Over the last couple of weeks I've been reading through Stieg Larsson's "Millennium Series" of books (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest). As I've been getting through the books, I've also been watching the Swedish versions of the film adaptations (all released in 2009). Last week, the highly anticipated American version was released.

Obviously I went into the film with a good grasp of the story, but also high expectations. I'm happy to say that my expectations were met...not exceeded necessarily, but met.

Daniel Craig does an excellent job of playing the anti-James Bond, journalist Mikael Blomkvist. As Bond, he's the ultimate man's man; fearless, confident, and tough. In Dragon Tattoo, his frustration and fear shows on his face when appropriate (although, oddly he loses the Swedish lilt to his accent about 3/4 of the way through the film). Rooney Mara shines as the anti-social computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (as evidenced by her recent Golden Globe nomination). She is completely unrecognizable from her role as Mark Zuckerberg's put upon ex-girlfriend in last year's The Social Network.

If I can come up with any criticisms, I'd have to repeat my mother's comment about the looks of the cast. In the Swedish version of the film the cast is, well, rather homely, which adds to the believability of the film. The cast of the American version is almost good looking and recognizable to a fault. But hey, if that's the biggest criticism I can come up with, that's not so bad.

If you've read the books and/or seen the Swedish films, you'll pick up on the usual Hollywood tweaks here and there, but nothing that hurts the story too badly (although there's one major plot change that I found to be a little peculiar. I can't really go into too much detail without letting a major spoiler slip). In general, the flick stays true to the source material and nicely sets up the expected sequels.

Fair warning, the film earns it's "R" rating with some pretty explicit (and in one scene, violent) sexual situations.

Have you seen The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? What did you think? Feel free to vote below and leave a comment!