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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Part 3: The kinder, gentler kicking. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Has such dull patches that as a Volvo races to the scene of a massive shootout, a distracting thought comes to mind: Can Volvos even go that fast?

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Mostly an epic rehash of the tale Larsson has already told, and that makes it, at two hours and 28 minutes, the first movie in the series that never catches fire.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Once Lisbeth has her day in court, though, the buildup pays off and then some.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The movie features a great finish, where three movies' worth of subplots and characters dovetail into a breathtaking climax and final confrontation that is positively soul satisfying.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Finale of dark, subtitled Swedish trilogy is very violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this subtitled Swedish thriller has lots of violent, disturbing images and frightening characters. Murderous rages, execution-style killing, and fights to the death occur with increasing frequency. Deaths (many close up) are caused by gunshot, machine gun fire, industrial equipment, an axe, and hand-to-hand combat. While some women are portrayed as almost superhuman and heroic, others are voiceless victims of sexual depravity and cruelty. Though there's less sexuality in this third movie based on author Steig Larsson's wildly popular trilogy than in the earlier two, sexual abuse and exploitation are still the basis for the film's primary story line, and flashbacks to the earlier films reveal a shadowy sexual attack. A young women is partially nude, seen from behind. Occasional coarse language includes "s--t" and "f--king."

  • Families can talk about explicit violence in films, especially R-rated movies often seen by teens. How much is necessary to show the incredible evil of the villain, or the hero's prowess and courage? When does it cross the line and become exploitative?
  • Lisbeth Salander is a defiant young woman. Why do you think she chose to appear in court looking as she did? What do some people hope to achieve by shocking the world around them?
  • Does seeing this film make you question your initial response to people who look different from you? Can you think of some instances in which you've been surprised by how wrong your first impression was?
  • The role of the media, specifically the press, is an important part of this story. The author of the book it's based on, Stieg Larsson, was a reporter who wrote about controversial issues. How could you find out more about Larsson and how his real life work related to the story he chose to tell?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: As dark as the movie's content gets, it has a strong message about the idea that when people are willing to take great risks for the sake of justice, good can triumph over evil. And even when that evil is being perpetrated by the highest-ranking government officials, justice can be served. Also, you don't have to conform to society's standards to be a good and just person. Appearances are often deceiving; the most benign-seeming people can be capable of corruption and wickedness, while those whose appearances can be shocking may be virtuous and incorruptible.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Salander and Blomqvist are tenacious, courageous, loyal, brilliant, and honest. Women are portrayed in this movie as either competent, effective professionals or as dominated sexual victims. Government officials are shown as either corrupt, depraved, and willing to sacrifice anything to save face or as high-minded, justice-seeking individuals.  

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Many intense, violent scenes. A hulking villain kills two police officers, breaking one's neck. A hospitalized man is shot in the head at point blank range; suicide by gun. A villain pushes a woman from a moving car; assassins spray machine gunfire into a cafe and are then killed by police. A stalk-and-chase scene ends with a gory capture. Also flashbacks to sequences from the earlier films in the trilogy that involve the initiation of a rape, a girl being shot in the head and dragged to a shallow grave, that same girl striking her assailant with an axe, and a man leaping from a car enveloped in flames. A brief view of a child pornography website is shown on a computer screen.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Though there's no overt sexual activity, major story points involve discussion of sexual violence and obsession. A young woman is partially nude, seen from behind.

  • language false4

    Language: Occasional swearing and obscenities: "damn," "pissed off," "hell," "s--t," "bastard," "Christ," "f--king."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Apple, Gaggia.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Moderate alcohol consumption in social settings. In two scenes, characters smoke cigarettes.