The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 7/10
The Girl Who Played With Fire 6/10
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest 6/10
Noomi Rapace is brilliant as Lisbeth Salander. Michael Nyqvist is also quite good as Mikael Blomkvist. Martin Vanger (played by Peter Haber) is chilling in the first film. The rest of the performances are merely adequate, but overall, the films are better than I expected. However, the books are much better. While the Swedish adaptation of the first book is fairly faithful to the text, the second and third take some liberties for the sake of time and feel rather disjointed. Interestingly, the first installment was meant to be a major motion picture release, while the sequels were originally meant to be TV movies only. However, because of the success of "Dragon Tattoo", they decided to make the sequels into feature length films as well. Apparently, there are extended (~180 minute) versions of each film that I am going to have to check out, as these may be a better reflection of the intentions of the director. Anyway, the first film succeeds in every way that the sequels fail: pacing, suspense, and character development. Other than Lisbeth and Blomkvist, the characters are a bit flat in the sequels, particularly in "Played With Fire", which is lacking in sufficient screen time for Lisbeth as the numerous subplots are cursorily dealt with instead. Zalachenko and Niedermann are not very imposing or menacing; they are mere caricatures compared to their presentation in the books. I am afraid to see how they are going to sanitize this for the US remake; good luck on filming the Bjurman scenes. I have a feeling that the books would be more suitable as an HBO miniseries than as three feature films. There is just too much ground to cover in too little time.