Red Sparrow


D: Francis Lawrence

20th Century Fox/TSG (Peter Chernin, Steven Zaillian, Jenno Topping & David Ready)

US 2018

140 mins


W: Justin Haythe [based on the novel by Jason Matthews]

DP: Jo Willems

Ed: Alan Edward Bell

Mus: James Newton Howard

Jennifer Lawrence (Dominika Egorova), Joel Edgerton (Nate Nash), Matthias Schoenaerts (Ivan Egorov), Mary-Louise Parker (Stephanie Boucher), Charlotte Rampling (Matron), Jeremy Irons (Gen. Vladimir Korchnoi)

A rather grim movie to watch, which could almost be considered a female twist on 1985's White Nights (qv), or an update on Sexpionage, a TV-movie starring Linda Hamilton which was set at the height of the Cold War. However, the space of this movie is from a novel by Jason Matthews, who was a former CIA agent, though the plot of this film does seem a little fanciful...

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Dominika Egorova, a Russian ballet dancer who suffers an injury that cuts her career short and is subsequently blackmailed into becoming a Sparrow, a spy who uses their sexual allure to entrap targets or uncover various secrets. 

Her mission becomes getting close to Nate Nash, an American CIA agent and upon their introduction the plot unfolds...

Although Jennifer Lawrence can be admired for her bold choices of roles, her performance in this isn't particularly convincing, mostly because her attempt at the Russian accent misses the mark and the whole film seems to have been sold on the scenes where she shows a little bit more skin than you'd usually see in her movies.

The film does feel as though it came out about 30 years too late, but the biggest surprise is probably how it escaped an 18 rating due to its violent and sexual content, although you couldn't class the latter as titilating in any way.


Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow
Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow