). Henrik wishes Mikael to investigate the disappearance of his niece some 40 years earlier, a niece vanished under the familiesâ Expand
  18. Dec 21, 2011
    10
    Just finished the 3 book series and watched the movie tonight. Overall, I thought is was very well done. Of course, there were details and side stories that were left out; however the overall story and relevant material were handled exceptionally well. It was well acted, suspenseful and worth the price of a movie ticket.
  19. Dec 21, 2011
    10
    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 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.
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  20. Dec 20, 2011
    9
    David Fincher returns to his roots and directs a near perfect neo-noir pyschological thriller. Rooney Mara also returns from her minor role in The Social Network and proves that she is more than capable of becoming an A-list actor. If the film only focused more on Lisbeth's dark past rather than glossing over it, the film would be perfect.
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.