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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Reviews

Page 1 of 542

Super Reviewer

December 21, 2011
A disgraced journalist and a young researcher who has been the victim of serial abuse throughout her life join forces to discover the fate of a girl who disappeared from a small Swedish town 40 years earlier. I was nowhere near as enamoured with the Swedish original as many others seemed to be, but this big budget American reinvention achieves something very rare; a Hollywood remake that is better than the original. Daniel Craig is a much more charismatic protagonist, Rooney Mara's Lisbeth seems like much less of a caricature and the supporting cast that includes Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgard provides much more dramatic depth. But it is Fincher's dark, brooding visuals that give the necessary texture and the result is a film that feels more adult and less sensationalist than the Swedish version. Like The Departed and Insomnia before it, TGWTDT is proof that a Hollywood remake CAN work in the right hands if the bigger budget is spent on talent rather than superfluous special effects.
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

December 19, 2011
I was utterly gripped by the drama. Excellent performances, great pace and overall adaptation.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

July 21, 2011
Ô~...Ô~...Ô~...┬ 1/2
Thomas J

Super Reviewer

December 28, 2011
Solid performances!!! Great flick!
Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

May 31, 2012
There were a lot of concerns for this film before it came out, due to the fact it was a remake of an already critically acclaimed trilogy. However, it may not be as good, but its still a strong yet shocking remake. Once again, David Fincher's dark and gritty atmosphere methods have mixed successfully with this story. With regards to acting, the main focus is Rooney Mara; who's perfomance is extremely disturbing and powerful. It was a shame she didn't win the Oscar that she deserved. Aside from that, most people preferred the Swedish version over this, which is understandable, but this is worth a try.
Jon J.
Jon J.

Super Reviewer

January 15, 2012
It may depend largely on where you live (more specifically, if you live in Scandinavia or not), but when the Millennium trilogy came out in theaters in 2009, it caused a major splash. With a very sombre and brutal style, it blended the mundane and the extreme in a very effective manner. It was a fantastic example of what you can expect from Swedish film-making at its very best. Few need introduction, however, to who David Fincher is. Having made such dark and compelling masterpieces as Se7en and Social Network, few have reached his zenith of directing in the modern age of filming. So it at least intrigued me when David was recruited to direct the anglicized version of the Swedish legend. The best news of all, though, is that not only does David and his team stand up to the task with great vigilance, but actually makes a film that is independently brilliant, standing at least on par with the original film adaptation.

The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo is the first of three episodes in an overarching story focusing on two central characters: Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), writer for the magazine Millennium, and Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a rude, brash but brilliant computer hacker who not only affects Mikael's life greatly but has a past that is obviously bubbling under the narrative's surface. When Mikael is sued for libel by a very influential (and rich, of course) businessman, and fails to win the case, he loses much of his credibility as a journalist, outside of having to pay a fine and go to jail. So when he's offered a hefty sum of money to help retired CEO of Vanger Industries - Henrik Vanger - with a certain problem, he jumps at the offer. So what is the task he has been hired to do? To solve the supposed murder of Harriet, Henrik's niece, who suddenly disappeared many years ago and never returned. This plunges him into a net of lies and secrets, where the list of suspects ranges over an entire family, the very family he now lives in close proximity to.

The plot is a very dense affair, and there's a lot happening at all times. As with the first one, its various complexities are translated to the screen with relative ease. In fact, it's not hard to be fully aware of what's happening at any given time, while no depth has been sacrificed in the process. Most of the thanks for that should go to Steven Zaillian, the film's screenwriter. Not only does he accurately represent the version of the tale we know already, but he puts in even more detail that seems to have been completely missing in the Swedish version. For instance, we barely even knew anything about Mikael's daughter before, but here she's not only revealed and fleshed out, but is also an important component of the story itself. The editing is also brilliant, which deftly separates the important from the pointless, making for a more compact and exciting experience.

Fincher also takes note to put his own mark on the film as with any of his previous works. He's put a lot of work into making the movie true to its original source, seeing how it happens in Sweden and all the characters have Swedish names and Swedish accents. It comes off as bizarre at first but works surprisingly well as you go along. It's a stark contrast to what could have happened if less care had been put into the transfer from one culture to the next. So we get the cold yet charming environs of Sweden interspersed with Fincher's various visual cues and emphases. Lighting, setting and colors are all strikingly apparent, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere that sucks you in and sticks in your mind. This can work both as comforting and exceptionally disturbing (as any viewer will see when about a third is over), where orange and white both serve as warm and sickly in different circumstances.

