The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
301 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Superb Swedish Thriller!
Tom Erik Høiås30 August 2009
Awesome Swedish film with a intelligent story. a journalist and a troubled young female hacker works together on resolving a 40 year old mystery involving a disappearance, murders, Nazis and one hell of a dysfunctional family. the storytelling by the director was great and captured my attention for almost 2,5 hours. the character buildup is thorough and makes a solid foundation for the rest of the film. in addition the characters are straightened by a superb cast played by Michael Nyqvist and especially Noomi Rapace. Camera work and the overall look of the film is astounding, especially on bluray. the movie takes you to it's locations and doesn't let go until the story is complete. a must see for those who likes an intriguing edge of your seat thriller.
119 out of 143 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Well worth seeing...
SpanOws14 June 2009
I went to see this film having heard nothing about it at all and another film I wanted to see wasn't on the Sunday matinée, this looked 5 Euros I've spent in a long time. Very, very good thriller but NOT FOR CHILDREN and I was genuinely surprised how much I enjoyed it - well filmed and well acted by the main protagonists; I know nothing of Swedish actors but apparently Michael Nyqvist is well known and I thought Noomi Rapace was brilliant (a young, headstrong, tattooed and "talented" computer hacker Lisbeth Salander with a traumatized past) I thought the film was superbly directed (Niels Arden Oplev); I am already looking forward to the second film later this year AND I will go and buy the books...
194 out of 243 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great Swedish thriller
kovvan4 March 2009
This film was very well-made with superb cinematography. The actors all portray their respective characters perfectly, although Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander, Michael Nyqvist as Michael Blomkvist and Sven-Bertil Taube as Hanrik Vanger deserve a special mentioning. They are all very likable and believable.

The films story is very exciting and puzzling (for those that haven't read the book) and the pace is steady with some really tense situations. The investigation part of the story is excellent. Although it is 2.5 hours long it is never boring.

The soundtrack was also very fitting and helped to set the mood of the film. This is far above any other Scandinavian thriller production, and I look forward to the rest of the films/series.

I recommend it to anyone!
292 out of 371 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Worthy & Different Crime Mystery When Compared To American Films Of The Genre
AudioFileZ13 September 2009
An intrigue fueled slow building thriller, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is a refreshingly different take on the "whodunit" crime genre. This Swedish movie has loads of great cinematography, taking advantage of the beautiful Swedish country side as well as framing the eerie story. The principal characterizations are quite well suited by the cast who fit naturally in the roles they play with great realism. Like I have already noted this is a much different presentation as compared with American filmed crime thrillers. Even though this obviously has a well-funded budget it is grittier and less commercialized thus lending a realism over glossiness. The music score also adds quite a bit of ominous darkness.

I guess if you want to be overly critical you could punch a hole or two here or there, but I think this story comes off so most all viewers will ignore any inconsistencies in favor of the mysterious pieces which, eventually, add up, but not too fast – keeping the viewer invested and hoping to figure out how it may all end.

Though graphic at times, it isn't "porn-horror", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is a dark story where the unsettling pieces fit. I am fairly certain it will not be released in the US, but if you can see it do so as it is a well crafted and executed drama.
103 out of 128 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
well crafted, engaging and thought-provoking thriller
simona gianotti7 June 2009
I am among, I guess, those very few people in Europe who have not read the best-selling novel by Stieg Larsson, but, not feeling in the mood to see another too emotionally engaging romance or drama, although its being my favourite genre, I went to see what is depicted by Larsson's fans as a captivating and gripping thriller.

Indeed, I can't say whether the movie proves adherence to the novel, which is something by the way difficult, considering the length of the book, however, I can say that the product is a well-crafted piece of cinema, which leaves also interesting food for thought. Used as we are, as southern Europeans, to see at Northern, and mainly Scandinavian countries, as models of democracy, economic progress and social welfare, it's quite surprising to see a modern Sweden stained by corruption and unscrupulous tycoons. Moreover, it is quite upsetting to get to know how Nazi extremist and insane ideas were rooted not so much in the history of the country, but in the conscience of people, in this case of a powerful and wealthy family, where the hatred towards the Jews has mixed with the hatred towards women, turning the lives of whole generations into a hell of ferocious violence and horror.

