The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
658 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
Despite claims to the contrary, a necessary re-interpretation of the story
jlars77727 December 2011
After the announcement that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was getting an English-language film treatment, I decided that the hype had built up to a point where I just had to read the source material for myself. Though it is not without flaws, Dragon Tattoo is an excellent story with the important mission of raising awareness concerning violence against women. Mere days after finishing the book I watched the Swedish film. The hype train had me excited for an outstanding thriller.

The hype train let me down.

I was left cold and somewhat irritated by the Swedish adaptation. A ton of important plot elements were left out, some were inexplicably added (Blomkvist's memories of the island became far too important and contrived), and Rapace felt all wrong as Lisbeth. She was brilliant and violent, but lacked the quiet pensiveness of the original character. She did not come off as autistic and emotionally disturbed, just bratty and rude. Worst of all, I was constantly confused by the extremely rushed, strange new take on the story.

As a lover of foreign films, I normally grind my teeth when I hear that America is developing a remake. However, I found myself desperate for this one. I needed a movie that actually gave me the experience of reading the book for the first time, that made me care for Lisbeth and that truly disturbed me. Thankfully, the American adaptation (not a remake) delivered exactly what I was looking for. Those who say this version is unnecessary or a rehash must have seen a very different Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo than I saw. The American take is jam-packed with scenes that were either skimmed or completely left out of the Swedish version. Yet, despite being more robust, the English- language Dragon Tattoo is incredibly paced, feeling less rushed yet hitting all the important plot points. The characters have time to develop and grow on you, the clue-finding makes more sense, and the killer is more horrifying. Screenwriter Zaillian knows exactly what to leave out and what to change (though the ending, which mirrors the book's ending, could have been arranged better). Craig, Mara, and even Plummer are spot-on in their roles and feel more fleshed-out as characters. Mara, in particular, inhabits Larsson's Lisbeth in a way Rapace did not. She captures Lisbeth's silent, borderline-autistic nature perfectly. Her fragile body and alien appearance even match the book's description. She allows herself to be vulnerable, but clearly regrets it over time. It's a captivating performance.

If someone were to ask me, personally, which version to see, I would have to say without hesitation that this is the rare occasion where the American adaptation is superior. I did not think it was possible to stay so true to the story under three hours.
404 out of 584 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
She's Not as Interesting as Her Swedish-Speaking Counterpart
Chris_Pandolfi21 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Watching the original Swedish version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," I was actively engaged with its dual story lines, but I also found myself pondering which of the two was the more important. Now that David Fincher has made an English-language remake, I find myself pondering what went wrong. Here is a mystery thriller so cold, so distant, and so lacking in energy that it feels neither mysterious nor thrilling. It follows the plot of the original film fairly closely, and yet it makes a number of small changes that drastically affect its credibility. I'm also stumped by the curious decision to retain the Swedish setting. If you have gone to the trouble of casting English-speaking actors, it seems only fitting that you should change the story's location to somewhere more appropriate, say America or Britain. Adapted from the novel by Stieg Larsson, the title is a description of goth chick Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), an emotionally walled-off computer hacker who works for a security company. In the original film, we got only scraps of her back story, and yet just enough was given to pique our interest. We were challenged to read her. Who was she? What had she gone through? What led up to a disturbing watershed moment seen only in flashback? In this remake, her back story doesn't even amount to crumbs. That watershed moment is altogether removed, as is a significant chunk of her family history. Because of this, we're no longer compelled to probe her mind, to try and understand why she is the way she is. All we see is a girl in her early twenties in serious need of an attitude adjustment. She was hired to investigate a former reporter turned magazine publisher named Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), who lost a libel case against a powerful billionaire. Although he must pay a serious amount in damages, he insists that he was set up. Lisbeth is inclined to agree; her investigative work turned up nothing incriminating. Not long after the trial, Mikael is hired by a man named Dirch Frode (Steven Berkoff) on behalf of his employer, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), the former CEO of a family industry. Now retired on a family-owned island off the mainland, he asks two things of Mikael: To write a memoir about the Vanger clan and to investigate the case of his great-niece, Harriet, who disappeared in 1966 when she was only a teenager. Henrik is convinced she was murdered, and that her killer is a member of his family, with whom he does not get along. Needing an assistant, Mikael is directed towards Lisbeth, who has just worked her way of a particularly nasty situation with her new guardian, a sadistic sexual pervert (Yorick van Wageningen) who kept strict control of her finances. As she and Mikael dig deeper into the mystery, they must make sense of a series of numbers Harriet wrote in a notebook, all of which are paired with initials. What do they mean? How do they connect to a series of murders spread across time and distance, all involving young women? And in what way does Henrik's family factor in? Watching the original film, I anxiously awaited the moment the mystery would be solved. That's because, as contrived as it was, there was at least the sense that the filmmakers were interested in their own material. The same cannot be said about this new film. There's no urgency about it. I think much of the blame rests on the updated screenplay by Steven Zaillian, which awkwardly intertwines dark and twisted scenarios with an undercurrent of dry wit. When Henrik first meets Mikael, for example, we find that the former is almost jovial – not at all appropriate given his sad situation. Certain scenes from the original film were intense, and yet they always felt as if they were character driven. That's not the case here; most of the intense scenes, including when Lisbeth spontaneously decides to have sex with Mikael, are overproduced, as if the intention was to be sensational. The most glaring misfire is the inclusion of a stray cat. I don't need to spell out what happens to it. I will say, however, that this plot device is so overused that it has long since ceased to be symbolic. Now it's just cruel and disgusting. Little touches, such as Mikael's affair with his magazine coworker (Robin Wright) and his relationship with his religious teenage daughter (Josefin Asplund), contribute absolutely nothing to the story apart from a surplus of characters. And then there's the ending, which is really more of an epilogue as it involves events unrelated to the case of Harriet Vanger. In the original film, it was a brief couple of scenes that tied up a few loose ends. Here, it goes on much longer than it should. I'm usually the first to give remakes the benefit of the doubt. It's certainly not my style to make endless comparisons between old and new versions of the same story. But in the case of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," I just can't help myself. I'll make this easy on you: See the original instead of the remake. Quite simply, the original is better. -- Chris Pandolfi
177 out of 257 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Most expensive subtitle removal ever ?
tskogstrom29 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I cannot see how all the Hollywood money was used? I must have been the most expensive removal of subtitles in the history. Camera and light felt a bit better than the Swedish original version, but the end result felt too similar to the previous one. I also questioning reviews' sanity when they claim 'Rooney for Oscar' - she did nothing out of expected performance - in my opinion. Still the movie is better than general Hollywood movies, where 'actors' only scream f**k to each other.

