'Speak No Evil' Review: A Little Bit of Kindness Might Lead You To Your Doom

When do you exactly draw the line regarding how much you allow another person to irritate you? Some of us do this at the start of the relationship. Your significant other might cook things with a little too much salt, or they have a different way of folding the laundry than you’re accustomed to. In other ways, we might be so starved for friendship that we will overlook obvious dealbreakers for companionship. Speak No Evil, a psychological horror film by director Christian Tafdrup takes this conc

'Don't Worry Darling' Review: Oh, What A Riveting Tale This Could Have Been

Everything that contributes to the neighborhood of Victory’s 1950s esthetic is straight from a home economics book. Nothing is out of place in this utopic-looking suburbia basking in the South California sun. The cul-de-sacs and bright-colored architecture are what some people may think to equate to the symbolic vision of the American dream. Director Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling doesn’t use the beginning as an entry point to how we got here — instead, it elects to place the audience at a t

'Pearl' Review: A Technicolor Throwback That Serves as an 'X' Character Study Companion

When it comes down to it, everybody wants to be loved and wanted. The opening of Pearl, writer/director Ti West’s prequel to X, reveals itself with big, bold font and a slow shot exiting the doors of a sunny Texas farm. Tyler Bates and Chelsea Wolfe’s score lulls you in with its triumphant, 1920s-style flair of instrumentation. We see Pearl (Mia Goth) admiring herself in the mirror, draped in old clothes from her mother, Ruth (Tandi Wright). Pearl has big dreams of being and leaving the small-to

'Honk For Jesus, Save Your Soul' Review: Salvation and Sanctuary Has A Price

The Wander to Greater Paths Southern Baptist mega-church is having a grand re-opening in Atlanta and wants to ensure the world knows. So, for the impending “revival,” pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) and his wife, Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall), have hired a film crew to chronicle their way back into Sunday prominence. In the first few scenes of Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul shows Greater Paths at the height of its popularity — 25,000 people strong in the congregation and the pastor

'Barbarian' Review: Maybe It's Best To Run A Background Check On Your Airbnb

How comfortable do you feel heading to that Airbnb reservation? Did that question prompt you to panic and double down to read through your upcoming host’s reviews? Well, Barbarian might inject a bit of anxiety the next time you do so. Tess Marshall (Georgina Campbell) heads to a cozy Airbnb in a severe thunderstorm before her upcoming job interview. When she goes for the key, it is not in the lockbox. While Tess calls the host, a light goes on in the house. This is where she meets Keith (Bill Sk

Stallone's Action Prowess Is Not Enough To Put 'Samaritan' Over the Top

There are enough variations of media out there to satisfy the appetites of people who crave seeing groups of super-powered beings overcome forces of evil. However, there’s no denying the appeal of the fallen hero’s story. 2008’s Hancock is a prime example of how a foul-mouthed, alcoholic immortal can turn public perception in his favor with a few good deeds (and a good publicist). In Samaritan, Granite City is in complete financial downfall. Newscasts speak about massive unemployment, hunger, an

Netflix's 'Untold' Shows The Unjust Toll Manti Te'o Has Paid For A Hoax

Going into his senior year at Notre Dame, Manti Te’o was a surefire first-round draft pick with a presumably long NFL career ahead of him. In sports, we all love our stories of tired, but determined warriors pulling themselves up from the pits of grief. Every feel-good Cinderella story shows us it’s possible for us. But how does a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy and an engine for his team’s national championship run become one of the most hated athletes, with the likes of Tiger Woods (and his c

'Orphan: First Kill' Review: Looks Can Be Deceiving Even the Second Time Around

It was 13 years ago when a loving, unsuspecting family adopted a nine-year-old girl named Ester in 2009’s Orphan. At first, we thought we were witnessing all the fixings of a mischievous, evil child looking to tear her new family apart to varying degrees. With Ester, however, there was more than meets the eye — a hormonal disorder has a 33-year-old Estonian woman named Leena Klammer encased in a child’s body. As horrifying a prospect, it’s a twist on the “bad kid” motifs shown in 1993’s The Good

'Fall' Review: Dizzying Heights and Tension Interrupted By Narrative Choices

Acrophobia, or an intense fear of heights, is a phobia that seems like a match made in heaven with cinema’s horror/thriller genres. In director Scott Mann’s Fall, two female thrill seekers, Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner) are looking to climb an abandoned TV tower (which we are told is the fourth-highest structure in the U.S.) Before this climb, there were some obligatory bad omens. Vultures are seen eating at a fox while menacing music plays in the background. The ru

'Bodies Bodies Bodies' Review: What's A Murder Mystery Among Friends?