As far as the thriller story, it's engaging, but carried on very carefully, every aspect being under control, with flashbacks constantly reassuring us about aspects we have already perceived, without moving a little apart from a well consolidated stylistic model of this kind of movie genre. Sometimes a little slow, sometimes too indulging in violent scenes, but with a strong directing consciousness supporting it. Convincing and really good the performances offered by the whole cast, unknown to the great public, but I would underline the actress playing Lisbeth as really outstanding and upsetting in her mental and emotional distress. On the whole, it's not a masterpiece, but a good and well made movie.
158 out of 205 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A captivating piece of cinema!
Micke Karlsson25 February 2009
The music lends a threatening aspect to the opening scene, where we in slow close ups – on and off deliberately out of focus – get to follow the opening of a package. Inside the package, post marked in Hong Kong, is a framed plant. The camera starts to move backwards, taking in more of the room and revealing Sven-Bertil Taube as the opener of the package. He holds the frame in his hands, lowers his head and slowly starts to cry.

Niels Arden Oplevs Män som hatar kvinnor is based on the first of Stieg Larssons three bestselling novels, meaning of course that it is basically guaranteed large box office numbers – but the expectations will probably match those numbers. Weather the film manages to live up to these expectations I cannot say – seeing as I am one of the probably only eight people who has not read Stieg Larssons books. But as a piece of cinema, completely removed from its literary origins, it definitely leaves an impression!

The music mentioned above, written by Peter Fuchs, is the first thing to register in the mind as something interesting… Something that make everything feel very serious. The impending-doom-score composed by Howard Shore, for David Finchers Se7en, springs to mind – and this only a few seconds into the film.

The cold, hard, uncomfortable reality – where the movie takes place – is populated by a highly recognizable legion of people straight out of Swedens acting elite… (Gösta Bredenfeldt, Lena Endre, Ewa Fröling, Björn Granath, Peter Haber och Marika Lagerkrantz to mention a few) …and they all seem to have been so thrilled to be a part of this project that they almost as one has taken their characters a step back, allowing the spotlight to be shone on the two main characters, who also get to drive the story forward; the reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Mikael Nyqvist), who is digging through a 40 year old murder case involving a well known corporation family with Nazi connections, and the 24 year old computer hacker EMO Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) that every day hacks Blomkvists hard drive, captivated by the puzzling evidence (or lack thereof).

Nyqvist gets the job done playing what is basically the lesser of the two parts. You instinctively feel sympathy for him, and sympathizes with him – even in his very first scene, in which his character is convicted of slander, and sentenced to prison.

But when the lights come back on in the theatre, and you gather up your half eaten box of popcorn and your coat, it's not Mikael Nyqvists understated but persistent reporter you will remember most…it's Noomi Rapaces leather-and-stud clad, tattooed, pierced, heavy makeup wearing biker chick, Lisbeth Salander.

Weighted by old wrongdoings as well as new ones, Lisbeth is covered in emotional scars, making her a very interesting character – that easily could have been a silly rehash, a Gunvald Larsson in leather. But Noomi Rapace bases Lisbeth in real emotions rather than clichés and hammy over acting. You can tell that there is a real person behind that steely gazed, unyielding face, something that make those parts of the movie, where we get to come with her through what must be some of Swedish cinemas most horrendous scenes, feel that much more awful. You almost can't help looking away, as she is abused over and over again…

The relationship between Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander is the only part where I felt the movie rushed things just a tad. But this is only a mild piece of criticism, as the lack of insight leaves the audience feeling that they, just like the character Mikael Blomkvist, don't know what to make of Lisbeht Salander.

Besides the two leads, I want to single out Peter Haber, who really got to show off his skills! He is obviously good for more than just playing the silly father of Sune or the annoyingly correct police Martin Beck.

I have, like I mentioned earlier, not read the novels by Stieg Larsson, and I have an automatic aversion towards Swedish cinema; which I usually find stiff, with acting taken straight out of the latest grocery store commercials. In other words, Swedish film has its work cut out trying to sell me anything. But, and I am not ashamed to admit this, I'm gonna go ahead and BUY!!!

In the narrow little world that is Swedish cinema there is a lot that one could – or even should – avoid. But this movie is not something to be ignored! So leave the kids at home (this is NOT a very pleasant film) and head for your nearest multiplex to take in of the most thrilling Swedish films in a very long time!
191 out of 254 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Loyal adaption of best seller book
Anders Noer28 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"Män som hatar Kvinnor" is a whodunit thriller revolving around sadism towards women. It is based on the first book in Stieg Larsson's crime trilogy with the main characters journalist Mikael Blomkvist and outcast hacker Lisbeth Salander. For the record, this trilogy has had rave reviews and been among the best selling books in Scandinavia.