The story around rapist Nils Bjurman was probably the poorest part, it made a flat impression, perhaps because of the scenes coming to close to each other 'First forced oral ... a few minutes ...then rape ... a few minutes ... then revenge'. in the Swedish version, and in the book, more happened with the character between these scenes. It should have scored six but I feel the failure of keeping up to the expectations reduce it one score.
75 out of 104 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Fincher adds a liberal dash of dull to a great story.
FatMan-QaTFM3 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
You may or may not be familiar with the original Girl movies from Sweden or Norway or wherever they don't speak the Lord's fine language, but they do exist. Made for TV, but containing unfiltered images of the sex, violence, and perversion from the thriller, the original trilogy was a great tribute to a now passed author. WHat's that Hollywood? You know what's good for us? This isn't a review of the originals, but they do bear mentioning since the Fincher feature is intended (and being hailed) as a superior version.

Mikael Blomkvist is a simple investigative reporter – he wants the biggest names in corporate corruption to fall. When he gets raked through the courts for a huge financial loss, he slips out of the public view taking a job solving a long standing murder for a strange wealthy family living on an island in north wherever. He soon figures out there's more to the single incident and employs the services Hot Topic poster girl Lisbeth Salander as his chief researcher. She's unhinged, but has the uncanny ability to hack EVERYTHING using the Mac OS – a feat worthy of praise, for sure. Mystery unfolds, solves, and it only took 2 hours and 40 minutes.

In typical Fincher fashion, everything was grass-growing slow. It's a thriller, but even the climax contained long, riveting scenes of Lisbeth flipping through old records, getting coffee, walking, walking, walking, riding elevators… there's pacing and then there's self-indulgence. Thankfully Queer had graciously tossed me a free large soda coupon, so I filled my time by drinking, eliminating, and refilling several times. Choosing the flavoring for my soda = most exciting part of my evening.

Daniel Craig really could have been anybody. It's not really his fault, Mikael isn't a very complex character. He's thoughtful, passive, and likes his little trysts (don't we all?), but never really has any intentions other than the ever-noble seeking the truth. Rooney Mara got the real gem – Lisbeth Salander with her stormy past, violent nature, and unfettered lust. Through the talented (and, funny, English- speaking) Noomi Rapace, the character has some maturity and more control in the crazed moments. Rooney Mara never broke from a sullen, pouty demeanor until the absurd final minutes of the film where she suddenly goes all Tin Man and finds a heart telling a brain-dead old man "I made a friend!" Rapace was a terrifyingly unhinged woman, Mara was a pouting teenager.

It's more than just the dull pacing and flat characters that made this movie boring as dirt, it was the entire experience. The Trent Reznor score sounded like someone leaning on a keyboard, the locations had zero deviation from the original, the accents fluttered somewhere between Swedish and British, and product placement overran the screen at all times. Far from the gritty source material, the film spewed out the watered-down, pretentious Hollywood version of edgy.

The one positive – first film I've seen shot on RedOne that had a beautiful cinema look to it. Too bad everything else couldn't match the picture quality.

Critics may fawn over Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and probably the subsequent two films, but I think I'll be taking the Twilight route and skipping the rest of the series having had the taste of the first.
42 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Another Winner From David Fincher!
eytand9422 December 2011
The lights dim, the movie begins with a brief prologue, and the zany and incredibly weird opening credits begin, set to a creepy cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song." From the beginning, we are in for a wild ride as Stieg Larsson's incredibly popular novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is brought to life on screen.

Scorned journalist Mikael Blomkvist is called upon by Henrik Vanger, a very wealthy man, while writing a book. Vanger is in search of an answer to the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, which occurred over 40 years ago. He assumes that Harriet is dead, and that she was murdered. He looks to Mikael to investigate her disappearance and who killed her. Then Mikael gets assistance from Lisbeth Salander, a dangerous but intelligent 24 year-old punk who is an accomplished computer hacker and a great contribution to the solving of other crimes. Together, Mikael and Lisbeth go on a dark, eerie journey into a world of crime, Nazism, and corruption that will lead them to Harriet's assassin.

I walked into "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" with almost no knowledge of Larsson's novel or the Swedish film made a few years before David Fincher's version. The end result is ultimately an extremely satisfying, brutal, and complex thriller thanks to great direction by Fincher (known greatly for his work on "Seven," "The Game," and "The Social Network"), excellent writing, and an impeccably chosen cast.

After only a few years, the character of Lisbeth Salander has become an attention-grabbing heroine that is as iconic as Edward Cullen of the love-it-or-hate-it "Twilight" series. And we can understand why. After all the truly awful and hideous things that have plagued her life, Lisbeth doesn't take any crap from anybody. She may be angry, violent, overtly sexual, demanding, and perhaps a little crazy, but she is a genius at what she does, and has reasons for all of her actions, no matter how gruesome they may be.

The mystery surrounding the film is sophisticated and white-knuckling, adding to the intensity and mood of the story and its characters. We're not sure of who is Harriet's killer, or if Harriet is even dead, until the last half hour of the film, and when we do find out the twist, it leaves a stupendous impact.

After cementing his reputation in brutal crime thrillers, and surprising us with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "The Social Network," David Fincher was the right man for the director's chair. Every film he makes, even a drama like "The Social Network," sets up a tone of genuine suspense, tension, and fear for the characters. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" isn't any different as Fincher adds his signature touch to the movie.

Of all of the people they could have chosen to play these roles, the casting director landed in a pot of gold. Daniel Craig does a wonderful job as Mikael, showing us that he can play characters other than James Bond. With the amount of screen time she has, Robin Wright is also very good as Blomkvist's business partner Erika Berger. Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgård also turn in great performances as Henrik Vanger and Martin Vanger.

The person to really watch out for, however, is Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. Getting her big break in the underrated remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and later starring in Fincher's previous film "The Social Network" (giving a dynamite performance in the opening scene), Mara has sealed her future with many more promising and exciting roles because of her portrayal of Lisbeth. This is not an easy role to play, knowing that Mara is the second person to play the character. She must endure two shocking rape scenes and a torture sequence, and there is a hefty amount of nudity involved. Mara embodies Lisbeth, immediately bringing immense intimidation, danger, and fury every time she comes on to the screen. Her eyes are wide and emotionless, almost as if you can see right through her. And with everything that has happened to the character, we understand that Lisbeth has a right to be that way. She may be smart, but she is not interested in attraction or friendships with another human being. Overall, Mara gives a sensational, fearless, dedicated, and electrifying performance that guarantees an Oscar nod.

