Reptile (2023) review: Captivating slow-burn thriller

In Reptile, Detective Tom Nichols tackles the case of a real-estate agent’s murder. The further he probes into the incident, the more twists and turns occur. The crime-thriller film is now streaming on Netflix.


Will Grady (Justin Timberlake) and Summer Elswick (Matilda Lutz) are shown to be a couple who aren’t on the best terms at the moment. Summer is a broker, while Will is an entrepreneur.

However, things escalate quickly when Will finds Summer murdered in one of the houses. The police never got a call from Summer but the FBI did.

The cops start investigating. Tom Nichols (Benicia del Toro) is assigned to lead the case. He is assisted by Wally (Domenick Lombardozzi), Dan Cleary (Ato Essandoh), and his boss, Captain Robert Allen (Eric Bogosian).

From the beginning, it is hinted that Tom has a criminal past, but has now completely reformed and is fond of his job as a cop.

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As Tom starts to piece the evidence together, it becomes clear that nothing is as it truly seems, and that the culprit might be closer than he thought.


Benicia del Toro is scintillating as the Detective Tom Nichols. He brings out the character’s personality excellently and seems tailor-made for it. You wouldn’t mind seeing more films with Nichols in charge.

The whole film is littered with great performances. Timberlake impresses as Will, while Lombardozzi, Essandoh and Bogosian all play their part convincingly.


The screenplay works well. Reptile has been tightly constructed and drags at no point despite its slightly lengthier runtime.

Even though it’s a slow burn, it keeps you hooked. The investigation’s pace is perfectly timed, making it intriguing without feeling rushed.

The twists and turns are worth the build-up. It’s hard to predict what happens next, as well as the motives and culprits.

The theme of Nichols’ past is handled expertly and woven seamlessly into the storyline. It’s brought up and certain points but never forced.


Some points feel contradictory to the final reveal and need a better explanation. Will’s background could also have been revealed in a finer way.


Reptile is one of the better thrillers on Netflix, which is already saturated with the genre. It feels unique from most titles out there and is definitely worth your time.

Reptile (2023) review: Captivating slow-burn thriller 1

Director: Grant Singer

Date Created: 2023-09-29 17:06

Editor's Rating:

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