REVIEW: ‘Red Sparrow’ Is A Dreary, Unmemorable Cinema Experience

With a name like “Red Sparrow,” you’d think this film wouldn’t be so colorless.

The picture stars Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence as Dominika Egorova, a Russian woman who works as a ballet dancer. Her career is cut short, though, because of a devastating injury and as a result, it puts her future and her ability to care for her ailing mother in jeopardy.

As a way out, Dominika is offered an opportunity to become a spy by her uncle (Matthias Schoenaerts) who works in Russian intelligence. Dominika agrees and after a short time is sent on a mission to target an American agent named Nate (Joel Edgerton).

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REVIEW: ‘Kingsman’ Sequel Isn’t Golden, But It’s Still Pretty Good

“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” one of the more fun and fresh action flicks in the past few years, got a sequel this weekend. However, while there’s a lot to like in this part 2, dubbed “The Golden Circle,” it doesn’t live up to the first picture

In this entry, helmed by returning director Matthew Vaughn, the lead character Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is now a full fledged Kingsman and is hard at work in his role with the secret spy organization. Trouble begins to mount, though, when a new enemy emerges in the form of a drug lord named Poppy (Julianne Moore), who manages to find and destroy their headquarters.

As a result, Eggsy, together with the Kingsman tech expert Merlin (Mark Strong), have to travel to the United States to meet with their agency’s American counterpart, Statesman. Together, the spies start a joint effort to take down Poppy before she can complete a plan that would result in the deaths of millions.

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REVIEW: Visually Impressive ‘Atomic Blonde’ Ruined By Convoluted Story

Beneath all of the style, colors and visual flair that “Atomic Blonde” offers to audiences, this late cold war spy thriller is unfortunately convoluted and dull.

The film follows special agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), who’s sent by the British government to Berlin at the last moments of the cold war. Her mission is to investigate the murder of another operative and recover a list of agency information that may have fallen into the wrong hands.

To do so, Broughton has to work together with a less than professional British agent named David (James McAvoy) who’s been working in Berlin for the agency for years.

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REVIEW: New ‘Bourne’ Doesn’t Live Up To Original Trilogy

Move over Jeremy Renner, Matt Damon is back in the franchise again.

“Jason Bourne” once again follows the titular character, played by Damon, who’s now gone off the grid since the events of 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum.” While being out of the government’s eye, though, he still doesn’t find much peace, as he spends most of his days in street fights.

His life out of the espionage world is cut short, though, when a woman from his past, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) informs him more about who he was before he became Bourne and that the government is starting a dangerous new program. This encounter puts Bourne back on the map, and subsequently, back on the run.

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REVIEW: ‘Spectre’ (007)

Director:
Sam Mendes
Cast:
Daniel Craig
Christoph Waltz
Lea Seydoux
Ralph Fiennes
Ben Whishaw
Naomie Harris
Rated: PG-13

James Bond (Craig) is back and in “Spectre,” the latest in the 007 franchise, and is investigating a lead from the former M played by Judi Dench who was killed in the last film.

M’s message, recorded before her death, brings Bond in contact with an evil organization headed by a sinister villain played by Christoph Waltz. At the same time, Bond has to deal with a new intelligence program which threatens the future of the 00 agency.

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Bridge of Spies review

Director:
Steven Spielberg
Cast:
Tom Hanks
Mark Rylance
Domenick Lombardozzi
Rated: PG-13

Tom Hanks is insurance lawyer James B. Donovan in “Bridge of Spies,” a film which takes place in the late 1950s when the Cold War started to intensify. Donovan is a family person and is for most purposes, an every-man. This changes when U.S. agents arrest a suspected Soviet spy named Rudolf Abel (Rylance) and request Donovan to defend the operative in court to show that the country provides fair justice.

While a bit reluctant, Donovan decides to take up the case which subsequently presents challenges for his day to day life. For example he gets firsthand experience with the Red Scare and begins conversing with officials from agencies such as the CIA.

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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation review

Director:
Christopher McQuarrie
Cast:
Tom Cruise
Jeremy Renner
Simon Pegg
Ving Rhames
Rebecca Ferguson
Sean Harris
Rated: PG-13

Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt in the fifth installment of the “Mission Impossible” film series and this time, he’s looking for a syndicate of spies that is causing chaos around the world.

It seems like Hunt has met his match with these new enemies, and on top of that, his agency, the IMF, gets shut down for the events of Ghost Protocol (Part 4). This once again leaves Hunt without many resources at his disposal, making the challenge that much greater.

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REVIEW: ‘Spy’

Director:
Paul Feig
Cast:
Melissa McCarthy
Jude Law
Rose Byrne
Jason Statham
Rated: R

Melissa McCarthy plays Susan in “Spy,” a CIA mission analyst who has remained at the agency’s headquarters for most of her career. From her desk, Susan monitors other agents, mainly an operative named Bradley (Law) to keep a watch for potential threats.

Susan’s whole world begins to shift, though, when Bradley is killed in the line of duty by an arms dealer named Rayna (Byrne). On top of losing a great agent, the CIA learns that Rayna has uncovered the identities of other operatives. In order to bring her down, Susan steps up to take on a field mission for the first time.

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The Gunman review

Director:
Pierre Morel
Cast:
Sean Penn
Jasmine Trinca
Javier Bardem
Idris Elba
Rated: R

In “The Gunman,” Sean Penn plays Terrier, a mercenary for hire who is nearing the completion of a current mission. After Terrier completes said mission, he decides to retire and leave his current business behind him. Eight years later, though, it appears that the sins of his past have come back to haunt him as he becomes the target of an assassination.

Now Terrier is on the run and has to try and figure out just why someone wants him dead.

One would figure that “The Gunman” would be an exhilarating feature, as most ‘men on the run’ type stories are. Yet, the film turned out to be entirely dull and the entire runtime it felt as though the movie was plodding along.

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The Equalizer review

Director:
Antoine Fuqua
Cast:
Denzel Washington
Marton Csokas
Chloë Grace Moretz
Rated: R

Denzel Washington returns to the action movie genre with “The Equalizer,” a film that wants to be serious at times and not so serious at others.

The story follows a man named Robert, played by Washington, who lives a fairly normal life. He has a simple job at what is a Home Depot rip-off, a nice apartment and a quiet life. Quiet isn’t enough to keep Robert asleep at night and because of his restlessness he often goes to a local diner to read.

It is apparent early on that Robert has a violent and somewhat troubled past he is trying move on from. This life starts to come back when he meets a prostitute named Teri, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, who is in trouble with the Russian mafia.

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