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At the movies: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

January 10, 2012

After being convicted of libel, journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired by a wealthy man to investigate the decades old disappearance of his niece.  Mikael makes some progress but realizes he needs some help and enlists Lisbeth Salander to do just that.  Lisbeth has quite a past, but has emerged tough, strong, and resilient.  Together they make a discovery that could cost them their lives.

Carl, Vance, and I went to see the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and we all enjoyed it.   None of us have the read book, (but Carl has seen the Swedish version of the movie) so I can’t make a comparison.  The movie is dark and gritty and I have to admit that there were a few scenes that I was a little uncomfortable watching with my son.   I thought the acting in this movie, particularly by Daniel Craig (Mikael Blomkvist) and Rooney Mara (Lisbeth Salander), was outstanding.

The movie is over two and a half hours long but it never dragged for me.  I did have to pay close attention to understand the plot at times, but those who’ve read the book probably wouldn’t have to.   This movie is definitely not for everyone – the violence and sex are pretty graphic – in fact, one of our neighbors told us he thought it should have been rated X.   It’s a heavy movie so you won’t leave the theater with a spring in your step.  Having said that, I’m a fan of Lisbeth’s now and look forward to reading the book

42 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2012 6:17 am

    I’m a bit frightened of the graphicness I keep hearing about. Great review.

  2. January 10, 2012 6:18 am

    I also loved the US movie as did my husband. Book 2 is very good as well, and hope a US version of the movie will be out sometime soon.

  3. January 10, 2012 6:22 am

    The book is a cracker. Although the first 50 or so pages, and the last few pages are moderately boring (IMHO). These bits deal with the financial scandal. When it gets to the family mystery it’s much more interesting. Indeed, a big pageturner. I hope you enjoy it too. I would like to see the Swedish movie. And I really need to read the second two books.

  4. January 10, 2012 7:17 am

    Yeah, some of those scenes will smoke out a few people. In the Swedish version, I saw people get up and leave. My friend Marianne (who has seen all the movies with me) always peeks through her fingers, and we definitely squirm. I would offer that I think the Swedish versions are better, but this one is definitely worth seeing.

  5. January 10, 2012 7:20 am

    I agree with Sandy. I thought the US version was good, although I think I like the Swedish version a bit better. I’ve seen all 3 of the Swedish movies and also read all the books. They did a good job with the storyline. It is definitely graphic and it seemed to me an odd choice for the holiday season. I mean, there are other big movie debut times. LOL

  6. January 10, 2012 7:31 am

    I saw this with my parents and was definitely uncomfortable during those scenes! I just read the book and thought it followed the main pints pretty well and the changes they made were fairly small.

  7. January 10, 2012 8:01 am

    Not sure this is a movie I would enjoy. I imagine it would be uncomfortable to watch it with your son. Maybe I’ll give the book a try first and then decide.

  8. January 10, 2012 8:35 am

    I’ve stayed away from the book, and i’ll probably stay away from the movie. I think it would be too graphic for me.

  9. January 10, 2012 8:36 am

    I’m glad to hear you could follow it without having read the book. It’s such a complicated plot in the beginning anyway! I definitely had trouble in the book!

  10. January 10, 2012 8:37 am

    I saw the Swedish versions; the first one at home with Frank, and the second two with Sandy and Maryanne. I would also agree that the Swedish movies seem like they would be better than the American versions, but only because I much prefer the Lisbeth Salander of the Swedish films. The movies are definitely not for the sensitive though, so I can sort of understand your neighbor’s reactions. Glad you mostly liked it!

  11. January 10, 2012 8:45 am

    Hubby and I saw this movie over the weekend. I’d read the book, but he did not. His first comment as we left the theater was, “That movie was messed up!” Well, it is pretty dark and gritty and not for everyone. But, it made me want to read the 2nd book in the series.

  12. January 10, 2012 8:45 am

    First, thanks so much for checking up on me Kathy! I’m doing well, but kind of lost my blog mojo after dismal year-end reading! Not sure when I’ll be back on track. Also the kids amd their activities keep me hopping! Anyway, I did read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and really enjoyed it and thought that the movie version was excellent (& was pretty faithful to the novel)!

  13. January 10, 2012 9:33 am

    I was going to skip this one because I haven’t read the book. Maybe I need to rethink it.

  14. kaye permalink
    January 10, 2012 9:59 am

    Thanks for the graphic warnings. I’m pretty sure this one would not interest me or TBG.

  15. January 10, 2012 10:14 am

    Think I should check this out..maybe today.

  16. January 10, 2012 10:14 am

    I was surprised that young people were in the theater when I saw it. They were carded at the door, but got in. No way were they older than thirteen but I’ll tell ya, they were speechless come the end.

    I’ve seen the Swedish versions too and I will say that they are a bit better in translating the story. Even with subtitles you don’t really need to have read the book to know what is going on. In the American version, I saw a lot of folks confused over what was said or what just happened. I didn’t care for the injected humor here and there either.

  17. January 10, 2012 10:20 am

    I didn’t read the book, but saw the movie, it was good but very graphic.

  18. January 10, 2012 10:44 am

    I think I will wait for the dvd on this. That way if the graphic part is too much, I can fast forward.

