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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2010) [DVD]
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406 of 419 people found the following review helpful
Like so many others I have found the three Larsson thrillers about Lisbeth Salander totally absorbing - real page-turners, very cleverly plotted and very well written. This film, of the first book, doesn't disappoint. It has loads of atmosphere, lovely, very Swedish cinematography, excellent acting and direction, and it conveys what is a very complex plot clearly and faithfully. A few things from the book are pared down to the bone - Blomqvist's relationships within the Millennium office, Lisbeth's first legal mentor (Palmgren), Lisbeth's professional relationship with her boss at Milton Security - but nothing that is essential, and the film is well paced and compelling. There is the faintest hint of a dip fairly near the end when one part of the plot is (very dramatically) sewn up and the film moves on to other, very necessary but lower-key revelations. But this is momentary, and the last ten or fifteen minutes of the film work very well. This is a fine piece of film-making, a good adaptation, and I expect that those who liked the book will be pleased with it and those that have not read the book will find it pretty gripping.
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161 of 174 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2010
I picked the book up at Heathrow before a long flight to Sri lanka. I hadn't read a work of fiction for 15 years previously, but I finished it in the one sitting which tells you all you need to know. The driving force in the book of course was Lisbeth Salander, multi-lingual, computer hacking taser zapping tattooed punkette who appears to need protecting but definitely doesn't! Before I went to see the film I was worried whether an actress could do her justice. Step forward Noomi Rapace. Brilliant. Got everything bang on and the full on tattoo was great. Loved it. The film only changed the storyline here and there to make things flow, and if anything the ending was slightly better. The scenery is evocative and Blomquist is also well played by Nyqvist. A long film but I didn't even notice the time fly by. Taking a step back, I do think that having read the first two novels a couple of times now, this would have been why it is so easy to follow a film full of detail in a foreign language, and Salanders childhood flashbacks aren't explained so I would expect that some people who go in without having read the books may not keep track so well. So read the books.

Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy now and Swedish is definitely not necessary to enjoy this film - the subtitles are easy to follow.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2010
'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' is a 2009 mystery-thriller Swedish film. The movie has been appreciated by critics and has turned out to be a box-office hit. It's an adaptation of the novel of the same name by the late Swedish author/journalist Stieg Larsson. This adaptation is the first part of Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, which is a series of three bestselling novels. The other two novels are titled 'The Girl Who Played with Fire' and 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest'. The novels were published in 2005, 2006 and 2007 to widespread critical acclaim. The movie adaptations of all three novels were released in Sweden in 2009.

The Hollywood remake directed by David Fincher is currently in the works and will be released in 2011. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara are to play the roles of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander.

The movie centres around Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), a middle-aged investigative journalist and Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), a troubled 24-year-old hacker. They both team up to solve a disappearance of a young girl 40 years earlier. As they do this they uncover shocking secrets.

The movie starts in an interesting manner and then captivates the audience with a thrilling and an unpredictable mystery. The story is intelligent and contains numerous twists and turns throughout the movie. Another impressive thing is the smart way the disappearance is investigated. The ending is well executed and satisfying.

The flaws are the movies graphic sexual violence and the excessive length (drags at times), which may not be appreciated by some viewers. These flaws, however are compensated by the gripping performances and the cracking mystery.

Both Nyqvist and Rapace perform with conviction. The show-stealer is Rapace who pitches in a facinating performance, adding an extra dimension to the feature. Her terrific portrayal of the character heightens the intensity of the plot.

The direction provided by Niels Arden Oplev is efficient, he successfully converted a complex story to the silver screen.

Really excited to watch the sequel ('The Girl who Played with Fire') now.

'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' is an atmospheric quality mystery that is a must watch for fans of the genre.
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124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2010
I was initially somewhat reticent about reading the books as the titles seemed a bit pretentious and, the original being in a foreign language, something was bound to be lost in the translation. But when I went to see the film I was blown away by how well it was done! The violent sex scenes made me blink but, on reflection, they had to be pretty strong to achieve the context.

So pleased that it was sub titled and not dubbed! Acting was great, wonderfully realistic characters. So, having loved the film of the first book, I then went on to read the next two books. I couldn't put down the 'Girl who played with fire'. Fantastic and will certainly see the film when (or if)it is made. And, a more slower paced 'The Girl who kicked the hornet's nest' was also a good read.

Oh horrors! Is there really to be a hollywood remake? That proposal should go to the theatrical crimes commission! But I will reserve judgement!!! So, see the original! And make sure it isn't a dubbed version.