Being released during the cheery time of the holidays, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is not a feel-good film, by any means. It is a harsh, gritty, and rough cinema trip that answers the question of leaving the kids at home with the babysitter. Also, if you're squeamish, you will not like it. However, those who have read the book, and those who have not read it, should check it out. Even without having read Larsson's novel, I left the theater completely satisfied. It is a movie experience that you don't commonly get. Fincher has done it again. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a must!
274 out of 410 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Quick Comparison of both versions - both excellent in their own right
hyprsleepy22 December 2011
Here is a rundown of the differences in the two movies:

-MIKAEL BLOMKVIST-

American - Blomkvist is played as more of a tough guy and not a good guy. His flaws are laid bare and he shows himself to be much more detached than emotional.

Swedish - This is the "good guy" side of Mikael. He is sensitive, caring, and smart. He shows a protective side when it comes to Lisbeth. Physically speaking the Swedish Blomkvist doesn't look as sturdy as his American counterpart. He has a gut and appears to be quite a bit older than Lisbeth which can make the relationship between them more shudder inducing and probably accounts for why there are fewer sex scenes between them in the Swedish version.

-LISBETH SALANDER-

American - Perhaps because Blomkvist was made into such a strong character Lisbeth was then morphed into a more withdrawn and vulnerable girl so as to complement the new Blomkvist. She still has attitude, aggression, and rage but she also exhibits a quiet shy side that was not in the original as well as more of a romantic side.

Swedish - In this version Lisbeth is not shy, not gentle, and not nice. She doesn't chase Blomkvist - he chases her. She perfectly embodies everything you think of when you think of a strong female lead and has an unpredictability and edge to her that is exciting to watch. Her dragon tattoo is much, much better.

-OVERALL-

I liked the American Mikael and the Swedish Lisbeth.

While I may prefer a scene or two from the Swedish version, such as the ending, overall I enjoyed the American version more.

On the flip side, I can understand why some may hate this version because Lisbeth was their favorite character and she's been changed into something they don't like. For me, the modifications to Lisbeth's character weren't severe enough to put me off.

The Swedish version captured a cult following for a reason and I would recommend both to anyone who has an interest in darker gritty movies that have a raw intensity to them. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo isn't for the faint of heart and that's what I love about it!
195 out of 289 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Swedish (2009) Version is Superior
noggindoc7 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo just adds to the list of crummy American remakes. First of all, what is with the opening credits? Are we watching a James Bond movie? Just because Daniel Craig is in it? The opening credits are completely disconnected from the rest of the film.

Then the accents are entirely messed up. Daniel Craig kept turning on and off a "Swedish" accent and then mixing it with his real accent. However, I think Craig made a good Blomkvist in the end.

Noomi Rapace is a far better fit for Lisbeth than Rooney Mara. Mara is just not as convincing in her character portrayal. I lost count of the number of times I had to see her naked during the film. This is what really cheapens the movie for me. The nudity in the Swedish version is tasteful, this film is anything but tasteful. And I'm not complaining about the rape scenes, those are important plot points to the films and books. However, unnecessary nudity is entirely pathetic. Mara's accent is bizarre too, it sounds like she has no nose.

Please don't make the other two, just..don't.
58 out of 80 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Comes forth with the Thaw
David Ferguson20 December 2011
Greetings again from the darkness. The character of Lisbeth Salander absolutely fascinates me. That's true whether we are discussing Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy novels, the Swedish film versions, or this latest film version from director David Fincher and a screenplay from Steve Zaillian. It's also true whether Lisbeth is played on screen by Noomi Rapace (Swedish films) or Rooney Mara. She is a brilliant character hiding in plain sight from a world that has fiercely mistreated her, and now misjudges and underestimates her. She is the oddest heroine I can recall ... and I can't get enough of her.

Let's start with the source material. Stieg Larsson's books are far from perfect, but addictive just the same. The first book (on which this film is based) is, at its core, a simple who-dunnit presented in a manner that is claustrophobic, paranoid and eerie. Moving on to this particular film, we find the director and screenplay holding the basic tone while making a few changes ... some minor, others more substantial. These changes may irk those fans who are a bit more loyal to the books, but Fincher surely wanted to offer more than a simple re-telling of the story.

Daniel Craig plays Mikael Blomkvist, the journalist hired to solve the 40 year old mystery of the disappearance/murder of Harriet Vanger, niece to Swedish millionaire Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer). To research, Blomkvist must dig into the Vanger's rotten family tree of Nazis, anti-Semites, sexual predators, anti-social fanatics, and a few just plain loony birds. You can imagine how excited this rich and once powerful family is to have someone uncovering long buried secrets. Circumstances allow for Lisbeth to assist Blomkvist in researching this.

Unlike many mysteries where assembling the clues is the most fun, the real heart of this story is the odd, somewhat uncomfortable developing relationship between Blomkvist and Lisbeth. This latest version allows this to develop relatively smoothly, but it nonetheless rattles our senses. We see the subtle changes in Lisbeth as she slowly opens up to the idea of a real friendship based on trust. Fear not mystery fans, the Vanger clan still provides more than enough juice to keep any film sleuth happy.

It's truly impossible to avoid comparisons between the two movie versions and the respective casts. It's quite obvious Mr. Fincher was working with a substantially greater budget than Niels Arden Opler had for the first Swedish film. While they are both enthralling, I actually lean a bit towards the rawer original. That takes nothing away from this latest version. Same with Noomi Rapace vs. Rooney Mara. Ms. Mara is excellent in her performance and I was fully satisfied, but Ms. Rapace brought a rougher edge to the role ... one that made it even tougher to crack that shell. The biggest difference in the casts is Daniel Craig against Michael Nyqvist. Mr. Craig is just a bit too cool for the role, while Nyqvist captured the insecurity and vulnerability that Larsson wrote about.

All of that is nit-picking. Both film versions are sterling entertainment and hopefully the Fincher version will bring the story to a much wider audience. I would encourage those that are interested to check out the Swedish version, as well as the Larsson books. Maybe that will explain my fascination with this creature known as Lisbeth Salander.
155 out of 230 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Another Disappointing American Remake
llsee31 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I checked the spoiler box, but I find it hard to believe that anyone interested in this movie has not read the book, or seen the Swedish version. And, frankly I can't understand the glowing reviews from critics and praise for Rooney Mara's performance. Did they read the book, or see the Swedish version? First the good. I did like the ending better than the Swedish version. It was closer to the book, and necessary to set up Lisbeth's antagonism toward Bloomkvist in the second book. But I wonder if they were even thinking about a possible second film, because they dragged at least 2 key scenes from the second book into this film, one being Lisbeth's confrontation of Bjurman about the possible tattoo removal.

