The violence — even the coarse language — is restrained. The mystery unfolds gradually and logically, raising the suspense. The titular female lead is both troubled but capable and wonderfully self-sufficient. Lisbeth is played brilliantly by Rooney Mara, and Daniel Craig — showing far more nuances than he’s allowed in the Bond films — is likewise spot on with his portrayal of an investigative journalist whose assignment on an isolated Swedish island forms the spine of the tale.
The film is shot economically and beautifully, in keeping with the narrative of bad things being uncovered without veering overly into Gothic melodrama, and the performances across the board are understated and a joy to watch.
And to cap it all off, the soundtrack, by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, fits wonderfully, equally as good as their Oscar-winning showing for The Social Network. It makes a creative ambience on the home stereo, too!
The film has certainly washed away the disappointment of the dull and uninspired Tintin movie, which we saw earlier this week — Dragon Tattoo is a grand way to spend 160 minutes.