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Rated R for “strong violence, torture, sexual content, language, and some graphic nudity,” Francis Lawrence‘s In the elegantly tense and absorbing “Red Sparrow,” on the other hand, Jennifer Lawrence portrays a Russian spy who’s a cunningly desperate human being — or, at least, enough of one that each scene rotates around the choices she makes, the way she appraises and seizes the destiny of the moment, playing a spy as someone who acts out a role, but does so by acting as little as possible.
Lawrence, in this movie, shows you what true screen stardom is all about.
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#Red Sparrow — Scott Menzel (@The Other Scott M) February 16, 2018 I kept waiting for something interesting to happen in RED SPARROW but it never did.
The opening 5 minutes is great but quickly becomes dull & repetitive.
(Aside from Lawrence and Rampling, there’s also a wistful Jeremy Irons as a Russian general, Ciaran Hinds as his dyspeptic colonel, and a klutzy Mary Louise Parker as a corrupt senator.) The elegance of Francis Lawrence’s direction, cinematographer Jo Willems’ measured camerawork, and James Newton Howard’s ominous score adheres to a familiar set of beats, but it’s the rare big Hollywood mood piece and mostly satisfying on those terms.
With so many solid ingredients, it’s unfortunate that “Red Sparrow” doesn’t know when to stop, sagging into bland torture scenes and an underwhelming final showdown in its concluding act.