Now for the bad. As created by Larsson in the book, and as portrayed by Noomi Rapace in the Swedish version, Lisbeth was an angry, fearless outsider, determined to live life on her terms. As portrayed by Mara, Lisbeth is a waif, unable to cope with life, making her outbursts of violence both puzzling and unexpected. In the book, it is clear that Lisbeth was the stronger character, but that's not the way Mara portrays her. That is the crux of the problem with this movie, and probably the reason for the glowing reviews. A waif-like Lisbeth is much less threatening to the male reviewers, than a strong fearless one.In the book, Lisbeth took charge in tough situations, she certainly didn't need to ask permission from Bloomkvist. The portrayal of Lisbeth, as directed by Fincher, and as portrayed by Mara, is a huge disappointment, and not true to the character in the book at all.

There were other missteps in this version as well. Daniel Craig seemed removed and dis-interested. He seemed to be walking through the performance giving little emotion. Maybe Craig just can't play a role that makes him subordinate to a woman, or maybe Fincher can't conceive of a film like that. In the Swedish version, Bjurman was a frightening character who exuded an aura of threat. In contrast, the character of Bjurman in Fincher's movie seemed more of an overgrown adolescent, who relished his position of authority.

Both versions played freely with the time-line of the book, and by dropping or including different subplots. But, the dropping of the "Kalle Bloomkvist" nickname that was so prominent in the books is curious. Again, Lisbeth used it as an ironic nickname to express her disdain for Bloomkvist, something that the waif Lisbeth couldn't do. Granted it didn't play as big of a role in the first book, but if you were thinking of a trilogy it was needed to set up the later films. I also didn't understand the inclusion of a daughter for Bloomkvist. It served no purpose, and was not in the book.

Overall, if you are a fan of the book, and liked the way Lisbeth was imagined by Larsson, you will be disappointed by the movie. If you feel threatened by a strong independent woman, then you will appreciate the way Fincher has castrated his version of Lisbeth. This was not as good as the Swedish version, which presented a film much closer in tone to the book.
164 out of 246 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Dangles the carrot but doesn't deliver
aliensbishop22 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
David Fincher's remake of TGWTDT has enough to keep the film steady on its feet, but lacks a horde of specific qualities from Oplev's excellent effort.

Firstly, in a basic mystery story, there is a need to present a series of twists and discoveries that lead to solving the mystery. Fincher's film fails to present this trail of bread crumbs in the same enticing way that Oplev's did. Instead, we get a fast forward hyperspace logic jump when Blomkvist's daughter (out of nowhere) points out the vital clue that breaks the case, and then all related info is collected by Lisbeth in 5 minutes.

Secondly, the following characters were shadows of themselves in the Fincher version: 1. Lisbeth Salander 2. Henrik Vanger 3. Martin Vanger 4. Bjurman The actors weren't horrible, but they were not as good as the ones in the Swedish version.

Lastly, there were key omissions and changes which, for me, were completely inexplicable and confusing. 1. Lisbeth's past, father, etc. was one or two lines of dialog. 2. Harriet Vanger in London? 3. Vanger does not tell Blomkvist that he knew Harriet.

It all adds up to a disappointing attempt to recreate the dark energy of Oplev's film. And the opening sequence was like a Tool video mixed with bad James Bond.
123 out of 182 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
The best adaptation imaginable with an intoxicating, Oscar-worthy performance from Rooney Mara
lbabe2918 December 2011
Chilling, haunting and relentlessly thrilling, director David Fincher has created the definitive film adaptation of Larssons best seller whilst at the same time improving on the source material. A brilliant performance from Rooney Mara only elevates the film to greater heights

The Review:

Ill cut to the chase: this is everything fans of the books could have hoped for, its miles better than the already good Swedish film, its more faithful to the novel, in some places it actually improves on the source material.

With "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" David Fincher has put his trademark darkness to fantastic use. Whether its sweeping shots of freezing, snow covered Sweden or wonderfully eerie interiors Fincher creates an unsettling atmosphere that is unrelenting and technically perfect. With Fincher i've learnt to expect a beautifully shot film and this is no exception, within this film are some of his greatest images. Regarding the disturbing nature of some scenes, Fincher is wise enough to show them in all their horror but doesn't stop to linger or exploit.

The performances are perfect all round, Its clear Fincher and the casting production went to great lengths to pick not only great actors but those who embody the very essence of their characters. Of note in the supporting characters are Yorick van Wageningen who plays the sadistic Bjurman with unsettling believability and the always great Christopher plummer who is note-perfect as the desperate, loney grandfather Henrik .- As one part of our central duo Daniel Craig puts in his finest performance, normally cast as the tough hero Craig is more subdued here, he has Blomkvist easy charm down to a T but also captures the weak, submissive aspect of his character. - Lisbeth Salander is a character unlike anything fiction has ever seen….broken,pierced, clade in leather with short black hair and a body so slight the wind could break her, she is horribly victimised but refuses to be one. To sum it up she is one of the most interesting and difficult characters an actress could ever play. I could honestly write a whole review on the brilliance of Rooney Mara's performance, she is the very essence of Lisbeth…as if the character just walked off the page. Mara commands every scene with a mixture of silent burning rage and a deep rooted venerability. Her eyes are the heart of the film, her reactions are the reason myself and the others around me laughed, gasped and even cried. The character requires an actress who can internalize her emotions yet at the same time convay a wide range of feelings. Mara does this such perfect skill, every glance is charged with deep feeling as if you're looking directly into her soul. A brave performance, Mara bares all in the nude scenes and goes to frankly horribly dark places in the now informous scenes of sexual violence. Watching Rooney Mara is witnessing the birth of a star, this is the best performance of the year and if the Oscars fail to reconzie her i will lose all hope in their judgment.

The score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is perfect, eerie and unsettling. It is as good as their Oscar winning score last year if not better, its more understated and does what every score should do....improves the scenes not overpower them.

This is by and large a perfect adaptation, my main issue lay with one singe sequence. There is a shot that seems to be there solely for the purpose of showing off, it serves no real purpose within the story.

The most touching scenes of the film come from the characters themselves, this is a character driven story and none are more powerful than Lisbeth and Mikeal themselves. Fincher makes their relationship the focus and it pays off, they are the heart of the books and Fincher rightfully recognises this.

Proving that sometimes "american" adaptations can actually be for the better this is a film nobody should miss...its everything the novel is, plus some. More than anything i was impressed by the humour that is added through-out, this film will make you laugh, it will break your heart and it will make you want to take a shower.
348 out of 539 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Not as good as the Swedish movie
IonicBadger6 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I really was hyped too see this as David Fincher is one of my favorite directors, but this movie seemed pretty unnecessary to me.

The movie is pretty much a re-thread of the Swedish movie same plot, except that the ending dragged on more than the Swedish movie.

Rooney Mara is good as Lisbeth and so is Craig as Blomkvist but they don't have the chemistry that the actors in the Swedish movie have.

