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Reviews & Ratings for
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo More at IMDbPro »Män som hatar kvinnor (original title)

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Index 293 reviews in total 

Dark, brutal and gripping thriller - 90%

Author: Benjamin Cox from Hampshire, England
7 January 2015

Probably being one of the few people left in England not to have picked up the original Stieg Larsson books, I approached this dark Scandinavian thriller with some trepidation. Its reputation for brutal and harrowing scenes of violence, together with the deliberately anti-social nature of its heroine, gave me the impression I was in for a bumpy ride. And believe me, it's a reputation well earned for this is one of the bleakest films I've seen for some time. Its multitude of shady suspects, world-weary lead and stark Swedish landscapes make for depressing viewing but if you stick at it, you'll be rewarded with a slick and gripping thriller the likes of which we rarely see.

Facing a jail sentence for libel, investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is summoned by the elderly head of the influential Vanger family, Henrik (Sven-Bertil Taube), to his remote island estate of Hedeby. He asks Blomkvist to investigate the supposed murder of his niece Harriet (Ewa Fröling) who disappeared from the island forty years earlier, hinting that he believes a member of his family might be the killer. As Blomkvist moves into a small cottage on Hedeby and begins digging, he encounters disturbed goth hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) who also seems to be investigating the case. Working together, they uncover a deeply buried conspiracy that puts both of their lives in danger.

At its heart, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is an updated Agatha Christie-style murder mystery with its isolated setting and limited list of suspects. But instead of a funny little Belgian twirling his moustache, we get two very different leads. Nyqvist plays the world-weary, cynical Blomkvist with studied precision but it's Rapace who steals the show as the intriguing Salander. Not being familiar with any of the cast besides Rapace (who I was only dimly aware of), it enhances the movie's sickening plausibility. As Salander overcomes the lecherous attention of her oppressive legal guardian (Peter Andersson) and takes her equally brutal revenge, we find ourselves rooting every inch of the way for her. In many ways, her story is more interesting than the case they are working on but we only get brief glimpses of her troubled past - enough to understand why she is the way she is. They make an unlikely pairing and one I struggled to accept throughout the picture. However, the story is brilliantly paced and never feels slow despite the long running time. The film maintains the dark atmosphere by mixing in an under-rated orchestral score by Jacob Groth and delightfully contrasting the bright snowy landscapes of Sweden with gloomy ill-lit interiors.

It may be strictly for adults and there may be one or two plot issues I have with it but "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is a great start to what promises to be a thrilling trilogy. Without Rapace's Salander driving interest in the story, this might have fallen into conventional Scandinavian mystery territory like TV series' "Wallander" or "The Killing". But what this film offers is something more satisfying - not only a gripping mystery brilliantly shot but one hell of a character who isn't like anything we've seen before. I still maintain that Blomkvist and Salander's romance is unlikely and I feel certain plot points were cut from the book in order to cut down on time. But regardless, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is an exceptional thriller and one you really should track down. I expect it to be better than David Fincher's remake because Daniel Craig would be too hunky and ripped to be Nyqvist's determined everyman. Don't bother with the dubbed version (only my wife struggles with subtitles!) and enjoy one of the most unconventional takes on conventional thriller movies.

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Great film, but not for the faint of heart

Author: Hypnotica from California, USA
4 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Adapted from the book, this film is brilliantly executed, as are the sequels.

The story follows the stories of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander as their lives become intertwined around the investigation of the murder of a 16 year old girl 40 years earlier.

The character of Lisbeth, a young goth-punk hacker, is a fascinating one. A tiny woman with a lot of attitude who is looked down upon by everyone and taken seriously by almost no one and certainly not cared about by many. She is, however, incredibly intelligent, full of fire and distrustful of everyone. With good reason.

The casting of Noomi Rapace is both brilliant and inspired. A rather small woman with a surprisingly strong presence and immense talent to play the shockingly resilient and strong-willed Salander.

The murder mystery being investigated is full of twists and has a shocking conclusion. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

However, this film is extremely graphic. There is a lot of nudity, violence and material that may make some viewers very uncomfortable. This includes a brutal rape scene. And a scene where the rapist is very fittingly punished by his victim. Sexual abuse in general plays a prominent theme throughout the story. It can be difficult to watch at times. I don't think I need to say that this is not a movie for kids to be watching.

As a whole, though, I would highly recommend this film. Preferably the extended edition. Now, it is in Swedish, so it is subtitled. There is a dubbed version available, but we all know that the lines tend to lose something in translation.

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A diamond in the rough

Author: Adam Centurione from Canada
14 December 2014

Considering I originally thought this was a Tarantino film, I was pleasantly surprised. It is not a Tarantino film, and is in fact, a good drama/ thriller, a genre in which I have recently gained interest in.

Lisbeth Salander is a great character. the movie portrays her involvement in Mikhail (I don't know his last name) investigation on the disappearance of a teenage girl.

Through a few twists, rude and satisfying scenes, the movie captures the watchers attention. Within the drama there are insights into contemporary social and political issues, as well as historical ones.

