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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2010)

A 2009 Swedish film directed by Niels Arden Oplev.

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Gruesome Grueling Intrigue Swedish Style

  • Jul 23, 2010
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 an epic masterpiece, a film that will go down in cinematic history as a classic. And for that reason you may want to see this current long exploration of the evil of man. But is it a masterpiece.....?

Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg adapted this book for the screen and the script is interpreted by director Niels Arden Oplev who has cast the many characters of the story with some excellent Swedish actors. By the end of this multi-twisted tale we are left satisfied with the balance of good over evil - or are we? After all we're only part way there and, as in the BOURNE SERIES in this country, subsequent parts to the story become only more bizarre - and exciting. At any rate, the story in brief deals with an investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) whose apparent loss of a case of libel against a wealthy corrupt corporate group results in his being chosen by an elderly but mentally vigorous gentleman Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube) to investigate a long buried case of the apparent murder of his niece -a deed Vanger is convinced is associated with his disgustingly morally corrupt family. Blomkvist is fascinated and begins his tedious examination of film and facts that seem to add clues as to the mystery surrounding Harriet Vanger's disappearance. Enter a punk rock appearing, pierced and tattooed young girl Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Repace) who ends up assisting Blomkvist in solving the conundrum. After some rather confusing bits of replay of Lisbeth's past and the revelation of her current situation with a guardian assigned to control her after her recent discharge from an institution, we are allowed to watch the discovery of 40 years of serial killings of young girls: the fact that they are all Jewish and that Vanger's family contains a number of ex-Nazis boils the pot. Much gore, visual exposure to violence and the results of violence flood the screen as the eventual discovery of the true history of Harriet Vanger is uncovered.

The film is two and a half hours long but seems much shorter because of the rapid fire sequencing by the director. Much praise has been heaped on Noomi Repace as Lisbeth and while she performs well, and looks bizarre, one wonders why all the hoopla. This is a good film of its kind, very well transforming a book into cinematic excess, and for those who crave gore and acts of depravity it will probably please. For film goers who prefer thinking to raw action this may not be the choice of a film du jour. In Swedish with subtitles and with English dubbing. Grady Harp, July 10

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More The Girl With the Dragon Tatto... reviews
review by . June 04, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Sweeden's bright skies wiped away the sicking green night. How does that make you feel?
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.   …
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 …
Quick Tip by . June 04, 2013
Disgraced Swedish magazine publisher takes on a case for a businessman in finding who killed his niece so many years ago, but he needs help and enlists a talented hacker to help him who has a few issues of her own. Swedish version of the film has a more taut pace and smoother story telling then it's American counterpart that debuted a few years later.
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 . August 02, 2010
About the VCR
After finishing the Stieg Larsson remarkable trilogy, I heard from two people, on separate occasions, that they watched the VCR of Larsson’s first book and thought it was one of the best movies that they ever saw. Like most people who have read a good book, especially one with well-drawn-out characters, delightful descriptions, and many unusual events, like this book, I would have preferred not to see the movie version because, the nature of movies, especially the time constraints and the …
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 …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #96
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … 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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