The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)


What is hidden in snow, comes forth in the thaw.

The first film in the American three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Millennium Trilogy. Stars Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) and Rooney Mara (The Social Network), directed by David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club).... More

Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig), ostensibly hired to write the memoirs of Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), recruits badass, troubled computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara) to help investigate the 40-year-old murder of Harriet Vanger - Henrik's beloved niece. The odd couple work to unravel the mysterious and gruesome history of the Vanger clan, who live on the isolated Hedeby Island in Hedestad.

Larsson's thrillers have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries, originally made into a film trilogy in the novel's native Sweden.Hide

Flicks Review

David Fincher’s made some strange career choices (Benjamin Button anyone?), but adapting Stieg Larsson’s best-selling Scandinavian door-stopper might well be the weirdest. For one thing it’s already been done, pretty well, in 2009. For another, the first half of the story – a rather lame murder mystery enlivened by a fascinating central character in troubled hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara) – is 90% exposition meets 10% sexual assault. He’s also retained the book’s Swedish setting and names, so it’s not even a sop to the subtitle-averse.... More

So what can we expect from this spruced-up Swenglish version, besides more product placement? For the first hour, disappointingly little. As before, nobody seems willing to snip Larsson’s narrative string, so we trudge through a series of wearying introductions to interchangeable old men (Plummer, Berkoff, Skarsgard), each of whom has a long-buried secret. No scene lasts longer than 30 seconds except those depicting Salander getting abused, which feel endless. It is, to put it lightly, a difficult watch.

Although Craig is a commanding presence as crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, it’s not until he and Salander join forces that film emerges from its predecessor’s shadow. When it does, it’s riveting – the leads’ strange chemistry (think little girl lost meets handsome dad) crackles, and Fincher has a real talent for making people looking through files seem fascinating (see Zodiac). Although the excitement subsides after a terrific early climax, it’s an effective, if unfathomable, entry in the Fincher canon. If you’ve seen the original, knock a star off the rating. If you haven’t seen either, watch this one.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

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BY HMJ lister

Having recently seen the Swedish version of GWTDT I went along prepared for anything. With such source material and star power great things were possible. Including disaster, so I crossed my fingers and bought a ticket.

Oh dear. Early on this movie twice set my teeth on edge. Which marred the rest of the movie.
1) The entire cast managed reasonable Swede accents. Except for the otherwise excellent Daniel Craig. Which made him sound like an Englishman working abroad.
2) Lisbeth, the... More supposed uberhacker/investigator, seeks out online information in a manner so amateurish as to smack of product placement. She went Google-Wikipedia! Even I wouldn't do that! She didn't even go directly to Wiki and check out the articles source citations. This cringe inducing moment was brought back to mind later when Lisbeth constructed complex search parameters that are exactly what someone who knows how to mine databases for gold would use. Sigh.

Speaking of product placement. Happy Meal anyone?

However, my biggest disappointment came when I realised the movie had ended with one vital piece of information was missing. I won't say what it is here as I dislike spoilers. But for this element alone I recommend the Swedish GWTDT over this one. With bells on!

But its not all brick bats. Bouquets got to the ensemble cast for their universally excellent performances. And an Oscar to Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. Noomie Rapace's brilliant performance has been matched at least. And that's a miracle in its own right. Naturally because of the common source material some parts are the same but enough variation was employed to prevent the first half of the remake from being identical. The departures from the original in the second half kept the excitement alive.

Personally I thought the last quarter dragged a bit. But this may be because I was going but, but, but where's a certain vital piece of information?

Taken altogether I think most people who are new to this franchise will enjoy this psychological thriller, mystery, action, drama. And we will all be back for the new Girl Who Played with Fire.Hide

BY clararar superstar

Having both read the books and seen the Swedish version of the film, I was ready to be disappointed by this Hollywood adaptation - but in the end, I came away pretty impressed, especially by Rooney Mara's performance. I'd agree with another reviewer that the film didn't really come into its own until the two protagonists were brought together, and the variation from the book plot when it came to Harriet's story was a surprise, but overall it was the perfect style and tone. For anyone looking... More for something other than your typical leave-your-brain-at-the-door flick, this one is perfect.Hide

There are many reasons to doubt the necessity of 2011's 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. Afterall, I enjoyed Niels Arden Oplev 's Swedish adaption a great deal. To me there was seemingly no artistic need to reboot the film. Today however, I had a powerful lesson in the short comings of my own perception. David Fincher's adaption is near perfect. His film making style and directorial vision wholly supports the disturbingly dark world of investigative journalism. Both Oplev & Fincher... More were able to portray the gritty underbelly of Stieg Larson's imagination, though Fincher has been able to bring a refreshingly stylised intensity to the material, engaging us even closer into the murky detail.

