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Red Sparrow | 2018 | R | - 9.8.7

A top Russian ballerina (Jennifer Lawrence) suffers a career-ending injury and she is recruited into the secret corps of Sparrow operatives -- men and women trained to seduce enemy agents and extract intelligence from them. Her mission is to target a CIA agent but he's not easily swayed. Also with Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciaron Hinds. Directed by Francis Lawrence. [2:19]

SEX/NUDITY 9 - A woman in a shower reveals bare shoulders and upper back and a nude man enters the stall and rapes her from behind (we see his bare shoulders); he slams her into a wall and begins to thrust (we do not see either person from the waist down) until she breaks a faucet handle off and beats him with it, and we see him nude on the floor on one side and we see the side of one of her breasts (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 A man and a woman enter a hotel room where he removes his tie and jacket, sits on a bed and orders her to remove her clothing, which she does (we see her wearing a bra that reveals cleavage and abdomen, along with thong underwear that reveals her bare buttocks, thighs and legs); the man rubs her thighs, licks a scar on her leg, licks upward along the thigh, and then slams her onto her back on the bed where he rips off her underwear and we see a shaved pubic area as he thrusts as if in intercourse (he is still clothed) and the woman struggles and shouts.
 A woman wearing a camisole and underwear (we see cleavage, bare buttocks, thighs and legs) straddles a clothed man seated on a sofa, reaches into his pants and bounces up and down in intercourse; she gasps several times and the scene ends.
 A woman calls a female student and a man who had raped her to the front of a class (the man's face is covered with several bandages) where the first woman orders them to have sex and the younger woman disrobes: we see her bare breasts and nipples, part of one hip, and her legs as she spreads them while leaning back against a desk while the man stands between her legs, he drops his pants (his shirttail covers his crotch but reveals partially bare thighs), spits on his fingers and rubs his groin under his shirt; the camera cuts to the second woman's face as she says, "A shame," (implying there was no erection) and the man pulls up his trousers and leaves the room (we see one of the woman's breasts and her bare back as the camera cuts to the man leaving). A woman conducts a class for men and women on how to seduce enemy agents; she calls a woman and a man to the front and tells them to disrobe and the man disrobes, revealing full frontal nudity (bare chest, abdomen, genitals and legs are seen) for a few seconds and the woman refuses.
 A woman walks into a steamy shower and finds a couple having sex: we see the back and buttocks of a man with a woman's legs wrapped around his middle, thrusting and the first woman beats the couple with a cane and we see them lying unconscious, revealing bare buttocks, thighs, backs, and shoulders all covered with spots of blood.
 A woman calls another woman to the front of a training class and brings in a male prisoner that she orders the woman student to perform oral sex on the man; we see the man push the woman's head down (his body is out of the frame), but she cries and falls onto her face, refusing to do as ordered. A woman calls a younger woman to the front of a training classroom, rubs the student's thigh and breasts through her clothing and says that students must learn to love on command.
 On a laptop screen in close-up, we see a nude woman from the waist up (we see bare breasts and nipples) and we see a long leather strap wound through her mouth and around her forehead as a gag; she struggles and gasps as a man stands behind her (we cannot see what the man is doing, but sex is implied). A man and woman are clothed as they kiss in a kitchen and he lifts her to a counter, stands between her legs and the scene ends (sex is implied). A woman takes a soldier into a bedroom, removes his jacket and rubs his shoulders; standing behind him, she reaches below the frame and we hear a zipper as the scene ends (sex is implied). We see a photo of a man and a woman kissing and a photo of two women on a sofa, holding wine glasses and hugging each other (a relationship is implied). In two scenes, a man and a woman kiss for several seconds. A man rubs the bare back of his adult niece (her evening gown is cut low in the back). A woman kisses her uncle's cheeks and briefly kisses him on the mouth. A man and a woman kiss each other's cheeks in greeting in several scenes.
 A woman seated at a bar rubs the groin area of a man seated next to her; she insults his perceived size and he hits her in the eye (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A club has a lighted sing that reads: "Striptease Bar," and inside, we see the dark shadow of a woman's legs next to a pole.
 A woman is shown wearing a camisole and underwear (we see cleavage, bare buttocks, thighs and legs) in two scenes alone. Several scenes show a woman wearing low-cut blouses and gowns that reveal cleavage, with a few dresses low-cut in the back to about the waist. Two ballerinas wear short tutus that reveal bare legs to the top of the thighs, along with moderate cleavage and bare shoulders. A woman wears a short skirt that reveals most of her bare thighs. A pool scene features a glimpse of several women wearing one-piece swimsuits from the back, revealing bare shoulders, thighs and legs. A man in several scenes wears only swim trunks or jeans, revealing his bare back, shoulders, arms, chest, thighs and legs below the trunks.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A dead woman is sprawled in a bathtub of bloody water with blood splashed on the walls and floor; she has a plastic bag over her head and wide strips of skin are gone from one calf and arm as a man grabs a woman's head and holds her face to the body, telling her to smell what a dead animal smells like.
 A man dressed in swim trunks is tied to a chair as another man strangles him with a wire, leaving a red mark (the victim passes out and revives); the attacker takes out a case of surgical tools along with a wide skin graft instrument that looks like a heavy cheese cutter and cuts wide pieces of thin skin off the victim's arm as he screams and shudders (we see two pale strips held up into the air); a woman takes the tool and holds it against the man's shoulder, then presses it into the man's groin area below the frame as the man screams.
 As a man rapes a woman on a bed (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) another man strangles the rapist and we see blood spurt from the neck onto the bed and the woman; the man and the woman escape and he shoots and kills another man.
 A police car flashes lights and a voice on a bullhorn tells a man to stop walking in a park as another man fires a gun into the ground and runs; he is shot at by police, he jumps a border crossing gate, and surrenders to soldiers that point rifles at him (we later hear that the other man was killed).
 A woman hits a man in the head with a surgical tool and three people fight with surgical knives, slashing and stabbing at each other; the woman stabs a man in the sides and the neck, killing him and the woman and another man are left with bloody gashes on their arms and thighs (pools of blood gather on the floor) and we see them in a hospital later.
 At night at an airport, a man is shot in the head by a long-range sniper: a close-up shows him lying on his side, eyes open, and a pool of blood under his head. On a laptop, we see a woman point a pistol at the back of a man's head and shoot (blood splatters onto the screen). A woman steps into a street and is hit by a truck (we do not see her injuries, but hear that she died).
 A male ballet dancer kicks a ballerina hard in the left shin, causing her to scream and fall; the camera cuts to her on an operating table with her shin open and a man drills into bones (we see muscles, blood, and tendons) and later we see the woman in bed, awakening and sobbing at the sight of her leg in a long metal frame with two circles of steel around the shin and calf, held in place by many rods and pins; we later see the woman walking with a cane. A man places a pad onto a woman's forearm and beats it hard once with a club as the woman screeches in pain; the woman is then struck on the upper arm, the face, and the back of the head (we see her bruised on the body and eyes and her blood drips onto the floor). A man slaps a woman in the eye, causing it to redden and swell.
 A woman is shown stripped naked and hogtied (we see bare buttocks, shoulders, and back), and put into a shower where she is tortured with strong streams of cold and hot water; she gasps and shudders. A woman fires a pistol into a woman's head (there is no bullet) and the second woman retches and vomits blood onto a glass-topped table. A woman at a mirror in a bathroom vomits below the frame; we hear her retching and vomiting.
 A man says that he will shoot a woman in the face, but this does not occur. A man says that his brother died of alcoholism. We hear that a woman in a shower suffered a broken jaw (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). A woman arrives home and sees her disabled mother on the floor and crying. A woman points a pistol at another woman, they argue briefly, and the gun is lowered. In a long shot at a firing range, six men practice pistol shooting.

