Based on Stieg Larsson's bestselling series of novels Millennium, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a film adaptation of the first book of the three-part series.
Every family has skeletons in its closet and it is no exception for the wealthy Vanger clan. But this skeleton seems so buried that even an insider is unable to uncover. Even after four decades of disappearance, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) has never given up on finding his beloved missing grandniece and hires down-and-out journalist Mikael Blomkvist, entangled in a libel suit, with the promise to assist him out of the mess. All brilliant detectives, it seems, requires a sidekick or a love interest and Rooney Mara (The Social Network) doubles up as both with her role as an intriguing 24-year-old hacker Lisbeth Salander.
Much of the success of the story is thanks to the Salander character, who has a dark and deep history. Under the charge of a slimy jerk, the then-teenager was raped and neither book nor movie tries to soften or make "artistic" the impact or horror of the incident or how she choses her revenge. Interestingly, director David Fincher chooses to have the male lead step back while Mara takes the limelight well.
The audience may also expect beautiful winter scenes on top of the unique charm of female lead Mara overlapped with flashbacks and explanatory photographs and newspaper clippings, which help hasten the pace of the otherwise lengthy story and sets it as a worthwhile movie to watch during the December holidays.