RED SPARROW 4k Ultra HD and Blu-ray Review

[wp-review id=”89951″]

Russian Ballerina Dominika Egorova works hard to support herself and her mother in their home country.  She injures her leg so bad that her dancing career is finished.  She has an uncle named Ivan that works with the government and he knows that she has nowhere to turn but to do something for him.  He wants her to seduce a man without question and get him alone in her room.  She does this well and is offered the chance to do something for the government on a more permanent basis.  She only has to pass the training portion.  
RED SPARROW is directed by Francis Lawrence.  He is best known for three of the HUNGER GAMES movies, I AM LEGEND, and CONSTANTINE.  It is based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Jason Matthews.  He has a knack for making films with plenty of drama and suspense.  With this movie, it wasn’t the type of spy film like ATOMIC BLONDE with a lot of action but this focuses more on the espionage part of being a spy.  It also shows what the people who had to learn this tradecraft to become successful in what they do.  It also shows what people who do this kind of work have their lives steered by their superiors and governments.
Jennifer Lawrence – Dominika Egorova
Joel Edgerton – Nate Nash
Matthias Schoenaerts – Ivan Vladimirovich Egorov
Charlotte Rampling – “Matron”
Mary-Louise Parker – Stephanie Boucher
Jeremy Irons – General Vladimir Andreievich Korchnoi
Ciarán Hinds – Colonel Zakharov
Joely Richardson – Nina Egorova
Bill Camp – Marty Gable


4k UHD
The video is a 2160 HEVC presentation with a very particular look to it.  With the majority of the movie taking place in Eastern Europe and Russia, the overall tone is on the cooler side.  There are some outdoor scenes where the snow creates some interesting contrasting on the actors but it never seems to wash them out of the picture.  Even the indoor scenes never drift into a warmer look and I think that’s the point.  What is happening on screen is never cheery and inviting at all.  The colors are strong but red is possibly the only color that can be called bold.  One contradiction to the lack of warmth is in the skin tones on Lawrence and Edgerton.  They are natural and have some warmth but not too much.  The blacks are inky in the nighttime scenes and lower lit rooms.  As for the details, they are always crisp and look superb.  Every intricacy seems to be clearly seen and the finer points in the faces are clean.
The video is a 1080p AVC presentation that looks excellent.  Like the 4k disc, there are really nothing but positives here.  There are strong details, bright coloring, and heavy blacks.  


4k UHD
The audio is a Dolby Atmos mix that defaults to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 depending on your equipment.  The mix is impressive and it makes the most out of a movie that isn’t filled with action.  The music and score fill the channels with sound to immerse you into the scenes.  This is especially nice in the theater with the ballet at the beginning.  Other effects like inside of vehicles or the swimming pool have some excellent echoing effects.  
 The audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix that does its job well.  The speakers fill with audio in a similar way as the 4k version with in different spots.  The sound is in the rear of the theater and has a different feel overall.  The dialogue has been prioritized well with the effects. 


-Audio Commentary: with Francis Lawrence
-A New Cold War: Origination and Adaptation: This is a good EPK that gives some background about the author and the appeal of both Lawrences to do the film.
-Agents Provocateurs: The Ensemble Cast: This EPK focuses on the characters almost like a continuation of the previous extra.
-Tradecraft: Visual Authenticity: This extra is about creating the visuals and making the looks of the film fit the story.
-Heart of the Tempest: Locations: This extra is like the rest but it focuses on the various filming locations for the movie.
-Welcome to Sparrow School: Ballets and Stunts: This shows how Jennifer Lawrence learning the character and the movie magic of making her a ballerina.
-A Puzzle of Need: Post-Production: This extra explains the work in the post production such as cutting and adding music.
-Deleted Scenes
Disc Details
2-disc set w/1 4k UHD and 1 Blu-ray
Digital copy
Running Time
139 mins
Edition Ratings
Rated R
Region Coding
Region A
4k UHD
Video Resolution
2160p HEVC H.265
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Audio Mixes
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
German DTS 5.1
Italian DTS 5.1
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH
Mandarin (Traditional)
Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH


RED SPARROW is a really good movie that shows that you don’t need the non-stop action to make a good spy thriller.  The characters were cast well and the story is compelling.  The 4k disc looks and sounds better than the Blu-ray but that doesn’t mean the Blu-ray is anything to scoff at.  This is just one good example where the subtle differences make a strong argument for the format.  The extras on the release cover everything from pre-production to post.  Overall, this is definitely a successful release and I can highly recommend picking up the 4k version.

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST | Michael is a fanatic about all both cinema old and new. He collects anything from 1:6 Scale, 1:12 Scale, and vinyl Collectibles plus Slipcovers and Steelbooks. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. An avid Batman, The Joker and anything comics junkie, he will also chat it up about pretty much anything. Go ahead and ask...