The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Movie Review

Last weekend my husband and I went to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo English-language 2011 movie produced by Columbia Pictures. Some of you may remember that I read this book and did not completely love it (read my review), although I did love Lisbeth Salanger. I went to the movie with some reservations…but I ended up loving it. It is very faithful to the book and, as in the book, Lisbeth (acted by Rooney Mara) stole the show. The cinematography is stunning (the opening title sequence, created by Blur Studio, is amazing), as is the soundtrack. The movie was filmed in Stockholm, Zurich and the United States.

Besides Rooney Mara, who should win an Oscar for her performance, Daniel Craig played Mikael Blomkvist. I ended up feeling exactly the same way about this character as I did in the book – although he is charming, he is actually a bit of a spineless guy who uses women. Of course, that is the whole point of the story – the degradation of women. Lisbeth as the gutsy, strong female lead shows that women do not have to be the “weaker sex.”

Movie goers should be warned – the “R” rating of the movie is well deserved. There is significant violence, including an especially graphic rape scene. The sex scenes do not leave a whole lot to the imagination either. There were moments in the movie where, I admit, I looked away. That said, the movie is a fast-paced, edge of your seat thriller which I will not soon forget.

Be aware – this movie, which is a United States production, is different from the original Swedish version and is not yet out in DVD.

I recommend reading the book before seeing the movie as the movie does leave out certain plot points.

My movie rating:



15 thoughts on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Movie Review”

  1. I haven’t read this one yet, though I do have it downloaded and waiting for me. I enjoyed the Swedish film and would like to see this one as well. Thanks for the review, Wendy!

  2. I’m not quite sure I can do this one. Violence like that deeply (and for a long time afterward) disturbs me. I do believe, from all slices I’ve seen, that she is Oscar material.

  3. Andi: You’re welcome – I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts on the book!

    Serena: I definitely recommend the book first.

    Beth: Yes – I went with some trepidation. It is extremely disturbing and violent. I have to admit that had I not read the book, I would not have gone to see the movie. But the acting is superb (when I look at photos of Mara in “real life” I cannot believe the transformation of her on screen – she really was amazing in the role of Lisbeth). Even my husband found the movie disturbing and he loves these kinds of thrillers. The sexual violence is the worst. Knowing you as I do, I would recommend you skip this one.

  4. Kathy: I agree – the acting was great.

    El Fay: Well, the rape scene is quite graphic. I admit, that was a time I looked away – it was pretty rough. If you read the book you know the scene (it is with Lisbeth)…

  5. Hi,

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  6. I saw the Swedish movies, and have to say that this other Lisbeth is not as appealing to me, for some reason. I think I just got so used to the Swedish Lisbeth, that it’s hard for me to shift gears. I need to check this out in any case!

    1. Heather: It is nice to hear an opinion on the Swedish film – I haven’t seen that version, but I had heard from other viewers that they thought the US version was better.

  7. I’ve read all three books and have seen all three films (Swedish versions). Rod & I saw this film on Christmas Eve with some good friends. Even though I knew the plot and was prepared for violence against Salander, I was still troubled by it and could barely keep my eyes open during those scenes. But, I thought Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig were excellent and I’d go so far as to say I prefered the Hollywood film over the Swedish. I’m can’t wait to see the other two films. I was terribly disappointed with the third and hope Hollywood does a better job.

    1. Les: I know what you mean – it was tough watching some of the scenes (but having read the book, I knew what was coming too). I need to read books two and three before the US movies come out!

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