Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)

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The Pitch: A conventional murder mystery wrapped in unconventional trappings, with a true 21st century heroine.

The Review: I love Swedish films, it seems. (Not something you would have admitted to in public a few years ago.) But rather than its clichéd reputation, Sweden is now turning out high quality movies with a distinctive slant, and after last year’s Let The Right One In comes a Scandanavian take on a murder mystery.

Things are never quite what they seem for large periods, and that all helps to create a wonderful atmosphere through which the film canters at a satisfying pace for most of its running time. Noomi Rapace is the standout as the brutalised Goth hacker who finds a connection with a disgraced journalist – Morse and Lewis this isn’t.

It’s also fascinating to see the level of detail, with clues painstakingly placed together, and eventually every thread pulled together – which may be the film’s only real shortcoming, as the villain of the piece is uncovered with more than half an hour to go, and an almost Lord Of The Rings level of endings kicks in, with even a spot of globetrotting thrown in.

But a word of warning – this is not a film for the faint hearted, featuring as it does a rather uncompromising rape sequence early on. However, as with much in the film, first impressions are thankfully deceiving and this act is soon turned on his head – we can only hope that the remaining two books in the series, already filmed, manage to maintain this high standard.

Why see it at the cinema: Movies like this need to be supported at the cinema, otherwise the inevitable Hollywood remake and its ilk will end up taking over completely.  Additionally, as the tension ramps up as the film goes on, it’s best seen with a large crowd.

The Score: 9/10

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