Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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.
Positive 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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
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.
Drinking, Drugs & 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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is little more than good pulp that's wrapped up in history, the Holocaust, and Nazism to give it depth and presented in a 158-minute package to give it weight. Fortunately, director David Fincher is highly skilled at this kind of thing, having turned in the similar films Seven (1995) and Zodiac (2007). His chilly, precise filmmaking knows how to tease while still looking head-on into a dark, bloody abyss.
Fincher takes time to build the mystery slowly, showing the numbing amounts of research as well as details like freezing-cold cabins and bad vending machine coffee. Every bit of excitement here is mirrored by something either mundane or rotten. (This isn't a glamorous mystery.) For the English-language remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-- which uses all the same character names and locations as the original -- superb casting choices were made all the way down the line, with Craig and Mara superbly commanding the screen.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.