A “sparrow” is the term for a Mata Hari style secret agent, trained to seduce men in pursuit of secrets. Ballerina Dominika Egorova (played by Jennifer Lawrence) is inducted into this life by her uncle Vanya (I know, I know; the Chekov references could be subtler), a spymaster, when her ballet career is cut short by a serious injury. Trained at spy school by the cynical Matron (Charlotte Rampling) and directed by General Korchnoi (Jeremy Irons), Dominika is soon thrust into the cut and thrust world of espionage.
A seemingly estranged father (Michael Shannon) appears to kidnap his own son from what turns out to be a cult and takes him on the road… But why? And where are they going? And why was the boy revered by this cult?
The details slowly emerge as the chase progresses and we learn more about the boy, Alton, and certain powers he seems to posess. But we never quite understand them, and the director (Jeff Nichols) keeps playing with the audience’s understanding of what may be going on.
When married couple Simon and Robyn move back to Simon’s childhood town, they go shopping for their new house and bump into Gordo, a guy Simon used to go to school with even if Simon can only vaguely place Gordo. Soon after, a small gift arrives at their house, and Gordo later shows up in person with another gift to welcome them back to the neighbourhood.