Critics Consensus

Red Sparrow Fails to Take Flight

Plus, The Looming Tower and season 2 of Atlanta are Certified Fresh on TV, and guess Death Wish's Tomatometer.

by | March 1, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have Jennifer Lawrence as a dancer turned Russian spy (Red Sparrow, co-starring Joel Edgerton) and Bruce Willis gunning for vengeance (Death Wish, co-starring Vincent D’Onofrio). What are the critics saying?

Red Sparrow (2018) 45%

Director Francis Lawrence and Hollywood superstar Jennifer Lawrence aren’t related, but they work so well together that they might as well be. The duo united for the final three installments in the Hunger Games film franchise, which racked up billions at the box office while proving that its Oscar-winning star could handle action thriller set pieces just as capably as she shouldered dramatic material. It’s a combination that’s being put to the test again with this weekend’s Red Sparrow, based on the Jason Matthews novel about a Russian spy (Jennifer Lawrence) whose assignment puts her in the path of a CIA op (Joel Edgerton) — and leaves her struggling over whether she’s really fighting for the good guys. It’s got all the ingredients for a thrillingly topical globetrotting adventure, which might be part of why critics say the end result is something of a disappointment; while Lawrence the director remains a proficient helmsman and Lawrence the star is just as magnetic as ever, the story never manages to follow through on its intriguing themes. It’s always a pleasure to see J-Law kicking butt on the big screen — just don’t expect Red Sparrow to leave much more than a stylish peck of an impression.

Death Wish (2018) 18%

He’ll always be arguably best remembered as an action star, but Bruce Willis has more than proven his dramatic chops — and Charles Bronson‘s Death Wish franchise, despite its subsequent slide into ludicrous exploitation fare, started out with the germ of an affecting idea about a grieving father and husband determined to deliver justice in a lawless land. All of which is to say that Willis leading a Death Wish remake is an idea not without a certain amount of promise: when he’s on his game, few actors communicate bruised bravado better, and the story of a man driven to vigilantism after his family is destroyed by violent crime could play to his strengths in any number of ways. As for how this all actually plays out on the big screen, well, we can’t tell you: a late-lifting embargo means that as of this writing, critics’ thoughts regarding this remake are still largely unknown. When reviews roll out this late, it’s rarely a good sign, but we’re still Wish-ing for the best here — and while we wait for those quotes to come in, we’re passing the time with a round of Guess the Tomatometer.

What’s New on TV

Atlanta: Robbin' Season (2018) 98%

Donald Glover continues to subvert expectations with a sophomore season of Atlanta that proves as excellent as it is eccentric.

The Looming Tower: Miniseries (2018) 88%

Well-acted and powerfully written, The Looming Tower delivers gripping counter-terrorism drama rendered even more soberingly effective through its roots in real-life events.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Dance Academy: The Comeback (2018) , starring Xenia Goodwin as a young dancer determined to make a — you guessed it — comeback after a devastating injury, is at 100 percent.
  • Oh Lucy! (2018) , in which a Japanese woman’s search for fulfillment leads to English class — and much more — is at 100 percent.
  • Hondros (2018) , a documentary about the late war photographer Chris Hondros, is at 100 percent.
  • Foxtrot (2018) , about the terrible whirlwind unleashed for a man and his wife when they’re told their young son has died, is Certified Fresh at 98 percent.
  • Mohawk (2018) , a period thriller pitting Native American youth against colonial military officers, is at 90 percent.
  • Ravenous (Les affamés) (2018) , an apocalyptic thriller set in a remote region of Quebec, is at 88 percent.
  • Werewolf (2018) , a drama following the hardscrabble existence of two young homeless addicts, is at 87 percent.
  • Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (2018) , a documentary exploring one man’s effort to uncover the truth about an ancestor’s horrific racial hate crime, is at 87 percent.
  • Midnighters (2018) , a grim mystery about the aftermath of a young couple’s decision to cover up their deadly hit and run, is at 86 percent.
  • Goldstone (2018) , an Australian suspense thriller about a police detective’s efforts to unravel a missing persons case, is at 79 percent.
  • Don't Talk to Irene (2018) , a dramedy about the journey of self-discovery sparked by an ostracized teenager’s community service, is at 71 percent.
  • They Remain (2018) , about two scientists who may or may not be losing their minds while on assignment in a remote former cult base, is at 67 percent.
  • Submission (2018) , starring Stanley Tucci as a writing professor whose bond with a student takes some inappropriate turns, is at 60 percent.
  • The Lullaby (2018) , a South African horror outing about a mother who may be plagued by supernatural terror — or could just be suffering from postpartum depression — is at 60 percent.
  • Souvenir (2018) , starring Isabelle Huppert as a woman who’s confronted with her past through an unexpected friendship with a younger co-worker, is at 45 percent.
  • The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2018) , starring Logan Lerman and Elle Fanning as a couple whose relationship is irrevocably altered by his sudden fame, is at 13 percent.