His fantastic work reflects in the great job of the cast. Daniel Craig does well as Mikael, portraying first and foremost a man that is no James Bond, no action hero that can brave gunshots and death threats. He is the first to eventually abandon any vestige of the Swedish influence, going back to just being his British self. However, in no way is he a bad choice here. Rooney Mara, however, is the shining star. Her portrayal of the menacing Lisbeth is simultaneously haunting and vulnerable, creating a character that is simply unforgettable. Her presence is all-encompassing and even though she is cold as ice almost all the way through, she retains a sort of humanity, something we can relate to. This opens up the chance to also feel sorry for her and all that she has had to go through. This is vital to not make the character too extreme and Rooney shoots and scores in one of the best character roles of 2011.

The supporting cast does a stellar job as well, with highlights being Cristopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger, Stellan Skarsgňrd as Martin Vanger and Yorick van Wageningen as the inexplicably disturbing Bjurman. The music is also fantastic, created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It's more subdued than their previous work on Social Network but it works perfectly for the gritty atmosphere and cold climate.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an example of how to put your own spin on a common story. The pacing is brilliant, the music is sublime, the acting outstanding (particularly Rooney Mara) and the overall narrative is translated brilliantly from what was already a superb yarn. There's not much else to be said, it's a must-see and among the year's very, very best.


Ůegar Millennium ■rÝleikurinn (bygg­ur ß bˇkum eftir Stieg Larsson) kom ˙t Ý bݡ ßri­ 2009 ˙t um alla SkandinavÝu, voru nŠr allir talandi um hann ß einn e­a annan hßtt. Enda er ■a­ skiljanlegt, ■ar sem hi­ drungalega og harkalega andr˙msloft serÝunnar, Ý bland vi­ sterkar en raunsŠjar persˇnur, ger­i allar ■rjßr a­ stˇrkostlegri skemmtun. ŮvÝ ßtti David Fincher, leikstjˇri margra gŠ­amynda eins og Se7en og Social Network, grÝ­arlega erfitt verkefni fyrir h÷ndum me­ a­ heimgera fyrstu myndina, The Girl WIth The Dragoon Tattoo, me­ glŠnřju leikarali­i og grÝ­arlegum vŠntingum frß kvikmyndaßhorfendum. A­ minnsta kosti var Úg mj÷g spenntur Ý a­ sjß hva­ hann myndi gera me­ s÷guna og til allrar lukku slŠr hann enn og aftur Ý gegn. Myndin gefur fyrri ˙tgßfunni ekkert eftir og ef eitthva­ er nŠr h˙n a­ vera ■Úttari, tilfinningarÝkari og eftirminnilegri, sem er sjaldgŠft ■egar kemur a­ endurger­um almennt.

Ůetta er, eins og ß­ur segir, fyrsti kaflinn Ý einum samfelldum ■rÝleik. A­alpersˇnurnar eru annars vegar Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), sem skrifar fyrir bla­ a­ nafni Millennium, og hins vegar Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), harkaleg, dˇnaleg en brß­snj÷ll "t÷lvuhakkari" me­ dularfulla fortÝ­. Mikael er Ý kr÷ggum, ■ar sem hann hefur veri­ kŠr­ur fyrir Šrumei­ingar af grÝ­arlega ßhrifamiklum i­nj÷fri. Tapar hann ■vÝ mßli og er lßtinn d˙sa Ý fangelsi Ý 3 mßnu­i ßsamt ■vÝ a­ ■urfa a­ lßta af hendi dßgˇ­a f˙lgu fjßr fyrir hans meintu lygar. Me­ feril sem er vi­ ■a­ a­ enda fer hann ß fund me­ Henrik Vanger, fyrrverandi framkvŠmdarstjˇra Vanger Industries. Ůa­ kemur Ý ljˇs a­ Henrik hefur stŠr­arinnar verkefni fyrir Mikael: fyrir nokkrum ßratugum hvarf litla frŠnka hans, Harriet, algj÷rlega sporlaust. Hans verkefni er a­ nota bla­amannahŠfileika sÝna til ■ess a­ finna ˙t hva­ ger­ist vi­ hana, og ■ar sem Mikael hefur lÝti­ anna­ a­ gera (og fŠr vel launa­ fyrir ■etta torrŠ­a starf) sam■ykkir hann bo­i­, og hefst handa vi­ rannsˇkn ß mßli sem er miklu flˇknara og hŠttulegra en honum gat ˇra­ fyrir.

