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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2010)

A 2009 Swedish film directed by Niels Arden Oplev.

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This might hurt a little

  • Apr 17, 2010

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 before it even hits American screens.  THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, from Swedish director, Niels Arden Oplev, is that movie and fortunately, it is worth all the hype that is surrounding it.  From the moment it begins with the reception of an odd gift to an old man who weeps when he sees it, its focus is clear and deliberate – this will be a journey shrouded in mystery and deciphering that mystery for ourselves will require visiting some very dark places.  Consider yourselves warned.

Two stories unfold to begin with.  The first follows reputed, middle-aged journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist).  He has just been found guilty of fabricating evidence to for a story that dragged a prominent businessman through some very dirty mud.  He claims that he was set up but he still loses his job and his character.  Unbeknownst to Mikael, he is also being investigated by a third party for entirely different reasons.  A computer hacker hired out as a security company is following his movement closely.  Her name is Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace).  She is a young adult with a troubled past that she wears on her face in the form of piercings, studs and jet-black hair.  Because of her gothic look, she is talked to, looked at and treated las though she is nothing.  When Mikael starts investigating a 40-year-old murder, Lisbeth starts following his new case too.  The real story starts when the two start working together instead of side by side in secret.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is on some levels, a straightforward whodunit.  A powerful family with obvious secrets makes up the list of suspects in the investigation and evidence points in different directions, moving names up and down that list accordingly.  Only each discovery uncovers a fresh and unexpected level of evil behind this deep-rooted murderous conspiracy and each of these levels reveals poignant connections between religion and misogyny.  Like the intricate tattoo in the title, this one will leave you scarred for life.

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This might hurt a little This might hurt a little This might hurt a little

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May 13, 2010
Yes! fabulous work on this write up! been many years since I read this book and I am very interested in watching this movie! Thank you for the review!
April 19, 2010
I've read reviews on the book, but had no idea that there was a movie!  Glad to hear that it's good :)  You should consider joining Reel Overseas, a foreign films community, and adding your review there.  It will be in good company!
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 . 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 …
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 …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #26
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … 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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