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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2010)

A 2009 Swedish film directed by Niels Arden Oplev.

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Sweeden's bright skies wiped away the sickening green night. How does that make you feel?

  • Jun 4, 2013
It's always hard to hear that when an American company is adapting a foreign film.  The general opinion is that it will often suck.  David Fincher's adaption though two years after this film was released proved that isn't always the case, and in any adaption there is always going to be comparisons between the two as to which one people like or which one is closer to the source material.  I haven't read the book yet, but depending on who you ask, either one is the case.

I won't completely retread the story as I've talked about it in the 2011 version but for the story centers on Swedish magazine publisher Mikael Blomkvist who has just gotten a jail sentence and fines for libel against a shifty company-this does little to dissuade Henrik Vagner, a wealthy businessman up North who admires Mikael's tenacity for finding the truth and wants him to uncover the death of his niece 40 years ago, which has troubled him ever since.  If Mikael can find the answer before going to jail, he is promised a huge financial reward.

Meanwhile, Lisbeth Salander a punk girl with supreme hacking talents is a ward of the state for past mental problems and other troubles and when her caretaker becomes ill, another enters the picture to ruin her life and abuse her.  Lisbeth fights back though and is able to get her life back on track before Mikael enters her life.  He found her out since she investigated Mikael during his trial and since she has already on his case with the missing niece, the two agree to work together and become friends.

Now on paper both movies follow a pretty similar path but where the American one went for tingling atmosphere and creeps under a sick filter, the Swedish one has a more breezy feel.  Scenes of endless pouring over the same photos and living in the cabin are not nearly as big in this original version.  Mikael and Lisbeth make many trips together to investigate related murders which gets them out and moving around more.  More of the Vagner family is opened up and we see more of them.  A subplot involving Mikael's libel and how he lost the case gets touched on, but I can understand why it's left out of the American film.  This movie seems to give you a lot more with different scenes instead of the same ones over and over again.

NOW having said that, the best thing about the story is strangely not as prevalent as it is in the American film, and thats the eponymous girl herself.  Lisbeth in this movie doesn't seem to have as large a role, she gets her character establishing moments early on but once she and Mikael team up, the story does continue on with Mikael in the spotlight with Lisbeth in tow.  Yes we can still pick up on her ticks and attitude and in some changed scenes we pick up more on who she is and where she comes from so we are treated to that at least but in the American film, we see more of her, doing more and we still get the taste of her character.

Both films keep the same flow of the film, and that does include the violence.  Both films torture and rape scenes are present and while the American film will make you squirm more, neither are pleasant.

In the end, it's hard to say which one is truly better but I would say the original film does edge out the American one but ONLY by a smidge. 

The American one has much more of Lisbeth (an awesome character) a stronger mood and atmosphere, and I personally liked the ending more in that one. 

This version, the original foreign film has a story that is simply told better making some better use of scenes to tell more story points and our heroes don't feel so bottled up as they move about more freely and doesn't sit still as long.  It all depends on you're tastes in the end.
Sweeden's bright skies wiped away the sicking green night. How does that make you feel? Sweeden's bright skies wiped away the sicking green night. How does that make you feel? Sweeden's bright skies wiped away the sicking green night. How does that make you feel?

