Rated: R
Release Date: 03/02/2018
Production Company: 20th Century Fox

Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeremy Irons.

Director: Francis Lawrence. Producers: Peter Chernin, Ildiko Kemeny, Cameron MacConomy, David Minkowski, David Minkowski, David Ready, Jenno Topping and Steven Zaillaian (San Francisco State Alum). Peter Chernin. Executive Producers: Screenwriters: Justin Haythe and Jason Matthews (Author Of Book: "Red Sparrow). Cinematographer: Jo Willems.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

The engrossing and brutally violent spy thriller, “Red Sparrow” is Jennifer Lawrence’s most daring and ambitious movie yet.

Directed by Francis Lawrence--who helmed the actress in three of “The Hunger Games” films--“Red Sparrow” “is a twisty tale of sex, seduction, torture and espionage.

Dominika Egorova (Lawrence) was doing just fine as a ballerina performing to appreciative audiences at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater. Then she suffers a horrendous and career ending accident on stage and her life is soon spiraling out of control.

Now that Dominika can no longer dance, the ballet company that was footing the bill for all her accommodations including the healthcare expenses of her invalid mother Nina (Joely Richardson, “Fallen” and “Snowden”) decides it’s time to cut ties with her.

With limited options, Dominika reluctantly accepts an offer from her ruthless uncle Vanya Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts, “The Danish Girl”) who heads the Russian Intelligence service.

This guy looks like he could be the younger brother of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Only he’s far better looking, but still a creep since he wants to pounce on Dominika.

Vanya is eager to get Dominika to work for him as a spy and attend a special school where she’ll be trained in the art of seduction and other psychological espionage tactics.

Graduates of the training school are called “Sparrows.” The Sparrow School is run by a stern headmistress (The perfectly cast Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”). It’s here that Dominika experiences torture and even an attempted rape by one of her colleagues. But, she’s a quick study and does get even with him.

However, Dominika’s first big test is to cozy up in a Moscow hotel with a corrupt billionaire and then help identify a Russian mole. This mysterious traitor is supposedly providing classified information to an American CIA operative named Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton, “Loving”).

The plot thickens when Dominika and Nate become romantically involved. Is is this all an act? Is Dominika really that naïve or does she have an end game that involves other Russian Intelligence operatives like General Korchnoi (Jeremy Irons, “Justice League”) and Col. Zyuganov (Ciaran Hinds, TV’s “The Terror”)?

And there are some secret discs that have placed the US Chief of Staff Stephanie Boucher, (Mary-Louise Parker, TV’s “Mr. Mercedes”) in a predicament.

But why?

The answers don’t come quickly or neatly and that’s what makes “Red Sparrow-- all 140 minutes of it--such a clever, intriguing and stunning spy thriller.

Editor's Note: will be in La La Land March 2 gearing up for the 90th Academy Awards on March 4. Be sure to catch my movie talk segment next Friday on the Kitty O'Neal Show at 6:40 p.m.(KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM).

Check Out This Trailer For "RED SPARROW"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Halls Of Anger Title: Halls Of Anger
Year Released: 1970
Running Time: 96
Production Company: Mirisch Corporation
Director: Paul Bogart
Director of Photography: Burnett Guffey
Screenwriter: John Herman Shaner and Al Ramus
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Editor's Note: While this "Old School Video Pick" of "Halls of Anger" has run before, I couldn't help but update a few things in it after recently watching it again along with a few other Calvin Lockhart movies, like "Melinda" and "Rain." Lockhart was an enormously talented actor who left us way too soon.

Audiences may best remember Calvin Lockhart, as the tall, dark and handsome actor who...
What racially/controversial Broadway play did Calvin Lockhart star in with Angela Lansbury?