The dialog seems pretty forced at times and I think this movie might have been better if it have been set in the UK or in the US, instead of having mostly British/American actors speak with awful accents.

My biggest question is why does this movie even exist it is completely unnecessary.

This movie falls in the same trap as many Hollywood adapted movies, it builds up a more hype and falls flat.

My verdict if you have not seen it go see the Swedish version, it's way more stronger as a whole.
32 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Great movie that more than well lives up to the book!
Jona198822 December 2011
I have read all three of Stieg Larsson's books and seen the Swedish movies. The Swedish version of The girl with the dragon tattoo(Män som hatar kvinnor) was very good but I feel it is somewhat overrated. Nothing particularly weak about it but still not as good as some claim. When word came about that David Fincher would direct the new one I was just overjoyed. My maybe favourite director working right now filming one of the best books I had read in years. With thrillers like Se7en and Zodiac to his credit he was the perfect choice. And he doesn't disappoint.

The big question for many have been will Rooney Mara live up to Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander? The answer is She does! Who is better is difficult to say because they actually play the character quite different. Noomi is older and seems more secure and determined character while Mara feels more fragile and emotional. I feel Mara is more like how Lisbeth is described in the book. I like this movie better but regarding Lisbeth Salander it's a draw. Daniel Craig is great as Blomkvist, and it's good that even if he is a big star(James Bond) he plays the role really down to earth, the person the character should be. It is and should be Salander who is the main one and he lets Mara be the star. One actor who really surpasses his predecessor is Stellan Skarsgård. Considering his character has such a big role this is a big plus for the American version. Christopher Plummer should also be mentioned. As I'm now on the actors I should also mention the relation between Salander and Blomkvist. Craig and Mara are brilliant at creating chemistry. Not only does one focus on the mystery but at the end maybe even more about them. Do they really speak with a Swedish accent? Some of them yes and I admit it felt a bit strange a first but one gets used to it like with most other things so some time later in the movie I didn't mind anymore.

Steven Zaillian deserves praise for the script. The original movie, even though it was not much shorter the plot at times felt rushed. Especially the ending where it went so quick and simplified. Zaillian succeeds in fitting the story without making it to fast or simple. Even if one hasn't read the book you can follow what is going on. Very impressive and perhaps what lifted this movie above the Swedish. So there are some changes but for me, unlike how some feel about adaptations, the book isn't something holy and changes don't have to be wrong. Stieg Larsson's novel was not without flaws and the changes they made make sense, necessary and some better. Fincher is a master of suspense and shows it again here. The atmosphere and tone of the settings fit the story perfect. The movie is brutal just like the book and also that is handled great. Neither reduced or overdone.

The music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is as expected amazing. Almost as great as for The Social Network. I loved the opening credits set to the tones of the Immigrant Song cover. Some may feel it's a bit out of place but personally I loved it.

So are there any weak points in it? Well the last parts of the movie the story slows down somewhat but thats because Stieg Larsson's novel was like that and those parts are also needed for the continuing of the series. And even if I really like the Millennium trilogy, the story is not perfect not as complicated as some might expect. Doesn't mess with your head like Se7en.

If I'm to rank David Fincher's detective thrillers The girl with the dragon tattoo is below Se7en and Zodiac but it doesn't mean it is a weak movie, definitely not! I don't think I can find much they could have done better. The Swedish movie was good but this is much better. It lives up to my expectations as a fan of the book. Also works great as a thriller on it's own.
144 out of 229 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Disappointed, but not surprised
argee72722 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I was thrilled when I heard that this wonderful book, translated from the original Swedish, would be made into a movie. My husband and I both were fans from the get go. I expected some omissions and can forgive the omission of Blomkvist's affair with Cecilia, but cannot forgive the change in the end of the story ... another Hollywood thinks they are better than the author fiasco. Why oh why does this happen to all great books? Why do they have to dumb it down? Of course, they will make another and another. How will they screw with the next two? One can only imagine. I do however recommend you see it. Make sure you wear a sweater, it is cold throughout most of the movie and it is winter you know.
40 out of 59 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A superb and chilling thriller
www.ramascreen.com20 December 2011
I've never read Stieg Larsson's millennium novels, so I can't say how faithful this film is to the original material, but I am a big fan of the Swedish adaptation by Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev. Now, I know the fact that Hollywood is obsessed with remakes annoys the hell out of us, but I think there can always be room for different interpretation, different vision and approach and that's what David Fincher's version excels in. It's more detailed, more curious, and more unafraid. It's a superb and chilling thriller with an astounding performance by Rooney Mara. Whether or not this version is better can be argued but it certainly is a solid film… Rooney Mara, with her skinny body and goth hairstyle and excessive piercings and tattoos and her attitude, I think Mara manages to give a more complex Lisbeth Salander than Noomi Rapace's portrayal. But it's mostly thanks to screenwriter Steven Zaillian who covers information that the previous adaptation would simply skim or just talk about instead of exposing it. Fincher and Zaillian want to seriously show how dark, troubled, but motivated Lisbeth is. And some may consider this approach to be too brutal or unnecessary but I think it's no more brutal than Fincher's previous thrillers like Se7en. This is after all, in its essence, a movie made solely for Fincher's fans or those who are comfortable with his style. Jeff Cronenweth's cinematography work is fantastic by the way, it plays on how much you can handle. It goes along with the script that tends to be explanatory. Whatever loopholes or gaps that the previous adaptation had, Fincher's film fills it and explains it in its own way. Lisbeth Salander to me is a rebel, she lives by her own rules, but she's also by herself, this version wants to instill in her mind the idea that perhaps she could be sociable or she could be considered normal if she just gets that attention that she never did, and that's what warrants a different ending. Mara is absolutely phenomenal as Lisbeth, it's a defining role for Mara, she's made it her own. She's fierce, highly driven, but there's a sense of innocence to her as well. She thinks her anger and actions are justified and the film successfully encourages us to agree. All those tattoos and piercings are like 'keep off' or 'stay away' sign, perhaps because of years of rough background, going from one guardian to another, so when somebody genuine like Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) comes along, he represents the safety that desperately longs for but would never admit to. I think it's smart that Fincher and Zailian shows the estranged family side of Blomkvist, they see it as important for Blomkvist to be able to relate to Henrik Vanger's (Christopher Plummer) dilemma and I think that's a smart move. Craig is the weakest link because his accent keeps going on and off, I'm not sure if he even tries to sound Swedish at all, it's quite the distraction. But he works with what's given to him, keep in mind that the title is not Blomkvist with the dragon tattoo. Of course nowadays you can't talk about Fincher's movies without talking a bit about the unconventional score by Oscar winners Atticus Ross and Nine Inch Nail's Trent Reznor. In fact, the movie pays an amusing homage to NIN. Those of you film score aficionados would probably find Ross and Reznor's tunes for this film rather eerie and chilling, which it then pretty much serve its purpose. Having said that, at times I find the score a bit forceful and it's like the same soundwave echoing over and over again with the intent to hypnotize. I don't think the opening graphic credit is all that impressive, it's an interesting take but it looks out of place, it looks like it should be a separate music video and it doesn't necessarily introduce the tone of the film that you're about to see. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is definitely not a movie for the faint of heart, it's a movie that would rattle your comfort cage, and I think audiences will be divided, you'll either truly love it, or truly detest it, but there will hardly be a middle ground.
123 out of 200 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
My Review For "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"
shanebeacham20 December 2011
I was really looking forward to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ever since I learned that David Fincher had been attached to it. Now normally I'd be angry at the fact of a foreign film being remade, having seen and loved the Swedish version of the film, but I made an exception with this one because of the cast and crew for this film. Fincher, who directed films such as Fight Club, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, and most recently The Social Network (my favorite film of 2010 and what I thought should have won over The King's Speech), has a fantastic eye for filmmaking and has always impressed me with his movies, save for Se7en which I wasn't as huge a fan of as everyone else was and even on that film I enjoyed a good bit. You throw in the writer of Schindler's List and Gangs Of New York, add actors like Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer and so many others, a score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (who also scored The Social Network), and base it off the best selling book by Stieg Larsson (that's right, this isn't a remake but rather a re-adaptation), it all equals out to, in my opinion, the best film of the year by far.

