With a career that spans four decades, it’s pretty hard to pick our favorite Keanu Reeves movies. After all, he’s appeared in more than 100 films.
He’s played a vengeance-seeking hitman in the John Wick franchise. The chosen one in the Matrix series. And saved the universe in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. But let’s be real, not every movie has been a masterpiece. We’re looking at you, Knock Knock.
Despite some critics labeling him as wooden or emotionless, while others have praised him for his soulful acting,. We think Keanu’s unique style is what sets him apart. He’s cool, calm, and collected.
It’s a balancing act that Reeves manages to pull off, much like walking on a tightrope. At least, that’s what we think we read on his Wikipedia page.
And as much as he’s lovable on screen, he’s one of the few unproblematic celebrities left. While he stays out of the limelight when it comes to things like social media, he is often seen just being an average guy in real life, riding the subway, being incredibly kind to fans, and performing random acts of kindness.
With the upcoming John Wick 4 hitting theaters, here’s a look at some of the most popular Keanu Reeves movies.
13 Keanu Reeves Movies Ranked Worst to Best
13. SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020)
Is this really one of the best Keanu Reeves films? No. But could we skip putting it on a list of memorable performances? Also no.
Let’s be real, Keanu Reeves has done some pretty epic movies in his career. But have you heard about the time he voiced a tumbleweed in Bikini Bottom? Yep, you read that right. More specifically, a tumbleweed that sports his face. Even more specifically, a tumbleweed that is SpongeBob’s spirit guide.
We’d light a candle for this Keanu tumbleweed deity any day. Just…not too close.
12. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Keanu doesn’t have to have the leading role to be a favorite character. In this Netflix rom-com, in the double date scene, he makes a cameo appearance as the ultimate parody of himself — an over-the-top, self-absorbed actor with a pretentiousness level that could rival Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.
As Sasha’s (Ali Wong) ex-boyfriend, he manages to steal the scene with his hipster frames with no lenses, his constant need to talk about his own acting career, and his over-the-top dramatic exit. We’re pretty sure the Academy Awards missed a category for “Best Dramatic Exit in a Rom-Com” that year.
And let’s not forget the highlight of the scene: Keanu getting punched by Marcus (Randall Park), which spawned the end credits song “I Punched Keanu Reeves” by Marcus’s band Hello Peril.
It’s almost like Keanu knew how ridiculous the character was, because he helped write the jokes and orchestrate the scene himself. We can only hope that his next role is a self-aware action hero who constantly makes fun of his own stunts.
11. Toy Story 4 (2019)
Surely we weren’t the only ones who let out a little scream of delight when we heard Keanu Reeves’ voice coming from a toy motorcycle. In Toy Story 4, Keanu plays Duke Caboom, a Canadian daredevil sporting a white outfit that would make Elvis jealous.
But don’t let his tough exterior fool you. Duke Caboom is a complex toy with some serious emotional baggage. He may be a daredevil on the outside, but on the inside, he’s just a toy struggling with performance anxiety and low self-esteem. One thing that director Josh Cooley credits to Keanu is asking deep character questions regarding Duke Caboom.
With a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, we can only assume it has to do with the addition of our Canadian heartthrob. The only downside is that now we can’t rest until we see Keanu with a similar handlebar mustache. Think he takes styling requests?
10. The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
Sure, it’s a bit over-the-top. But every devil we’ve ever met is a little extra. Especially that one who lives on our shoulder.
In The Devil’s Advocate, Keanu plays Kevin Lomax, a lawyer who unwittingly finds himself working for Lucifer himself (Al Pacino). Despite Keanu’s questionable southern accent, his performance is definitely underrated.
And even though Pacino is often seen as the “real star” of the movie, we wouldn’t have him without Keanu. Reportedly, Keanu took a significant pay cut so they could afford Pacino.
It’s excessive, strange, and shocking, and if you’re a fan of supernatural legal dramas, then this late-90s film is worth watching. What do you mean that’s not a category on Netflix?
9. Constantine (2005)
Lucifer must have done a real number on Keanu, because just a few years later, he plays a demon hunter in Constantine. And not just any demnon hunter. A hard-drinking, chain-smoking exorcist who’s been to hell and back. Literally.
And while the film may not have been a critical darling, the comic book adaptation has a dedicated cult following. Stop acting like it’s Green Lantern.
Keanu’s portrayal of the anti-hero is spot on, and his chemistry with co-star Rachel Weisz is electric. Plus, any movie that features Tilda Swinton as an androgynous angel is automatically worth watching.
And according to Keanu himself, he also had a soft spot for this character and world. And if he loves it, we love it. Unless he loves sauerkraut. Then we do not love it.
