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Generally favorable reviews- based on 601 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 601

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  1. Oct 3, 2014
    USA update of the original. I went in expecting this to be inferior to the well made Swedish version and that was the consensus that I heard about the film. It does do somethings better than the original though, i found this one to be more tense (helped by a good score) in terms of narrative structure even though I knew the outcomes. The small intimate action scenes are also better in this version. The minor issue with this one is that the woman who played the original Lisbeth is so good in that role that it is a difficult act to follow. The actress playing her is fine, but the Swedish one is just more intense and more believable at times (dare I say i found here a little more attractive as this one is extremely thin.) Expand
  2. Mar 31, 2014
    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.
  3. 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
  4. 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).
  5. Jan 11, 2014
    Impressive movie has to be on of the most challenging for daniel craig, things like this happen all the time its not a safe world and if you do get free from something like this you always remember it. Unique movie thought...
  6. Jan 1, 2014
    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.
  7. 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.
  8. Sep 2, 2013
    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.
  9. 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
  10. Jun 9, 2013
    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
  11. May 17, 2013
    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.
  12. 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
  13. Feb 24, 2013
    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.
  14. Feb 22, 2013
    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
  15. Feb 5, 2013
    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.
  16. Jan 6, 2013
    Well, it's complicated thriller far enough! The naked cruelty limits the sensitive audience while the tightly prescribed story keeps you deep breathing.
  17. 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.
  18. Nov 28, 2012
    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.
  19. Nov 11, 2012
    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.
  20. Nov 9, 2012
    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.
  21. 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
  22. Sep 26, 2012
    I couldn't find much to like about this film, the cinematography was poor / borderline amateurish, the acting was mixed, ALL the themes were depressing (i could forgive this i guess), i had no interest in discovering 'who dunnit' as it felt like there was no engagement with the viewer, the lighting made the sets seem staged, plus a lot more.

    I thought the use of sexual violence was
    interesting but felt it had little to do with the plot - i have not read the book so can't comment on its relevance. The 'dragon tattoo girl' seemed pathetic in these situations and was hoping she'd stick up for herself sooner as her character seemed to suggest she would.

    Ended up playing Carcassonne half-way through with a friend as we both felt the movie wasn't really going anywhere (i lost).
  23. Sep 24, 2012
    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.
  24. Aug 18, 2012
    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.
  25. Aug 11, 2012
    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 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
  26. Aug 10, 2012
    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.
  27. Aug 1, 2012
    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
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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

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.