Based on the best-selling book by Stieg Larsson, David Fincher’s highly-anticipated adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has just opened in theaters. But before Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara inhabited the beloved characters of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, there was a 2009 adaptation of the novel in the author’s native Sweden starring rising star Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows). So which movie is better? Is the latest film worth the price of admission, or will fans of the the Swedish original want to stay away? The Haiku Review presents its latest Remake Spotlight to help viewers determine which Tattoo is worth the money.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011, United States)
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård & Robin Wright
Screenplay by Steven Zaillian
Directed by David Fincher

Who better to ink
this dark tale on our eyeballs
than David Fincher?

Grade: A-

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009, Sweden)
Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace
Screenplay by Nikolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev

As adaptations
go, this moody mystery
earns its (cool cool) tats.

Grade: B+

The winner: Both films are great adaptations of the complex, overstuffed novel, but David Fincher’s U.S. version gets the advantage thanks to the director’s stylistic contributions, Trent Reznor’s engrossing score, and a charismatic lead performance by Daniel Craig. But in the battle for the best Lisbeth Salander, it’s hard to not feel like the character belongs to Noomi Rapace, despite Rooney Mara’s home-run performace.

c2011, 2010
By Daniel J. Hoag
The U.S. version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is now playing in theaters nationwide. The Swedish version is available on Blu-ray and DVD.
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