In a word:  Intrigue

This is a well-done spy thriller starring A-actress, Jennifer Lawrence who, like in Hunger Games, captivates the viewer with non-stop twists and turns, action and international intrigue. Other reviews, as in Rotten Tomatoes, are not as generous as this, but I feel confident in dubbing this one of the better spy thrillers in a long time. Not being a great fan of shoot-em-up films, this picture was an exception. The core attraction is Jennifer Lawrence who is featured in at least 95 percent of the movie scenes, including one in which we see much more of Lawrence than one would expect.

Lawrence plays an injured ballerina from the Russian Bolshoi, who converted to a young intelligence officer assigned to seduce a American  CIA agent who handles the most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young officers collide in a charged atmosphere of deception and inevitably, passion that threatens not just their lives but the lives of others.

Her primary motive for getting mired into Russian counter-intel stems from a need to protect her mother from being outcast by the Russian government into a life of squalor and dependency. Lawrence’s character is determined to protect her mother at all costs.

Beware: This is not for children. Not only do we have a few nude scenes, and a smattering of profanity which fits the story, but some of the violence is quite graphic, particularly a couple scenes depicting torture.

The movie begins with six-minutes of Jennifer Lawrence on stage with the Bolshoi Ballet, in costume, and for the most part, splendidly playing the difficult scene. Research reveals that Lawrence was actually coached by the same people who coached Natalie Portman in Black Swan. While there is a double used in parts of this scene, Lawrence is doing much of the dance herself. Her energy and her focus is amazing. 

We were glued to the screen the entire 2 hours and 20 minutes. A few shots were in the “implausible” spectrum (to be expected), but it didn’t take away from the story.

If you like action and intrigue, and don’t mind some racy language and extreme violence, you will enjoy Red Sparrow.   

For its genre, I give it a 9 out of 10.



  1. Charlie March 9, 2018 at 11:10 am #

    Saw it and totally agree with your rating.

  2. Jane March 9, 2018 at 11:36 am #

    we saw the movie last night, i loved all of it except the ending. theres no completion of the love between the two agents.

    too bad about Russia

    thanks for a great synopsis of the movie Frank

  3. Ron Pearce March 9, 2018 at 1:38 pm #

    Saw it and agree with your review. Liked it so much we may go back again! By the way we have subscribed to MoviePass.com and for $9.99 a month per person, you can see one movie a day, every day! Numerous people here in The Villages started using it and it has been fantastic. We go to the movies sometimes twice a week, so it more that pays for itself. The only thing it is not valid for is Imax and 3D movies. It was started by the founder of Netflix and Red Box.

  4. Donald March 9, 2018 at 4:51 pm #

    Marshall, I agree with your review for the most part. It certainly is one of the best espionage movies I’ve seen in a very long time, but the ending left me feeling incomplete. There really was no ending. I couldn’t figure out who was supposed to be on the other end of the telephone in the final scene–playing music from the ballet. The other thing that bothered me was the swift transition from Jennifer Lawrence with a severe limp, using a cane, to almost instantly losing both the limp and the cane. Her broken leg was an unimaginable injury that would take many months, if not years, to correct, but she miraculously heals quickly to the point there is no noticeable impairment. Lawrence, however, is very adept at carrying the entire movie. She had an excellent cast, but the movie belongs to her!

  5. Richard Plager March 10, 2018 at 8:53 am #

    We are going today!

    Richard & Grace