From its snakeskin scene to its slithery characters, “Reptile” is fun police thriller.
Benicio Del Toro stars as Detective Tom Nichols, a veteran police officer who’s in the middle of something … twisted.
He’s just one of an ensemble of solid performers. Justin Timberlake is Will Grady, a real-estate agent who is going out with a woman named Summer (Matilda Lutz.) They make their millions on the foreclosures of high-class residences, with Will’s mother Camille (Frances Fisher) supervising.
Will has arranged to meet Summer at a house she has on the market, and he arrives to discover she has been killed.
Tom and his partner Dan (Ato Essandoh) have a long list of suspects. It doesn’t take Will long to be out and about with a new girlfriend. Summer’s ex-husband Sam (Karl Glusman) is a creepy guy, and so is Eli (Michael Pitt,) a weird-acting fellow who has a grudge against the Grady family.
I like the way the movie shows us Tom as a well-rounded person with a full life in addition to a career. He and his wife Judy (a nice role for Alicia Silverstone) have a solid group of friends. Judy is smart and enjoys helping Tom figure out what’s going on.
Tom’s boss (Eric Bogosian) is Judy’s uncle, who is dealing with some health problems.
In the center of it all, Del Toro is the star. This is one of his greatest performances. He says a lot without a word, using his posture and glances. I love the world-weary way he wants his home kitchen remodel to go right, and that he never forgets about it.
I also like the realistic way the characters talk to each other, especially the everyday small talk that’s exchanged between colleagues who know each other well.
It’s no wonder the movie, as of this writing, is in the global Top 10 on Netflix’s list. It’s a good one for grownups to curl up by the fire and enjoy.
Running time: Two hours and 14 minutes.
Rated: R for violence and foul language.
Streaming on Netflix.
Watch the trailer here.