Now the first thing I want to say about this movie is Rooney Mara's performance. She knocks it out of the park portraying Lisbeth Salander. She captured the mystery, the strangeness, the darkness, the out-of-the- norm personality that this character had. She was absolutely fantastic and I'm gonna be shocked as hell if she does not get an Oscar nomination. And she really makes you feel for her in the darker parts of this movie, which we'll get to in a moment. And all the other performances are great as well. Daniel Craig is great as usual and there is great chemistry between him and Mara. Christopher Plummer, as little as he's in the movie, does a great job as well, in fact all the actors do. This is a really well acted movie.

Another thing that a lot of people have been talking about with this film, as it was with the book and the Swedish film, was the moments where sexual violence appears on screen. And while there are some really uncomfortable moments in the film, that's the reason why these scenes succeed. They shock you and make you want to look away. And that's good, especially when the themes of this movie as well as the source material were about this sort of thing, and the movie conveys it perfectly. And while these scenes do linger in your mind, they never distract you from the basis of this movie, which leads into my next praise for the film.

The story is really engaging. Even though I had seen the Swedish movie and knew how the story as a whole was going to play out, I was able to be really engaged in the movie and not focus on other things. It really sucks you in, and Steve Zaillian, the writer of this movie, structures the film in a way that is both similar and different to the Swedish version, therefore doing what I hoped this film would do, which was taking something that I already knew about and had watched before and made it to where it was still interesting and there were changes made to where I didn't know how it was going to turn out. And that's great.

And everything technical about this movie succeeds. The score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is fantastic and really sucks you into the tone of the picture. Jeff Cronenweth, who worked with Fincher on both Fight Club and The Social Network, delivers fantastic cinematography. The editing, the direction, the shots, everything about this movie succeeds, making it a near perfect film.

Now one small complaint I have about this film stems a little bit from me viewing the Swedish version, in which they reveal a little more about who Lisbeth is and one of the things she did in her past that made it so troubled. And they didn't use that here which kind of threw me off a little. However, the more I think about it, the less it becomes a concern because 1.) You can't compare the two films and 2.) there are bits and pieces shown in the films climax that shows that Lisbeth deep down does have a soul. So the movie manages to overcome that obstacle, and overall, I have nothing to say bad about it.

Overall, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a masterful film, it's one that you should definitely check out and I'll definitely be checking it out sometime soon. It's directed, written, and acted well, and succeeds in all that it sets out to do. You feel the emotion and darkness of the film, Rooney Mara blew me away with her performance (and that body, damn), and overall it lived up to my expectations. So out of ten, I got to be honest, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a 10. Go see this movie NOW.
142 out of 236 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
This dragon doesn't soar
aharmas21 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
For starters, why did they have remake this one? I would have loved to see the reactions to a remake of "Casablanca" in 1945, or what about "Gone With The Wind" with another beautiful actress who lacked the fire Leigh brought to the role. Could I even picture "Titanic" with another Kate? There was something iconic about the way Rapace's performance in the original "Dragon". She raised the bar to the point she might never be able to match the complexity of that performance, an organic, complete, involving role that consumed her and hypnotized the audience. The new film tries very hard to recreate the experience, and it does a decent job in some aspects, but the first film was more than just a performance. It emanated from troubled relationships, from flawed nature, from the way expectations were toppled one after another. In the recent film, changing the ending doesn't quite work; in fact, it hurts the film quite a bit.

There are some very good elements in the new film, especially the score, something that permeates the film with much needed energy, and there is something fresh about the way some of the scenes were opened up, particularly near the end. However, it is what has been done to the main character that is painful to watch. In the novel and the first film our protagonist has a troubled background. It interferes with the way she develops her relationships, and it makes her a survivor. She has enough scars and pain in her past to be alert and in a defensive mode. She doesn't trust others, and it is not a good idea to challenge her intellectually. She could be an impressive adversary. Fincher's Lisbeth is mostly style and pouts very well. There are flashes of her strength, but it is not consistent with the source material. Additionally, Fincher has added some touches to the movie that emphasize the ugliness of her world, sometimes it tips the feel of the movie, going a little too far. It becomes too graphic, too lurid, and it cheapens the story.

There is also an issue with the way the film is a little too long with the way some of the characters are introduced, and some situations are detailed to the point that it seems to question the audience's ability to make deductions. Did we need to go into a shopping spree to set up the big scene near the end?

Once again, I'd love to hear an explanation for the ending? Why?
35 out of 52 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
See the original.
brian-275-8553625 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
David Fincher's adaptation of the Stieg Larsson novel is an embarrassment. Fincher manages to reveal all the wrong details at all the wrong moments, effectively destroying any mystery or suspense to the story of the missing girl. Which, despite being the center of the book, is merely glossed over and instead we get unnecessarily graphic rape/sex scenes and a jumbled storyline. Nearly the entire cast give sub-par performances, particularly the main character. Mara Rooney couldn't be less believable as Salander. It was garbage. I can't believe this unoriginal piece of trash managed to get nominated for multiple Oscars. What a shame.
74 out of 118 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Why?
eltechno24 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is pretty popular at our house. The trilogy has been read and all the three Scandinavian film versions have been watched. So it was with both anticipation and dread we watched the Hollywood version at the local cineplex yesterday. We walked away feeling puzzled as to why $100 million had been spent to make a movie that had already been brilliantly made only two years earlier. So tonight, we watched the Swedish version again for comparison which only re-enforced our opinions.