8. The Matrix (1999)
In The Matrix, Keanu plays Neo, the OG Chosen One. This is pre-Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, Kung Fu Panda, you name it.
If Y2K wasn’t enough of a WTF moment in 1999, The Matrix barged in with a “what is reality” mentality that we’re still having an existential crisis about. Despite that, Reeves kept everything grounded with his portaryal of the solemn, likable Neo who seamlessly transitioned from a nobody hacker to the hero who can win the deadliest game of limbo we’ve ever seen.
With its leather-clad aesthetic and an endless supply of slow-motion fight scenes, The Matrix was the perfect movie to kick off the new millennium. You may have hated the sequels, we’ll always be Team Neo. Take that Peeta. Now tell us where Trinity got those sunglasses.
7. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Did it take years for Keanu to make us realize he’s more than a fun-loving airhead after this cult movie? Possibly. Did he also continue to do two sequels that were just as fun? Yes.
Teaming up with Alex Winter, Keanu played one half of the seemingly dim-witted high school duo who turned out to be much more than meets the eye. As Bill and Ted, the pair travel through time in a phone booth and meet historical figures like Socrates and Napoleon in their epic quest to ace their history final.
Not to mention this movie has provided some of the most quotable lines, including “Party on, dudes!” and “Be excellent to each other.” Who ever said stoners and metal heads wouldn’t get anywhere? Oh right, that was our mother.
6. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Keanu Reeves’ performance as Jonathan Harker in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula may have been criticized by some as flat, while others defend Keanut, saying he’s trying his darnedest to hold his own against the over-the-top madness of Gary Oldman (Dracula) and determination of Anthony Hopkins (Van Helsing).
It’s like he’s in a different movie altogether. Maybe a romantic comedy, where he’s the dashing hero trying to woo Winona Ryder away from her creepy vampire boyfriend? Either way, we’re here for it.
5. Point Break (1991)
Keanu plays undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah in this action-packed heist film. Alongside him is the late Patrick Swayze playing Bodhi, a surfer bro and leader of a group of beach bum adrenaline junkies.
There’s thrill, drama, some cringy dialog that is only excusable because this is now a cult classic. And if you swap out a few leading men and drag racing for surfing, and you’ve essentially got the first Fast and the Furious film.
If nothing else, it’s worth watching for the chase scene alone where Reeves can be seen chasing a Reagan mask-wearing Swayze. A scene that inspired a parody version in Hot Fuzz. Just watching it counts as our cardio for the week.
4. My Own Private Idaho (1991)
Based very loosely on Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” this Keanu Reeves movie is about street kid hustlers just trying to get by. It’s mainly worth it just to see the chemistry between Keanu and the late River Phoenix (Joaquin Phoenix’s brother and Keanu’s best friend).
The two struggle with day-to-day conflicts, accepting their homosexuality, and Mikey’s (Phoenix) quest to reconnect with his mother. To this day, the tender and emotional campfire scene almost makes us want to go camping with a loved one. Or a beloved pet rock.
This mashup of Shakespeare meets The Outsiders shows us what could have been a long list of movies featuring these two. If only Keanu had taken on the role of Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” instead of DiCaprio, maybe we could have avoided that whole “Leonardo DiCaprio’s face on a 90s Trapper Keeper” phase.
3. John Wick (2014)
The John Wick franchise is set to release its fourth film in Spring 2023, with the fifth film already in development. So we think it’s safe to say most people love dogs. Er…Keanu Reeves. Dogs and Keanu? Whatever it is, it works.
Keanu plays John Wick, a recently retired assassin, who goes on a rampage after some not-so-nice guys killed his dog. We’re not victim shamers, but they did ask for it.
We can only imagine what kind of havoc Keanu would wreak if someone messed with his cat. Oh wait, we don’t have to imagine. Check out the upcoming film John Wick: Chapter 6, The Feline Frenzy. Just kidding, we made that up. But we’d watch it.
2. Speed (1994)
You’d be given the easiest task ever if you only had to name one ’90s movie with an absolutely over-the-top premise, an unhinged antagonist, a relentless hero with a military haircut, and enough anxiety to last well into the 21st century.
If Speed starring Keanu and Sandra Bullock was your initial reaction to that prompt, then ding ding ding!
While it may not be the most life-changing movie out there, it definitely is thrilling and gave us at least one major reason to never ride a bus again. Mysterious gum chunks are always the first reason.
1. Rivers Edge (1986)
Just a few years before taking an excellent adventure, Keanu would star in this indie coming-of-age drama before indie films were cool. We didn’t have A24 back then.
Inspired by a real California murder case, a group of friends (including Reeves) struggle with the desire to protect their friend committed heinous crimes, and the need to do the right thing. The movie is bleak and cold, but Keanu expertly portrays the layers of his character Matt.
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