An aging corporate executive, Henrik Vanger, employs Blomkvist to solve the puzzle of his missing niece - A girl who mysteriously disappeared 40 years earlier. It has become an obsession to this man to shed some light on his missing niece's fate, and he is desperate to have closure before it's his own time to pass. Over the years 82 year old Henrik Vanger has been gathering a substantial amount of hints and clues, but he was never able to put the pieces together. Acclaimed journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired for his researching skills, following a thorough background check. Blomkvist's recent committal order doesn't discourage Vanger. He shows no interest for compromise in getting the right man for the job.

Eventually Blomkvist teams up with secluded computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. Their investigation unfolds a complex set of clues leading to a string of morbid sadistic murders spanning decades. Pieces of the puzzle slowly start falling into place, as inevitable confrontation with the hidden villain draws closer. Alongside this main plot line, both of our main characters have to deal with personal problems that act as obstacles for the main chase and help us understand our main characters.


When I read "Män som hatar kvinnor" a few years back, I told my friends: "This would make a great movie". It sure does. "Män som hatar kvinnor" is an ambitious project. Casting (character and location alike), adapting the book to script and production seem to set new standards for Scandinavian movie making. It has an international feel and does the book great justice. Key scenes from the book are flawlessly executed and the characters are captured very convincingly. Fans of the book shouldn't be disappointed. Almost three hours running time allows great depth and detail, but even at this length some plot lines have been left out. This does not hurt the overall feel though. It is still a coherent movie focusing on the main plot line. Avid fans can turn to the text version for further explanations, and still be intrigued.

The Lisbeth Salander character is an inventive take on a heroine. She is a believable and obvious contrast to the sadistic, women degrading evildoers. This 90 pound female hacker is depicted as being the craftier, stronger and more energetic of our heroic duo. This does however hurt Blomkvists character a bit, leaving him seemingly not too bright and kind of helpless. I DO like a female heroine though, which is a welcome twist to the classic detective genre. The novels give Blomkvist a bit more room to shine on his own, which is the only thing I'm missing in the movie.

Great performances all around. Most reviews will obviously comment on Noomi Rapaces outstanding performance as Lisbeth Salander and put her on a well deserved pedestal. I'm going to point the attention to Sven-Bertil Taube (Henrik Vanger) and Peter Haber (Martin Vanger) who both do great jobs as supporting actors.
62 out of 80 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great Movie!!!
karenbickley12 March 2010
I saw this movie in Sydney, Australia and it was really great. A really good thriller!. I have read all three of the books and wondered how the movie would be. The theatre was packed and it was in subtitles but you could hear a pin drop. We were all glued to the screen. Once it gets going your are hooked! At the end everyone clapped. Some of the scenes are graphic and violent but if you have read the book you already know this. However, even though I had to "read" the movie I cant wait for the next one. At least I hope they are making a movie for book 2 and 3 I would not take my 14yr old to this but it is something I would see again. Highly recommend!
86 out of 119 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Dark Thriller
kosmasp25 October 2009
While I haven't read the books/novels, I enjoyed the movie very much. Even if it's only part 1 of the trilogy, it still feels like a movie that has a beginning and an ending. I can't say how that works in the books, but the translation to the screen seems really good (voting here underlines that).

