A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Despite the intense violence perpetrated by people in power, the movie's overall message is that victims of outrageous crimes and abuse can find dignity and self-respect by developing their skills and reaching inward for courage and strength.
Positive Role Models
An offbeat heroine demonstrates that appearances can be deceiving: She's pierced, tattooed, anti-social, and she smokes constantly, but Lisbeth also proves to be highly intelligent, creative, and skillful. She's willing to risk her life for her beliefs, as well as for the safety of those about whom she cares deeply. On the other hand, women are seen as victims as well as heroes.
Violence & Scariness
Several sequences graphically depict sexual assault, forced oral sex, torture, beatings, and bloody attacks. Numerous gruesome photographs of mutilated female bodies appear throughout. Characters are strangled, hung, whipped with electrical cords, drowned, and burned.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Consensual sex and explicit sexual activity with partial nudity, both male and female (breasts). Graphic sexual dialogue.
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English subtitles in translation from the Swedish include multiple use of "f--k," "motherf--ker," "bitch," "s--t," "goddamn," "whore," "c--t," "blow job," "damn," and more.
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Products & Purchases
Apple computers, Google, Castrol, KIA.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The lead character, a young woman, smokes cigarettes non-stop. There's also some moderate social drinking in a number of scenes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) is a subtitled Swedish film that's definitely not for kids. With graphic sexual violence, gruesome murders, torture, and pervasive coarse and sexual language, even adults might be disturbed by what they see. Expect multiple images of mutilated dead young women and numerous instances of female nudity (including breasts), as well as partial male nudity in graphic tortuous poses. The female heroine smokes continuously. Still,k despite the intense content, the movie's message of good triumphing over evil ultimately provides some relief. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's never been a character quite like Lisbeth Salander. She's intriguing, infuriating, unknowable, and ultimately sympathetic. Swedish director Niels Arden Opvel and Rapace have succeeded in bringing this unconventional young woman to life in a well-made, highly charged, and often gruesome spectacle.
Even some adults may have trouble watching the many disturbing scenes in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which include explicit sexual assault, torture, and mayhem. And, contrary to convention, the villains are pleasant-looking, benign gentlemen of the upper classes, while the central romantic heroine is the most punked of the punk.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.