Handritsh÷fundi myndarinnar, Steven Zaillian, tekst mj÷g vel upp me­ a­ halda framvindunni ■Úttri ßn ■ess a­ fˇrna til ■ess skiljanleika e­a einlŠgni. Saga Larsson er Ý raun ÷ll um einlŠgni, ■a­ er lÝti­ veri­ a­ b˙a til sřndarheim ■ar sem ■a­ er ein dŠmiger­ hetja a­ "bjarga" einu fˇrnarlambi, heldur er ■a­ samvinna tveggja nŠstum gagnstŠ­ra pˇla sem reynist sterkara en nokku­ einstaklingsverk. Zaillian nŠr fullkomlega a­ mi­la ■essum ßherslum fram ß svi­i­ og nŠr ■vÝ ef eitthva­ er betra en s˙ sŠnska. Til dŠmis fengum vi­ lÝti­ a­ vita um dˇttur Mikael ß­ur fyrr, en hÚr birtist h˙n ekki a­eins fullmˇtu­ persˇna heldur lÝka sem ˇmissandi hluti af s÷guheildinni. Einnig er klippingin frßbŠr, ■a­ er ekkert skili­ eftir sem ■jˇnar engum tilgangi sem gerir atbur­arßsina enn■ß meira spennandi.

Svo mß ekki gleyma hlutverk Fincher, en hann setur eins og alltaf sitt einkunnarmerki ß myndina. Miki­ hefur veri­ lagt upp ˙r a­ gera myndina tr˙ s÷gu Larsson. Myndin gerist Ý SvÝ■jˇ­, persˇnurnar heita sŠnskum n÷fnum og ■au tala ÷ll me­ sŠnskum hreim. Ůa­ getur teki­ smß tÝma a­ venjast ■essu en ■egar lÝ­ur ß myndina fer ■etta a­ reynast betri kostur. ═ sta­inn fyrir a­ reyna a­ breyta s÷gunni ˇ■arflega til a­ heimfŠra hana yfir til BandarÝkjanna notar hann menningarlegu einkenni SvÝa til a­ sveipa myndinni ßkve­num blŠ. Lřsingin og litirnir ljß umhverfinu ■a­ lÝka, ■ar sem til dŠmis appelsÝnugulur virkar sem bŠ­i huggandi og vi­bjˇ­slegur Ý mismunandi a­stŠ­um, sama me­ hinn sterÝla hvÝtan. Ůetta er bara eitt anna­ dŠmi um hversu snilldarlega Fincher getur ofi­ saman mismunandi sjˇnarspilum Ý eitt, sameina­ verk.

Leikarali­i­ endurspeglar einnig hŠfileika hans David Ý leikstjˇrastˇlnum. Daniel Craig virkar vel sem Mikael, einkum sem persˇna sem er langt frß ■vÝ a­ vera James Bond, bara hef­bundinn bla­ama­ur sem er algj÷rlega ˇvanur ■vÝ a­ vera Ý nokkurskonar lÝfshŠttu. Hann er reyndar sß fyrsti til a­ hŠtta algj÷rlega me­ sŠnska hreiminn, farandi aftur Ý sinn flotta (en mˇtsagnakennda hÚr) breska hreim. Hann gerir sitt besta hins vegar og er langt frß ■vÝ a­ vera vont val. Rooney Mara er hins vegar ßn nokkurs vafa stjarna myndarinnar. T˙lkun hennar ß Lisbeth Salander er samstundis ßhrifarÝk og berskj÷ldu­, og nŠr h˙n a­ byggja upp persˇnu sem er algj÷rlega ˇgleymanleg. Ůa­ sem er mikilvŠgt me­ Lisbeth er a­ ■rßtt fyrir har­neskjulega ˙tlit hennar er h˙n mannleg, manneskja sem hefur tilfinningar og dj˙prŠtar ßstŠ­ur fyrir a­ vera eins og h˙n er. Ůa­ gerir hana ß sama tÝma skiljanlega og ma­ur finnur til me­ henni Ý erfi­leikum hennar. Ůa­ gerir ■a­ a­ verkum a­ persˇnan er ekki ÷fgakennd heldur raunveruleg. Rooney Mara eignar sÚr nŠstum hlutverki­ og h˙n er einfaldlega ˇgleymanleg hÚr.

