5.9/10
9,228
52 user 24 critic

The Substitute (1996)

Trailer
1:40 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
After a botched mission in Cuba, professional mercenary Shale and his crew Joey Six, Hollan, Rem, and Wellman head home to Miami, Florida, where Shale is reunited with his fiance Jane ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Professional mercenary Karl Thomasson arrives in Brooklyn to attend the funeral of his brother Randall, who was murdered while trying to stop a carjacking that has been blamed on the "... See full summary »

Director: Steven Pearl
Stars: Treat Williams, Edoardo Ballerini, Christopher Cousins
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

At a college visit to a war buddy's professor daughter, mercenary Treat Williams finds her brutally beaten. He then poses as a teacher to teach a lesson to the football jocks responsible.

Director: Robert Radler
Stars: Treat Williams, David Jensen, Barbara Jane Reams
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

An undercover policeman must infiltrate a military school's faculty to cease the actions of white supremacists.

Director: Robert Radler
Stars: Treat Williams, Angie Everhart, Patrick Kilpatrick
The Principal (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A teacher is assigned to be the principal of a violent and crime ridden high school.

Director: Christopher Cain
Stars: James Belushi, Louis Gossett Jr., Rae Dawn Chong
Sniper (1993)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Tough guy Thomas Beckett is a US Marine working in the Panamanian jungle. His job is to seek out rebels and remove them using his sniper skills. Beckett is notorious for losing his partners... See full summary »

Director: Luis Llosa
Stars: Tom Berenger, Billy Zane, J.T. Walsh
F/X (1986)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A movie special effects man is hired to fake a real-life mob killing for a witness protection plan, but finds his own life in danger.

Director: Robert Mandel
Stars: Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Diane Venora
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Montana bounty hunter is sent into the wilderness to track three escaped prisoners. Instead he sees something that puzzles him. Later with a female Native Indian history professor, he ... See full summary »

Director: Tab Murphy
Stars: Tom Berenger, Barbara Hershey, Kurtwood Smith
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jason and Midget are two young, black teenagers living in Newark,New Jersey, the unofficial car theft capital of the world. Their favourite pastime is that of everybody in their ... See full summary »

Director: Nick Gomez
Stars: Shar-Ron Corley, Gabriel Casseus, Saul Stein
Unforgettable (1996)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Unsuccessfully framed for his wife's murder, Dr. David Krane attempts to find the real culprit by utilizing a new drug that allows him to experience the memories of other people first-hand.... See full summary »

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Ray Liotta, Linda Fiorentino, Peter Coyote
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he ... See full summary »

Director: Robert M. Young
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Edward James Olmos, Robert Loggia
Congo (1995)
Action | Adventure | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

When an expedition to the African Congo ends in disaster, a new team is assembled to find out what went wrong.

Director: Frank Marshall
Stars: Laura Linney, Tim Curry, Dylan Walsh
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

San Francisco police officer Frank Connor is in a frantic search for a compatible bone marrow donor for his gravely ill son. There's only one catch: the potential donor is convicted ... See full summary »

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Michael Keaton, Andy Garcia, Brian Cox
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Joey Six
...
...
Rem
...
Wellman
Ana Azcuy ...
TV Announcer
...
...
Mr. Darrell Sherman
...
Jerome Brown (as Sharron Corley)
...
Rodriguez
...
Tay
...
...
...
Janus Showreel Narrator
...
Matt Wolfson
Edit

Storyline

After a botched mission in Cuba, professional mercenary Shale and his crew Joey Six, Hollan, Rem, and Wellman head home to Miami, Florida, where Shale is reunited with his fiance Jane Hetzko, who is a history teacher at Columbus High School in Miami. Some of Jane's students happen to be members of a street gang known as the "Kings of Destruction" (KOD), led by Juan Lacas, who has been terrorizing Jane. After Jane's kneecap is broken by a big seminole named Bull, she tells Shale that she believes Lacas ordered the attack, so Shale goes undercover as Jane's substitute, and initially, Jane has no idea that Shale is doing this. At the school, Shale meets principal Claude Rolle, librarian Hannah Dillon, and english and drama teacher Darrell Sherman. It turns out that Lacas is one of Jane's students. As Shale investigates the attack on Jane, he discovers that drugs are being circulated into the school. Shale even investigates local drug kingpin Johnny Glades, who may or may not have someone... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He has a lesson to teach. And nobody's going to have a problem with it. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sustituto  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$40,167 (USA) (19 July 1996)

Gross:

$14,752,141 (USA) (2 August 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Berenger's character explains to the class he is teaching about his services and experiences in Vietnam. Berenger played a Sgt. (Barnes) in the Vietnam movie Platoon 10 years earlier. See more »

Goofs

At the Jai Alai court when the rival merc is trying to hit Shale, the pelota (jai alai ball) falls out of the cesta on his wind up, but the it is still thrown. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Darrell Sherman: So is this a personal mission, or a joint operation between the CIA and the PTA?
See more »

Connections

References A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

I Got That Cream
Written by Master P
Performed by Master P
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
No-nonsense action with a bit of social input
26 December 2005 | by (Iceland) – See all my reviews

These no-nonsense action films that try to convey some social statements have a soft spot in my books and therefore I sometimes rate these movies higher than they actually deserve. The Substitute is a late bloomer in this department since it actually received a theatrical release and did fairly well. Nowadays films like these go directly to video or television and the ambition that was invested in these films is today nonexistent.

The terribly underrated Tom Berenger plays a mercenary whose girlfriend is a teacher at a lower class high school. When she's attacked by a thug Berenger creates his own resumé and teacher credentials and assumes her position at the school and becomes the substitute teacher. Once there he discovers the school is run by a corrupt drug dealing principal who's using some students there to help him run his operation. Naturally Berenger, along with some of his mercenary friends, take action and attempt to stop this operation which culminates in a massive shoot out on school grounds.

While this is an action movie at heart, it also tries to relate some well meaning messages about today's youth. The way lower class kids are living, which is dangerously on the edge, their way of thinking and looking at the world around them. In a particularly nice scene, one character doesn't admit to being ashamed of how her life is but when asked if she wanted her child to replicate her life, well, that's another matter indeed. That one scene explains a lot and it's moments like these that actually make The Substitute a little bit more interesting than many other films of similar nature.

But the film doesn't go too far into social matters and quickly gets down and dirty with the action, which is well served and the film never slows down too much. All the cast are willing and able to entertain, some real quality actors here and they all fare well.

The Substitute in many ways represents a dying breed of movie-making and it will probably give movie fanatics a feeling of nostalgia in years to come.


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Please remake this with Jason Statham strllingthunder
One of the cheesiest movies I've ever seen czechchick5
The Fart nucleobomz
This is the real Punisher Bat_Out_Of_Hell
More Comedy than Action! realmero
Intercom Music sonicthehdhg
Discuss The Substitute (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?