Another Fincher film, another masterpiece. This guy simply knows how to make excellent, cool, sexy movies.
I've never read the novels, but this film was an improvement on it's swedish counterpart in every way. World class performances, great cinematography, and one of the coolest opening sequences I've seen.
The original Swedish film suffered from the fact that a great deal of the plot, which works well in a book, comes from a journalist researching a past event through old photos, journals, and newspapers. Fincher is such a great filmmaker that I never got bored with that the way I did the first time around.
As to the R-rating that got so much press buzz, this version actually was not as brutally violent as the original, though they did up the sex and nudity.