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

anthology DirecTV book singing competition archives Focus Features Syfy rotten movies we love IFC Films vampires The Walt Disney Company docuseries heist movie Rock Broadway Food Network 2016 Ellie Kemper MCU Tarantino stoner See It Skip It australia Thanksgiving hispanic witnail Tomatazos Music mutant marvel cinematic universe dramedy adenture hidden camera anime twilight TNT Binge Guide Bravo cancelled TV series doctor who TLC TCA Winter 2020 concert E! crime drama obituary aliens free movies theme song kaiju new york PlayStation Britbox spinoff slashers President CNN award winner Disney+ Disney Plus Opinion AMC Plus Warner Bros. TV Land Pop Tubi Certified Fresh debate Infographic SDCC 2015 Netflix Christmas movies Family toronto feel good Epix basketball screen actors guild trailers psychological thriller Comics on TV IFC vs. Star Wars rt archives PBS Sony Pictures game of thrones A24 WarnerMedia independent police drama Biopics spanish HBO blaxploitation Super Bowl remakes suspense Western Logo TCA Awards facebook Creative Arts Emmys MSNBC movie 007 E3 Lucasfilm halloween MTV Masterpiece Calendar The Academy Lionsgate critic resources Pet Sematary IMDb TV CW Seed Starz OneApp Mary Tyler Moore Set visit satire lord of the rings Prime Video sitcom Fantasy Rocketman Travel Channel Shondaland Rocky X-Men FX Captain marvel Endgame Marathons First Reviews Election FXX BBC America HBO Go ABC Family comiccon Shudder adaptation APB BBC hist FX on Hulu Star Trek American Society of Cinematographers werewolf mob Amazon Studios Acorn TV universal monsters Vudu Avengers TCA telelvision teaser saw golden globes king kong psycho zombie posters Schedule GIFs Hallmark blockbuster political drama marvel comics Amazon Prime Video worst television Adult Swim Brie Larson TCM canceled romance video biography Musicals Wes Anderson composers Countdown worst movies medical drama black Musical emmy awards Awards LGBT live event quibi unscripted docudrama Funimation Alien slasher 99% dexter Kids & Family USA Network olympics justice league rt labs critics edition Disney Channel Apple Extras christmas movies aapi Valentine's Day Hear Us Out obi wan ratings blockbusters new star wars movies 72 Emmy Awards halloween tv crossover indiana jones summer TV preview BET Awards dogs Disney Exclusive Video Best Director ViacomCBS prank mcc versus transformers Lifetime Polls and Games DGA Quiz MGM Cannes joker NBA jurassic park Best and Worst latino Reality Competition elevated horror Interview social media Image Comics a nightmare on elm street Country Disney streaming service 2017 name the review stop motion franchise Lifetime Christmas movies art house high school black comedy Year in Review documentary hispanic heritage month SXSW 2022 Nominations Winners comic Mindy Kaling Premiere Dates 79th Golden Globes Awards kids Podcast History Comedy Central scary movies cancelled TV shows Amazon Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt criterion crime Action monster movies reboot Spike rotten revenge critics Mudbound Neflix ID Stephen King BET kong Paramount science fiction mission: impossible gangster leaderboard First Look Tags: Comedy South by Southwest Film Festival casting Teen Holidays TruTV harry potter Elton John DC Comics parents CMT directors BAFTA Winter TV Mystery asian-american book adaptation Best Picture scene in color A&E Trailer Film Festival YouTube Red Paramount Plus renewed TV shows Dark Horse Comics movies trophy Classic Film royal family breaking bad adventure true crime Christmas Sundance Now sopranos HFPA french Fall TV cats Academy Awards sequels National Geographic Grammys spain classics El Rey action-comedy zero dark thirty strong female leads supernatural Hulu venice Comic-Con@Home 2021 Pixar Women's History Month Sci-Fi hollywood SundanceTV Heroines nbcuniversal canceled TV shows superhero children's TV deadpool ESPN Freeform Photos nfl Esquire south america DC Universe Superheroe Universal OWN Oscars comic book movie Red Carpet Toys Reality TV Discovery Channel young adult summer TV dreamworks new zealand wonder woman Turner Crackle green book Cartoon Network summer preview The Purge Writers Guild of America streamig Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 94th Oscars Baby Yoda boxing discovery ABC Signature sports technology scary Sneak Peek GLAAD 2018 USA DC streaming service period drama animated Video Games Netflix Spectrum Originals italian spy thriller cancelled television 71st Emmy Awards 24 frames Disney Plus Comedy SXSW space Holiday politics ITV disaster Fox News TV movies dceu Pop TV video on demand NBC Television Academy spider-man Tokyo Olympics japan GoT LGBTQ VOD stand-up comedy thriller football romantic comedy legend Film Mary Poppins Returns best Apple TV+ game show 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards festival Ovation based on movie chucky Columbia Pictures 45 documentaries dc all-time Trophy Talk fresh The Arrangement fast and furious godzilla Arrowverse VH1 Summer Best Actor Tumblr Horror know your critic king arthur laika screenings RT History 2020 dark cults rom-coms Sundance Trivia Rom-Com Martial Arts richard e. Grant Instagram Live Television Critics Association CBS All Access robots Pride Month sag awards Ghostbusters ghosts cinemax war 2019 nature Black History Month 1990s miniseries Pirates mockumentary batman 4/20 festivals Amazon Prime Hollywood Foreign Press Association Nat Geo Box Office Watching Series comedies toy story Pacific Islander Crunchyroll Comic Book foreign Awards Tour crime thriller RT21 HBO Max popular Character Guide New York Comic Con japanese sequel pirates of the caribbean BBC One cars Emmy Nominations YouTube Premium genre women TIFF Spring TV Peacock NYCC ABC 2021 Chernobyl Drama FOX cartoon Nickelodeon YA target comics golden globe awards travel Mary poppins Showtime TCA 2017 serial killer series Black Mirror international San Diego Comic-Con Animation superman Marvel Studios rt labs jamie lee curtis Marvel Television indie TV One 73rd Emmy Awards Fox Searchlight Hallmark Christmas movies CBS YouTube binge streaming movies tv talk spider-verse die hard comic books scorecard 21st Century Fox biopic cancelled Turner Classic Movies spanish language WGN dragons live action Walt Disney Pictures reviews PaleyFest Paramount Network Universal Pictures finale Apple TV Plus TV renewals Oscar Song of Ice and Fire james bond diversity Cosplay comic book movies 20th Century Fox films Sundance TV historical drama talk show Legendary cooking Fargo boxoffice what to watch Marvel 93rd Oscars streaming TBS Emmys The CW zombies natural history 90s Superheroes Anna Paquin VICE AMC news razzies The Walking Dead Best Actress The Witch child's play cops