What a tragedy that Stieg Larson wasn't able to enjoy the success. And of course unable to continue with the Millenium series!
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59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", or "Men who hate Women" ("Männ som hatar Kvinnor") in the original Swedish, premiered in Scandinavian movie theatres in February 2009, and it has been out on DVD for a while, too. I saw it on the big screen, and I've just watched it on DVD, and I am still amazed at how good it is.

I don't particularly like Stieg Larsson's books, to be honest. I think they're overrated, catoonish, lecturing, and not very well written. There, I said it.
But the first one in particular had one thing going for it: It had a really great story to tell. And Danish director Niels Arden Oplev's 150-minute film version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" cuts away the fat and the gristle, leaving only as tight, well-structured and exciting a thriller as you can imagine.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is the story of a missing girl. And very much more. It is a dark and sometimes disturbing picture; actual graphic violence is quite rare, but there are few scenes which make you tense up in your seat, a gruesome and painfully realistic rape scene among them.
Injustice, malice and outright cruelty are everywhere (but I did smile at times, and even laughed once, as I suspect you will, unless you are a prude), but not in any stereotypical Darth Vader-fashion. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" avoids all the pitfalls of many lesser thrillers. The acting is superb all the way through, the manuscript is perfectly structured, and characters that could've easily ended up as bland clichés come to beautiful, three-dimensional life on the screen. Or in some cases hideous three-dimensional life.

This is a highly effective thriller, one of the darkest and most exciting I've ever seen. The story in itself is no better than those laid out in dozens of other thrillers or whodunnits, but it is beautifully, virtually flawlessly realized. A must-see, really.
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109 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2010
I know this film hasnt even been in british cinemas yet,but i live in Denmark where it was released last year.Dont be put of by having to read subtitles,and not knowing any of the actors,this is a fantastic film.I know the americans are going to remake this film,but dont wait go and see the original,they are always better than the remakes.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
The DVD includes both the original Swedish language soundtrack as well as an English version, for those who don't like reading subs, so don't wait for the David Fincher version starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara - Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace are exceptional in the lead roles of unjustifiably disgraced reporter Mikael Blomkvist and the highly intelligent hacker with Asperger's Syndrome Lisbeth Salander. A sneak preview of the sequel along with a trailer for The Girl Who Played With Fire has been provided in the extras. The picture quality, the edge of your seat pacing of the story, the multi-layered plot loaded with twists and red herrings, and the sublime acting from the cast is all first rate.

Warning! The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo contains an extremely violent rape scene that some viewers will find very disturbing. The director, Niels Arden Oplev, has shot this upsetting, yet vital, part of the story with a certain amount of taste unlike the sustained, voyeuristic and brutal approach employed by Casper Noe in Irreversible. The sick and sadistic act that Lisbeth is subjected to is guaranteed to strike an emotional chord with most viewers, leaving them wanting nothing more than to see her achieve her goals and come out on top in whatever game she has become embroiled in.

Noomi Rapace provides a copious range of emotions for her character, Lisbeth: she's feisty yet vulnerable, sexy but timid, intelligent and slightly naive. Michael Nyqvist gives a totally different performance to the menacing character he played in Pål Sletaune psychosexual thriller Naboer, bouncing superbly off his unconventional partner as they both take the viewer on a thrilling ride to uncover the truth about a missing girl who may have been murdered forty years ago by a member of her own family.

A highly recommended purchase that provides more than enough exhilarating thrills to get the adrenaline pumping and the pulse throbbing but take heed: it will leave you wanting more. This flick is flawless!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It's not too difficult to see why Niels Arden Opley's 2009 Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo became such an international sensation and, even more than the more accomplished The Killing or Wallander, the gold standard of the Nordic Noir invasion even without the growing momentum of the novels to drive it. It's also at times easy to see its roots as part of a TV mini-series (the TV series version runs a half hour longer), though where the two sequels from a different director are unmistakably small screen fare, this first entry in the trilogy is very much a real movie. It's not an especially fast paced movie, using its two-and-a-half hour running time to gradually build the characters and the mystery, the film nearing the one hour mark before Michael Nykvist's disgraced investigative journalist and Noomi Rapace's emotionally and physically abused hacker even meet. That first hour isn't always entirely convincing: while the violence and abuse Lisabeth encounters is both realistic and avoids being purely exploitative by showing just enough to convey the unpleasantness without gloating over it, at times it feels like it's been hammered in none-too-credibly to make a point about the way men exploit and abuse women, partially to create a greater sense of empathy with the murder victims but at times feeling like someone's grafted a manifesto onto a thriller (the novel and film's title literally translates as [I]Men Who Hate Women[/I]).

