The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

girl with the dragon tattoo poster 2011 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Lisbeth Salander, nice direction

Story issues

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Genre(s): Mystery/Suspense/Drama

Release Date(s): December 21, 2011

MPAA Rating: R


A fascinating paperwork scene

Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) has been disgraced in a big court case after being proven guilty of liable through his news magazine Millennium. When Henrik Vagner (Christopher Plummer) contacts Mikael for work, Mikael is pulled into a web of lies, disappearances, and serial killings. As Mikael searches for the truth in the disappearance of Harriet Vagner decades ago, the only help he has is from an odd reclusive hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara)…who has problems of her own.

Directed by David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an adaptation of the late Stieg Larsson’s popular novel (which was originally titled Man Som Hatar Kvnner aka Men Who Hate Women). It had previously been made into a major motion picture (with its sequels The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) in Sweden and that series also had massive international success.


Hold still you punk

As with the film, Let Me In (which adapted Let the Right One In), there is little need for a remake. Fincher does a nice job with the story, and it is well directed and acted. I was a bit surprised it was still set in Sweden, and it was almost just like having the original dubbed. There were some changes to the story. They left out the confusing “Mikael knew Harriet” factor and also make him less of a male whore by only having him sleep with Erika Berger (Robin Wright) and Lisbeth. The Harriet ending was also slightly altered which did and didn’t serve some purpose.

Overall the movie is good, but I have the same problems with this movie as I did with the previous movies and the novel. The biggest problem is that half of the equation isn’t interesting. Blomkvist is a boring character. They try to make him interesting, and Craig maybe does a bit better job than the original Mikael, but it is still just a bland generic journalist character.


Lisbeth Salander–aka The Girl…with the Dragon Tattoo

The next problem is the basic story. ****Spoiler Alert**** I have never understood, why everyone assumes Harriet is dead. The man keeps getting flowers from her year after year and assumes the killer is torturing her. There was no body and no crime scene, but everyone including the world’s greatest journalist and the smartest hacker can’t conceive that she could be still alive? She covered her tracks a bit but in this one, she’s hiding in plain sight.

What saves the books and movies is Lisbeth Salander. Noomi Rapace was a great Lisbeth in the original movies and somehow seemed more dangerous than fragile. Mara plays up the broken character a bit more and is a pretty good substitute, but I think Noomi still holds the official title of Lisbeth Salander.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a good, but a bit uneven film. The ending is really dragged out in the version since they need to resolve Craig’s character’s storyline. It is almost a guarantee that they are going to make the sequels to this movie, so it doesn’t seem so necessary to have such a long ending. Fincher and the cast do their best to make this a good film…It is good, but just barely beats being average. If you have a choice, see the original…it is a bit better…I just wish the story lived up to the character of Salander.

Related Links:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (2009)

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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