A­sto­arleikararnir standa sig einnig mj÷g vel, sÚrstaklega Christopher Plummer sem Henrik Vanger, Stellan Skarsgňrd sem Martin Vanger og Yorick van Wageningen sem hin ˇlřsanlega ˇge­slegi Bjurman. Trent Reznor og Atticus Ross koma lÝka aftur til a­ semja tˇnlist fyrir Fincher og gera ■a­ ˇa­finnanlega. Ůa­ er a­eins minna ßberandi en virkar samt fullkomlega fyrir hi­ hrjˇstruga andr˙msloft myndarinnar.

Ef ■˙ vilt sjß dŠmi um hvernig skal setja nřjan svip ß ■aulreynda s÷gu, ■ß er The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo tilvalin mynd. Sagan og tˇnlistin vinna vel saman me­an leikurinn er hreint afbrag­ (og ■ß sÚrstaklega Rooney Mara). LÝti­ anna­ ■arf a­ segja, myndin virkar ß alla bˇga og er hreint meistaraverk; sannarlega me­ bestu myndum 2011.

Super Reviewer

August 13, 2012
David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo takes its time to unravel a puzzle.The story for this crime thriller plays out in a fashion that any film in this genre deserves. Granted, the plot does run for 2 and a half hours thanks to a lot of buildup in the film's first act, but it doesn't feel like a lot of wasted material. In regards to the pacing, it does get slow at times; however it works well given the details of the plot.Another fitting element of this film's story, is the the dark and mature theme, which plays heavily on the Lisbeth Salander character.Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara put up solid performances. Considering they are the focus of the film, this is a good thing. Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Plummer, and Robin Wright round out a few of the other supporting cast members.As a film of its genre, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo fits right in as a recommendable picture.
Adam K

Super Reviewer

August 12, 2012
Its gentle but intriguing story and excellent acting from both Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig make David Fincher's 'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' an impressive adaptation.

The film, tells the story of journalist Daniel Craig who is hired by Christopher Plummer in a small, but well played role, to find out what happened to his niece Harriet when she disappeared aged sixteen forty years ago. Aided by Rooney Mara they research and research to try and find the answer to the unsolved case. It's a simple set up and plot, but the devil is in the details, and the story grows at a steady pace to an interesting climax.

Using the bestselling millennium series by Stieg Larsson, already turned into a Swedish film, Fincher brings together excellent performances from his two main cast members-Craig and Mara, who underplay their roles at all the right moments, creating a suspenseful and ever growing tense atmosphere.

The film is also blessed by some wonderful moments of cinematography, capturing the vast, snowy landscapes of Sweden, along with other close up moments such as a wonderful Lisbeth Salander riding on her motorbike.

It is these moments which stick out and lift the film above its downfalls, of which there are quite a few. The film sometimes immerses itself so far into the calm and gentle pace it is flowing at, that it dawdles, occasionally on moments of pure gut wrenching brutality. These moments, although necessary for the story, are not necessary in their full display, where Fincher does not shy from.

But the story and mystery itself, as well as the development of each of the character's arcs in a basic, but none the less interesting fashion, placed together with some real moments of excellence, gives this remake a for once good name and a most worthy adaptation of the book.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

July 8, 2011
I am a big fan of the original, so I found myself looking for certain memorable scenes, and story directions that never took place. To me, the original Swedish version was much more interesting, and complex. That being said, this version was good, and very well done. I might have thought higher of it had it been an original. I have to add that, even though Rooney Mara did a good job, I think that Noomi Rapace was much more convincing. I credit her for making that original so much more unforgettable.

Super Reviewer

November 29, 2010
Like the cast members of this film, I feel that this film isn't so much a remake as it is just another cinematiac version of the first book in Stieg Larsson's literary trilogy. That's also the same way I felt about Let Me In, and it's relatiosnhip to Let The Right One In.

