‘Reptile’ Movie Review & Film Summary (2023) : Unusual Suspects

A Riveting Crime Drama with a Twist: “Reptile”

  • Movie Name: Reptile (2023)
  • IMDb Rating: 7/10
  • Language: Hindi | English
  • Director: Grant Singer
  • Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Justin Timberlake, Eric Bogosian
  • Genres: Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller


I have a strong affinity for well-crafted crime dramas, and when they’re intertwined with elements of mystery, my appreciation deepens. “Reptile,” featuring Benicio del Toro, Alicia Silverstone, and Justin Timberlake, is currently accessible on Netflix. The film exudes a neo-noir ambiance and is characterized by intricate plot twists that keep the intrigue alive from start to finish.

The Enigmatic Murder

The narrative centers around the brutal murder of a young real estate agent, triggering the resolve of a seasoned detective. In this enigmatic case, where appearances deceive, the detective unravels not only the truth but also the illusions within his own life. The storytelling approach is unconventional, marked by deliberate and unhurried pacing. Nonetheless, it remains profoundly engaging, largely due to the cleverly crafted twists, misdirection, and the introduction of red herrings.

Complex Characters

We follow Benicio del Toro’s detective character as he delves into the murder of Justin Timberlake’s girlfriend. Timberlake, also a real estate agent, exudes an air of suspicion, but what sets this movie apart is its ability to cast doubt on nearly every character, including Del Toro. Del Toro’s character is married to Alicia Silverstone, and their relocation to a new city after his turbulent past police assignment adds to the uncertainty surrounding him. Their relationship is an intricate one, with moments of suspicion and, at times, collaboration as detective partners. This complexity keeps viewers guessing about their roles in solving the mystery.

Cryptic Conversations

The film introduces several other detectives, each contributing to the narrative’s aura of unease through cryptic dialogue. The plot unfolds along multiple prongs, initially appearing disjointed but gradually converging to provide clarity. While some details remain unexplored in depth, they can be inferred, if not explicitly stated.

The Enigmatic Wildcard

A wildcard character portrayed by Michael Pitt adds an extra layer of intrigue with his peculiar persona. Pitt’s character is riddled with subtle physical quirks and a storyline filled with minute yet significant details. His volatile nature adds further uncertainty to the unfolding events.

Patient Pacing and Atmosphere

“Reptile” boasts a runtime of 2 hours and 14 minutes, and its neo-noir aesthetic aligns with its patient pacing. Unlike many films, it doesn’t rely on constant dialogue but provides moments of introspection, allowing viewers to witness the characters’ inner thoughts. The cinematography captures rural landscapes that contribute to a sense of isolation and impending danger as the characters approach potential suspect locations. The film’s slightly gritty filming quality and subdued color palette evoke a feeling reminiscent of gangster or mob movies, heightening the pervasive sense of unease.

Unspoken Tensions

Interactions among characters are marked by an unspoken but palpable tension, creating an atmosphere where an imminent, undefined threat looms. This ill-defined unease serves as a compelling narrative device, intensifying the doubts surrounding the characters. As the film progresses toward its final act, a sense of urgency builds, with puzzle pieces gradually coming together. Viewers are kept engaged as they work alongside the characters to uncover the mystery.

Handling the Mystery

The handling of the mystery aspect of the film is commendable for most of its duration. The narrative skillfully introduces multiple potential outcomes, allowing for shifts in focus from one suspect to another. However, there’s a critical juncture toward the end where a premature revelation occurs. This early disclosure diminishes the tension and surprise in subsequent scenes. Had the reveal been delayed or presented more subtly, it would have had a more significant impact and added shock value to the conclusion.


In summary, “Reptile” is a murder mystery that unfolds patiently, featuring a cast of deeply flawed and suspicious characters, any of whom could be the perpetrator. Benicio del Toro’s portrayal of an inquisitive detective with a troubled past is understated and compelling. While the timing of the mystery’s reveal is a drawback, the film excels in building uneasy tension throughout. It includes moments of introspection, subtle cinematography, and a sense of impending danger that enrich the viewing experience. The movie earns a rating of four and a half out of five couches.

Share Your Thoughts

If you appreciate murder mysteries, I’d love to hear about your favorite in the comments below.


1. What is “Reptile” about?

“Reptile” is a crime drama with a strong mystery element. It revolves around the murder of a young real estate agent, and a seasoned detective’s quest to uncover the truth. As the detective delves deeper into the case, he begins to unravel not only the facts of the murder but also the illusions within his own life.

2. Who are the main characters in the film?

The film features Benicio del Toro as the detective, Alicia Silverstone as his wife, and Justin Timberlake as a real estate agent. These characters play pivotal roles in the unfolding mystery.

3. How would you describe the pacing of the movie?

“Reptile” has a deliberate and patient pacing. It doesn’t rely on constant dialogue but includes moments of introspection and contemplation, which add to the film’s atmosphere and character development.

4. Is the movie suitable for all audiences?

No, “Reptile” contains elements that may not be suitable for all viewers. It includes profanity, brutal violence, and intense themes. Viewer discretion is advised.

5. What sets “Reptile” apart from other murder mysteries?

“Reptile” stands out due to its complex characters and their evolving relationships. Almost every character in the film has a suspicious aura, creating a pervasive sense of doubt and unease. Additionally, the movie’s handling of the mystery aspect is commendable, with multiple potential outcomes and unexpected twists.

6. What are the strengths of the film?

The strengths of “Reptile” lie in its character development, atmospheric cinematography, and its ability to maintain a sense of unease throughout the narrative. It also features a compelling wildcard character portrayed by Michael Pitt.

7. Are there any weaknesses in the film?

While the film handles the mystery well for most of its duration, there is a point towards the end where a premature revelation occurs, which some viewers might find a drawback.

8. What is your overall rating for “Reptile”?

I give “Reptile” a rating of four and a half out of five couches. Despite a minor flaw in the timing of the mystery’s reveal, the film offers a captivating and suspenseful viewing experience.

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