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.
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.
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.
Based on a 2013 novel of the same name by retired CIA operative Jason Matthews. Before the novel was even finished, Matthews sold the film rights for a seven figure sum. The novel is the first book in a trilogy, with the others being Palace of Treason and The Kremlin's Candidate. See more »
Dominika suffers a broken left leg and has to use a cane to support herself. She is shown holding the cane with her left hand. This is not the correct way to support oneself if the left leg or foot is injured; she should use her right hand to hold the cane, thereby easing the pressure off the injured limb. Conversely, if her right leg or foot were injured, she should hold the cane using her left hand. When one walks, one's left hand and right foot swing forward, and then the right hand and left foot follow suit alternately. So, with her left leg injured, her right hand should hold the cane to help support the left leg. See more »
The title doesn't appear until the 10-minute mark. See more »
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. See more »
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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