Friends come together at a mansion before an approaching storm to get down to some debaucherous fun. What could go wrong? Well, by the standards Bodies Bodies Bodies lays out, a lot can. At first, everything is light and playful. Then, an innocent game gets played that may show the cracks within the long-fostered kinships, and somebody might end up dead. It’s a cosmopolitan twist of slasher horror, a whodunit mystery, and a Gen-Z comedy spliced by director Halina Reijn. It might not be as fright

'Prey' Review: The Predator Franchise Makes A Delightful Back-To-Basics Return

1987’s Predator brought together a gang of one-line dropping mercenaries sent on a quick rescue mission in a rainforest in Central America. However, the numbers game and sheer amount of artillery were no match for an invisibility-cloaked, high-tech alien. The film stretched our imaginations on what we considered hunters and prey wrapped up in a sci-fi/horror package. The Predator franchise has taken various turns, peaks, and valleys, to say the least. There was a stop in Los Angeles with 1990’s

Director Randy Wilkins On ESPN's 'The Captain,' and Chronicling the Mystique of Derek Jeter

You can’t mention Yankee greats like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Reggie Jackson without saying the name of Derek Jeter. The kid from Pequannock Township, New Jersey, would later fulfill his lifelong dream, anchoring multiple championship teams in the late 1990s-early 2000s dynasty years. Jeter had an undying tenacity to win — instilled in him at an early age by his mother, Dorothy, and father, Sanderson Charles Jeter. It takes someone of astute and unfazed demeanor to play in a c

Reel Time Machine: Ten Years of "The Dark Knight Rises"

Reel Time Machine is a new Substream column in which we will reflect on films during their anniversaries. Do they still hold up the test of time? Are they better than we remember? Sit back and take a journey with us as we figure it out. When we reach the end of The Dark Knight, Gotham is on the precipice of a peaceful period. Only the audience sees Harvey Dent’s evil deeds, which have to be covered up by Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Batman/ Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale). The final frame

'Nope' Review: What's A Bad Miracle?

Humans are on top of the food chain, but we have a fascination with situations dwarfing that notion. It may be a great white shark terrorizing a New England beach town or indulging in the possibility of extraterrestrial life on other planets. The sea and air are examples of terrain where the playing field becomes even. In terms of cinema, it’s fertile ground for narratives that both terrify and excite us. Nope, director Jordan Peele’s third feature strives to check all the boxes films like 1975’

'She Will' Review

The visual atmosphere in the first few minutes of director/co-writer Charlotte Colbert’s She Will is delightfully arresting and heartbreaking. Conjoined with aerial camera shots of forestry landscapes of trees and grass, one woman in a spacious bedroom is staring in a mirror. Veronica Ghent (Alice Krige) is a former film star who just underwent a double mastectomy. As she stars are her frail reflection, the press acts as a blunt-force object, reminding Veronica of her youthful days. She prepares

'Thor: Love and Thunder' Review

Tony Stark made the ultimate sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. Steve Rodgers went back in time, found his happy ending with Peggy Carter, and gave up his Captain America mantle. One of the remaining original heroes from the first Marvel phases of projects is Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Audiences have seen the character go through a pantheon of emotions — from being not so worthy, gaining Mjölnir (then Stormbreaker), losing his mom, dad, and mischievous brother Loki, losing his way, and rising again. L

'Peace In The Valley' Review | Tribeca 2022

Given the recent wave of tragedies, watching a film depicting a mass shooting might be a little heavy on the nerves. 2021’s The Fallout‘s narrative follows high school kids dealing with the aftermath of a school shooting. Peace In The Valley confines the ramifications to a single-family — specifically, how a mother picks up the pieces after an immense loss. Ashley (Brit Shaw), her husband John (Michael Abbott Jr.), and their son Jesse (William Samiri) take an innocent trip to the grocery store.

'Roving Woman' Review | Tribeca 2022

Every breakup requires some amount of struggle and self-reflection. ‘Roving Woman’ seeks to ponder these themes through the eyes of Sara (Lena Gora), whom we meet at her now ex-fiance’s doorstep. Why he breaks up with her is not exactly clear to us. Sara beckons for a reason through the non-committal coldness of a Ring doorbell, but to no avail. Sara, who has no money or belongings and is dressed in an elegant dress, has to venture out into the world in search of something. Inspired by the sudde

'Acid Man' Review | Tribeca 2022

Imagination can be a helluva tool. We take it to places far beyond the conventional and sometimes use it as a bridge to make us closer to someone. Remember when you were younger, and your mom or dad fought imaginary bad guys with you or went to space? Sure, they weren’t there, but it’s an act of love and affection to try. As we age and the distance between our parents and us grows, we lose some of those bonds to practicality. Or, sometimes, they may have never been there at all. In Acidman, Magg

'Offseason' Review: Heavy Is the Island That Wears the Curse

A well-known horror trope no-no is not to accept a sudden invitation to go somewhere remote. In immediate family affairs, this may be hard to resist. Offseason begins with Marie (Jocelin Donahue) receiving news via a letter that her deceased mother’s grave site has been vandalized. With her boyfriend, George (Joe Swanberg), they drive to an eerie and abundantly foggy Florida island. Of course, things aren’t what they seem. At first, a lone bridge man (Richard Brake) won’t let them on the island,
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