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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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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Brings Out The Full Depth of The Story

Author: Bruno Wang from San Francisco, CA
13 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a review of, Män som hatar kvinnor, also known as "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," the first of the European films based on the Swedish novels written by Steig Larsson. Bruno Wang loves this series...far better than vampires or witches! It is the first in the successful trilogy of Swedish films based on the popular "Millennium" book trilogy that includes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.

This is not a comparison between the European and the American version with Daniel Craig. Both of the films have strong points in their own right. Män som hatar kvinnor is the original 'first film' and it stays very true to the story telling plot of the book series. In addition, it develops the characters on a very deep and emotional level.

In Män som hatar kvinnor, we are introduced to the highly complex Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and given deep insight into her troubled past and her underlying beliefs about good and evil, right and wrong. All of the main characters are brought to us in a much richer and meaningful way so that we get a true sense of drama as the plot unfolds.

The story surrounds journalist Mikael Blomqvist who must take his leave from Millennium magazine after losing a disgraceful libel against a Swedish power broker. Shortly after receiving a jail sentence and fine for libel, Blomqvist is hired by one of Sweden's wealthiest business tycoons, Henrik Vanger. Vanger hires Blomqvist to try to solve a 40 year old murder mystery involving his niece Harriet.

What Salander and Blomqvist quickly discover is the Vanger family has a dark and sordid past and they eventually uncover that certain Vanger family members were involved in brutal, ritualistic serial murders involving young women. The movie is very graphic in its presentation of sexual themes and violence. It is also clear to the viewer that Salander has experienced her own severe emotional trauma - which ultimately leads to her being a champion of the film and a champion of women.

The main theme is that of the hero, Salander, and her ability, along with Blomqvist, to piece together clues in order to solve a four decade murder mystery involving the deaths of young women. However, unlike the American version, in this film we see the real complexity of the hero Lisbeth. When Martin Vangar dies in the fire following the crash of his automobile Blomqvist asks her if she could have saved him and Salander replies; "Yes. But he was evil and he hated women..." Blomqvist then says that is something he could never do. This powerful scene helps set the stage for the next two European films in the trilogy, it helps us to understand the workings of Lisbeth and leaves it to us to judge her actions.

I give this film a Bruno Wang 5 out of 5 stars. Män som hatar kvinnor succeeds in telling a rich story line about the struggle of a young woman who has experienced deep emotional trauma. The film is gripping and also filled at times with very disturbing imagery.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A truly under-rated adaptation.

Author: Koundinya from India
13 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I felt like writing about the movie after watching David Fincher's remake of the movie, which i felt was totally pointless and was no way better than the Swedish original. Lisbeth Salander, played by Noomi Rapace, is a computer hacker who draws a few 'raised eyebrows' with her sartorial and tonsorial preferences. She's consigned to a sex-starved businessman after the death of her mother. The man who is supposed to take care of her, takes advantage of her for she's dependent on him for allowances and uses her to satisfy his sexual pleasures. Mikael, a financial journalist buried in a scandal, is hired by wealthy patriarch Harriet Vanger to solve the case of his missing daughter. Lisbeth helps Mikael find out every single detail pertaining to the events before and after the missing of Mr.Vanger's beloved daughter. They finally crack the case. Lisbeth helps Mikael prove his innocence; he is found 'not guilty' of the conviction. Lisbeth uses her expertise in hacking to rake in billions of Swedish kronas and flees the country disguised as a blonde.

It is one of the best thriller movies of the modern day with a totally unpredictable plot. Noomi Rapace's performance will perhaps remain the best performance by an actress in a leading role in a foreign language film for a long time. The editing of the movie couldn't have been better, quite exquisite. A well-made thriller.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Rough stuff

Author: blanche-2 from United States
3 May 2012

Noomi Rapace is Lisbeth Salander, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," a 2009 Swedish film also starring Michael Nyqvist. The film is based on the first book of the Millennium trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson.

Nyqvist plays journalist Mikael Blomkvist, a reporter who broke a story about a well-known businessman, was sued for libel, and lost. He knows he was set up, and he has to wait six months for his sentencing. The executives on his newspaper suggest that he lay low for awhile. A paid assignment comes from a member of the powerful Vanger family, Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube). Henrik is old and frail, and before he dies, he wants to see if Blomkvist can solve the disappearance of his niece forty years earlier. Blomkvist lives in the guest house of the Vanger mansion and gets to work.

