6. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Stellan Skarsgård, Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, Embeth Davidtz, Joely Richardson

Is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in the same league as David Fincher’s best works (i.e., Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network)? Not quite, but, oddly enough, that’s nothing to get all worked up about. Even at his most routine, Fincher is a master craftsman when it comes to grimy, darkly tinted thrillers, and his much-buzzed-about adaptation of the late Swedish author Steig Larsson’s international best-seller is a gorgeously shot, masterfully acted, and enthralling dose of glossy Hollywood filmmaking.

With composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ pulsating and eerie score at his disposal, Fincher translates Larsson’s otherwise pedestrian whodunit murder mystery into a brooding procedural that moves with calculated force. And through Rooney Mara, the director presents the book’s beloved firecracker of a heroine, Lisbeth Salander, as a female badass for the ages. Mara, moving with a ghostly demeanor and balancing several inscrutable emotions at once, is a revelation—she’s reason enough to endlessly praise The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Thankfully, Fincher and everyone else involved never slouch, either.