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

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