Substream Magazine

Substream Magazine is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Kt Schaefer, Leigh Monson, Murjani Rawls
Rating Title/Year Author
An American Pickle (2020) Murjani Rawls A double dose of Rogan is good enough to get this movie over the hump. An American Pickle works best when it leans into it's dramatic elements more and not when it works so hard for laughs. EDIT
Posted Aug 6, 2020
She Dies Tomorrow (2020) Murjani Rawls Director/writer Amy Seimetz puts the uncomfortable realizations and questions about death on display in She Dies Tomorrow. There are more questions to be had after the film finishes, but it makes for a suspenseful watch. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2020
5/5 First Girl I Loved (2016) Leigh Monson The film is simultaneously funny and cute as it is anxiety-inducing and heartbreaking. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2020
Host (2020) Murjani Rawls Host, in totality, is an effective, tight, and spooky affair. it introduces you to a simple premise and displays cleverness within it's confined setting. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2020
The Photograph (2020) Murjani Rawls The Photograph shows that even though the universe might pull you in different directions, the heart will eventually win if you allow it. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2020
Glass (2019) Murjani Rawls Usually where you think a story zigs, Shyamalan zags. However, here, he took the conventional route that upended a satisfying ending to a trilogy. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2020
Us (2019) Murjani Rawls When the best of the movie is put to the test, Peele turns the mirror back on ourselves to show how far we will go to protect things that are closest to us. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2020
Gretel & Hansel (2020) Murjani Rawls Despite its slow spots, Gretel & Hansel is a refreshing and visually inventive spin on a very old tale that cautions perception and things that lie beneath the surface. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2020
The Assistant (2019) Murjani Rawls The overall message of The Assistant is that people who are put in positions that exert their power to the detriment of others are a constant problem. It's not only a critique from that perspective, but also on the entire workplace that this happens. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2020
On the Record (2020) Murjani Rawls On The Record does a good job of showing that Black women feel like they have been forgotten during these advancements. For all of us to move forward, their voices need to be heard. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2020
Blumhouse's Fantasy Island (2020) Murjani Rawls It's hard to walk away from Fantasy Island feeling like this idea could have been utilized better. Perhaps, there's a movie where you can parse both compelling scares and narrative that really depicts the dangers of changing the past. EDIT
Posted Jul 8, 2020
3/5 The Price (2017) Leigh Monson The Price has a persistent feeling of having been here and done this, but as far as these morality plays are concerned, it's adequate. Ameen gives a strongly empathetic lead performance. EDIT
Posted May 14, 2020
4.5/5 Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Kt Schaefer The Last Jedi is Disney's best contribution to the Star Wars canon so far and we can only hope that the final film of this trilogy will live up to the new standard. EDIT
Posted Jan 9, 2019
2/5 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) Kt Schaefer King Arthur: Legend of the Sword often felt like two movies blended together to create an unappetizing, diet shake. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
3.5/5 My Cousin Rachel (2017) Kt Schaefer There was a lot to like about My Cousin Rachel, as the story kept me guessing and it was beautiful to watch. The gorgeous sets, well done costumes, and especially the acting of the background characters... EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Kt Schaefer While the plot of Captain Underpants is a silly romp based on toilets and childhood rebellion, there is so much going on underneath the surface that it elevates the film from playful fun to very good. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4.5/5 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Kt Schaefer The choice to make such a different story was a bold one, and it made for an exciting and fun film that has plenty of callbacks to Spidey's villains and the MCU while also feeling new and intriguing. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Dunkirk (2017) Kt Schaefer Nolan doesn't seem interested in dazzling us with mind bending ideas or twisty plots. Instead, he offers us a glimpse into the days and hours that the soldiers and civilians who were involved in the Battle of Dunkirk... EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/5 Cars 3 (2017) Kt Schaefer As a return to form the film succeeds admirably; it's just that the original form was too shallow to support further installments. Cars 3 outstripped its predecessor by many laps, but it was hampered by a slow story with a predictable end... EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
5/5 Okja (2017) Kt Schaefer The story of Okja and Mija is captivating, but the wider implications that are left at the end of the film are impossible to forget. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
2.5/5 Despicable Me 3 (2017) Kt Schaefer Despicable Me 3 is easy for young children to watch, but suffers from a lack of focused storytelling and an unwanted dedication to nostalgia. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
2/5 An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017) Kt Schaefer That An Inconvenient Sequel chooses to focus more on the particulars of Al Gore's contributions than the situation at hand is an unfortunate misstep. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Girls Trip (2017) Kt Schaefer Girls Trip never feels like it is judging its characters, even at their most outlandish. Instead it repeatedly sends a message that being yourself and living your truth are the way to find happiness. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
5/5 Step (2017) Kt Schaefer Step is an incredibly relevant example of how hard and rewarding it can be to succeed at life when there is every challenge to block your path. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (2017) Kt Schaefer While The Nut Job 2 had some good performances, the rest of the film is definitely not worth saving for the winter. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
