REPTILE on Netflix is a new thriller crime mystery with a slow-burn build and a very character-driven story. The movie has a star-studded cast and a noir feel that reminded me of Prisoners and the True Detective series. In other words, it’s amazing. Read our full Reptile movie review here – find it on Netflix now!
REPTILE is a new Netflix movie in the thriller, crime, and mystery genres. The story may be slow-burn but that just makes ample room for the characters. Not only is this a very character-driven movie, it has a cast full of familiar faces. Much of the style and vibe of this movie reminded me of True Detective (which has a new season coming out soon) or even Denis Villeneuve’s 2013 Prisoners.
Even the runtime is similar to what we saw with Prisoners (2013) as well as most of the brilliant Korean genre movies we love so much here at Heaven of Horror. At 2 hours and 14 minutes, it may sound very long, but there are also a lot of details to cover. For your own sake, make sure you place your phone well out of reach. You’re going to need to stay focused while watching this crime mystery unfold.
Continue reading our Reptile movie review below. Find the movie on Netflix from September 29, 2023.
The plot thickens
In Reptile, we meet a man (Justin Timberlake) working at his family’s real estate firm. His girlfriend (Matilda Lutz), who is also working as a young real estate agent, is found brutally murdered at one of her listings. Of course, this leads to an investigation headed by Detective Tom Nichols (Benicio Del Toro).
With no real clues, the police immediately turn to all the usual suspects; The people in her life.
However, the detectives really don’t get far before it’s clear that nothing is simple. Not in this murder case, the real estate business, or in the town itself. A small-town murder mystery turns into a web of corruption where it’s impossible to know who can be trusted.
Pay attention to mirrors
On a personal note, I love how the director used mirrors to show what was going on, so keep your eye out for any mirror in the room. Whether it’s a conversation between a married couple, something that appears to be a home invasion or just a casual chat, the mirrors usually hold additional details.
It’s not any kind of groundbreaking trick, but when used well, it makes all the difference. In Reptile, it’s used in exactly the right ways.
The most amazing cast
The only drawback of having such a big and amazing cast in Reptile is that we don’t get to see all the actors nearly enough. Despite the runtime being over two hours, there are so many characters in this story that some only get a scene here or there. Of course, this is a crime mystery, so a few characters do “disappear” for obvious crime-related reasons.
In any case, I especially loved that Reptile is reuniting Benicio Del Toro and Alicia Silverstone more than 25 years after he played her kidnapper in Excess Baggage (1997). In this intense thriller, the two portray a married couple, who work remarkably well together. In fact, I think the way they worked together was my favorite part of this movie.
I just love seeing this married couple that respects and understands one another. In this story, they are partners in all aspects of life.
A few of the other key roles are portrayed by the always intensely good Michael Pitt and Justin Timberlake. The latter gets quite a lot to work with and does really well. I still think his wife [Jessica Biel] is a much more interesting actor, but he truly delivers a solid performance in this movie. Okay, admittedly, I just think Jessica Biel would’ve been great in this movie as well.
Some of the actors I would’ve loved to see more in Reptile include Frances Fisher (Awake), Karl Glusman (Watcher), and Matilda Lutz (Revenge). It doesn’t take anything away from the overall experience that we don’t see them more. They just portray intriguing characters and I enjoy watching them in whatever they do.
Watch Reptile on Netflix now!
Grant Singer is the director of Reptile which he also co-wrote with Benjamin Brewer and the star of the movie, Benicio Del Toro. It is the very first time Oscar-winning actor, Benicio Del Toro is getting a screenplay credit. With his very long career, it’s about time. Especially if this is the result. All three screenwriters are also producers of the movie.
Before directing this feature film, Grant Singer has been working mostly in music videos. I’ve mentioned it before and I will gladly mention it again; Acclaimed directors such as David Fincher, Spike Jonze, and Jonas Åkerlund all became famous for directing music videos first.
Reptile premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival before opening in select theaters on September 22. Here, a week later, the movie is out on Netflix and you really do not want to miss it.
Reptile is out on Netflix globally from September 29, 2023.
Director: Grant Singer
Writers: Grant Singer, Benjamin Brewer, Benicio Del Toro
Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Alicia Silverstone, Justin Timberlake, Eric Bogosian, Frances Fisher, Domenick Lombardozzi, Michael Pitt, Ato Essandoh, Karl Glusman, Mike Pniewski, Matilda Lutz
Following the brutal murder of a young real estate agent, a hardened detective attempts to uncover the truth in a case where nothing is as it seems, and by doing so dismantles the illusions in his own life.