Reptile parents guide

Reptile Parent Guide

Slow reveals and a capable cast keep the tension tight throughout the movie's runtime.

Overall C

Netflix: While investigating a woman's murder, Detective Tom Nichols discovers a potential conspiracy with broad implications.

Release date September 29, 2023

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is Reptile rated R? The MPAA rated Reptile R R for language, violence and some nude images

Run Time: 134 minutes

Parent Movie Review

The murder of a real estate agent in his town sends Detective Tom Nichols (Benicio del Toro) on a careful hunt for a dangerous killer. Suspects abound, from the victim’s separated husband (Sam Gifford), to her boyfriend Will (Justin Timberlake), to Eli, the local neighborhood oddball with an axe to grind against Will and his family. As evidence emerges and information seeps into his office, Tom discovers a much larger pattern unfolding, one with serious implications beyond the case. The beginnings of a serious conspiracy in town are shaping up around him, and Tom must think fast to avoid being caught in the web of deception and violence closing around him.

Given that this is a murder mystery, the movie can be expected to feature discussions about death and some onscreen violence. Most depictions are relatively restrained, with the notable exception of a scene in which the camera lens ends up wearing most of a character’s brains, which is admittedly grisly. Cops being cops, there’s also a good deal of profanity and a few scenes of social drinking. Parents will be similarly unenthused about the sexual content which, while eschewing full-on sex scenes, includes a few off-color jokes and some nude art.

Reptile is a capable take on the crime thriller, with a sinuous plot and unsettling characters to raise your hackles and spark your suspicions until you start piecing things together. Director Grant Singer is patient with the subject matter and is willing to make you wait for the reveals, both of which help to ratchet up the tension. The movie colors inside the lines of the genre but handles its subjects capably enough that it easily engages its audience. The story may feel a little familiar, but at least I couldn’t solve the mystery in the first twenty minutes. Too many crime thrillers succumb to the urge to over-inform their audience, sucking the excitement out of the investigative process which forms the core of the film. Not so with Reptile.

It’s unlikely to become a cinematic classic, but this film is definitely on the higher end of Netflix’s output lately, and I’m happy to see some entertainment that manages to be entertaining. Whether you’re here for the cast, or enjoy winding your way to the bottom of a very messy crime, there’s a lot to sink your teeth into with the film. Just don’t expect any big surprises: Reptile knows what it wants to be, and what it wants to be isn’t particularly flashy.

Directed by Grant Singer. Starring Benicio del Toro, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Silverstone. Running time: 134 minutes. Theatrical release September 29, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for Reptile

Rating & Content Info

Why is Reptile rated R? Reptile is rated R by the MPAA R for language, violence and some nude images

Violence: Several characters are shot and killed. A woman’s body is seen with numerous stab wounds and the knife still stuck in her hip.
Sexual Content: There are a few crude jokes. An adult novelty toy is seen. There are references to prostitution. A piece of art featuring female nudity is visible. A woman is briefly seen undressing to her underwear in a non-sexual context.
Profanity: There are 38 sexual expletives, 12 scatological terms, and frequent use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are seen drinking socially. Packages containing heroin are seen and confiscated but not used.

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Other capable crime thrillers include Wind River, A Simple Favor, Zodiac, Prisoners, Insomnia, Shutter Island, and The Silence of the Lambs. Another Netflix option is Infiesto. Benicio del Toro also shines in Sicario.