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Generally favorable reviews- based on 600 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 600

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  1. Mar 8, 2014
    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
  2. Jan 11, 2014
    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).
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    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 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.
  4. Jun 25, 2013
    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
  5. Mar 6, 2013
    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
  6. Dec 6, 2012
    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.
  7. Oct 3, 2012
    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
  8. Jul 30, 2012
    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.
  9. Jul 21, 2012
    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.
  10. Jul 3, 2012
    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
  11. May 19, 2012
    Smart, gritty, well-paced, and beautifully shot, this incarnation succeeds in every way that the original failed. Featuring excellent direction by David Fincer and strong performances from Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, and a magnificent, career-defining performance from Rooney Mara in the titular role, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' is most certainly a must-see for any fans of dark drama. A+ Expand
  12. May 16, 2012
    One of david fincher's best films. Sure, at first it starts out kinda slow, but it speeds up. And once it does, it's like a punch right in the gut. Its brutal, intruiging, and captivating all at the same time. The best crime thriller i have ever seen.
  13. Apr 24, 2012
    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!
  14. Apr 15, 2012
    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.
  15. Apr 11, 2012
    Engaging, intelligent, fantastic performances all round, masterfully shot and directed, David Fincher didn't put a foot wrong with this beautifully crafted thriller.
  16. Apr 10, 2012
    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, 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
  17. Mar 29, 2012
    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.
  18. Mar 20, 2012
    The original "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was an exemplary film. It had great characters and an extremely smart and suspenseful plot. Then David Fincher's version of the film came out and totally blew the original out of the water. The characters were fleshed out more, especially the exquisite Lisbeth Salander played beautifully by Rooney Mara, who totally deserved Best Actress over Meryl Streep's wooden Margaret Thatcher. To put it bluntly, Mara's Lisbeth was a total bad ass, which was extremely needed. She played the character to a T and was more convincing than Noomi Rapace's portrayal (no offense Noomi). Daniel Craig also did a great job at playing Mikael and did the character more justice. The film was long but the length was needed. It took out all the filler nonsense of the original film and added more well-needed detail and style. David Fincher redeems himself a hundred times over after giving us the utterly terrible "Social Network" and re-instilled much needed faith back into his film making capabilities. It was taut, sleek, stylish, suspenseful and utterly provocative. Dark, graphic, and disturbing are age old trademarks of Fincher (see Fight Club and Seven) and he went and brought them back with a vengeance in this beautifully crafted and well-needed improvement to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series and can't wait to see what wonder Fincher brings to the table with the sequels. Expand
  19. Mar 16, 2012
    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.
  20. Mar 7, 2012
    I am going to go out on a limb and say this but "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was the best film in 2011. Daniel Craig showed us a role that he proved that he could play well and the newly talented Rooney Mara was the best part of it. There are movies where you can tell whether or not they put a lot of effort into it and this proves that they did. The story line was phenomenal, the actors were great, the cinematography really shined and the original score behind it was also as great. In my opinion the best part of the film was the Female Lead, Rooney Mara, who plays Lisbeth Salander in the film and plays it with a passion like no other. Pick it up on DVD on March 20. Expand
  21. Mar 7, 2012
    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.
  22. Feb 26, 2012
    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 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.
  23. Feb 19, 2012
    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...
  24. Feb 15, 2012
    I have to stay really honest here, and I must say that I haven't seen a better movie in past, well, year and a half, maybe. I'm so captivated by it, and I still think about the movie's plot and the characters, who did an amazing job, especially Rooney Mara. I haven't seen the Swedish version yet ( the original - always the best ) but this movie is quite perfect. I usually oversleep movies, but dude, was I awake. It kept my attention till the end. I highly recommend this movie. Expand
  25. Feb 13, 2012
    What a bloody brilliant film.....I've not read the books or seen the Swedish versions but I was utterly transfixed from go to woe......
    This is by far my film of the year thus far.
  26. Feb 11, 2012
    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.
  27. Feb 3, 2012
    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..
  28. Feb 2, 2012
    In my oppinion in this year it is one of the best films and I like it ! I think that it can take an Oscar like a best film of the year but , it can't ...
  29. Jan 31, 2012
    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
  30. Jan 30, 2012
    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

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
    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
    From him (Fincher), we get – what? – a faithful adaptation that brings the dazzle but shortchanges on the daring.