The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Columbia Pictures

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo doesn't hit theaters until next week, but several top critics are already offering up their opinions about the highly anticipated flick.

Of course, it seemed everyone was a critic when it was first announced that director David Fincher was going to make his own version of the movie based on Stieg Larsson's best-selling novel with relative unknown Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. 

So, what's the initial verdict?

Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter has high praise for Mara, writing that the film is highlighted by her "bewitching performance" and "it's Mara's movie for the taking, and she snatches it up in dramatic fashion."

He adds, however, that while it "remains an absorbing story, as it was on the page and in the 2009 Swedish screen version," Fincher's take "offers no surprises in the way it's told."

Over at Variety, critic Justin Chang says it "hews more faithfully to the novel than its predecessor did." He, too, was also impressed by Mara's performance, noting her "hypnotic presence" and commending the actress for "fearlessly stepping into a role made iconic by Swedish thesp Noomi Rapace and proving more than equal to the challenge."

David Denby of The New Yorker continues the Mara lovefest: "You can't take your eyes off [her]...Mara makes every scene that she appears in jump...It's Mara's shot at stardom, and [Daniel Craig] lets her have it."

The Associated Press gets right to the point with David Germain insisting "this movie kicks ass."

One of the few negative reviews comes from Ed Gonzalez over at Slant Magazine: "The difference between Niels Arden Oplev's adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and David Fincher's own is not, as some might have hoped, the difference between night and day, but between curdled milk and a warmed-over holiday second."

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures announced today that it will now be releasing the film one day early beginning on Dec. 20.

Do these reviews change your mind at all when it comes to seeing it?

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