While thrillers are mostly considered TV material and this one might borderline on that fine edge, it still deserves to be seen on the big screen. The actors (mostly unrecognizable to the worldwide audience) are really good. The editing and pacing is great and it's really a great suspense movie. A little thriller that dares to go to dark places.
86 out of 120 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I hate to say it, but more rounded than Fincher's version
UnknownRealmsDotNet22 July 2012
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been a worldwide phenomenon for a while now. In book form, the original film, and the Hollywood remake. It is a disturbing, yet riveting tale, as is the story behind the author who made it. While Fincher's version is visually and stylistically more striking, I feel this original Swedish film does a better job bringing the disturbing mystery to the silver screen. Structured much more fluidly than the Hollywood version, the mystery of a missing girl flows and develops slowly, dishing out red herrings and suspense with each turn (something lacking in the Fincher version). It also stays closer to the original title of the book (and theme) Men who Hate Women. In the end, this is a dark tale of what rape does to women and to the world. Not everyone's idea of 'entertainment,' but a thought-provoking mystery for those with strong stomachs.
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Excellent thriller
Andres Salama17 January 2010
This Swedish film is one of the best thrillers I've seen in a long time. Based on a best seller novel by Stieg Larsson I haven't read (the first in a trilogy), it starts with Mikael, a middle aged investigative journalist being asked by the old patriarch of a powerful business clan to solve the disappearance of his beloved 16 year old nephew forty years ago. Since this happened during a family reunion at an isolated island, the patriarch believes that she was murdered, and that only a member of the family could have done so. Mikael is soon joined in the investigation by Lisbeth Salander, a troubled but brilliant twenty something female hacker, and soon they are lifting the veil on the very dark secrets behind this prestigious family. Gripping throughout, the film benefits from a number of terrific performances, especially Noomi Rapace playing Lisbeth Salander and Sven Bertil Taube as the patriarch of the clan. While the film is more than two hours long, it is never boring, and all the loose ends are tied brilliantly at the end.
53 out of 77 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Nice piece of work
Quotable2 March 2009
My low regards for Swedish film industry aside, this is a really well crafted movie. Director Oplev apparently knows the ropes enough to make the Swedish crew seem plausible. The old school with SB Taube and Hirdwall usually deliver good characters, and Nyqvist as well. The younger talent strikes me as a bit more stiff usually and deliver dialogs as they read directly from the script. Not here. The only one that I find off, is actually Lena Endre. Not that she is bad, but she is just as we always see her. Music-wise, a big step in the right direction. I think of Howard Shore scores from Seven and Silence of the lambs. Too bad that the movie sound, the dialog in particular, doesn't hold the same standard. Also, not to give anything away, in the final scenes- bear in mind Bourne Ultimatum last scenes, and Silence of the lambs final. In short, hats of to this magnificent film. This is the proof that you don't necessarily make a good flick just on million dollar budgets as in Arn(lame), but with the right talent. In this case I salute director Oplev.
85 out of 131 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the best in awhile........
AkiraKyoShi26 January 2011
I had no idea what to expect with this movie but after seeing something on about people screwed over by the globes I figured Id give it a whirl.

I ended up getting a Dubbed version and I know a lot can be lost in translation that way but I loved it. It definitely has a "girl power" feel to it but it is very well done. The acting is excellent the storyline is excellent and its well written.

One thing I really loved was its not your typical "American" , which its not, suspense/detective movie. A lot of these are clues and discoveries that come out of nowhere and don't make a lot of sense. This movie I found was very realistic in the way it was written and was done the way real people would do it. It didn't have that feeling of disconnection with the characters being so much more intelligent and magical when it came to the clues.

Anyway I enjoyed it so much Im going to give the other movies a shot with the same female character.

I highly recommend this but please be aware, there is A lot of "violation" if you will. Not for sensitive viewers.

11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Noomi Rapace did it to perfection. (Contains Spoilers)
Carma Simonsen1 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I rarely include spoilers in my reviews. The only reason I will in this one is for the benefit of Noomi Rapace and other members of the cast and crew who made this movie perfect. Hollywood does the weirdest things. Rather than give a new writer a chance, they'll remake an absolutely perfect recent film. Bizarre. I truly hope it backfires on them. Seeing the trailers for the remake, I'm baffled. It's flat. There is nothing in their eyes. Noomi Rapace is gripping in this film. She's my hero. This film contains the most brutal rape scene imaginable, and I nearly had to stop watching, but I could not stop watching *her* - there was something about *her* that promised me that this was not gratuitous sadism. I cheered my guts out when she cleverly trapped the human predator and exacted justice. I had not read the book, so I had no idea this was coming. Noomi's performance is beyond 10. I can't think of another actress who has gone this deep in drama, and I want her to know, it was a very satisfying movie to watch - not mere entertainment - it was cathartic. Thank you.
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo: A Crime Drama Like No Other
shatteredrifle30 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo takes us into the investigation of one Harriet Vanger, who disappeared when she was just 16 years old and has been missing for the last 40 years. Still distraught about Harriet's case, her uncle, Henrik Vanger, hires troubled journalist Mikael Blomksvist to find out what happened. Along the way, he teams up with Lisbeth Salander, an eccentric hacker genius, and what they uncover is far worse than they could have ever imagined.