We've got a nice cold case murder mystery being solved by a disgraced journalist who enlists the help of a tattooed bi-sexual goth punk hacker chick who had previously been tasked with keeping tabs on the journalist himself. Their investigation leads to all sorts of trouble, namely from the victim's survivng family members, some of whom are very prominent industrialists, and all of them being a few degrees off.

Like with the Swedish take, the film is primarily focused on journalist Mikael Blomkvist, yet it's the titular character, better known as Lisbeth Salander, who really steals the show here. Even had this not already been made, I knew off the bat that Fincher would be an excellent choice for the material. His dark trademark style meshes perfectly with the dark and chilly material, and his take makes it somewhat more accessible for western audiences. Although, to be honest, I personally don't mind havign to read titles. Not having to at least means I can spend more time focusing on other things though, and not have to worry about missing something crucial.

I'm not sure which version I like better. The first one started slow and ended with a little brisker, and this one was the opposite: it cruised by for the first two acts (or sure seemed like it did), then really dragged out the conclusion and epilogue. It's weird too, since both films have almsot the same running time, with this one being like just 3 minutes longer. This one might not have the same cultural weight and some stuff was probably lost in translation, but it's still a pretty solid thriller. It's weird, because I think I liked the way the mystery was handled in this one better, but I still think both versions are very overrated.

Craig absolutely owns as Blomkvist though, and I liked Wright as Erika Berger, though I could have used more of here. Maybe they'll make the other two films as well? As Lisbeth, Rooney Mara was quite a revelation. I was a little unsure of her casting, and I was kinda put off by initial production photos, but, seeing her work in context in the full finished product, she definitely won me over. This is definitely going to be one of her standout roles. She's awesome, and pulls off the look well, though I'm not a fan of the bleached eyebrows or the fact that some (though not all) of her piercings are noticeably fake. She really shwos off her courage by taking on such a demanding and revealing role though, and I'm amazed they thought to give her an Oscar nod, since I wasn't figuring they'd do it.

A worthy film, though not a masterpiece. I really enjoyed it, but I feel like Fincher didn't really break any new ground here, though he sure wasn't slacking off, either.

Super Reviewer

July 21, 2012
I could never imagine me saying this about a remake, but Fincher's movie is much, much better than the Swedish one in both script (the way the story was developed and its end) and casting. Although I haven't read the book and, then, can't talk about the fidelity to the book, Rooney Mara's Lisbeth, strong but vulnerable, rough but sweet, is way better than Noomi Rapace's.

Super Reviewer

February 21, 2011
What is hidden in snow, comes forth in the thaw.

Very interesting film! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is obviously not going to be for everybody. It relies on extremely long discussions to drive most of the two and a half hour duration of the film. In between though, it becomes difficult to watch mostly with how Nils Bjurman handles giving Lisbeth more money and her response. Lisbeth's response will more than likely have you tiptoeing out of the theater as delicately as possible since you'll still be feeling it. With a phenomenal cast, incredibly rich cinematography, a brilliant score, and Rooney Mara's best performance to date, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not only an improvement over the original but easily one of the best films of the year.

Mikael Blomkvist is a disgraced journalist who is asked by a wealthy industrialist to write a biography on his family. But what he really wants Blomkvist to do is to find out what happened to his niece, who went missing 40 years ago. Blomkvist, at first, is not interested, till the man offers to help him clear his name. Blomkvist, begins by talking to the man's relatives who were there when the girl went missing. And some of them are not forth coming. Blomkvist eventually believes that her disappearance might have something to do with some serial killings that took place 20 years before she disappeared. So he asks for a research assistant. So the industrialist's man suggests Lisbeth Salander, a talented hacker who does background checks for them and who even did one on Blomkvist. When he sees her report, he's impressed and asks her to work with him and she does. She's anti-social but is extremely efficient.

Super Reviewer

July 6, 2012
I really can't see how so many film reviewers have caste aspersions upon the source book of this film - I mean, if it was worth not just one, but two films over a 3 year period there must be something to recommend, isn't there?

That being said, I have read the book, but have not seen the "original" Swedish 2009 film, so, while I know the plot line, I do not have the visuals to compare with.

