Is David Fincher‘s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo “entertaining and well-made?,” asks critic Marshall Fine. “Absolutely. For the audience that would never dream of seeing a foreign film, this movie will be the last word in Dragon Tattoo movie-making. And they’ll get a quality product.

“Aside from a few visual fillips, Fincher has not cracked Stieg Larsson‘s novel in a new way or plumbed it for previously undiscovered depths. His visual approach is different, but not so much that the material seems newly revealed.

“Is Fincher’s film better than Niels Arden Oplev‘s 2009 Swedish-language version? Not really. I’m not impugning Fincher’s intentions; I’m just saying that, as good as his film may be, it’s redundant and unnecessary. It’s a solid film – a well-made and highly suspenseful film. But I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last year. And it was just as good.”

Wells dispute: Fincher, agreed, is working well below his abilities with Dragon Tattoo, but the chops and the fumes are of a higher order than what Oplev presented in his 2009 version. Oplev’s Tattoo was, for me, a satisfying, well-assembled thriller, but somewhere between a 7.5 and an 8, execution-wise. Fincher’s version is at least an 8.5 if not a 9. I mean, the opening-credits sequence alone puts the Fincher above the Oplev.