What is rather more satisfying is that, a rather too pat revelation about a series of mysterious `phone numbers' aside, it's a detective story that's built around real detective work: sorting through records, journals, accounts, old photos and gradually drawing connections rather than just lazily having Lisabeth pretend to type at a computer and produce the answer or have Mikael chase a succession of bad guys who make stupid mistakes that lend themselves to action setpieces until they lead him to the real mastermind. And when one character finds himself listening to a serial killer in uncomfortable circumstances, the conversation is believably mundane and all the more chilling for it, not least for the utter emptiness of the motive.

Noomi Rapace makes a particularly striking lead, with the kind of flexible face that's at times that of a woman, at others a defensive young girl, complete with convincingly awkward body language that's not afraid to be completely without grace. Nykvist manages to hold his own in the much less showy role, making the most of the moments between dialogue to fill in the character without doing much, while the other roles are well enough cast to avoid entirely becoming simple repositories of information to advance the plot to the next step. It's not a particularly stylish film, which is one of its strengths - this is a film that gains some of its chill from being shot in the cold unblinking light of day, giving a sense that the crimes themselves are real rather than just movie Maguffins.

David Fincher, with his penchant for excessive gratuitous CGi and attention-grabbing camerawork, certainly couldn't improve on it with his simultaneously rushed yet dreary version: this is a film that's at it's most chilling when it's at it's most matter of fact, trusting the story to make its impact without overegging the direction or amping up the cinematography. The result isn't a great film but one that nonetheless makes for a surprisingly satisfying journey where, even if some of the happy endings as justice is done and order restored may be a bit too neat and tidy, you feel that the characters actually earn their moments of redemption and vindication.

While the extended version that's available in a boxed set with the TV versions of the two sequels fills in some details and deals more with the politics and intrigue at the magazine, there's no sense that the theatrical version is giving short measures - it's a satisfying version of the story that may depart in places from the book but constantly makes the right decisions to streamline the story without losing what is important while building up Lisbeth's role without losing sight of the other characters. Extras on the Blu-ray are fairly thin - interviews with Noomi Rapace and producer Soren Staermose, stills gallery, UK theatrical trailer and preview of The Girl Who Played With Fire - but the disc has a much better transfer than the extended versions with both subtitled Swedish and dubbed English soundtrack options.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2012
A tormented woman's passion and courage - to reclaim her freedom & stature and bring to justice a misogynistic serial killer while befriending, aiding, rescuing, and making love to an investigative reporter in his own exhaustive hunt for the deadly truth - reigns supreme in the now classic Millennium Trilogy (in Swedish with sub-titles). Directed by Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev for Yellow Bird Films; Mikael Blomkvist (played by Michael Nyqvist) and Lisbeth Salander (played by Noomi Rapace); original three novels written by the late Swedish mystery novelist Stieg Larsson and superbly edited by Eva Gabrielsson. We are easily swept up in the complex, hyper-intriguing hunt by our heroine Lisbeth for a serial killer presented in a stunning sequential order of unfolding events and plot twists - that hold one almost in amazement at times.

So much has been written about these tightly-woven films and their positive impact upon women and girls around the world, their influence on the romance-thriller genre in novel writing & screenwriting, their ferocity to tell a high-end story about a pair of fiercely intelligent serial killers and still keep it reigned into a powerful but digestible film storyline, and their tenacity to reel in the sub-plots and multiple plot endings into a precise denouement along a superior crescendo or ascending mode of action with an original wildly-filmed plot. Depth of character, sustained plot tension, and powerful, realistic acting performances dominate each film in such a way - that we want to see them again.

Once in awhile we see these brilliant, pro-women, pro-active film trilogies take off and make their way into multiple languages - as if all along they were meant to be translated at breadneck speed throughout the world - so one and all - women and men - can drive a long distance to catch one or two of these films in sequence at a single movie theatre. And we are talking about movie goers going out in perhaps severe weather condition to see any one of these cinematic masterpieces. Realism, honesty, thorough journalistic practices, true mystery & suspense scriptwriting & storyboarding, sado-masochistic & erotic side-plots that tightly weave like electrifying eels returning to their comfort lair - back into the original storyline - all create an experiential type of cinema - that becomes exhilarating, challenging to the senses, sensual, and intensely played out for our enjoyment and enrichment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Having read this on holiday and the other two books in the series quickly thereafter we pre-ordered the DVD and were keen to see the way in which the film makers had translated the book.
Getting so much written word into the film clearly means that a few parts are missing but it does not detract from the storyline at all.
Glued to the movie throughout & can't wait for the others to now follow.
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