What is beautiful about this film is the simplicity of how it was made without it appearing cheap. It is proof that the lack of special effects doesn't make a film dull. In fact, it only makes other aspects shine. The movie is dialogue-driven, and a lot of things are explained through the conversations. It is quite unfortunate that I do not understand Swedish (and I had to use the subtitles while watching it) because I feel it would have been a better experience if I did.

Of course, behind these dialogues are the two leads Blomkvist and Salander. A recipe for a good movie is comprised of a compelling story, characters viewers can sympathize with and care about, and the interactions among these characters. For the most part, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is able to accomplish these things. Because of the film, I now understand why Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows) has suddenly been propelled to the spotlight. Indeed, her performance as Lisbeth Salander is incredible. The late Stieg Larsson would have been proud of her interpretation of his title character. Salander is arguably the most unique female protagonist the industry has seen for a long time. From her looks to her personality, we see her as complex yet somebody we can understand, talented and so sure of herself and yet at the same time so awkward. Michael Nyqvist portrays Mikael Blomkvist with an air of confidence and authority that is just fitting for the character. We can understand why Salander, not big on trust, eventually warms up to him. If Salander is the loose cannon, then he is the straight arrow that holds the film together.

As a fan of the book, I believe this adaptation was able to give sufficient justice. Like in all adaptations, many elements of the story were changed. However, most of these changes were done for a smoother flow and for a more viewer-friendly experience.

Later this year, David Fincher will be making a Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Even with stars Daniel Craig and Robin Wright attached to the project, it must pack a wallop so they can surpass the high standard that this Swedish production has set. Truly, this film has made me want to venture more into European cinema and find all the wonders it has to offer.

The Verdict: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a dark, gritty, excellently-done crime drama that others will try to emulate but probably won't be able to. That being said, it is not for everyone and not for the faint of heart. There is a reason that this is Rated R. The movie is very long compared to the running time of most movies coming out recently. Thus, in order to fully enjoy and appreciate this gem, one must be patient. Everything shall fall into place and in the end, you will discover that it was one of the best ways to spend 150 minutes of your time. Trust me when I say that watching the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an intelligent, heart-wrenching, unforgettable experience.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good, Taut Thriller with Excellent Character Development
TheExpatriate70014 June 2010
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or as it is originally titled Men Who Hate Women, is one of the best contemporary thrillers I have seen in a while. It combines a suspenseful plot and brutal violence with a deep exploration of its title character. It goes beyond its plot, revolving around a missing persons investigation, to become an at times disturbing character study.

Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace are essential to the film's success. Both actors inhabit their roles convincingly, making us care about people who could have been stock characters. Although the bulk of praise has gone to Rapace, Nyqvist's performance is also worth attention. As Blomkvist, he provides a stable counterpart to Rapace's impulsive Lisabeth Salander, at times coming across as the more sympathetic character.

Much has been made of the level of graphic violence, particularly sexual violence, in this film. Although this may be off-putting to some viewers, it helps establish one of the film's most important themes: the impact of violence on its victims and its capacity to warp the human personality. The most graphic scenes, which come early in the film, help establish this theme, and play an important role in characterization as well.

Hopefully, this film will be remembered at Oscar time. It is far better than most of the dreck that Hollywood has on offer.
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Scandinavian thrills
Max_cinefilo8920 March 2010
It is a quite uncommon event, that a Swedish film should get so much attention pretty much anywhere, not just in Scandinavia or, outside its home regions, the art-house circuit (Bergman isn't exactly multiplex stuff). Of course, when the film in question is based on a best-selling novel, nay, the most profitable book in Northern Europe, it's a whole different thing: partly because of the unique circumstances surrounding its inception (the author was a journalist who wrote fiction just for fun and died shortly after submitting the final version of the manuscripts), Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy has shocked and enthralled readers all over the world, which explains why the adaptation of the first chapter, Men Who Hate Women (retitled The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in English-speaking countries), has become the most successful Swedish movie of all time. That, and the fact that it's a very good film.