The biggest problem with the new version is that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It was filmed in Sweden. Larsson was Swedish. Etc. Yet the Swedish elements that give the story coherence have gone AWOL in the latest incarnation. I guess this is not especially surprising considering that director Fincher wondered in a Swedish interview after filming in the north how anyone could live in such a climate. If someone is actually confused about THAT, not much else about Swedish society is going to make much sense—especially the complexities that allow that society to not merely survive but prosper.

The biggest problem centers around the casting of Daniel Craig as journalist Mikael Blomqvist. Blomqvist is supposed to be a Swedish idealist working for a lefty Stockholm rag. In the Swedish version of the film, all the nuances of such a person fill every scene so well it sometimes provokes a laughter of recognition. Craig, on the other hand, seems utterly clueless about how to play such a character. The man makes a great James Bond—a Swedish intellectual, not so much.

Because Craig doesn't get his character right, the whole relationship between Blomqvist and Lisbeth Salander never develops properly. This is a women who has a bunch of issues with men yet grows to trust and eventually love him. But instead of character development, we are left with the unspoken assumption of "what woman wouldn't have the hots for Daniel Craig?" While this is what makes Bond movies work, it is bizarrely out of place for this plot.

And then there are the missing details that were included in the Scandinavian version. The nature of the Vanger family Fascism. The hints at why Salander is so screwed up. The role of computers in their search for the bad guy and a believable explanation for how things got done. The details of how people actually DO cope with the cold—old Henrik Vanger knows how and when to wear an expensive parka in the Swedish version.

Of course, what is really missing from the Hollywood version is the politics of modern Sweden. Most people think of Sweden, if at all, as this lefty, sex-crazed, micro-society that was defined forever by the Social Democrats. What this picture misses is the role of the Swedish right wing. This may be the country of Gunnar Myrdal and Dag Hammarskjold, but it is also a country of wealthy industrialists with global connections and ambitions. The trilogy goes into extensive detail about this reality and this whole movie is about an industrialist with a bunch of Fascist siblings. Yet except for a few lines, this social tension barely makes an appearance in Fincher's telling. For example, in the Swedish version, we learn that one of the Vangers was killed fighting as a volunteer in Finland's Winter War with USSR. This detail explains volumes but it is missing in the Hollywood remake.

Fincher makes a good movie but he cannot get over the contradictions of making a movie set in Sweden that has been stripped of all Swedishness. What remains is an adolescent action movie with a real James Bond in the lead role. So a $100 million was spent to make a new movie with roughly 15% of the intellectual content of a brilliantly made movie that is only two years old. I suppose it makes sense. If you are making a movie targeted at an audience that is too damn lazy to read subtitles, I suppose it is a good move to eliminate much of the intellectual content of the books and the original movie.

Who knows—maybe this thing will make money. My guess is that in most markets—especially those where both versions must use subtitles anyway—the Swedish version will be far more popular because there is so much more movie. It has more details and that makes it more believable. In the end, that should count for something.
336 out of 599 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
A complete waste of time and money
guslee8 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The main story of the movie, at least based on screen-time and storyline, is discovering the killer in a supposed murder committed 40 years ago, however there's a lot of time dedicated to Lizabeth's life that leads to nothing, especially the ugly rape scenes, that after seeing the ending of the movie, I found completely irrelevant to the story, if the idea was to show her past and all the mess that was her life, a couple of minutes of a review of her files would have been enough.

Some of the reviews that I have read claim that on the book, Lizabeth's life and his will to make a stand against violence against women was the main story of the movie, if that's the case then the director made a mess of the story and the movie is worst than I have rated it, because there's no way to get to that conclusion after watching it.

Also I still don't get the first ten minutes of paint and Trent Reznor's music, totally out of place.
39 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Wasted potential Warning: Spoilers
For those of you who have been out of the loop re the Millennium series recently, it was announced as far back as January 2010 that Fincher would be attached to the American Dragon Tattoo film. This sparked a mixed reaction, from people who even love Fincher like there's no tomorrow. Well, it looks like people are still high off their wankery over The Social Network, another mediocre and spectacularly overrated movie. So it seems obvious the circle jerk would continue in the wake of the recent Dragon Tattoo adaptation.

Problem is, there seems to be Two David Finchers. The one who made amazing movies Like Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room and The Zodiac. Then there's the Fincher who gave us the horrid Benjamin Button, the overrated above mentioned Social Network, and now this.

Thing is, I for one wasn't too opposed the idea of an English language adaptation. I mean, sure it wouldn't be as authentic as the original Swedish version, nor the book. But it could still work. Craig still had the face and Mara has very striking facial features. Reznor has a unique way of scoring a film, and Fincher has a great eye for a shot, hell, he practically made a whole career our of that kind of thing.

Unfortunately, the movie is nowhere near as interesting as the Swedish movie. And here's why.

The Swedish movie does a good job at staying close to the source material, however, it doesn't just mindlessly piggyback off of the source material- it perfectly balanced everything out. Those who haven't read the book would be able to follow it and find it entertaining. It took its time too- it had a nice, steady, easy going pace. It was 2.5 hours, but the movie was so interesting, it went by fast and you couldn't tell.

The Yank version is pretty much an exact adaptation of the book, yes. Pretty much 98% of the book was in the movie. That's NOT a good thing; to me it came off as nothing more than desperate to please the fans. It was like Zallian said "Alright, we have to mindlessly piggyback the book. I'm super scared of pissing the fans off, and so let's not edit anything down. There is no such thing as 'What may work on page doesn't necessarily work on film.'". Except... there is.

Let me explain why.

Niels' film showed RESTRAINT and SUBTLETY, the two things this film lacked. It focused more on the characters than every single tiny little plot device of the book. This film felt rushed and blew its way through everything. For example, the opening scene. In Niels' film, it's very powerful. The way he looks at the plant then breaks down is simply... stunning. Here? We got a half assed phone call and a shot of the plant.

The opening credits, however, are class. Pointless, overly flashy and a bit gimmicky? Yes, but class, and the images fit very nicely over the Immigrant Song. I loved the shout outs to the sequels too.

Unfortunately it stops there, the writer Zallian is so obsessed with capturing every event that he senselessly skips over CHARACTER DETAILS!!!!! We get no hint to the fact that Lisbeth is possibly autistic. Instead we get a scenery chewing girl who we want to punch in the face every time we see her. The whole libel thing goes over our heads completely too.

And that's just the beginning.