  19. January 10, 2012 10:52 am

    I remember watching a movie with my parents once and was sooo uncomfortable during the sex scenes. They hadn’t seen a movie since White Christmas. Funny in retrospect. I haven’t read this book yet, but I know Dave wouldn’t be able to figure out the movie so I think I’ll skip it in favor of the book.

  20. January 10, 2012 10:53 am

    I don’t think I’ll be watching this, as the graphic parts would probably freak me out. It does sound fascinating, though. If only I were not such a wimp.

    Is the Swedish version also in English?

  21. January 10, 2012 11:12 am

    I haven’t seen the American version yet, but I did see the Swedish, and I thought it was well done. I have the book downloaded but haven’t read it yet. Story of my life! LOL

  22. January 10, 2012 11:35 am

    I may come around later, as I have with a lot of other books, but I just can’t get into this series. I’ve skipped the books and I think I’ll skip the movies. At least for now.

  23. January 10, 2012 12:04 pm

    Meh, I will watch the Swedish one if I watch it cos nothing drives me more insane than actors speaking with an accent, when it is an English movie, and when it does not make sense for them to speak with an accent since they are only pretending to speak that language. So why broken English?

  24. January 10, 2012 12:06 pm

    I’ve read the book and have seen the Swedish versions of both the 1st and 2nd book in the trilogy…I haven’t read the 3rd yet bc I know when I do, the story’s over forever 😦 I actually liked the Swedish versions…but will probably go see this one…especially after that youtube clip. The books are pretty dark and uncomfortable at times also so prepare yourself. But, I never felt the violence or sex was just thrown in for the heck of it…there’s no way to make this story easy. One of the best heroines in a long long time…Lisabeth Salander 🙂

  25. January 10, 2012 3:00 pm

    I’ve heard that the Swedish version is a little bit better, but I’ve still heard so many good things about this movie.

  26. January 10, 2012 3:10 pm

    I do really want to see this and I haven’t read the books either…thanks to you I feel much better prepared, though!!!

  27. January 10, 2012 4:04 pm

    I saw the Swedish version so I want to see this one. I just close m eyes if I don’t want to see something.

  28. January 10, 2012 5:45 pm

    We’ve seen all three Swedish versions are really looking forward to these. I’m not sure we’ll go to the theater; we may wait for it come on HBO. Yes — very, very intense. But good.

  29. January 10, 2012 5:48 pm

    I loved the series and found Stieg Larsson’s life to be even more fantastic than his characters. It’s such a shame we won’t have any more books from him. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to watching the movies, but I’m enjoying reading the reviews.

  30. January 10, 2012 8:17 pm

    It certainly isn’t a feel good movie!! I’m sure it would help to have read the book … the plot gets a little crazy at times. But Lisbeth is so compelling that you feel drawn in. I’m sure it was a bit uncomfortable to watch though. It was uncomfortable to read.

  31. January 10, 2012 11:57 pm

    I loved the book! You’ll be even more of a Lisbeth fan after you read it. I really enjoyed the Swedish version of this story, so I’m looking forward to how this version is. So far, I’ve herad nothing but good things!

  32. January 11, 2012 1:01 am

    Rate an X? Wow! My hisband saw the Swedish version too and if he finds out about the racy nature of the American version I know he’ll want to see this too 😉

  33. January 11, 2012 2:29 am

    Well I haven’t read the books or seen the movies and have no plans to. I don’t mind violence in movies if it’s not too gory, but I avoid graphic violence, especially if it’s sexual in nature. I’m glad that you thought it was good though – I know a lot of folks have like it.

  34. January 11, 2012 2:41 am

    I saw the Swedish version and liked it. My husband didn’t like having to read the subtitles and wants to see the American version so I’ll get to watch that one too.

  35. January 11, 2012 3:27 pm

    I hope to read the books before seeing the movies. I’m glad you liked this.

  36. January 11, 2012 4:32 pm

    I would like to read the books first, then watch the films. I like dark and gritty stories and I do like Daniel Craig as well.

  37. January 11, 2012 4:42 pm

    We saw all three of the Swedish films. I’m interested to see how the American ones compare. The only one of the books I read was the first.

  38. January 11, 2012 5:39 pm

    holy moly that’s a long movie. hopefully i can sit through it. a friend and i are planning on watching this movie this weekend. i’ve read the book, but i’ve read so many books in between that book and now that i can’t really remember the plot! i’ll probably have to pay close attention to get everything.

  39. January 11, 2012 7:12 pm

    The original movie could have been X too..I am pretty sure the US producers wanted to make sure that they could compete with that version.

  40. January 11, 2012 7:55 pm

    I enjoyed the books and the Swedish movie – will definitely go to this one when it gets to base.

  41. January 12, 2012 3:11 pm

    Glad you enjoyed this one even though you haven’t read the book. Lisbeth is by far one of my favorite literary characters.

  42. January 15, 2012 1:37 pm

    I’ve been so curious about this one because I’ve heard so many great things about the movie! And the book is just as gritty (maybe more)–I told my mom I wouldn’t see this one with her as I heard those scenes were quite graphic. I have heard some say that they think the movie would be confusing if they hadn’t read the book first.

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