Reptile (2023) Ending Explained – Who is the killer?

Reptile Plot Summary

In Reptile, Detective Tom Nichols (Benicio Del Toro) is assigned to investigate the murder of a real estate agent, and soon becomes embroiled in a complicated quest for justice. He finds himself unearthing a vast conspiracy that threatens to ruin everything he’s worked hard for. 

Will Grady (Justin Timberlake) and his girlfriend, Summer Elswick (Matilda Lutz), are a real estate couple, seemingly happy, until the discovery that she is cheating on Will. He becomes the prime suspect when she turns up murdered. 

Who was the killer and why?

Summer Elswick was murdered in the first act of the movie, and in the third act, it is revealed that she was killed to stop her from speaking out to the FBI about a scam that implicates the police department.

Nichols’ first suspect, Will Grady, is revealed to play a big role in the conspiracy that ended in his girlfriend being murdered, as he and his mother were colluding with corrupt cops. Nichols realises what’s been  going on when he spots a brick of heroin seized on Summer’s ex husband’s property, and matches it to one on a separate drug bust. 

How does Reptile end? 

Tom discovers that the chief, along with the rest of the police force, were in on the scam, and a bloody gunfight ensues. Police chief Allen gets shot and killed along with Wally. Tom survives with a bullet wound to his hand, and he dials 911, but doesn’t say anything over the line. 

In the final moments of the movie, Grady is playing golf after seemingly getting away with murder, but the FBI turn up and arrest him. 

Read More: Reptile Movie Review


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