Soon he realizes that he's not alone -- someone -- Lisbeth Salander -- is hacking into his computer and looking into the case as well - not because she has interest in it, but because she's investigating Blomqvist for the security company for which she works, Merrin Security Inc.

Lisbeth is a goth, on probation for a crime we don't learn much about initially. She has been given a new probation officer (called a guardian) who asks for sexual favors in order to grant her money from her account. Despite what she's going through, it doesn't take long for the reporter and the brilliant computer hacker to join forces. They can probably crack the case, but it doesn't seem likely that Blomqvist can ever crack Lisbeth's hard shell. She's a mysterious, pencil-thin, seemingly hard and unemotional woman who won't answer questions about herself.

This is an incredible film that despite its gorgeous cinematography, is very dark, filled with mystery, tension, sexual perversion, murder, monsters, and violence, not to mention a few twists to the story.

Totally absorbing. I have not seen the American version yet, which I understand is also excellent. The performances in this version are marvelous. Somehow Rapace manages to show that Lisa has some vulnerability, and one really roots for her and doesn't blame her for some of her more aggressive actions.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for me was a very raw, intense experience, so I'm not sure I'll see the American version. But I am looking forward to seeing the two subsequent Swedish films from the trilogy. Really excellent, and not recommended for those with a squeamish stomach.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The girl with the dragon tattoo. Ending?...

Author: Matthew Nelson from United States
26 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The girl with the dragon tattoo is by far one of the best films I have seen in years, many years. It felt as if I was watching 2 movies at the same time. Crime detective work with a feel of a documentary all mixed together in such a way that I truly couldn't wait to see what happened next. I found myself playing along, wondering who was the killer, who was the hero and who in the family were the sociopaths.

When the story focused on Mikael Blomkvist(Daniel Craig) at the beginning I felt as if I was watching a true crime thriller in which there was an obvious foe in which this story would revolve around. Very shortly I was enthralled with Lisbeth Salander(Rooney Mara). I suddenly was watching a docudrama that sucked me in even deeper. I couldn't help but feel pure joy when she confronted her foe. I was feeling emotions that I rarely have felt watching a movie. Never before have I felt so emotional for a character, not just feeling sorry and sadness but excitement, happiness, pleasure and surprisingly a massive adrenaline rush. It was pure. It was jealousy. I wanted more.

Once the two "good guys" teamed up and the story had thickened even more I got pulled in even more, so much so that I didn't want this movie to end. I cheered, literally cheered out loud when they got together. I felt as if this wasn't just a story being told in a movie by some actors but as if they were real people, living, breathing, real people.

Towards the end when Mikael was caught and taken to the "pleasure room" the suspense of it all was truly vicious, so vicious that I was actually sitting on the edge of my seat. That moment when Lisbeth came in I surprised myself by feeling relief, relief that her love, the guy that was going to fix her life and give her back all the things her father stole from her as a girl was safe, safe because of her.

I could go on for hours about this movie and it will definitely will consume hours of my life in the near future when I discuss it with my brother.

Of course however there is one thing that held this movie back from being in the top 3 all time favorite movies of mine. What is it you may wonder and I shall tell you. The End. Yes, the very end of the movie, the last 15 seconds of this movie enraged me, saddened me, just plain broke my heart. I have loved and lost and the pain I felt in the aftermath came back, hit me right in the chest. Even now as I type this I still feel sadness for Lisbeth AND Mikael for they had what few rarely get. TRUE LOVE. The last 15 seconds turned an amazing crime thriller/docudrama into nothing more then a tragedy, as if it was something straight from William Shakespeare himself.

