6.6/10
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Red Sparrow (2018)

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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.

Director:

Francis Lawrence

Writers:

Justin Haythe (screenplay by), Jason Matthews (based upon the book by)
Reviews
Popularity
161 ( 55)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Lawrence ... Dominika Egorova
Joel Edgerton ... Nate Nash
Matthias Schoenaerts ... Vanya Egorov
Charlotte Rampling ... Matron
Mary-Louise Parker ... Stephanie Boucher
Ciarán Hinds ... Zakharov
Joely Richardson ... Nina Egorova
Bill Camp ... Marty Gable
Jeremy Irons ... General Korchnoi
Thekla Reuten ... Marta
Douglas Hodge ... Maxim Volontov
Sakina Jaffrey ... Trish Forsyth
Sergei Polunin ... Konstantin
Sasha Frolova ... Anya
Sebastian Hülk ... Matorin
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Storyline

A young Russian intelligence officer is assigned to seduce a first-tour CIA agent who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young officers collide in a charged atmosphere of trade-craft, deception, and inevitably forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but the lives of others as well.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The road to forgiveness begins with betrayal. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, torture, sexual content, language and some graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

2 March 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Sparrow See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$69,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,853,422, 4 March 2018, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$46,874,505, 7 June 2018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$150,230,691, 3 June 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Critics and the audience have noted that Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts bears a striking resemblance to Russian president Vladimir Putin in the movie. But according to director Francis Lawrence, Schoenaerts was not intentionally cast due to his resemblance to Putin, and the director only realized the similarity between them on set. Schoenaerts' resemblance to Putin had been noted previously when he acted on films like Suite Française (2014) and The Danish Girl (2015). See more »

Goofs

After Dominika suffers a blow to her left eye, she enters Nate's apartment with a large gash surrounding her eye. As they hug each other and she gets ready to leave, her gash is completely gone. See more »

Quotes

Nate Nash: You were dancing for them because they were letting you I mean, you see it now, right? You belong to them pretty much your whole life. So, Dominika, work with me. Make this something that you own for the first time in your life. And make them, make them fucking pay.
Dominika Egorova: What is it you want from me?
Nate Nash: Whatever you can give us.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

At the distributor's request, the UK version (both in cinemas and on video) is cut for "strong sadistic violence" to earn a 15 certificate instead of an 18. 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. See more »

Connections

Featured in A Puzzle of Need: Post-Production (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Brandenburg Concerto #1 in F Major, BWV 1046
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Bach Collegium Japan, Conducted by Masaaki Suzuki
Courtesy of BIS Records
By arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Russian bots and apologists hate it -- Americans who know spy movies will enjoy
24 July 2018 | by Scott-344See all my reviews

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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