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LANGUAGE 7 - About 20 F-words and its derivatives, 8 sexual references, 1 scatological term, 5 anatomical terms, 2 mild obscenities (damn, screwed up), name-calling (sentimental, degenerate, homosexual, whore, toads), 2 religious exclamations ("Jesus" and "Oh God").

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SUBSTANCE USE - An unmarked bottle of pills is seen on a table. A woman at a bar drinks wine and another woman drinks a clear alcohol, a woman drinks from a tall glass of clear liquid in which a lemon slice floats, a few men and women are at a reception and drink wine, a man in a café sits with a bottle of beer (he does not drink), a man and a woman drink short glasses of brandy and we see a brandy bottle on a table, a woman drinks vodka from a short glass and we see five liquor bottles on a tray, a man gives a woman a short glass of vodka and she drinks it, we see eight empty wine bottles outside an apartment door, a woman drinks wine in two scenes, a man drinks a large glass of wine at home, and a hotel room features a bar with a short shelf that holds a few bottles of vodka and one of brandy. A woman smokes cigarettes in many places, a man smokes cigarettes in many places, and a man smokes a cigar at home.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Work as a ballerina, Russian spies, double agents, CIA operations, national intelligence communities, corrupt government officials, seduction, rape, incest, lies, secrets, relationships, trust, love, loyalty, patriotism.
MESSAGE - The Cold War continues into the 21st century and no one on either side can be trusted.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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