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Not bad, but somewhat disappointing...

Author: buiger from Monaco
29 November 2014

Contrary to most, I have to say that I expected much more from this movie. Having read the book(s), which I believe all to be masterpieces of their genre (especially this one, the first one of the series) I was really looking forward to seeing this film. Alas, I was somewhat disappointed... Not that this was a bad, poorly made film, because it isn't. It is however, nowhere near in bringing to the viewer the plot, the atmosphere and the emotions of the book (which is often the case with the filming of great books). Having said that, I must also say that the filmmakers eventually 'found their way' when making the second and third installments of the series, which where much, much better than this first movie in the trilogy.

Now I am looking forward to seeing the Hollywood version of this book, hoping for the best...

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Great movie! Plot 9/10 ; Watchibility 7/10

Author: L R from Slovenia
4 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What can I say.. this movie is great!!

It starts off very compelling and it keeps a gripping story-line the entire time.

It has a slow/intriguing/smart/high quality pace throughout the movie, but it lacks a certain spark to make the movie just a tad more fun to watch.

And that is a big problem. Because the movie is like 150 minutes long! And it's gotta be somewhat more watchable than it is , to keep us "happy".

Besides that, the plot is very clever. Very nicely done!

The casting was very good as well. Although both leading roles could be cast better. But they are good.

Film production was an A. Just like a Hollywood movie.

One thing is this, with such movies you have to keep your focus on 100% the entire time. And maybe this movie almost demanded too much focus.

One last thing. Do you have to be so graphic with all the sexually wicked scenes?? Minus points for that.

Overall, happy with the movie; but lots of changes could be done. Not exactly my cup of tea.

Real rating: 7.95

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Awkward partnership that works

Author: KineticSeoul from United States
22 October 2014

This is a invigorating, immersive and raw mystery/thriller that despite the running time had my attention from beginning to end. The team up, partnership is a bit awkward but it works and just like I said invigorating to watch. Also the detective elements is cleverly constructed, and it makes you feel like a detective while watching to a degree. And I especially liked the raw aspect of things in this movie and made me personally care about what was going on. The acting is good as well as the cinematography. So yeah, just about everything about the plot to the characters was interesting and fun to watch. It's a very well constructed mystery/thriller that is worth watching and will keep you interested from beginning to end.


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admirable work

Author: Armand from Romania
7 March 2014

sounds strange but it is more than a good adaptation. it is a splendid cinema show in which light, performance, the angle, the music makes a great result. powerful, seductive, different. and all seems be to clear for a crime movie who reminds old manners to construct the tension and to give force to each scene. the success of novel is only part of the film axis. it is the wise science of Daniel Alfredson to use the sensitivity of viewer and to have the best actors for build the right atmosphere. it is the virtue of actors to select the right technique to walk on a fragile bridge. and, sure, it is the chance of viewer to discover a remarkable movie mark of thoroughly work.

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Great Thriller, great acting, great story, the real Oscar is for Noomi

Author: cablooie from United Kingdom
15 February 2014

Simply great from beginning to end, Noomi Rapace is outstanding, really great acting from her part here.

No, great is not enough, awesome. I didn't know her and I really thought she was an actual emo freak when I first watched this film.

Actually SHE should have got the nomination for this instead of her worse plastic clone Rooney Mara. But we all know, Hollywood loves remakes, it doesn't matter if they are worse than the original, if they come only 2 years after the original. One would wonder why remaking it instead of giving the real one some credit? Is that what you guys think when you watch a great movie? "this was a great film, let's make a clone so we can get all the credit".

They need remakes to keep on giving Oscars to themselves...

Leave alone the remake and get to watch this instead if you haven't already. You won't believe how good Noomi Rapace is.

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Very good movie!

Author: Bahamut Dragon from Spain
12 February 2014

I just watched this movie and i think it's really good. It is a LONG movie, but i think it's very entertaining from the beginning to the end :) I think the plot is really well tied and i never lost the attention. Also there are some really good and crude/realistic moments. I don't know what more to write to fill all the lines, but i just wanted to write that this is a good movie and you will enjoy it like me. The acting of the girl with the tattoo's is really good too, and you get surprised sometimes with the plot twists. Also there are some splicit scenes and everything is uncensored, i see a lot of movies censoring some parts and i hate that, but in this movie that will not happen! :) So i hope you enjoy watching this movie as much as i did.

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Geeky Randy's summary

Author: Geeky Randy from United States
28 December 2013

Brilliant mystery about journalist Nyqvist taking on one last case before serving a prison sentence and is unexpectedly aided by hacker Rapace who believes in his innocence. The film goes above and beyond with its beautiful scenery, numerous twists and two plots that are equally intriguing—one that involves Nyqvist's character dealing with legal conflicts, and the other that involves the investigation of a woman's disappearance 40 years prior, all while foreshadowing a bigger story with Rupace's character for future installments. The Vanger family does indeed have too many members and too much history for its own good; nonetheless, the film is rarely confusing or boring, and is ultimately executed superbly.

***½ (out of four)

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