Not surprisingly, the main character is, like the late author, an investigative reporter, a man in his late forties named Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist). Sentenced to a six-month stint in prison for allegedly forging evidence against a powerful businessman he wrote about in the magazine Millennium (hence the trilogy's title), he still has the time to carry out an assignment handed to him by one Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube): to find out what happened on the day Vanger's niece, Harriet, disappeared. Dis she simply vanish, or was she murdered? As the plot thickens, Mikael receives unexpected help from Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), a young hacker with a troubled past and continued problems with her legal status, more specifically her sleazy guardian.

In the transition from page to screen, some elements had to be abandoned, obviously: gone are the data on abused women that opened each section of the book (the major contribution of Larsson's journalistic side), as well as the sly references to past detective story staples (Blomkvist and Vanger mention Agatha Christie when discussing their investigation). In terms of plot, on the other hand, the adaptation process is worthy of L.A. Confidential: no unnecessary subplots (do we really need to see Mikael sleeping with half the women he encounters?) or irrelevant side characters, just Blomkvist and Salander, an odd investigative couple whose essence is best summed up by Mikael's line: "You know everything about me, and I don't know sh*t about you.". It's that kind of weird humor, spoken in plain, brutal Swedish, that gives the film its heart, along with a decent dose of mystery.

The Scandinavian landscape has its part in guaranteeing the story's success, too: like in the wonderful Let the Right One In, the cold, snowy environment provides the ideal backdrop for one of the most chilling (pun not intended) and grisly tales of murder ever committed to film. Staying true to the book's bleak core, the violence is depicted without many restrictions, especially in the central rape scene that justifies the original Swedish title and sets The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo aside from the majority of Hollywood's sanitized thrillers.

In short, this is a riveting, rewarding experience. Needless to say, an American version is already in the works to please subtitle-weary moviegoers. It's not necessarily a bad idea (look at what Chris Nolan did with Insomnia, originally a Norwegian picture), but can there really be a Tinseltown actress brave - and good - enough to take over from the mesmerizing Noomi Rapace? Well, at least she still has two more films to steal before that happens...

18 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Grim but absorbing
Philby-316 February 2010
This is a grim and gritty tale lightened somewhat by an upbeat ending. Its origins as the first novel in the millennium series by Stieg Larrson is evident in a somewhat meandering storyline and a running time of two and a half hours, with the inevitable excisions from the book. Nevertheless the film stands up well on its own.

Sweden seems to produce detectives at the end of their tethers, "Wallander" for example, and the protagonist here, Mikael a journalist, starts out facing three months in jail for defaming a shonky business tycoon. I thought criminal defamation was a thing of the past, but not it seems in Sweden. Mikael has been set up, but the case has brought him to the notice of Henrick Vander, the patriarch of an old industrial family, who commissions Mikael to investigate the disappearance of his favourite niece, who disappeared from the family's island retreat nearly 40 years ago. Mikael joins forces with the tiny but intimidating Lisbeth, an ace computer hacker with a dark past and an agenda of her own.

They soon discover that the Vander family, except for their client who is a nice old gent, are as about a dysfunctional a family as you might ever meet, on a par with the Essenbecks of Visconti's "The Damned". There are skeletons everywhere, not just in the closet. However Mikael and Lisbeth crack the case, after the usual quota of menacing moments and dashing around chasing red herrings and actual clues. Filmed in the midst of a Swedish winter the atmosphere is pretty gloomy, not to mention just plain cold.

Michael Nyqvist inhabits the role of Mikael pretty comfortably, spending quite a lot of time looking surprised, but Nooni Rapace as Lisbeth is something else again – practically an elemental force – never was someone so vulnerable and so dangerous at the same time.

Nit-pickers will be delighted to learn that in a short sequence set in outback northern Australia, Mikael's FWD has the correct licence plates and its steering wheel on the right. However the lighting was most peculiar and the sheep a bit out of place – you mostly see cattle in northern Australia.

