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 Movie (2017) , 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! (2017) , in which a Japanese woman’s search for fulfillment leads to English class — and much more — is at 100 percent.
  • Hondros (2017) , a documentary about the late war photographer Chris Hondros, is at 100 percent.
  • Foxtrot (2017) , 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 (2017) , a period thriller pitting Native American youth against colonial military officers, is at 90 percent.
  • The Ravenous (2017) , an apocalyptic thriller set in a remote region of Quebec, is at 88 percent.
  • Werewolf (2016) , a drama following the hardscrabble existence of two young homeless addicts, is at 87 percent.
  • Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (2017) , a documentary exploring one man’s effort to uncover the truth about an ancestor’s horrific racial hate crime, is at 87 percent.
  • Midnighters (2017) , 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 (2016) , 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 (2017) , a dramedy about the journey of self-discovery sparked by an ostracized teenager’s community service, is at 71 percent.
  • They Remain (2017) , 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 (2017) , starring Stanley Tucci as a writing professor whose bond with a student takes some inappropriate turns, is at 60 percent.
  • The Lullaby (2017) , 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 (2016) , 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.
  • Sidney Hall (2017) , starring Logan Lerman and Elle Fanning as a couple whose relationship is irrevocably altered by his sudden fame, is at 13 percent.

Tag Cloud

franchise Columbia Pictures Trivia Television Academy Cannes hidden camera trailers Teen Sundance TV FXX CW Seed asian-american wonder woman game show die hard animated mcc Marvel Studios fresh TCA Valentine's Day ABC Family chucky spanish films book adaptation comics ITV italian golden globes mob TV movies Grammys Film Festival Nickelodeon San Diego Comic-Con spain based on movie dramedy 21st Century Fox rotten feel good 20th Century Fox GoT gangster harry potter series spy thriller Pride Month breaking bad black miniseries Star Wars Election Disney streaming service witnail Pirates Acorn TV APB werewolf Superheroe Shudder CBS The Academy ratings Holiday posters revenge Turner Classic Movies facebook anime 2021 Fantasy Red Carpet christmas movies social media twilight festivals boxing reboot The Witch Pop politics Fox Searchlight scary movies Disney+ Disney Plus obituary comic LGBTQ MTV 90s political drama spider-verse Comic-Con@Home 2021 FX dexter crossover royal family Fall TV Television Critics Association E3 Action streaming all-time Character Guide DC Universe Wes Anderson best Academy Awards Pop TV FX on Hulu Superheroes what to watch Chernobyl genre Animation Heroines OneApp 2019 A&E streaming movies The CW Vudu Food Network Mary Poppins Returns festival Star Trek TCA Winter 2020 TNT Film heist movie elevated horror live event cinemax children's TV hist Nominations Hulu ViacomCBS NBC Showtime New York Comic Con Apple TV+ joker Rock critic resources Lionsgate VICE Classic Film President Toys natural history adventure See It Skip It worst movies romance Lifetime Schedule jurassic park Adult Swim movie cars Shondaland south america Instagram Live Avengers Bravo Sundance Now Universal kids satire rt labs Creative Arts Emmys Paramount women diversity CBS All Access X-Men Sony Pictures DGA Marvel Rocky The Walking Dead First Reviews Baby Yoda Walt Disney Pictures live action medical drama YouTube Red Paramount Network Super Bowl dogs Holidays vampires action-comedy BBC America blaxploitation Winners NBA Spectrum Originals HBO Syfy cancelled television independent king arthur IFC Films VH1 Amazon Prime Video award winner 2015 BBC One SDCC Spring TV movies emmy awards pirates of the caribbean docudrama Comic Book Reality TCA 2017 olympics Image Comics boxoffice legend Interview Comedy Central Disney