Red Sparrow is a 2018 American spy thriller film that was directed by Francis Lawrence and written by Justin Haythe, and is based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Jason Matthews. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeremy Irons. It covers the story of a Russian intelligence officer who is sent to make contact with a CIA agent in the hope of discovering the identity of a mole.
Red Sparrow premiered at Newseum in Washington, DC on February 15, 2018, and was released in the United States on March 2, 2018. The film ended up grossing $148 million worldwide and has received mixed reviews from film critics, who describe it as having “more style than substance,” and criticized the film’s length and over-reliance on graphic violence and sex, while praising Jennifer Lawrence’s performance.
The Film Itself (3.75/5):
Red Sparrow is an artistic look into the world of Russian spies that offers a considerably convoluted premise that is jam packed with a lot of unnecessary fluff and the hopes that they could compensate with provocative scenes. While the concept was what I would consider to be intriguing, I feel that there was a lack of sustenance and overall chemistry between the lead characters. The action was very attractive, and there’s a considerable amount of sexiness that unfolds as the story progresses, the story felt as if it were just way too long and would have fared a lot better had they cut about 30 minutes of fluff from it.
Picture Quality (5/5):
The Blu-ray release of Red Sparrow looked absolutely stunning as my wife and I watched it the other night. Being able to see inside the organization of this Russian spy group, as they’re not only being trained but executing the various tasks that are assigned to them, the Blu-ray provides audiences with a nice, clean look into this world. Action sequences are carried out very cleanly and offer no distortion at all in the shots, I can only really imagine how badass these scenes would look with the additional variable of HDR included into them.
Audio Quality (5/5):
Red Sparrow comes packaged with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix that offers a really powerful and considerably immersive experience for anyone who’s able to make use of the technology behind the track. Dialogue is presented semi-cleanly, the only complaint that I had was with the overall thickness of the casts Russian accents as it made it a little difficult to understand what they were saying. But, with the inclusion and use of the English SDH subtitles, it made things significantly easier to follow.
The Packaging (2.5/5):
The Blu-ray release of Red Sparrow comes packaged in your standard two-disc Blu-ray amaray case. Within that case is the standard Blu-ray copy of the film as well as the standard DVD copy. Neither of the two discs feature any artwork that’s related to the film at all outside of the standard release text and really plain black or white background respectively. A digital copy redemption pamphlet has been included for streaming options as well as a slipcover that features the same piece of artwork that’s been provided on the case art.
Special Features (5/5):
I was genuinely pleased with the special features that come packaged with Red Sparrow. The content that’s been provided offers a nice, extended look into the story as well as some of the work that was included in the production of the film. Included with this release is:
- A New Cold War: Origination & Adaptation
- Agents Provocateurs: The Ensemble Cast
- Tradecraft: Visual Authenticity
- Heart Of The Tempest: On Location
- Welcome To Sparrow School: Ballet & Stunts
- A Puzzle Of Need: Post-Production
- Feature Audio Commentary By Director Francis Lawrence
- Deleted Scenes (With Optional Audio Commentary By Francis Lawrence)
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish
Original Film: 139 minutes
Red Sparrow had a very interesting concept that attracted the attention of both my wife and I with its promotional material. Unfortunately, I felt that the story had a lot of “extra” to it and it relied way too heavily upon its provocative sequences and the very few scenes that they considered to be action, but they really weren’t all that exciting. The story overall, was very artistically done, and was one that I felt was just “okay”. The visual and audible presentation of the Blu-ray release was nicely done and offered a really nice and clean look into what they had intended to portray as the story. Special features offer a nice look at not only the story behind the film, but the work that went into making this movie happen. If you’re on the fence about checking this movie out, I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot. Red Sparrow is available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD beginning today!
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.