David Fincher put his stamp on this film from the opening frames - the haunting backdrop that runs behind the opening credits. From here you have a pretty faithful following of the famous book, with just a few liberties as the two seemingly unattached stories of Lisbeth Salander (the titular "girl") and disgraced magazine editor and writer Mikael Blomkvist slowly come together.

In those two pivotal roles are Daniel Craig as Mikael and Ronney Mara as the goth/ punk cyber wizard Lisbeth. Both are fine in the roles, as are the two main supporting actors, Chrisopher Plummer and particularly Stellan Skarsgard.

I believe that what has irked many a reviewer is that the source novel isn't an easy thing to follow, and as mentioned, almost seems to be two different stories, that of Salander and that of Blomkvist. That the two do come together in a logical manner seems to be neglected by the nay sayers.

I do suppose that a story involving a 40 year old murder mystery may not be everyone's cup of aquavit (a lil Scandinavian humor there) - and the seemingly tag ending of the film (after the mystery has been revealed) seems just that - but it really does make more sense with all the background that the book provides (stuff that unfortunately just gets rushed over in this film as it focuses more on the interactions of the two characters).

Still, the film does a creditable job of making deep research interesting and giving us a truly riveting character study in Salander. I'm thinking that this character study is what will carry the day for those who haven't seen the earlier film nor read the novel - otherwise the mystery might seem a bit hard to fathom. Certainly the second (or is it third?) plot concerning Mikael's libel case (which gives the tag ending credibility), is never properly explained, making said ending, as well as several other points of the film seem unattached or superfluous.

I really don't know how to grade this film for those who are not familiar with the story as the presenation assumes a certain familiarity - but if you are familiar with the story then you will more than likely agree that this is a successful adaptation, with the pervasive etherial electronic background music provided by Trent Resner (which provides a funny inside moment, as one of Salander's friends is wearing a NIN tee shirt).
Jay H

Super Reviewer

July 2, 2012
I've neither read the book nor seen the 2009 Swedish film adaptation, so perhaps my feelings about this film have a great deal to do with the novelty of the plot, but I felt this film was exceptional. I can't think of a character since Heath Ledger as Joker in The Dark Knight that is more intriguing and well-played than Mara as Salander in this film. Though I haven't read the source material, it feels very much like this story was made for film. Despite this, one of the film's few and minor flaws is that it has many of the qualities of an adaptation. It's long (though the 157 minutes seem to breeze by), the pacing seems rushed, and it has an odd plot structure. Nevertheless, the excuses made by the Harry Potter series can be applied here, understanding that a film adaptation of a novel will have an awfully hard time fully realizing the novel's spirit without having these qualities. I struggle to find anything negative to say about this film. Truly one of the most exceptional plot-driven films I've seen in some time.
Sanjay R

Super Reviewer

April 14, 2012
This movie had a nice, but slow developing story with an awkward conclusion. Rooney Mara turns in a good performance and has good chemistry with Craig. This movie didn't blow my mind, but it didn't totally disappoint either. I just expected more.
Albert K

Super Reviewer

May 21, 2012
Finally, after all the rave and talk about the series, I decided to step in and see what all the fuss has been about. My verdict? It's a glorious rendition of a wildly interesting thriller -- no doubt about that, but it fails to leave a mark of a trilogy that is memorable by any means, that is Fincher's rendition of the series and not the original narrative as a whole.

It might've possibly been a mistake on my part to jump in without seeing the original Swedish version due to the possibility of mistranslation or different artistic views conveyed via Fincher. Nevertheless, Fincher's rendition is a damn good one if you ask me. He's done a great job portraying a brooding atmosphere and a riveting narrative through the incredible cast, dynamically rich camerawork, polished cinematography, and a witty script. There's a lot of disquieting scenes crammed into this piece, but I can't help but to get a vibe that Fincher didn't care to remain faithful to the original narrative by portraying the emotional or thematic undertones as for why these scenes were even placed within the story arc in the first place. The nudity, the disturbing scenes, and many other scenes seemingly stick out, as if it didn't belong. That's all to say that this "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is by no means a bad movie, but an unfocused motion picture... a really good unfocused motion picture.

I'm sure there's plenty of differences between the international version and the Hollywood version, but I'm sufficed to say that Fincher's rendition of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a captivating, nerve-racking mysterious thriller that is sure to entertain, but doesn't earn the high talks of how great the trilogy is due to differing artistic views and a confusion towards portraying the original narrative's thematic and emotional undertones. I'm a guy that hasn't seen the international nor read any of the books, but it's apparently obvious that this is a carbon-copy of the exterior storyline, but not the soul of the original source material.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

May 24, 2012
I liked this version just as much as the original, not surprising as they're pretty much the same film. For all the things I preferred in David Fincher's version, there are just as many things I preferred in Niels Arden Oplev's. Still, I liked it, it is a visually strong piece with a great cast with strong performances. The big question, and the one I'm struggling with, is who's the better Lisbeth, Noomi Rapace or Rooney Mara? That's a tough one!

Super Reviewer

January 12, 2011
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgňrd, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, Joely Richardson, Geraldine James, Goran Visnjic, Donald Sumpter, Ulf Friberg

Director: David Fincher

Summary: When a young computer hacker is tasked with investigating a prying journalist, their separate missions become entangled amid a decades-old conspiracy. David Fincher directs this English adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel.

My Thoughts: "I enjoyed the movie. But it's so hard not to compare this film to it's original. Which I liked much more. I found this film to be lacking the intensity the other film oozed with. I did enjoy Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist more so then I did Michael Nyqvist. But as much as Rooney Mara did a great job in this film, there is no comparisson to the fantastic performance Noomi Rapace gave. I just loved her in the film. But it is the best performance I have seen given by Rooney Mara. I can't say much in this review that I haven't already said in the other one. So I'll stick with the performancs and directing. Great on both accounts. It's just the fact that I liked one more then I did the other. So I'll end it with that."

Super Reviewer

September 13, 2010
Who better to re-imagine Stieg Larsson's crime noir than the ingeniously gifted David Fincher? His own take on the story, involving the riveting murder investigations of journalist Mikael Blomqvist and goth-punk hacker Lisbeth Salander, is true to the source material, while simultaneously imprinted with his own personal touch. It doesn't just passively ride the success wave of the original, as most other re-makes would do, but presents the plot with a deep understanding for the material, as well as supplementing it with fantastic visual flair. For those reasons, I liked this even more than its predecessor. I also loved the fact that he shot it in my home country, even if Sweden is portrayed in a rather glum and depressing light (come here in the summer time and you'll know what I mean). On the other hand, our film industry is best known for its "Nordic noir", where the mood is often heavy and drenched in grey-ish color tones. So in that sense, he really nailed the visual look that you'll find in the typical Swedish crime thriller. Besides the brilliant directing, I was also tremendously impressed by the phenomenal editing. Despite being close to nearly 3 hours long, the outstanding camera work, and what I'm sure has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears in the cutting room, gives it a beautiful, almost poetic flow, that keeps the interest high throughout. Not to mention the magnificent performances by everyone in the cast. Newcomer Rooney Mara was a very wise choice for the role of Lisbeth, as she infuses it with exactly the right attitude that the character requires. Another stand-out is Christopher Plummer, with his incredibly arresting screen presence as the instigator of the murder investigation, Henrik Vanger. Daniel Craig is very convincing as well, and it was nice that they hired Stellan Skarsgňrd for the role of Martin, Henrik Vanger's nephew. A highly compelling watch, that not just re-tells the story respectfully, but improves upon it with sophistication and style. My hat off to Fincher, for taking something that was already good and molding it into an even greater cinematic delight. Or as we would say here in Sweden: Tvň tummar upp!
Mario M.
Mario M.

Super Reviewer

April 22, 2012
The Girl with Dragon Tattoo is trash. That descriptor applies to all versions of the Swedish murder mystery/societal expos├ (C); Stieg LarsonÔ(TM)s bestselling novel, Neil Arden OplevÔ(TM)s blockbuster adaptation of the same name and finally David FincherÔ(TM)s wildly unnecessary US remake. FincherÔ(TM)s is probably the most entertaining version of the story of punk super hacker and rape survivor Lisbeth Salander because of how skilled a craftsman he is but ultimately because of how thin and lurid the source material, heÔ(TM)s only able to make a film that only succeeds as the best directed pair of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes ever.