Daniel Craig's portrayal of Mikael Blomkist, the disgraced journalist is strong, but is clearly overshadowed by our tattooed heroine Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). Rooney, who got her shot at the big time in 'The Social Network', is fully deserving of her return to Finchers Lens. Her role requires she bare almost all that she has to offer, and boy does she. Mara goes about her business with quite resolution despite the most human inner conflicts she would be experiencing. She fully deserves all that the acolations bestowed on her this awards season. If i had a casting vote in the academy it would go her way.

Thankfully the right people were at the helm of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', as with many that have gone before, it could have fallen into annals of cinematic history only to referred to as a needless remake. However, for me im satisfied. After a significant running time of 158mins I wasn't ready to leave. I would have happily slipped into the next film 'The Girl who played with Fire', in fact that's what I'm going to do now thanks to Niels Arden Oplev and his Swedish trilogy.Hide

BY JayC4Shaw superstar

WARNING: before reading my review please note that I haven't read the book first, nor have I watched the 2009 movie from Europe. Therefore my review is soley based on this film.

I love this film. It really draws your emotions, keeps you on edge and tests your ability to witness the most shocking and horrible of circumstances. This is great in a packed theater full of people who is just as shocked or horrified as you are in the most tragic parts. These tragic scenes are played really well:... More Rooney Mara is a STAR in the making, so well in fact, that you feel your vindication is totally justified when she reaps her revenge....

Star cast is brilliant however, some characters casting means the movie (if you haven't read the book or seen the other film) is quite predictable. BUT the twists and turns and the development of the key characters relationship: Lisbeth and Mikael, is such that makes this movie a must see by all. THE OPENING CREDITS are like a better done version of the James Bond opening credits. 5/5 stars.Hide

Having seen and loved the FIRST fantastic film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's first book in the trilogy,I just have to ask, why the Hollywood remake? What's the point - especially so soon after the first? And it's set in Sweden too! Like, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN was a fabulous, moody new take on the vampire genre adapted from a great book - so why the almost instant US remake which was almost the same? LET ME IN was good and interesting for movie nuts and film students - but why remake the original... More so soon and so similar? Fincher is a brilliant director (SOCIAL NETWORK, FIGHT CLUB, SE7EN). Even his worst films (PANIC YAWN and BENJAMIN BUTT-CRACK) are technical marvels - precise and crafted cinematic gems. So, Fincher's TATTOO is a great movie - but based on the same source material as the original movie, this is nothing new or needed. The first film was excellent. Whay more does this add? Well, beautiful cinematography and a stunning soundtrack for sure; Rooney Mara is great as are most of the cast... but... why? If you enjoyed LET ME IN despite LET THE RIGHT ONE IN you'll love it. If you've not seen the Swedish version of DRAGON TATTOO - see this, but see the original film too. And if you've not read the book? Well, good for you! Darn literature! It's keeping people away from the cinema! Books should be banned! Only the other day I saw a kid READING (yes! reading!) HARRY POTTER!!! Doesn't she know how much cash goes into making movies?! Get your head out of books and go see the film, damn you! Anyway, hard to forget the first film (cos it was so bloomin recent!) so I couldn't help but compare and, ay, there's the rub! Anyway - I'm just off to remake THE ARTIST, in Swedish... but, silent...Hide

The Press Reviews

  • A controlled, mesmerising, beautiful thriller scarred by scenes of unshakeable brutality and breathless tension. Full Review

  • A fastidiously grim pulp entertainment that plays like a first-class train ride through progressively bleaker circles of hell. Full Review

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