In closing I give this movie a 9 out of 10. It captured me and truly made me feel as if I was a part of this story. It allowed me to feel what I haven't felt in along time, and that folks is what a good movie should do.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good mystery thriller with grisly bits

Author: badajoz-1 from United Kingdom
19 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have not read the book, not seen the theatre version, or seen the remake for dumb audiences that cannot be bothered to read subtitles. I have watched the original Swedish TV mini series in two parts. A good mystery made in laid back, brooding Scandinavian style - a la Wallander (Hendriksson) and 'The Killing.' The thriller aspects are not overdone, so cars do not jump off roads in CGI and endless build ups are avoided. The story of a left wing, crusading journo (Blomqvist) trying to uncover a 40 year old mysterious disappearance of a multi-millionaire magnate's niece is deftly and slowly told against a background of shuttered lives and shuttered doors on an island setting. The interconnection of the journo and a rather psychotic young woman (Salander) works naturally and the unlikely Holmes/Watson combo solve the plot without too many blistering coincidences or plot contrivances. the acting is restrained and good - not too overboard and emotional (as the remake appears to be) - the direction slowly building to a climax, and the script - given the material - not too over cooked. A small problem is the porno-like violence involving Salander, which, while not graphic, seems overdone for the plot and a little tacked on. But have to see the other two films/books to judge whether it is all part of the bigger scenario. Why was a remake really required, except for US dumba**es?

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A well-cast movie.

Author: melvis0 from New Zealand
9 January 2012

Now I haven't seen many Swedish movies. If I have, I can't remember them. I got out this movie from the local video store and I watched it last night. I was quite surprised how well done this movie was. I was captivated by the excellent performances by the Swedish actors, all of whom I've never seen before. Every actor was the exact portrayal of the character in the book. Henrik Vanger, Lisbeth Salander, the evil Nils Bgurman and others. At first, I wasn't convinced by Mikael Blomkvist; but as the movie moved on I gradually got to him him better and was enthralled by his performance.

I didn't know how the movie makers were going to tackle the horrific rape scene or scenes in the book. It was unsettling to watch, but it worked. I nearly had my finger on the fast-forward button but managed to get through the gritty scenes.

I've read Stieg Larsson's book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo about 6 months ago. I loved the book. I thought it would make a great movie but I wouldn't think that a Hollywood blockbuster would do it justice, as this book is obviously set in Sweden. But this movie has done that.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Far better than the 2011 remake

Author: orion_ss1 from United States
28 December 2011

The book was great. It took a while as the book ( like the movie ) bounced between Lisbeth's story and Michael's until they merged. While reading I thought the book too bogged in details, but watching the movie I thought too many important details were skimmed over.

I do believe the movie was faithful to the book's plot ( more so than the 2011 remake ). Both developed the characters well, but this movie went deeper into both main characters. The book made a great deal of Blomkvist's jail sentence, and his preparation to go when they called him ( not the same as out on bail awaiting appeal like we do in the US, but I digress ), and when he did go the whole jail aspect merely evaporated ( I do not consider that detail a spoiler, as it was so trivial ).

If you only have time to watch one, I'd recommend this one; the original.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Riveting thriller from the pen of Stieg Larsson with a truly memorable performance from Noomi Rapace…

Author: ajs-10 from United Kingdom
18 October 2011

Based of the first novel of the 'Millennium Trilogy' by Stieg Larsson, this Swedish film adaptation is (IMO) quite excellent. I should make it clear that I watched the extended edition which runs for just short of three hours. Also, being a bit of a purist, I watched it with subtitles, although there is the option of a dubbed version for those not quite so brave. I was quite surprised just how enthralling it was and, having never read the novels, just what a well written drama it turned out to be. More of my thoughts after this very brief summary.

Mikael Blomkvist is the editor of a magazine, 'Millennium', that has accused businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström of some wrongdoing. The case went to court and Blomkvist lost. He has just three months before he has to go to jail for six months. Unbeknownst to him, he has been investigated himself by a professional hacker, Lisbeth Salander, who works for a security firm. The reason becomes clear when Blomkvist is hired by wealthy businessman, Henrik Vanger, to investigate the disappearance of his niece more than forty years ago. Moving out to the remote island where the Vanger family all live, in separate houses, Blomkvist is soon embroiled in the case. Little does he know though, but Lisbeth Salander is still keeping tabs on him and when she sends him the answer to a vital clue the unlikely pair end up joining forces in order to solve the case. There is an awful lot more to tell but I dare not say it or the Spoiler Police might find a way to make me disappear.

