If you saw the excellent 2009 Swedish version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," you may rightly wonder why it's being remade already.

If you saw the excellent 2009 Swedish version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," you may rightly wonder why it's being remade already.

Well, director David Fincher not only did it justice. He did it better.

Based on the first book of late author Stieg Larsson's wildly popular "Millennium" trilogy, "Dragon Tattoo" introduces a broader audience to one of the great heroines of our day.

Swedish journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is fresh off a high-profile libel case when he's contacted by a member of a wealthy and powerful family. He's hired to investigate the decades-old disappearance of an heiress in the family.

He is (eventually) aided in his investigation by Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a pierced and tattooed computer hacker whose waifish build belies her fierce will.

I loved the Swedish original, but when I heard Fincher was helming the remake, I was on board.

The only question mark was Mara, last seen briefly as Mark Zuckerberg's girlfriend in Fincher's "The Social Network." There's wasn't much to indicate she could step into Noomi Rapace's shoes in the role. Turns out, she's electrifying.

If you don't know the source material, please be forewarned. This is bleak, violent and contains a rape scene that is difficult to watch.

But apart from the unavoidable pacing issues that adapting a novel usually brings, Fincher nails it.