The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
A dubiously disgraced journalist (Michael Nyqvist) goes to work for an elderly tycoon (Sven-Bertil Taube), investigating the disappearance and presumed murder of the old man’s niece 40 years ago. Suspects include pretty much everybody else in the family, who together put the nasty in “dynasty.” Helpfully, our heroic sleuth forms an unlikely partnership with the eponymous heroine, a disturbed bisexual goth-chick computer hacker (Noomi Rapace) who has her own reasons for resenting male authority and for wanting this case closed. Director Niels Arden Oplev’s moody thriller was derived, by writers Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg, from Stieg Larsson’s posthumously published best-selling novel, the first book of Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy. In Sweden, the book was called Men Who Hate Women, which should tip you off to its preoccupation with sadistic cycles of abuse, retribution and concealment. The film is conventional but compelling, and tries not to get too cheesy. Its biggest score is the casting of Rapace, who here redeems an otherwise demographically ingratiating character and launches a sensational movie career.