It's hard to describe The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo without giving away major plot points that would spoil twists and turns to audiences that haven't already devoured Stieg Larsson's novel of the same name.
It's hard to describe The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo without giving away major plot points that would spoil twists and turns to audiences that haven't already devoured Stieg Larsson's novel of the same name. To those who already know the story, I can tell you that David Fincher's adaptation is (mostly) loyal, with a couple of changes that actually function as surprise treats for those who have read the novel. To those who aren't familiar with the story, I can tell you to buckle your seatbelt. The imagery that unfolds over the opening credits of the film, set to Trent Reznor's take on "Immigrant Song," is intense, and edgy, and strangely intriguing — which is perfectly fitting for the film.
Daniel Craig plays Mikael Blomkvist, a charismatic journalist who's been commissioned by an elderly man named Henrik Vanger (an excellent Christopher Plummer) to solve a seemingly impossible mystery: to find out who murdered his great-niece over 40 years ago. Once Blomkvist accepts the challenge against his better judgment, he unwittingly starts digging up old family secrets that prove to be much more dangerous than what he'd expected.
When Blomkvist hits a roadblock in his digging, he enlists the help of a research assistant, the titular girl with the dragon tattoo. She's better known as Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a leather-clad, skinny girl who is as brilliant as she is brusque. She's guarded (for a very good reason), but she can't say no to Blomkvist's offer to track down "a killer of women." The unlikely chemistry between Craig and Mara is surprising, fun, and manages to eke out a few light moments (particularly when Salander is scoffing at Blomkvist's computer skills).
To find out more about why the film is great, just keep reading.