The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—Movie

It’s hard to find the right words to describe The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Dark, brooding, gory, brutal, humane, humorous, completely engrossing and ultimately highly entertaining, it’s one of the best movies of the year.

The film’s Swedish title is Män som hatar kvinnor (Men who hate women), and that title says it all. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev, screenplay by Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg, based on Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not for the faint-hearted, but it is so worth the viewing. Set in Sweden, the film, in a nutshell, is the story of convicted of libel reporter, Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist). He is called upon by Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube), the wealthy former CEO of a huge conglomerate, to help him solve the mysterious disappearance of his beloved 16 year-old niece Harriet, not seen since 1976. With six months to kill before he goes to prison, Blomkvist takes the case and is assisted, unwittingly at first, by computer hacker extraordinaire, Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace). Salander has her own horrific back-story which is played out in unrelenting detail.

The two leads, Nyqvist and Rapace, are terrific and despite the age difference, have great chemistry. Each brings their own unique, but complimentary, humanity to their roles.

Some might question the graphic detail of several scenes, but to really understand where the characters are coming from, these scenes are necessary. The film is full of twists and turns, but none cheapen the story. In fact, they make the story richer.

So well written and sharply directed, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the quickest 152 minutes you’ll ever spend at the movies.

4 nuggets out of 4

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