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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Movie Review

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The Social Network team is back with David Fincher directing and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross orchestrating the score in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. The dramatic thriller, which stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara is also the second adaptation of the book with the first being the Swedish film starring Noomi Rapace.

Mikael Blomkvist(Daniel Craig) is a publisher of Millenium magazine who receives a job offer Henrik Vanger(Christopher Plummer) to solve a mystery regarding a missing family member, Harriet. As Blomkvist digs deeper into the case, he also learns that Vanger ran a background check prior to him being hired. His check was done by a emotionally insane and edgy computer genius, Lisbeth Salander(Rooney Mara). Together the pair dig deep into Henrik Vanger's family's past, as twists and turns come along the way in this movie adaptation which stays rather closely to its source material.

The whole movie itself had a look and feel that is very much identical to that of The Social Network, as Fincher's style is scattered throughout the entire film. The score by Reznor and Ross also holds many similarities to Social Network, though the Network score is much more suited and well-put together than the Dragon Tattoo one. For those who have neither seen the Swedish films nor read the critically acclaimed novels will have no problem following the film's plot however, as Fincher manages to cut down on the novel's rather lengthy parts yet still making the movie comprehensible and enjoyable for the audience.

The cast is filled with many recognizable faces, with Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright and Joely Richardson playing important supporting roles. Daniel Craig is suitable in the role of trouble publisher Michael Blomkvist, though it seems as if he did not put an ounce of effort into trying to channel a Swedish accent. Following the first line, he simply resorted to speaking with his English accent, a factor that is made more noticeable than it should be thanks to all the other characters speaking with Swedish accents. The real highlight of the film comes in the award worthy performance by Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. Mara should indeed be honored as the "breakout star of the year" as she manages to bring multiple levels of complexity and emotional vulnerability to the role. Lisbeth Salander's trouble upbringing and sheer technological talent is brilliantly translated on the screen thanks to Mara's impeccable performance.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has Rooney Mara to thank as she carries this film from beginning to end, as this edge-of-your-seat thriller would have been just average without the actress in it.

8.5/10

by Kyle

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Twitter: @kylefong


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