As a rule, I am not a fan of books that are made into movies. I am a stickler for the details in the books, and I notice right away when those details don’t make it into the movie. However I do LOVE when books I like are made into movies, and when they are made well I get even more psyched.
I read the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books a few times before I saw the the movies (to be clear I have seen all three Swedish versions, and the recent American version) and I found almost no flaws with them. I loved the movies from the very first scene, Noomi Rapace who plays LIsbeth Salander was JUST how I pictured her in my head. In fact every character was fairly close to how I pictured them in my head while reading the books. The movies followed the books almost exactly, which I love, and I was able to totally focus on Lisbeth (rather than picking out the inconsistencies) and all the pain and humiliations she survived.
To be honest, the reason I watched the Swedish made movies had nothing to do with any purist attitude, or loyalty to how the author wanted his books made into motion pictures. It was simply because by the time I read all three books, all three Swedish versions had been finished and all of them were on Netflix.
That being said I am awfully glad I watched those versions, because now having seen both the Swedish and American version I have to say the original Swedish movies are far superior. So the American version had a huge budget? The Swedish movies are still so much better, they feel more real to me, the scenes have a lot more depth, and seem much closer to the vision created by Stieg Larsson.
Not that the American version is bad by any means, (and for me to say two different version of a movie made from a book are good, is a miracle) you should definitely see the America version. I would just HIGHLY recommend also seeing the Swedish versions as well.
These were some of my all time favorite movies based on books, granted the list is short, but that just makes my list all the more prestigious.