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Netflix’s new mystery thriller movie is being slammed by critics – watch these 3 instead

Reptile, Netflix‘s latest mystery thriller movie, has arrived on the streaming giant – but it might not be worth your time if you pay attention to what critics think.

The detective noir film stars Benicio Del Toro as Tom Nichols, a hardened detective who’s sent to investigate the grisly murder of a young real estate agent. As Nichols attempts to solve a case where nothing is as it is seems, he’s forced to confront aspects of his own life, including events from his past he’d rather forget. Alicia Silverstone and Justin Timberland are among Reptile‘s starry supporting cast.

It initially seemed like it would be one of those new Netflix movies that would do well, too. Indeed, in our round-up of Netflix’s ‘Fall 2023’ movies lineup, we suggested Reptile would be one of four big movies you wouldn’t want to miss.

It seems, though, that Reptile isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Well, that’s if you take any notice of what most critics have to say about the crime thriller. Currently, Reptile holds a less-than-impressive 45% critical rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. That’s not a good start for a film that the world’s best streaming service probably had high hopes for.

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So, what’s so wrong with Reptile that means it’s left critics feeling a little *ahem* cold-blooded? For one, its story. According to The Gate’s Andrew Parker, Reptile is “easily the worst big-budget detective thriller since The Snowman“, adding it’ll make viewers question “how this could’ve gone so wrong given the talent involved”. Ouch.

Parker wasn’t the only one who had issues with Reptile‘s cumbersome plot. Little White Lies’ Charles Bramesco opined it would leave you with a feeling of “who cares?”, while The New York Times’ Natalia Winkelman wrote: “Once the film gets around to revealing the culprit, we have already lost interest”. What to Watch’s Michael Balderston agreed with those sentiments, adding Reptile was “all mood and little else.”

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There are journalists who liked what was on offer, though. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw suggested that the “bulky physical presence of Del Toro himself gives the film its momentum and force”, while Variety’s Owen Gleiberman semi-praised the film for how it “tugs you along with a competent and accessible intrigue”. Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson also had some kind words for Reptile, calling it a “good-looking, engaging B-movie made with uncommon intelligence.”

Ultimately, Reptile doesn’t sound like it’ll make its way onto our best Netflix movies list. As always, however, it’s up to you and other viewers to decide whether it’s as bad as critics are making it out to be. Indeed, Reptile’s Rotten Tomatoes audience score (at the time of writing) sits at a surprisingly high 90%, meaning it might have more bite to it than the reviews suggest.

Of course, given the harsh early critical reception for Netflix’s latest original film, many of its five-star audience reviews might be the general public’s way of rebelling against the views of critics who disliked it. In summary: you’ll need to decide for yourself if it’s worth streaming or not.

However, if you’d rather not potentially waste two hours and 14 minutes of your life sitting through Reptile, you might want to try one of these three great detective-based movies instead:

  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Rian Johnson’s cleverly written whodunit sees Daniel Craig’s bumbling detective Benoit Blanc attempt to get to the bottom of a murder mystery on an idyllic Greek island. Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, and Janelle Monae are among its starry cast.
  • Gone Girl – A David Fincher-directed psychological thriller that stars Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, a teacher who begins his own amateur investigation into his wife Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) sudden disappearance. The police believe Dunne is responsible for her going missing, meaning time is of the essence to find out what happened to her and clear his name in the process.
  • Prisoners – Denis Villeneuve’s gloomy and engrossing 2013 crime thriller starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhall, Viola Davis, and Paul Dano among others. In it, Jackman’s Keller Dover takes matters into his own hands when his six-year-old daughter suddenly goes missing, and Dover becomes frustrated with detective Loki’s (Gyllenhall) attempts to locate her.

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