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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Review Critics


Dave White Profile

HEAD LIKE A HOLE! Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Recycled but recreational. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Fincher has made The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo into an electrifying movie by turning the audience into addicts of the forbidden, looking for the sick and twisted things we can't see.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Has much to recommend it - high-end craftsmanship, a singular heroine, a labyrinthine mystery, an intriguing milieu - yet lacks a vital spark.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Dragon Tattoo is too neatly wrapped up, too fastidious to get under your skin and stay there.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Fincher's electrifying storytelling makes the most of unsettling visuals, large casts, complex plots and sharp dialogue.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

English-language remake includes extreme violence and sex.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the English-language remake of the Swedish hit from 2009, which like this film, was also based on the best-selling Stieg Larsson novel. Like the previous versions of the story, it has very strong violence, including horrifying rape scenes, torture, and highly disturbing crime scene photos. There's also a mangled dead cat, guns and shooting, blood, and fighting. Sexual content is also strong, including full-frontal female nudity, seduction, and sex scenes. Language isn't constant but is strong ("f--k" and more). Both main characters smoke cigarettes, and the male lead drinks regularly (in a social context). This is a high-profile movie from well-regarded director David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network, etc.), but it's not age-appropriate for any but the most mature viewers.

  • Families can talk about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's extreme violence. How much of it is actually necessary to tell this type of story? Would the film have as much impact without it?
  • How does the movie portray sex? Are the consequences for the characters' decisions regarding sex realistic? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values relating to sex and relationships.
  • Are these characters compelling, despite their questionable behavior? If so, why? Are they heroes? Are they role models?
  • How does the English-language version differ from the Swedish version? Did this version need to be made?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Despite the fact that both of the main characters are outcasts -- and despite the general abhorrent nature of the story's subject matter and Lisbeth's somewhat destructive behavior -- they do work together to solve problems. There's also a theme of victims finding empowerment against those who've hurt and wronged them.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Lisbeth is amazingly smart and resourceful -- and there's no question that she's empowered to take care of herself -- but she's also a social outcast and resorts to questionable (and illegal) behavior when it suits her. Mikael has more social skills but is also an outcast (having been accused of libel) and is having a relationship with a married woman. Lisbeth and Mikael work together well, but neither could really be called a positive role model. Women are frequently victimized.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Heavy, brutal violence, some of it in the form of very graphic torture and rape (including anal and oral sex). Very disturbing police photos of graphic crime scenes. Viewers see a dead, mutilated cat. Also fighting, blood, guns and shooting, car crashes, and explosions.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Lisbeth is seen completely naked and participating in a fairly graphic consensual sex scene. She also seduces a woman in a club (kissing and touching), and they wake up in bed together. Mikael is said to have had an affair with a married woman, and viewers see them heading for the bedroom in one scene.

  • language false4

    Language: Language isn't constant but includes several uses of "f--k," including three on a T-shirt that Lisbeth wears. Also "s--t," "a--hole," "crap," and "hell."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Lisbeth is seen with McDonald's Happy Meals more than once and drinking Coca-Cola more than once. She also shops at 7-11 and drinks Nescafe. Viewers see the Google logo/search engine more than once, as well as an Apple computer. Mikael orders Marlboro cigarettes.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Both main characters smoke cigarettes. Mikael seems to drink quite often, and Lisbeth a little less, but almost always in social situations, and hardly ever to excess.