Tag Cloud

Sundance TV disaster cults HBO Biopics television true crime BBC Cartoon Network Video Games period drama Comic Book Endgame FXX natural history SDCC casting cancelled television CBS All Access Turner talk show RT History AMC GIFs romance hist Quiz Thanksgiving TCA Winter 2020 Mary Tyler Moore Super Bowl comics VH1 Fox News movie BET Discovery Channel Certified Fresh reboot technology Lifetime IFC Films Red Carpet Avengers New York Comic Con what to watch First Reviews X-Men cinemax Set visit Chilling Adventures of Sabrina rotten movies we love USA Valentine's Day Sundance halloween dc PBS Year in Review TBS Netflix golden globes ITV The CW movies Nat Geo CBS A24 Action sitcom Women's History Month stand-up comedy crime thriller Tarantino Awards cats children's TV cancelled TV shows sports mutant ABC cooking Drama Countdown Starz christmas movies streaming discovery Columbia Pictures Spectrum Originals foreign El Rey Pet Sematary TV Land green book Marvel versus Turner Classic Movies BBC America ghosts First Look Logo Black Mirror Television Academy Martial Arts blockbuster Freeform Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Rom-Com TCA 2017 Vudu aliens Photos Universal Star Trek Trivia WGN zombies MTV richard e. Grant Mindy Kaling Podcast Superheroes YA CNN festivals Disney Channel theme song Disney streaming service directors Schedule TV renewals award winner Hallmark Christmas movies adventure Comedy Central Watching Series Mary poppins Mary Poppins Returns doctor who OWN latino LGBT Calendar Tumblr TLC Spike animated Masterpiece YouTube binge joker Election Captain marvel TV witnail 71st Emmy Awards Warner Bros. Pirates Apple crime DGA 2015 Family Trophy Talk Pop blaxploitation SundanceTV Winter TV spain nature mockumentary CMT series dogs book Box Office romantic comedy war singing competition elevated horror Disney+ Disney Plus Food Network Disney Plus diversity PaleyFest Pixar zero dark thirty Cosplay Bravo Teen psychological thriller Comics on TV NYCC video toy story President independent Esquire Britbox 20th Century Fox adaptation Paramount historical drama Apple TV Plus Grammys screenings science fiction DC Comics Winners justice league Binge Guide facebook Cannes spider-man Crackle Syfy Holiday Baby Yoda comic Song of Ice and Fire strong female leads screen actors guild FX spanish language Holidays travel canceled TV shows batman police drama finale YouTube Red zombie Rock ratings Pride Month Fantasy MCU psycho vampires HBO Max Tubi Toys A&E teaser game show Ellie Kemper unscripted serial killer TNT NBC Netflix Christmas movies Apple TV+ 21st Century Fox ESPN 2017 SXSW hispanic Sundance Now Nominations harry potter breaking bad Film Festival The Purge medical drama kids 2016 Chernobyl Acorn TV Superheroe Amazon spinoff Interview YouTube Premium Opinion Lucasfilm Hulu composers cops revenge space Polls and Games Anna Paquin Showtime CW Seed quibi documentary thriller LGBTQ Amazon Studios Christmas cancelled TV series Academy Awards Rocketman OneApp political drama Disney Sony Pictures Music docudrama Brie Larson south america dceu TIFF Premiere Dates Emmys name the review Country National Geographic Lionsgate transformers anime 2019 cars indie jamie lee curtis RT21 E3 anthology San Diego Comic-Con social media Lifetime Christmas movies Amazon Prime Video VICE DirecTV Infographic Fall TV crime drama TCM biography Arrowverse Peacock 007 Ovation TruTV Hallmark DC streaming service 24 frames Sci-Fi sequel slashers Musical Oscars Emmy Nominations GoT dramedy Walt Disney Pictures tv talk sag awards Ghostbusters Reality Competition dragons Shudder Mudbound free movies E! Best and Worst based on movie Shondaland 45 2018 Extras DC Universe Mystery ABC Family spy thriller See It Skip It The Walking Dead Nickelodeon canceled WarnerMedia The Arrangement GLAAD Epix Tomatazos Animation FOX Elton John Rocky boxoffice Reality cancelled Spring TV comiccon Marvel Studios politics MSNBC History werewolf Creative Arts Emmys Writers Guild of America Trailer American Society of Cinematographers Dark Horse Comics crossover Marvel Television Comedy APB Awards Tour Western Crunchyroll Classic Film Horror The Witch Musicals Stephen King Amazon Prime Character Guide TCA Film USA Network Heroines IFC cartoon Sneak Peek Paramount Network renewed TV shows robots supernatural 2020 Kids & Family Adult Swim Summer Star Wars Marathons game of thrones miniseries