The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Directed by David Fincher

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård

Director David Fincher took on a huge task with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Fincher already has two Academy Award nominations for his work on The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This movie is the second film based on the best-selling book by late author Stieg Larsson. The book, part one in the series, had already been made into a film in Sweden along with the second and third novels. This time the stars include Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, and Stellan Skarsgård. The film has already earned two Golden Globe nominations including Best Actress in a Motion Picture for Mara.

With his career in ruin journalist Mikael Blomkvist has taken a different kind of job. This time he’ll be investigating the disappearance of the niece of Henrik Vanger (Plummer). Complicating the investigation is the fact that the disappearance happened more than 30 years before. The Vanger family is fractured and at odds with one another and the investigation is fraught with obstacles. To assist him, Blomkvist hires Lizbeth Salander (Mara) a young hacker with incredible skills. Salander has a painful past and a bright mind. Together the pair begin to unravel the mystery as forces around them conspire to keep the truth hidden.

This is a breathtaking movie with a great story and an amazing visual quality to it. Director David Fincher starts the film strong and builds on the suspense throughout. Cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth is another favorite of Fincher, having worked with him on several films before this. This movie showcases his skills as he takes advantage of the incredible scenery of the location.

The stars of the movie all pull off their roles incredibly. Rooney Mara’s Lizbeth manages to bring all the angst and insecurity expected from her character. She’s also a Fincher favorite, with a role in his 2010 The Social Network. Opposite her is the embattled journalist played by Daniel Craig. He fits right into his role and does a wonderful job throughout the story. All the actors in the film come together perfectly and make the incredible story come to life.

The soundtrack for this movie is also amazing as Trent Reznor takes on another Fincher film and matches the feel perfectly. They last worked together on The Social Network, that film earned him an Oscar and a Golden Globe. This time the soundtrack includes Reznor originals as well as a great selection of songs. His work on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has earned him another Golden Globe nomination.

This is not a fast-paced film. The action builds slowly and gains momentum towards the end of the movie. Patience is rewarded as the payoff is worth every minute.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a rough story with some graphic scenes that might not be for everyone. This was an incredible story that worked wonderfully on the big screen. I give this 4.2 out of 5 stars. I expect the awards season to be generous to Mara and the rest of the contributors.

Rating: R

Running Time: 158 minutes

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23 comments

  1. I think Rooney Mara is being vastly underrated for this role, which is a shame. She’s the anchor that gives the movie dramatic weight, raising above the level of a standard thriller. For me, she gave one of the year’s best performances. Let’s hope the awards gods take notice.

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  2. Mara already has a Golden Globe nod for the film and I expect an Oscar nomination is on the way. If she wins it’ll be on the strength of her acting since her character is so hard to relate to. It’ll be similar to when Charlize Theron won for Monster.

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  3. It’s certainly worth seeing if you missed the original. If you saw it, however, there’s no way of unseeing it, and nothing in the new one to top it. Craig and Mara are great here though and Fincher brings so much more to this film like I was expecting too. Good review.

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  4. I am so interested in this movie! I want to see it… Debbie does not… I guess I will have to talk her into seeing it when it comes out on DVD. (Seriously, who am I kidding… I have an infant. I won’t be going to a movie theater for a very long time!!!)

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    1. Ha ha, I suppose that kids do make movies a bit more of a challenge. This is a rough movie at times just due to the subject matter, but worth it if you like the story behind it. Definitely check this out when it comes to DVD.

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