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Neal Vitale Reviews: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

4.5 stars out of 5

This excellent adaptation of the dense and complicated novel by the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson immediately joins the ranks of powerful, gripping, and graphic thrillers like Jonathan Demme's The Silence Of The Lambs and David Fincher's Se7en. At over two and a half hours, TGWTDT never feels protracted or tedious, capturing much of the detail of the original story and bringing the central characters to life with an unflinching, craggy vividness (which, at times in the film, can be difficult to watch). Larsson's series ("TGWTDT" was followed by "The Girl Who Played With Fire;" the third volume in the so-called Millennium trilogy, "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest," will be released in May) focuses on investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and Goth female researcher/computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace, channeling Adam Lambert); in this film, they try to unravel what happened to the niece of a wealthy industrialist who vanished forty years earlier. Inevitably, given the depth of the source material, there is a loss of important subplots, and the ending feels a bit rushed. But TGWTDT is a distinguished work, in film as it is in print.