Guilt is the driving theme of this film. As the layers form about Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy), the Swedish hacker from the best-selling book series, the title weaves incredibly with the story, where there is no confusion.
Claire Foy is a gift. She handles her physical scenes with gusto and reality that she is not an assassin but a stealthy hacker. Sverrir Gudnanson is charming, calm and commanding as Mikael Blomkvist. LaKeith Stanfield plays Needham, a character that did not begin as a meaningful character but later on is woven with captivating delivery. Sylvia Hoeks is spellbinding as Camilla, Lisbeth’s sister. Cameron Britton (Mindhunter!) is cool as Plague, Lisbeth’s trusted friend and hacker. Beau Gadsdon and Carlotta von Falkenhayn played the young Lisbeth and Camilla, respectively, with strength. Christopher Convery is wonderful as August, the son who knows the deadly security codes. Synnøve Macody Lund as Gabriella, a part of the Swedish Secret Service, is powerful. Stephen Merchant, Mikael Persbrandt, Vicky Krieps and Claes Bang form a stellar supporting cast.
Writers Jay Basu, Fede Alvarez and Steven Knight adapt the humor to offset the drama and violence. Lisbeth’s sexuality and Camilla’s abuse are implied. The story is menacing without being too graphic. There is also a reality in the story that will leave the audience on their toes. Director Fede Alvarez delivers the bleak world and captures Sweden beautifully. The rare moments of light are stunning. Costume Designers Ellen Mirojnick and Carlos Rosario created a stark stroke in the fabric of each character. Camilla wears an all red suit that is a wonderful symbol of her power. The film accomplishes the rare feat of bringing a strong film in under two hours. The twists are strong.