Reptile (2023)

by | Oct 6, 2023 | Crime, 2020s, Drama, Featured Films, Film Reviews | 0 comments

Strong Performances but Narrative Hiccups


Release date: 22 September 2023 (USA)
Genre: Crime/Drama
Director: Grant Singer
Cinematographer: Mike Gioulakis
Budget: $10 million USD
Box office: TBA



Reptile” (2023), under the direction of Grant Singer, is a cinematic experience that leaves viewers with a variety of opinions. The film’s standout aspect is the compelling performance by Benicio Del Toro, who breathes life into the character of Detective Tom Nichols. His portrayal is captivating and serves as one of the film’s major strengths. Alicia Silverstone also shines in her role, adding a layer of complexity to the plot. However, the film grapples with its narrative coherence and pacing issues, which will be explored in this comprehensive review. While “Reptile” boasts style and strong acting, it lacks a clear direction.


Reptile (2023)


Benicio Del Toro’s Captivating Performance

One of the most remarkable elements of “Reptile” is Benicio Del Toro’s portrayal of Detective Tom Nichols. Del Toro’s performance is nothing short of captivating, as he fully embodies the character with a nuanced and convincing portrayal. His ability to convey the complexity of Nichols’ emotions and inner turmoil adds depth to the film. Del Toro’s commitment to the role is evident in every scene, making him the anchor that keeps the audience engaged.


Alicia Silverstone’s Impactful Contribution

Alicia Silverstone’s role in “Reptile” should not be overlooked. While Del Toro’s performance steals the spotlight, Silverstone brings her own layer of complexity to the plot. Her character interacts with Nichols in a way that adds depth to both of their roles. Silverstone’s acting prowess shines through in her ability to convey a range of emotions, making her a valuable asset to the film’s cast.


Reptile (2023)


Narrative Coherence and Character Development

Unfortunately, “Reptile” falters when it comes to narrative coherence and character development. Despite its attention to detail and stylistic flair, the film struggles to fully flesh out Detective Tom Nichols’ character. While Del Toro’s performance is stellar, the screenplay fails to provide sufficient backstory and depth to his role. As a result, viewers may find themselves wanting more insight into Nichols’ motivations and history.


Complexity vs. Focus in the Plot

One of the central issues of “Reptile” lies in its approach to storytelling. The film tends to become more complex rather than more focused as it unfolds. Detective stories often benefit from becoming increasingly focused, unraveling the mystery layer by layer while maintaining a strong narrative thread. In contrast, “Reptile” seems to pile on complexities without a clear sense of direction, which can lead to confusion and frustration for the audience.


Reptile (2023)


Pacing and Underwhelming Plot Twists

The film’s rhythm is described as leisurely and, at times, monotonous. The pacing can be slow, and the plot twists fail to deliver the expected excitement and intrigue. While a deliberate pace can work well in some films, in the case of a detective thriller like “Reptile,” it may result in viewer disengagement. Additionally, the underwhelming nature of the plot twists is a letdown, as detective thrillers typically rely on suspenseful and unexpected turns to maintain audience interest.


Borrowing and Lack of Suspense

Critics have observed that “Reptile” borrows heavily from other works, which can detract from its originality. While inspiration from other sources is common in the film industry, it should ideally be woven into a unique narrative. In this case, the film’s heavy reliance on familiar tropes and elements from other detective stories may leave some viewers wanting more creativity. Moreover, the film lacks the suspense that is typically associated with a detective thriller, failing to deliver the tension and excitement that the genre demands.


Reptile (2023)



“Reptile” (2023) is a film that boasts strong performances by Benicio Del Toro and Alicia Silverstone but is let down by its narrative structure and pacing. Del Toro’s captivating portrayal of Detective Tom Nichols is a highlight of the film, and Silverstone’s contribution adds depth to the plot. However, the film’s struggle with narrative coherence and character development hinders its ability to fully engage the audience.

“Reptile” falls into the trap of complexity over focus, with the plot becoming increasingly convoluted without a clear direction. This approach may leave viewers feeling bewildered rather than intrigued. The film’s leisurely pacing and underwhelming plot twists further contribute to its shortcomings.

Additionally, the heavy borrowing from other works and the lack of suspense typical of detective thrillers diminish the film’s impact. While “Reptile” exhibits style and strong acting, it ultimately lacks a clear sense of direction and fails to deliver the expected thrills of the genre. Viewer opinions on the film are likely to vary, with some appreciating its strengths and others being disappointed by its weaknesses.


My Rating: 6/10


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