George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
David Fincher Ranked-HERE
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2011 psychological crime thriller directed by David Fincher and stars Starring Daniel Craig as journalist Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander as well as Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff and Robin Wright. The film is based on the 2005 novel by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson.
After losing a ruinous libel case to a famous businessman, disgraced Swedish political journalist Mikael Blomkvist is contacted by a rich industrialist, Henrik Vanger, who needs help with his memoirs. However, Blomkvist soon finds that Vanger is more concerned with finding the murderer of his favourite great-niece, who disappeared from their family's island in 1966.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of Finchers films I’ve always been meaning to watch as countless people have asked me to review over the past few months. So today, a few weeks after buying it, I managed to find the time to watch it. First thing I must say is that I haven’t seen the 2009 trilogy nor have I read any of the books, so I can’t compare how good the English remake is to the Swedish one, but apart from that, I mostly enjoyed it. Daniel Craig puts in a brilliant performance as he seems to be a perfect fit for detective roles like this, whether it be as 007’s James Bond or Detective Benoit Blanc in Knives Out, he’s cool, calm and confident in front of the camera and this makes him stand out above the rest. Rooney Mara also pulls a fair share of the films weight as her dark and brooding character gets a great deal of character development throughout the film to the point she’s just as interesting as Craig’s Blomkvist towards the end.
On another note, this is probably the darkest I’ve seen Fincher go, both in the atmosphere and scenes that are portrayed. Many scenes threw me off guard as I didn’t expect that level of explicit unorthodox behaviour, yet they worked at showing the dark intentions of certain characters and for that, it did work well at making me uncomfortable at times but still interested enough to carry on. It’s not just the characters that are interesting but the entire premise of the film, the storyline’s twists and turns act increasingly well as they kept drawing me further and further into the muddling mystery that ultimately left me guessing till the final reveal.
At just over 2 and a half hours, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo can feel too extended at times as the runtime does drag in certain places which unfortunately did slightly damper my experience with it, however that’s my only complaint. It’s ultimately David Fincher's perfectionist talent for creating a gripping aesthetic that raises this film above your average crime thriller as his direction, along with the fantastic performances, make this a great movie to watch and arguably one of Finchers finest films that will surely improve upon rewatch for me. It’s sad we never got to see Finchers remake of the trilogy.
What’s your favourite David Fincher film and why?