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

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