Plus Certified Fresh directors Mindy Kaling spider-man Epix Crunchyroll toy story foreign dragons Apple comedies indie know your critic Anna Paquin worst WarnerMedia Black Mirror Paramount Plus rt archives 99% PaleyFest TV renewals Trailer Rocketman laika game of thrones comiccon Photos Year in Review composers stoner Neflix Musical 1990s Exclusive Video zombie Ovation singing competition Endgame Legendary VOD Music international Amazon Prime Tarantino Extras transformers OWN tv talk TIFF japan Hear Us Out kong Black History Month The Arrangement criterion hispanic heritage month aapi TV One sag awards screenings fast and furious cults HBO Max TLC DirecTV El Rey Tubi Awards Tour Captain marvel godzilla Nat Geo TBS period drama Musicals ABC space Discovery Channel canceled football Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 24 frames nature debate Women's History Month Tokyo Olympics indiana jones supernatural green book Britbox psychological thriller Alien quibi dark australia Dark Horse Comics disaster razzies Starz Spike IFC halloween tv HBO Go Travel Channel Marathons teaser Cartoon Network biopic Emmy Nominations batman SundanceTV dreamworks documentaries zombies crime drama ghosts Reality Competition dceu golden globe awards japanese YA cats true crime young adult Box Office Lucasfilm Set visit Turner Pacific Islander Horror anthology Infographic sitcom Tumblr cooking 4/20 name the review DC Comics monster movies scorecard archives Pixar AMC child's play documentary jamie lee curtis nfl telelvision concert Comedy Writers Guild of America comic book movie Western rotten movies we love war Peacock Disney discovery The Walt Disney Company remakes 73rd Emmy Awards Countdown marvel comics screen actors guild unscripted Quiz Polls and Games art house Pet Sematary deadpool cops psycho rt labs critics edition news hispanic video Binge Guide 2020 A24 Rom-Com stop motion universal monsters Premiere Dates Calendar Best and Worst sports TCA Awards book TV Land Amazon Thanksgiving WGN french 72 Emmy Awards Summer spinoff Opinion comic books cancelled sequel dc cancelled TV shows black comedy adenture 45 Comics on TV Ghostbusters Cosplay Chilling Adventures of Sabrina YouTube Premium Netflix Christmas movies AMC Plus superman venice Brie Larson Warner Bros. Mudbound james bond LGBT doctor who History BAFTA 2018 romantic comedy canceled TV shows television GLAAD DC streaming service TV slashers finale nbcuniversal binge 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Christmas Lifetime Christmas movies GIFs Stephen King marvel cinematic universe Mystery Marvel Television ID 007 slasher BBC IMDb TV Esquire The Purge Sundance blockbuster ESPN 93rd Oscars comic book movies superhero zero dark thirty richard e. Grant Watching Series ABC Signature talk show Logo reviews RT21 BET stand-up comedy YouTube new star wars movies Kids & Family Masterpiece high school Drama Disney Channel Broadway Sneak Peek mockumentary lord of the rings Freeform parents Fox News Netflix renewed TV shows First Look Mary Tyler Moore king kong Tomatazos Family crime Awards thriller RT History Oscars free movies FOX Podcast PBS adaptation toronto NYCC video on demand CNN blockbusters docuseries E! biography classics MSNBC mutant USA critics USA Network Hallmark Christmas movies Mary poppins Martial Arts Hallmark 2017 sopranos Emmys hollywood PlayStation Video Games Ellie Kemper latino National Geographic basketball travel 71st Emmy Awards MCU vs. new york Apple TV Plus robots sequels casting Song of Ice and Fire TCM Funimation target TruTV kaiju technology prank Crackle aliens cancelled TV series BET Awards suspense SXSW Fargo science fiction Arrowverse versus spanish language historical drama halloween scene in color cartoon crime thriller mission: impossible new zealand serial killer rom-coms American Society of Cinematographers 2016 Winter TV Trophy Talk Country Universal Pictures justice league saw Biopics CMT police drama scary Elton John popular strong female leads theme song Amazon Studios Sci-Fi a nightmare on elm street