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Sony Tries To Keep Review Lid on Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Sony Tries To Keep Review Lid on Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Sony is trying to contain critics who are itching to review David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which has an official review embargo date of December 13 in advance of its December 21 release. Studios use reviews as marketing fodder, and figure if they screen a film in advance for press, they have the right to demand that the media hold off on tweets, posts and publishing until closer to release.

Hollywood Elsewhere blogged some speculation about Rooney Mara’s place in the Best Actress race, but took it down when asked. The New Yorker, however, despite Sony’s pleas, is going to press with David Denby’s review.

What’s the protocol from here? Historically, once an outlet publishes (whether at a festival, or in London, or in Rolling Stone, Time or Newsweek) the rest of the press follows. Hence I will predict that come December 5–despite the Sony email below–the media corps will proceed to post as well, embargo be damned. Why allow The New Yorker to get all that traffic? This movie is an eagerly anticipated franchise with an engaged, invested global fanbase on the order of “Twilight” or “Batman.” No way that outlets and critics are going to sit on their hands. That tapping you hear is all the scribes who have seen “Tattoo” preparing their reviews to post the second Denby does. And that gnashing of teeth? All the folks who didn’t go to Friday screenings thinking they had the luxury of an embargo date. 

Dear Colleague,
All who attended screenings of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo agreed in writing to withhold reviews until closer to the date of the film’s worldwide release date.  Regrettably, one of your colleagues, David Denby of The New Yorker, has decided to break his agreement and will run his review on Monday, December 5th.  This embargo violation is completely unacceptable.
By allowing critics to see films early, at different times, embargo dates level the playing field and enable reviews to run within the films’ primary release window, when audiences are most interested.  As a matter of principle, the New Yorker’s breach violates a trust and undermines a system designed to help journalists do their job and serve their readers.   We have been speaking directly with The New Yorker about this matter and expect to take measures to ensure this kind of violation does not occur again.
In the meantime, we have every intention of maintaining the embargo in place and we want to remind you that reviews may not be published prior to December 13th.
We urge all who have been given the opportunity to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to honor the commitments agreed to as a condition of having early access to the film.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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Squidward Tentacles

This movie will suck. They try to stir up some controversy, just to hype this trash more up. Rooney Mara is horrible as Lisbeth and will never reach the performance Noomi Rapace did in the Swedish version. The movie will be badly lit, the Rooney character will be annoying, James Bond will pout at the camera and the music noise will be just the same as in Facebook, or how did another Jew get rich. Oy, another movie that will be forgotten in a year or so. Mind you, the original Millennium trilogy will last forever. Before you scoff, do you take out your BluRay or DVD of The Social Network, to re-watch a scene? No you don't, nobody does.

The Great and Powerful Turtle

Im with Sony here and feel for all those other critics/reviewers that abide d by the embargo

Anne Thompson

I also try not to read reviews before I see a movie. But why should The New Yorker have the Dragon Tattoo show all to itself? When one major review breaks, the embargo is effectively over. That's the way it is. Studios try to control the flow, but it's like putting a finger in a dike.


If all critics agreed to withhold their reviews on Sony's behalf, they should have to stick with their agreement. There's a reason why a lot of studios decided to not hold critics' screenings until right around when the film came out, or in some cases, none at all.

I'm looking forward to seeing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and it's irritating how everyone seems to know everything about a movie nowadays weeks before it's actually released. I want to form my own opinion, so I'll try to avoid these advance reviews as much as possible.


David Denby is a terrible critic and a massive dick. Sony should ban him from any future screenings.

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