A very well made film with an almost washed-out look to the visuals which always makes me think of northern climes. I also thought the music by Jacob Groth was excellent and fitting the, at times, haunting piece very well. As for performances, well, both Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist and Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander were outstanding… particularly Noomi Rapace. Also worthy of note were; Lena Endre as Erika Berger, Sven-Bertil Taube as Henrik Vanger, Peter Haber as Martin Vanger, Peter Andersson as Nils Bjurman, Marika Lagercrantz as Cecilia Vanger, Ingvar Hirdwall as Dirch Frode and Björn Granath as Gustav Morell.

On the DVD the film is split into two parts, each of about ninety minutes. This, I found, made it feel a little bit like a TV adaptation rather than a cinema release. Don't get me wrong, all the production values of a big cinema release are there, but I did, at times, feel like I was watching a major two-parter on HBO (or Sky Atlantic for us Brits), albeit in Swedish. Despite this, I still very much enjoyed this mystery thriller and I'm very much looking forward to seeing the other two parts of the set. Maybe I'll have to watch a couple of things in English in between… too much Swedish at once can really get taxing. Over all though, totally engrossing with some truly excellent performances… Highly recommended.

My Score: 8.2/10 IMDb Score: 7.7/10 (based on 48,699 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86/100 (based on 165 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Engaging and well-made

Author: Red_Identity from United States
14 October 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a very good film. It had fantastic performances, a very engaging storyline, and some great cinematography. I expected it to be more obscure in the way foreign films are. For example, a foreign film like Let The Right One In certainly has a distinct style from an American film despite its subtitles. This doesn't. It actually has the look, mood, and feel of a film that could have been made here in America (by ignoring the subtitles part)... which is why I wonder why Fincher decided to remake this. I'm sure the material interests him but unlike Let The Right One In, this doesn't feel too un-mainstream for the general public. In fact, if one was to disregard that it has subtitles I would actually think it was made here. It was a very good film, but I I don't know how Fincher can expand or differentiate his film with this. That means I hope he does different things with it. Let Me In might have had like the same storyline and the same dialogue many times but it certainly had a distinctive tone and atmosphere that applied to itself only.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Rapace has injected herself as a major star!

Author: meeza ( from Miami, Fl
15 May 2011

I remember the days when I used to date a few girls with dragon tattoos. It marked me as a guy that liked Gothic chicks, or something like that. I thought that was unfair stereotypical criticism not only to me but for the young ladies. OK, this never happened (well, maybe a couple of times it did). I was just trying to be a guy with a "girl with a dragon tattoo" story, but obviously that intro did not make its mark. Anyways, most have heard of this foreign flick adapted from the late Stieg Larsson's best-selling novel about Mikael Blomkvist, a Stockholm disgraced reporter who is employed by Henrik Vanger, a geriatric Swedish millionaire in order to unravel the mystery of who killed Vanger's beloved niece Harriet. Vanger offers Blomkvist a wealthy fee for his services, the only catch is that the murder occurred 40 years ago and it is not fresh blood anymore (ouch, I hit below the belt on that one, must have been the dragon inside of me), and another catch is that Henrik requests for Mikael to investigate some of the family members of his own Vanger clan. I guess Henrik is of the "school of thinking" that a family who is rich together also kills together. However, where this movie gets profoundly skin deep is in the character of Lisbeth Salander, a gothicetta computer hacker who has been able to hack away on Blomkvist's CPU for sometime and eventually ends up teaming with Mikael to investigate the Vanger cold case. Salander is witty, crafty, sexy, sly, sharp, and also has one big ass tattoo on her back. I thought that Director Niels Arden Opley's film adaptation of Larsson's masterpiece literary offering was more than OK but not perfect, but then again Opley could just do so much in incorporating all the intrinsic details from the book to the movie. Screenwriters Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg probably knew that they were playing with fire in adapting a Larsson book to a movie screenplay, but they actually excelled with a well-knitted movie scribe. I must report that there was no libel in Michael Nyqvist's suave performance as Blomkvist, but it was Noomi Rapace's multi-layered thespian effort in her Lisbeth portrayal what fired me up the most about "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Noomi is looming as a major actress! I have yet to see the film's sequels "The Girl Who Played With Fire" (not based on all the girls who have dated me) or "The Girls Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" (not based on all the girls who have kicked me where it hurts the most), but I doubt those films can reach the achievement of its praise-worthy predecessor. **** Good

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