There are apparently two sequels in the pipeline, and despite some rather grisly moments I will line up to see them. Larrson, who died suddenly after producing three best-sellers, was a good storyteller and the film-makers have executed the adaptation with plenty of skill.
18 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the Best Films I Have Seen This Year
Claudio Carvalho30 August 2010
In Stockholm, the investigative journalist and chief-editor of the magazine Millennium Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is sentenced to three months in prison for slandering the corrupt entrepreneur Hans-Erik Wennerström (Stefan Sauk) in an article. Meanwhile the wealthy industrialist Henrik Vanger (Sven- Bertil Taube) and his lawyer Dirch Frode (Ingvar Hirdwall) hire the Milton Security to investigate the life of Mikael, and the hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) finds that he is an honest man. Mikael is invited to travel to Hedeby Island near Hedestadt to meet Henrik at his home and the old man proposes him to investigate who murdered his beloved nephew Harriet that disappeared forty years ago. Mikael moves to Hedeby Island and Henrik delivers all the files of the case. The journalist learns that all the members of the dysfunctional Vanger family are suspect and the three brothers of Henrik were Nazis. Meanwhile Lisbeth is hacking Mikael's computer and she decides to help him with further information about the case. Henrik hires Lisbeth to help Mikael and they discover a series of hideous murders connected to the disappearance of Harriet.

"Män Som Hatar Kvinnor" is one of the best films I have seen this year. The engaging suspense is very well developed, with many characters and subplots that are perfectly resolved without any flaw. Niels Arden Oplev has a tight direction, supported by an excellent screenplay and outstanding cast. Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace in the roles of an investigative journalist and an emotionally disturbed hacker respectively deserve nominations to the Oscar for their top-notch performances. Unfortunately it seems that the American cinema industry is preparing to destroy this awesome film with another remake. The Brazilian title is almost correct since "Män Som Hatar Kvinnor" means "Men Who Hate Women". My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Os Homens Que Não Amavam as Mulheres" ("The Men that did not Love Women")
19 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Decent but becomes progressively less interesting
leospitt23 March 2010
I basically enjoyed this film, as reflected in my rating but it is certainly flawed.

My preconception before watching the film, based upon the images of the main character, was that this was quite possibly a film that gets a lot of it's traction from the beauty of it's female star - dressed up in that Gothic she's-a-bit-disturbed kind of Matrix chic.

I was pleasantly surprised that the eponymous character does actually have some depth, and didn't have me groaning at tank grrrl clichés too often.

The film then heads off into what seem to me kind of interesting waters and is gearing up to be intelligent, well-paced, suspenseful and unconventional.

The problems arise when the film starts tying the mysteries up. The kind of devices that you would dismiss in a TV drama as being clichés, start surfacing with alarming regularity... It becomes more difficult to suspend your credibility... Things take on an increasingly BBC 2 Poirot kind of feel.

Then when you feel that the story has been told, the film continues for another unnecessary 20 minutes or so, most of that time spent spelling things out in a slightly patronising way..

The final scene seems well and truly out of place. People may say that "if you read the book it all makes sense"... Maybe, but this isn't the book, and the film needs to stand on it's own two feet.

So I would say this is half a good film, and half a late night TV murder mystery. Worth seeing but doesn't live up to the hype in my opinion.
23 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Its one of the best thriller, shocking, brutal and riveting movie
Saad Khan28 July 2010
Män som hatar kvinnor (The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo) - CATCH IT ( A ) Its one of the best thriller, shocking, brutal and riveting movie I've seen in recent times… though its 2/1 hrs long but still there is not a single moment you feel bore or wondering what's happening, its powerful that you wont take your eyes out of it… The Direction is top notch but it's the haunting performance of NOOMI Rapace , which just captures you and don't let you move… Other Powerful performance is by Michael Nyqvist, he is totally into the character and is a brilliant actor… I loved the Mesmerizing picture of the missing girl Harriet Vanger (Julia SpOrre) it's not less enchanted then MonaLisa… trust me on that! A Brilliant master piece should not to be missed in any case.
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the better thrillers
Mathijs21 August 2009
My brother and I were late for this movie, so we only got to see the audience when the lights went back on. I'd describe it as above 50. The reason is probably that this is not your average Hollywood murder movie.

It has most of the elements that thrillers of this kind have. Clue by clue you are lead to the murderer, but the answer is only revealed at the end. Where is movie differs from most common thrillers is that characters are described more realistically, without certain bounds that most movies seem to have. This adds to the intensity of 'Men who hate women'.

