Red Sparrow

Theatrical Release: March 2, 2018
Red Sparrow


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.

Dove Review

Raw, racy, and containing violence that will cause some to recoil. These are the thoughts I have after reviewing Red Sparrow. Not that Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t give her usual strong performance. She plays Dominika Egorova, who was a prima ballerina in Russia until a terrible accident leaves her unable to ever perform the same way again. She was a dedicated and disciplined dancer. But her uncle sees in her the grit and spit and fire to channel her energies elsewhere; namely, in the Red Sparrow program. Dominika loves her mother passionately and her ill mother will lose her health insurance unless Dominika can help her. And Dominika sees the spy gig, which features the art of seduction, as her only way out. Her uncle’s manipulation doesn’t help. It basically comes down to her using her body as a weapon. Joel Edgerton plays an American CIA operative hoping to turn her into a double agent. Edgerton is quite good in the role. Dominika quickly picks up on what it takes to survive in the world of “spies” and “lies.”

The movie makes it clear that Dominika loves her mother to the point of becoming the hard-nosed spy she becomes, but she is about to embrace a lot of sex and violence as a result of her new path. She eventually accuses her uncle of sending her to “whore school.” It does cause one to ponder how far one would go to help a needy relative. This is a role unlike any Jennifer Lawrence has ever taken on, and it will be interesting to see how the Oscar-winning actress will fare with the public; will her fans accept this different side of the popular actress?

We all know that the spy world is real and sometimes, brutally ugly. But how much of it do we actually want to see? There is plenty of flesh on display in the movie but also plenty of violence, including a man being strangled with a wire which causes his neck to bleed. It isn’t pretty, folks. This one is rated a strong R and doesn’t receive our Dove Seal.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: The main character is determined to take care of her mother.
Sex: Several sexual scenes as a large part of the film is about a female spy that seduces men; sexual innuendos; a woman is explicitly being raped and is almost raped another time; a film for the beginning spies shows a nude woman being bound; two women kiss and touch each other; kissing by several people in the movie.
Language: J-1; OMG-1; Several utterances of the F bomb including a couple that are used sexually; other uses of harsh language including A*s and H*ll; Slang for male and female genitalia.
Violence: Several violent scenes including a woman being forcibly raped; a woman uses a shower handle to bloodily fight off an attacker; several people are tortured in the film and beaten; a woman's leg is purposely broken and it is difficult to watch; a man is graphically shot in the head; blood in several scenes; a character uses a tool of some kind to remove skin from a character's body; a woman is hit by a truck; a man is strangled.
Drugs: The use of cigarettes and cigars throughout by different characters; several drinking scenes including strong alcohol such as whiskey; a character is obviously inebriated.
Nudity: Male nudity--full frontal; shirtless men; female nudity including rear and from the waist up in the front; cleavage; a woman is left nude in a cold room.
Other: Strong tension between characters; deceit; lives are sadly destroyed; a character vomits.


Company: 20th Century Fox
Genre: None
Runtime: 139 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: Ed C.