Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow

In Theatres: 
Mar 02, 2018
Running Time: 
140 minutes

Red Sparrow is NOT Atomic Blonde. I feel that has to be said right off the bat because audiences will no doubt go into Red Sparrow thinking they’ll get to see a Jennifer Lawrence action spy movie and be disappointed that it’s nowhere near that. Rather, it’s a methodical slow burn spy thriller that’s more about the mind games than the action with Lawrence front and center.


After Russian ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) suffers a crippling career-ending accident on stage one night, she is convinced by her uncle who works for the seedy side of the government to join a school where they teach its students to be Sparrows, covert operatives use their “skills” to get whatever is necessary out of a target. After being broken down and built up again as a spy, Dominika is tasked with gaining the trust of CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) who knows the identity of a mole within the Russian government. Meanwhile, Nate believes that he can convince Dominika to become a double agent for the United States. One wrong move, regardless of where her alliance truly lies, and Dominika could find herself in real danger.


Red Sparrow is the ultimate game of spy versus spy as both Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton attempt to out maneuver one another in order to get what they want. Lawrence in particular is fantastic as you never can tell which side she’s with until the film’s final moments. Her training as a Sparrow, scenes in which involve heavy nudity and sexual content, can be difficult to watch. Some scenes definitely go on for way too long, as evident by the film’s two hour and 20 minute running time, and her Russian accent can be painfully obvious and distracting, but the story is interesting enough to make up for it.


There’s not a lot of action involved, so if you’re expecting flashy fights or an intense soundtrack than you’re going to be disappointed. Red Sparrow moves at a methodical pace that favors staying in the shadows. I’ll admit it’s not for everyone, but if you’re the kind of person who enjoys a slow buildup with a solid payoff, then Red Sparrow satisfies that itch.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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