2/5 The Dark Tower (2017) Kt Schaefer The Dark Tower seeks to satisfy the fans of the books and appeal to newcomers with a self-contained story and in doing so it fails at both. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
Re-Animator (1985) Kt Schaefer With its combination of gross-out horror, ridiculous comedy, over the top scenes, and subtle undercurrents, Re-Animator manages to be many things at once. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Battle of the Sexes (2017) Kt Schaefer The acting in Battle of the Sexes is what elevates it well beyond the average sports film. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Ballerina (2016) Kt Schaefer Leap! is a familiar story, but it flows from point to point naturally and while it does not hold any surprises, neither is it entirely predictable. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4.5/5 It (2017) Kt Schaefer The attention to detail in the sets and makeup and dedication in the acting and camerawork is apparent in every scene, and it all contributes to the film's rich atmosphere. It is great horror film with interesting characters and a strong story. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
1/5 The Only Living Boy in New York (2017) Kt Schaefer The Only Living Boy in New York is never able to achieve cohesion among its disparate story lines and suffers from its dedication to showing Thomas as a good guy despite all evidence to the contrary. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Happy Death Day (2017) Kt Schaefer Happy Death Day is a fun romp that skirts cliches and keeps you guessing about the identity of the would-be killer until the very end. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 The Foreigner (2017) Kt Schaefer The Foreigner starts as a revenge story, but evolves into something more within the first 20 minutes. Hennessey's hunt to find the IRA bombers is introduced clumsily, but once started the film manages to spin the events into a satisfying mystery. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
1/5 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain (2017) Kt Schaefer The elephant in the room with 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain is that it is a cheaply made, religious anti-drug movie masquerading as a standard Hollywood film. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
ParaNorman (2012) Kt Schaefer Whether or not you have children in your life, Paranorman deserves a spot on your Halloween watch list this year. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Gerald's Game (2017) Kt Schaefer Nothing about Gerald's Game would have worked if they hadn't gotten the right actress, and Carla Gugino is spot on. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
The Babadook (2014) Kt Schaefer The Babadook is an incredibly well-made movie, with each aspect of the film fitting neatly into an overall theme. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
1.5/5 Suburbicon (2017) Kt Schaefer Suburbicon is a strange mix of murder mystery, outlandish comedy, and a flimsy civil rights commentary, but none of it lands the way the film wants it to. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/5 Supergirl (2016) Kt Schaefer Naomi is a fascinating person who is changing perceptions with her impressive force of will and athletic talents; it's a shame that this film couldn't find a more cohesive way to tell her story. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Beauty Mark (2017) Kt Schaefer The film has a compassion for its subjects and shines a light on the small things that are so often left out of these kinds of stories. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
5/5 The Florida Project (2017) Kt Schaefer The Florida Project is both bleak and inspiring as it does its best to reveal the reality inherent in living in dire poverty. It plunges the viewer into its world and never lets up on showing the highs and the lows with brutal clarity. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/5 Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Kt Schaefer Roman J. Israel, Esq. has great intentions, but it spends too much time picking a story and is never able to deliver on its initial promise. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Wonder (2017) Kt Schaefer Wonder has some very high goals in mind, and while I don't think it reaches all of them, its efforts are admirable and make for an emotional but hopeful viewing experience. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
4/5 Signature Move (2017) Kt Schaefer Signature Move is unabashedly a romantic comedy that still manages to include serious content, albeit in a lighthearted way. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
3/5 Justice League (2017) Kt Schaefer Justice League, more than any of the other films with Superman, feels like a superhero story. There are jokes and camaraderie between the characters and despite incredibly high stakes, it sheds the grim and gritty affectation that has plagued the DCEU. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
3.5/5 A Bad Moms Christmas (2017) Kt Schaefer ...a mostly enjoyable start to the holiday season, as long as you don't expect too much. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
2/5 Future '38 (2016) Kt Schaefer Sadly it doesn't come close to the comedic heights of the classic films it's simulating. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
1.5/5 Pottersville (2017) Kt Schaefer Pottersville is an undeniably bad movie; regardless of whether its script is a self-aware or how good the acting is, it's an outlandish story that finds resolution by cribbing heavily from It's A Wonderful Life. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2018
3.5/5 Darkest Hour (2017) Kt Schaefer While Darkest Hour is an interesting examination of the first few weeks of Churchill's premiership, it suffers from its dedication to portraying him as a golden hero. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2018
Ferdinand (2017) Kt Schaefer On the surface, Ferdinand is a pleasant and easy film to watch, with colorful characters and plenty of laughs to entertain young and old. It holds tightly to the positive messages it is trying to send... EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2018