Red Sparrow (2018)

R   |    |  Action, Drama, Thriller


Red Sparrow (2018) Poster

Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

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6.6/10
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  • Joel Edgerton in Red Sparrow (2018)
  • Jennifer Lawrence and Sergei Polunin in Red Sparrow (2018)
  • Francis Lawrence in Red Sparrow (2018)
  • Charlotte Rampling and Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow (2018)
  • Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow (2018)
  • Matthias Schoenaerts in Red Sparrow (2018)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


24 July 2018 | Scott-344
8
| Russian bots and apologists hate it -- Americans who know spy movies will enjoy
Spy movies in a le Carré vein can be judged on how well they handle issues of deceit and personal loyalty. "Red Sparrow" does a solid job of creating a plot that's complex, making us wonder who's deceiving whom, without being so jumbled it doesn't make sense. Solid performances, directing, and -- this I admire -- clear and impactful editing of fight scenes earn this a solid recommendation from me, an aficionado of spy movies. 4 stars out 5, 8 out of 10 for IMDB.

The film is violent and sexy in the way "Marathon Man" was in the '70s, and while there's no villain here as memorable as Laurence Olivier's Nazi dentist Zel, there are some nice supporting characters. Performances are first rate. Accents didn't bother me one bit. This is an American film geared toward English-speaking audiences. It doesn't need to have dialogue in Russian, as one clueless reviewer suggested. (I think there was one line in Russian at the beginning) Gimmicks like the one used at the beginning of "The Hunt for Red October" -- Connery et al speaking Russian until the moment the camera pushes into Connery's mouth and then pulls back and the rest of the movie is in English -- are fine, but not necessary. We've been there and done that. It's good to just get going with the story with dialogue we can understand.

I love non-realistic Bond movies for their action, humor, and production value, and I also love gritty spy films like "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" and "Three Days of the Condor" (even though Condor is a pure political statement -- unrelated to the actual world of CIA in any way). "Red Sparrow" falls somewhere in-between Bond and grittier '60s and '70s spy films. If you're a puritan who hates male and female nudity, then stick with Nickelodeon. And if you're a Russian kleptocrat's lackey who hates the way this film portrays the bankruptcy of modern Russia, then stick with... I don't know... "Battleship Potemkim."

Reviewers who give "Red Sparrow" one-star either have an agenda unrelated to film reviewing on their minds, or they don't know what they're talking about. "Red Sparrow" is a worthy entry in the spy movie canon.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plot is similar to the TV movie Secret Weapons (1985), made during the Cold War era. Linda Hamilton played the 'Dominika Egorova' character and Sally Kellerman played the 'Matron' character. Several scenes at the school are very similar.


Quotes

Dominika Egorova: You sent me to whore school!


Goofs

When Dominika arrived at the airport at Heathrow Airport, it was stated that she is to board an Aeroflot Plane and we see an attendant that wearing red uniform. In reality, Aeroflot's uniforms are bright orange and nowhere close to the uniform shown in the movie.


Crazy Credits

The title doesn't appear until the 10-minute mark.


Alternate Versions

The UK version is cut for "strong sadistic violence" to earn a 15 certificate instead of an 18, which was done based on BBFC advice. As both countries make up the same distribution region, Ireland also received the same cut version (rated 16 for cinema and 18 on video). The contentious scene shows Ustinov being strangled:

  • In the UK version, we only see a brief establishing shot where his hands are covering his throat, cutting right to a close-up of Dominika struggling but completely clean. The censored footage shows the wire cutting into Ustinov's throat for much longer, in more graphic detail after his arms hang loose, and him bleeding on Dominika's chest.
  • Ustinov collapsing uses an alternate shot in the UK version, and the second close-up of Dominika is digitally bloodless as with the first, but there's still blood on her chest when putting on her clothes as per the uncut version (a continuity error).
The uncut version is roughly 13 seconds longer.


Soundtracks

Age of Mutation
Written by
Andy LaPlegua (as Ole Anders Olsen)
Performed by Combichrist
Courtesy of Out of Line Music GmbH

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Drama | Thriller

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