This intense detective has some interesting twists, and should be quite enjoyable for most adults.
49 out of 89 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A true-blooded crime thriller
SchmoCro10 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
A true-blooded crime thriller with a good dark atmosphere and very strong story, which certainly is not something unseen in the world of detective fiction, but it comes as a refreshment given to contemporary film offer. Wealthy tycoon Henrik Vanger hires controversial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, to investigate disappearance of his niece, which happened 40 years ago on the island wholly owned by Vanger family. Blomkvist was sentenced to three months in prison for planted libel against corrupt entrepreneur so Vanger decides to investigate him before hiring. Lisabeth Salander gets the job of investigating Blomkvist but she continues to monitor his computer after the job was done. So, after she sees his new job for Vanger she starts helping him, firstly indirectly and soon directly. Their investigation leads to revelations of dark secrets Vanger family. Although plot is relatively simple, characterization of main characters is thorough which is not strange since this movie is just first in trilogy. In simple words, movie is very good, without both positively and negatively extremes. Perhaps some viewers will not like politicking, and the story certainly could pass without the Nazis, but all in all screenplay seems solid. Acting is at a high level, and there are no big objections on directing. Noomi Rapace that embodies Lisbeth is fantastic, but the rest of the cast is not far away. Perhaps the most remarkable is the atmosphere, which is a typical Scandinavian strong, cold and dark and it suits to story perfectly. The very end is a typical Hollywood and serious viewers will probably feel bitterness because the story had great potential to go in a more interesting and original way.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Why do female names always bring you to porn sites?
Ben Larson11 September 2013
Fans of Pauley Perrette's role as Abby on NCIS, will love the character Lisbeth Salander, a goth girl played by Noomi Rapace. She turns a great thriller into something much more interesting.

Lisbeth is supposed to be the best hacker in Sweden, and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), who has a short time before he enters prison for libel, finds her to help look for the lost niece of a billionaire (Sven-Bertil Taube).

The film is brutal is some respects, as Lisbeth is abused by the man who controls her money. She is forced to have sex with him before she can collect. However she manages to turn the tables, and it is delicious.

When they discover the secret, it is even more heinous than they imagined.

But, things go on from there, and I would not reveal the surprising ending. It was sweet.

Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist were perfect.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Goodbye Ingmar Bergman, Hello Raymond Chandler
Bruce Burns27 June 2010
I've always been cautious about seeing Swedish films made in the last 30-40 years. The reason is that--unlike America, Britain, Germany, China, Mexico, Italy or Australia--there is almost no controversy over who is Sweden's greatest filmmaker. And thus nearly every Swedish film I've ever seen not directed by Ingmar Bergman has either been a rip-off of the great man's work or just shallow trash. (Substitute "Kurosawa" for "Bergman" and you'll know why I also tend to avoid Japanese cinema). Nonetheless, I kept hearing about this film and the book that inspired it. As a lover of mystery novels and film noir, I decided that I need to at least give this movie a chance. And I'm glad I did. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" owes almost nothing to Bergman and everything to the novels of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Ross McDonald.

It begins when a sickly, elderly billionaire industrialist who knows better than to trust his awful family wants to investigate the 42-year-old disappearance of his niece--the only relative he ever loved (think "The Big Sleep"). Through intermediaries, he hires Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace)--a hacker/private investigator with a troubled past and a large dragon tattoo on her back. Her assignment is to vet disgraced leftist journalist Mikael Blomqvist (Michael Nyqvist) to see if he's up to the job. Eventually Blomqvist agrees to do the job and quickly realizes that he needs Lisbeth to help him. Revealing much more of the plot would be unfair.

Aside from the serpentine plot (involving Nazis, serial killers, and a clandestine romance), the thing I liked most about this movie was Rapace's performance as the inscrutable Lisbeth. Maybe there's a pattern here, or maybe it's just me, but--along with Kristen Stewart in "The Runaways"--my two favorite female performances of 2010 thus far have been portrayals of angry, leather-jacketed bisexual young women. Without changing facial expressions, Rapace is somehow able to show anger, fear, love, sadness and embarrassment at the appropriate times. And I feel the scene where Lisbeth is raped by her parole officer ranks just as high if not higher than the scene in "The Accused" that won Jodie Foster her first Oscar.

According to this site, there is already an American remake in the works. I don't know how that's going to work. Parts of the plot are fairly Euro-centric (i.e. jail-time for libel, a local Nazi movement run by Hitler himself). Plus, the film retains novelist Stieg Larsson's radical anti-capitalist, anti-government views, which most Americans would find unpalatable.

The future of Swedish cinema rests on movies from that country being watchable without giving up their artistic merit. Swedish filmmakers need to step outside the notion of becoming "the next Bergman" because there will only ever be one Bergman. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a great first step along that path.
14 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews