The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Rated R, 158 mins
Crime drama, Mystery, Thriller
★★★★★ ★★★★★ by 3 Users
David Fincher's adaptation of the international best-seller is a triumph of craftsmanship over material. Though Steven Zallian's screenplay preserves the ugly details and underlying puritanism of Stieg Larsson's mystery novel, Fincher directs as if this were the sequel to The Social Network: what register most strongly are the caffeinated pacing and pristine, impenetrable surfaces. The protagonist—a famous magazine reporter (Daniel Craig) and a goth-styled computer hacker (Rooney Mara)—solve much of the mystery through research. The task of dramatizing this proved too difficult for Niels Arden Oplev when he directed a Swedish adaptation in 2009, but as Fincher demonstrated in Social Network, he knows how to make information technology eerily seductive. Unfortunately Larsson's salacious plot elements—mass murder, Nazism, and the like—feel just as shallow as they did in the earlier version. With Christopher Plummer.
Official Site:
Director: David Fincher
Producer: Scott Rudin, Ole Sondberg, Soren Staermose, Ceán Chaffin, Steven Zaillian, Mikael Wallen and Anni Fernandez
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorik van Wageningen, Joely Richardson, Geraldine James, Goran Visnjic, Donald Sumpter, Ulf Friberg, Bengt Carlsson, Tony Way, Per Myrberg, Josefin Asplund, Eva Fritjofson, Moa Garpendal, Maia Bergqvist, Sarah Appelberg and Julian Sands

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Reviews / Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

funny, i thought the material was good enough to base a movie on; and i'm glad this filmed version did NOT feel compelled to re-imagine the story. What was omitted, or limited, seemed to be a sacrifice in the name of American's notoriously short attention span.

Put the characters in context: the Vanger generation that drives all the craziness was the same era (and part of the world!) that was heavily influenced by Hitler's cult of personality. Of COURSE mass murder and Nazi-ism figure into their zeit-geist.

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Posted by notwild on 12/22/2011 at 7:21 AM

I think the original commenter misread the part of the review about the Nazism and mass murder being 'shallow.' I think the reviewer was trying to say that these elements were included in the movie only because they are part of the story, yet the director failed to make them really shocking or important to the audience. It was just, 'Oh, my father was a Nazi and my brother started raping me when I was 12. Care for a spot of tea?' Many of the characters' revelation/description of events that are supposed to be horrifying really came off as casual and detached.

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Posted by Patrick Andre Burden on 12/31/2011 at 11:27 AM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

I loved this movie, suspenseful and entertaining, it kept me guessing. The soundtrack by Trent Reznor is haunting

Posted by lee on 01/19/2012 at 6:46 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

Very effective telling, but per Ben's review rather shallow. I saw the film with someone who read the book, apparently it makes more emotional sense. Without backstory, much of this just seems cheaply sensational and the violence gratuitous. Fincher is a good storyteller, but the screenplays need more work. Like "Social Network", visually compelling but strangely uninvolving.

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Posted by Ghoulardi57 on 12/31/2011 at 9:40 AM

The depiction of the stark Swedish countryside was, for me, the most compelling feature of the movie. That Nazis were forced to live out their lives in this spartan world underlines the desperation of their existence. Martin's house on the hill was a reflection of the bleak empty landscape. Perfect setting for the storyline. Would have loved to hear Apocalyptica and Tangerine Dream as part of the soundtrack.

Posted by Dave Sutherland on 04/10/2012 at 7:30 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

In comparison to the original Swedish film, I found the higher production values and the faster pace much more absorbing. Although the Nazi and incest aspects of the plot were matter of fact, the revenge after the rape was thoroughly satisfying from my feminist point of view. This is an action movie with a fantasy feminist protagonist, not a documentary.

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Posted by ruchla on 01/02/2012 at 7:31 AM
Showing 1-6 of 6

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