Deputy director of the Russian secret service SVR Vanya Egorov eagerly recruits his niece Dominika Egorova when her career as Bolshoi star ballerina is crushed by a fall, which he proves the work of a rival who seduced the male lead to drop her causing her leg to break irreparably. After taking bloody revenge, she is blackmailed with the loss of all Bolsoi privileges, notably expensive private medical care for her terminal mother. After a single job, seducing an oligarch, actually meant as a test, she is made to join the Red Sparrow state school for sexual seducers, mostly recruited from the military. Headstrong she shows potential pleasing SVR general Korchnoi enough to overturn the school commander's negative reports and assign her to the field. Her mark is CIA agent Nate Nash, who erroneously betrayed his mole, but with whom she develops a romantic relationship of trust, while Vanya's henchman Matorin remains around for the bloody work. After she bitterly turns on Vanya, a game-changing surprise topples all.