Red Sparrow

Critics Consensus

Red Sparrow aims for smart, sexy spy thriller territory, but Jennifer Lawrence's committed performance isn't enough to compensate for thin characters and a convoluted story.

45%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 281

49%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,841
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Movie Info

Dominika Egorova is many things. A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit. A master of seductive and manipulative combat. When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.

Cast

Jennifer Lawrence
as Dominika Egorova
Joel Edgerton
as Nathaniel Nash
Jeremy Irons
as General Korchnoi
Mary-Louise Parker
as Stephanie Boucher
Joely Richardson
as Nina Egorova
Ciarán Hinds
as Colonel Zyuganov
Sakina Jaffrey
as Trish Forsyth
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Critic Reviews for Red Sparrow

All Critics (281) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (127) | Rotten (154)

  • There isn't much chemistry between the leads, and their sex scenes don't sizzle, but the fault lies with the dopey, confusing script by Justin Haythe that fails to develop their characters with any depth or purpose.

    Mar 8, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

    Rex Reed

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • Red Sparrow sounds as if it has a foolproof recipe: sex, spies and Russia. But the only way to make sense of this thudding, clichéd would-be thriller is to think of it as an unintentional comedy.

    Mar 8, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Caryn James

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • A ponderous and abstract yet fascinating spy thriller.

    Mar 7, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • We remain in suspense. We don't know who is hiding what from whom. The emphasis on styling reinforces this dynamic, but it also inevitably takes away from the kind of characterization that marks an actually good spy movie.

    Mar 6, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Red Sparrow is intended to be a sexy thriller, but it's little more than a canvas for one director's limited vision of women, of which there are only two stereotypes.

    Mar 5, 2018 | Full Review…
  • [Lawrence] spends much of the new film looking blank and sculpted, and all the double-dealings lend her not a tincture of mystery.

    Mar 5, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Red Sparrow

  • Feb 22, 2019
    A poorly made spy film, Red Sparrow is incredibly boring and monotonous. When a Russian ballet dancer is severely injured her uncle recruits her to become a covert agent who specializes in seduction, and is tasked with discovering a CIA agent's source within the Russian government. Despite its strong cast (Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parke), none of the performances are very good. And the pacing is excruciatingly slow, taking a long time to get to the plot. Also, the tone is rather seedy with its focus on sexual manipulation and graphic sex scenes. Still, there are a couple of interesting and clever plot twists, and some intense and suspenseful moments. An ugly film that meanders endlessly, Red Sparrow is extremely disappointing.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2019
    I thought I was going to get Black Widow only boring, but what I ended up getting was actually Atomic Blonde only boring.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2018
    An overlong, dull and ludicrous espionage thriller that spends an awful amount of time showing that Jennifer Lawrence's character is a terrible agent (and an idiot) before deciding to make us believe that she is a near-psychic genius and we were the stupid ones not to have noticed it.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 05, 2018
    The film is stylish but that is where it fails, the story is full of holes and we never learn a lot about the characters involved. Lawrence commits fully to the role, you can see she is invested with the intensity she brings to the role and it is not here that fails the film. Francis Lawrence has a mixed bag of films and I have this right in the Constantine bag of quality. The core storyline potential is there, but the substance is not there. I'm eager to read the book as the plot of the film is a little scarce, nearly to the point of non existent. The characters are a key example of what is wrong with modern Hollywood storytelling, they are just too thin. The film has a very long running time and it is mainly focused on moving from A to C without explaining B, much of this time should have been spent at the school for the Sparrows. This could of been one of the better spy films had the film been explored, with more character focus which might have meant a longer running time. Good film but not great. 06/08/2018.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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