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December 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

As is the case with The Adventures of Tintin, which also opens over the Christmas holiday period, the critics are poles apart over The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Although he gives it 3 1/2 stars, Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times concedes that he prefers the 2009 Swedish version. David Fincher, he writes, “is certainly a more assured director than Niels Arden Oplev, who did the 2009 Swedish film. Yet his assurance isn’t always a plus. The earlier film had a certain earnest directness that seemed to raise the stakes.” In fact, virtually every review compares this film version of the Stieg Larsson novel with the original. Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer assures Larsson’s fans that the new movie “is faithful to its source in just about every way that matters.” Rex Reed in the New York Observer admits that he “hated the original” The new movie left him “impressed,” he writes, and he regards it as “a master class in sinister style, tense and deeply uncomfortable.” But Steven Zaillian’s script, he says, left him feeling so confused “that even after it’s over you still don’t know what it’s all about.” Kyle Smith in the New York Post ratchets up the criticism of the movie. “it is,” he writes, “not even good rubbish. It demonstrates merely that masses will thrill to an unaffecting, badly written, psychologically shallow and deeply unlikely pulp story so long as you allow them to feel sanctified by the occasional meaningless reference to feminism or Nazis.” Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle takes a centrist position, writing that the new film “is neither better nor worse than the Swedish film, but it’s more cinematic.”