If you turn the sound off and are judicious with your media playerÔ(TM)s skip button, FincherÔ(TM)s Dragon Tattoo is an aesthetic masterpiece. The film works best when Steve ZillianÔ(TM)s work-a-day script recedes and Ficher is allowed to play with motion and color, sequences that standout as excellent pieces of modular visual art in the mediocre consumer product that is the film. Salander (an excellent and inscrutable Rooney Mara) pulling off a complex a country wide scam, an Instagram hued flashbacks that reveals a dark family history and even the filmÔ(TM)s notorious and gruesome rape scene are all conceived and staged masterfully and act as welcome relief from the numbing blandness of the filmÔ(TM)s central mystery and its increasingly tedious combination reveals and exposition.

The plot of the film, the decades old disappearance of a rich manÔ(TM)s niece investigated by a disgraced crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and brooding goth girl Friday, is at times a painful slog. Not because of the way Fincher films seemly endless sequences of people pouring over files and intently staring at computer screens, which looks about as interesting as methodical research can look but because it forces the film to focus on its least interesting character. Craig has a solid take on the Blomkvist character, an ethical but weak man who bumbles into easy sex and mortal danger with the same mild befuddlement. HeÔ(TM)s a reactive protagonist and as such a weak protagonist but what can be done with a character whose main attributes are his helpless sexiness and an inexplicable knack for exposing massive corruption? It was a smart career move of CraigÔ(TM)s to play such a character so different from the dashing James Bond but Blomkvist is ultimately just as much of a wish fulfillment fantasy.

This lack of grounding spills over into the rest of the supposedly hard edged film. The filmÔ(TM)s central mystery isnÔ(TM)t solved through careful investigative work as much narrative contrivance. CraigÔ(TM)s character willingly walks into the lair of a serial killer and has a number of crucial details explained to him. Evidence needed to topple a corrupt businessman is found from an off screen computer hack. Everything is incidental and actions donÔ(TM)t have direct consequences so much as unrelated effects. Everything works out for the best but not because of anything the characters intended to do but because are five acts, the narrative just needed to end.

In addition to the problems of Dragon TattooÔ(TM)s airplane read plot, its themes are also deep troubling. The original title of Stieg LarsonÔ(TM)s book was Men Who Hate Women because much of the novel deals with the troublesome relationships gender dynamics of modern day Sweden. As an example this, Larson has his tough as nails heroine Salander fall victim to a protracted sexual assault at the hands of her legal guardian, a banal monster who uses his authority to exercise his misogyny. In turn, this motivates her to aid Blomkvist in hunting down Ôa killer of women.Ô? Using rape as a motivation for a female character is always a dubious choice and in this film itÔ(TM)s extremely problematic. The rape serves no character purpose; Salander is established as an extremely capable but damaged woman and we understand that SalanderÔ(TM)s rapist is a man who abuses his power to abuse women as do the men in the family of the missing girl that Salander is called to investigate. SalanderÔ(TM)s brutalization is designed to be endemic of the sexual violence and institutional sexism of the society that she lives in, but itÔ(TM)s also there to give the audience a dark thrill. This made obvious by the repeated pre and post rape sexualization of Salander and the fact the rape is essentially forgotten once Salander rapes her attacker. This isnÔ(TM)t a movie about empowering revenge fantasies or the pervasiveness of sexual violence; itÔ(TM)s about sexualizing violence for the sake of being edgy.

ThereÔ(TM)s a featurette on the Blu-ray for FincherÔ(TM)s Dragon Tattoo where he argues with his props and special effects team about the harness that the filmÔ(TM)s antagonist puts Craig into. The harness needs to incapacitate Craig while also looking simple enough to assemble in a relatively short amount of time. Fincher argues over and over about the believability and functionality of the device, arguing that their efforts, while being functional simply donÔ(TM)t feel right. In the same discussion, Fincher complains the no one would willingly get into such constricting device but as seen in the finished film, he ultimately settles for CraigÔ(TM)s being gassed unconscious before being bound while never addressing the contrivance of man walking into the clutches of a man he believes to be a serial killer. FincherÔ(TM)s precise attention to detail has made him one of the most interesting filmmakers working and itÔ(TM)s dismaying to see that he couldnÔ(TM)t or wouldnÔ(TM)t apply that same finely honed discrimination to the rambling structure and loathsome gender politics of his latest work.
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