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June 06, 2013
nice comments. I for one preferred this because of the rough and edgy tempo over Finch's smoother, sexier feel....While I thought Finch's version was more competently directed, I just thought this was better since it fit the premise much more. Both were good movies but different in their own right
June 06, 2013
I just felt this one was opened up a lot more with what was going on, not confined into that cabin. Maybe that was part of the atmos. And yes, I am in the middle of getting Played With Fire review written.
More The Girl With the Dragon Tatto... reviews
review by . July 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Imposingly Violent, Excellent Acting, Tight Plotting Sets a Tone of Alarm and Intimacy....
I have to say that Sweden is beginning to have a great reputation in adapting books into the silver screen. Swedish director Niels Arden Oplev helms “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (“Man som hatar kvinnor whose subtitle means “The Man Who Hates Women”) a Swedish drama-thriller based on the first book of the “Millennium Trilogy” written by the late Stieg Larsson which proved to be a world-wide hit. Hollywood is due to make its own adaptation of the book …
review by . April 29, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    In 2002, a case involving the disappearance of a young woman from nearly sixty years ago is re-opened by the girl's great granduncle, Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube), who believes not only that his niece was murdered, but by a family member too. In the year of 1966, when she first disappeared, very thorough searches were conducted and nothing - nor no one - was found. Henrik has not been able to give up. He himself admits to sort of looking for his lost …
review by . August 02, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
For the last two years or so, there's been a pretty large phenomenon relating to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I've consistently heard good things about the books and Swedish films, and fairly recently with David Fincher's adaptation of the TGWTDT books, I've had more people talk about it with me more. Finally, I decided to invest some time in my night tonight to watch the first Swedish film in its extended cut form, since it was free video for Amazon Prime users. Boy am I glad …
review by . November 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's a rare occurrence when the film version can adequately capture the essence of the best selling book on which it's based, but, that's exactly what happened with this version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist are perfectly cast as Lisbeth and Blomkvist. They've had to ditch a lot of detail, and compress a lot of the action, of course, but that takes nothing away from the suspense of the original story. The supporting characters at Millenium, …
review by . April 17, 2010
posted in Reel Overseas
This might hurt a little
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO      Written by Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg Directed by Niels Arden Oplev   Starring Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace      Mikael Blomkvist: As we’ve been sharing files recently, I assume you’re up to date.      Expectations are tricky to avoid when you watch a movie from the last year that has already generated enough international buzz to warrant a fast tracked American remake …
review by . July 23, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Perhaps it is the current need to see that evil eventually consumes itself that make films like THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (AKA "Män som hatar kvinnor") so successful. Or it may be the posthumous fame given Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy (from which this film is 'Millennium: Part 1 - Men Who Hate Women') that has prepared an audience of believers. Whatever the reason this first installment (the other two installments have already been filmed and are ready for release) is being hailed as …
Quick Tip by . September 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I was so disappointed with this film. I can't imagine why it or the book has gotten so much praise. The characters lack any real motivation or psychology, the entire story is filled with giant plot holes, and almost every thriller cliche is employed without any restraint. Perhaps this is one of those cases where people assume it's good because it's in another language... The only praise I can give here is that the actors did a brilliant job fleshing out the weak characters.
review by . April 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Released just in time to happily mesh with the American publishing advent of the last book in the Millennium trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson, this film adaptation of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" should provide admirers of Lisbeth Salander (hacker extraordinaire and victim of a renegade faction of the Swedish social system) with more than enough fan-tastic material to orbit them into "Girl" heaven.    Director Niels Arden Oplev depicts a Sweden icy in its efficiency; its …
Quick Tip by . September 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Not having read the book (one of the few it seems) I had no idea what to expect. I thought it was a terrific movie: taut, compelling, really interesting characters, no plot holes, atmospheric, brutal, sexy, funny. All in all a great two and half hours that seemed much shorter, and with no fat to trim. Why after that only 4 stars - well, it's terrifically entertaining, but it's no Fanny and Alexander. OK? I'm wondering though, this movie could have been called The Girl with the Pierced …
Quick Tip by . September 06, 2010
Not having read the book (one of the few it seems) I had no idea what to expect. I thought it was a terrific movie: taut, compelling, really interesting characters, no plot holes, atmospheric, brutal, sexy, funny. All in all a great two and half hours that seemed much shorter, and with no fat to trim. Why after that only 4 stars - well, it's terrifically entertaining, but it's no Fanny and Alexander.  OK?      On second thought, this movie could have been called …
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John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor, also known as Men Who Hate Women in English) is a 2009  Swedish film directed by Niels Arden Oplev. It is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by the late Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson, the first in his "Millennium Trilogy". By August 2009, it had been sold to 25 countries outside Scandinavia, most of them planning a release in 2010, and had been seen by more than 6 million people in the countries where it was already released.  The film was released in the United States on March 19th, 2010 by Music Box Films, which will also release the second and third films in the trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, later in 2010.
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Director: Niels Arden Oplev
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: July 6, 2010
Runtime: 152 minutes
Studio: Music Box Films Home Entertainment
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