Several of the scenes are over before they even begin. It's frustrating. The rape scene was underwhelming even. In the book it was a disturbing and powerful scene. Here it's just a "lol wut" moment.

As for the acting. Noomi Rapace simply cannot be replaced. She played Lisbeth exactly how the books describe her. Tough as nails, arrogant, and dangerous to herself, but with an air of special childlike innocence. Mara? She confuses good acting for chewing the scenery. She always glares and says every line like someone asked her the square root of an insanely large number. Nyqvist not only played Blomkvist just like Larsson wrote him, but he also LOOKED like the book described. Here, Craig just seems to be stuck in his Bond phase. Nothing special whatsoever.

Also, for parts 2 and 3, someone needs to hire a better dialect coach. I lost count of all the times they went from American to British to a Europeanoid accent. What a joke.

I wish I could recommend this, but it's a big mess. Avoid if you haven't watched the Swedish and just watch that instead.

Fincher, thou hast ruined Lisbeth Salander for me.
25 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
What a jip...the story, characters, and altogether movie experience
Carson Trent26 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Blabber about the Swedish versus US version, standing in line, all that hype. I manage to squeeze myself and my girlfriend in one of the smaller theaters in the city, as the large ones have been under assault since the beginning of the phenomenon. Movie starts, they start speaking English with a reverential accent toward the European and Nordic chef d'oeuvre. The enumeration of Swedish cities starts, just to state that this is not an attempt to dampen the color and depth of the original masterpiece. We meet the male lead David, who just got his arse handed over from Goliath. Needs to get away from the hassle. Lick the wounds. No cliché there. I notice a wall light is not working along the narrow hall way in the theater. Pretentious introductions of the very special family follow. Just like in a wrestling event we are being introduced with all the participants and prepared just for how twisted and awful they are. Then more stalling. More landscape. This is where I first look around and notice the led lights around the steps. I start finding them fascinating. I'm thinking about going out to smoke a cigarette. I remember, I don't smoke. DAMN!

No doubt the light must affect the psyché of people in a Nordic country, I'm thinking. Let's see the monsters now. There's the rapist, but most importantly the only character in this story who ever outsmarts punky girl in a supposedly smart thriller, because from now on it's mission impossible for her. She turns into bike-hacker extraordinaire. Back to the storyline. More landscape and sterile interior design. The end.

Just kidding, I purposely left the most important aspect for last. The cat and mouse game with the killa. There's a cat in the movie, does that count? No mouse. No game. The killa...what's special about him? The actor is actually Swedish. Hmm, just another layer to the story, better said trivia section. I remember I forgot to buy a bottle of wine for this evening. DAMN!

Next: Punky beats Goliath Jane Bond style, THE END. Or is it? I remember, it's a trilogy, DAMN!

You think my comment was long? Try watching the movie. You'll wish you were in attendance at an insurance seminar. At least there you would have a window to look out of.
36 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Rape and Torture Just In Time For The Holidays!
Resurgum23 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I will start out writing that I never read the books or watched the original movie. I'm writing this based just on the film that was presented and nothing else. That being stated, this film was a tedious, convoluted mess of nonsense, graphic rape-torture, and mostly stereotyped uninspired casting.

I am not going to give a detailed synopsis, you can get that elsewhere. All I will say is the plot has something to do with an industrialist who hires Daniel Craig to find out who killed his niece.

The graphic rape-torture scenes make you feel like you are watching a snuff film. The casting of the rapist was almost laughable. A fat, creepy looking Yorick van Wageningen plays the rapist. The reality is rapists look like everyone else. I'm surprised he did not have an eye patch and a scar on his face.

Another point, what predator (Wageningen) would pick a would be victim who he knows has a history of unpredictability, violence, and works for a security company! Totally unrealistic.

I really do not understand the people who love this film. I think their positive reviews say more about them then it does the movie....
41 out of 72 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Oh Fincher...why oh why???
loco_7310 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
David Fincher is for me one of my favourite directors around. Gems like "Seven", "Zodiac" and established favourites like "Fight Club", "The Social Network" (probably one of the most relevant movies in the past couple of years), have confirmed his movie-making capabilities! So, I was surprised when it was announced that Stieg Larsen's "The Millennium Trilogy", comprising of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" was going to be re-made, barely two years after the Swedish adaptation of the movies had been filmed and released worldwide to great critical and financial success. I was even more surprised that Fincher had agreed to helm such "revival".

From the beginning this whole endeavour seemed more than fishy, it reeked of desperation, something which speaks to Hollywood's current predicament to find material fit for screen. The situation must be really bad if they can't even wait a few more years before cannibalizing a trilogy of movies that was literally just released.

Hollywood's risk aversion to new material, original ideas and concepts, is breathtaking in its stupidity and narrow-mindedness, and crippling to its creativity and longevity. If it wants to continue surviving, Hollywood needs to invest in a greater variety of movies, not only blockbusters with superheroes, natural disasters and alien invasions!

I went to see the movie, against my better judgement, only because I really like Fincher. Was I disappointed? No not at all! What I was...I was utterly indifferent to the movie! Fincher succeeds in all the technical aspects of the movie with his usual talent and vision. Besides Rooney Mara and Christopher Plummer the rest of the cast is easily forgettable and even sub-par when compared to the actors in the Swedish movies. Now, though Rooney Mara did a good job, I do not wish to overstate her acting job. Noomy Rapace absolutely OWNS Lisbeth Salander, she IS that character...I'm sorry but Mara's portrayal couldn't hold a candle to Rapace's. Michael Nyqvist, the actor who plays the lead as Michael Bloomqvist, leaves Daniel Craig in the dust...

I know this probably won't be a very popular view of this adaptation, but I'm sorry, my biggest problem with this movie was the fact that the American version wasn't really needed. It does not add anything new to the story that has already been told, there are no new angles or revelations. Except a few tweaks here and there, and Rooney's more domesticated Salander, this movie is pretty much a high-class, and pretty expensive, study in irrelevance!
14 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
U.S. version does not do justice, go for the Swedish version
eternal_lua26 December 2011
If you are going to watch The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film, watch the Swedish version that came out in 2009. The Swedish version is much better, with a good plot development and character development. If you go for the U.S. version expect to be bombarded by Coca-Cola and McDonald product placement. It's pathetic that U.S. audiences have to endure all this advertising. The U.S. version also seemed to add all the very violent and sexually-exploitive scene without developing the plot. The Swedish version has better suspense. Also the U.S. version did a horrible job of developing the story of Harriet. In the end I can't believe I paid money to see this movie again, as the U.S. version was truly of lesser quality than the Swedish version. Also the U.S. version was a bit less gory and sexually explicit.
85 out of 164 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed