Few actors have had the staying power of Keanu Reeves. After emerging as a fledgling star in the late 1980s, Reeves had a run of almost unparalleled success throughout the 90s and into the 2000s, starring in everything from dramas to action movies. Although it seemed for a time like his career was petering out, he’s since proven that he is one of our most enduring leading men, in part because of his even-keeled, zen approach to both his work and his life.
As a famous meme often reminds us, Keanu loves movies, and we love him. Below, we’ve ranked the 13 best Keanu Reeves movies over the course of his career.
An animated thriller that feels like a depressed cartoon, A Scanner Darkly finds Keanu Reeves playing an addicted narcotics cop in the OC. Sorta funny, sorta morose, the film is exactly that — sorta good. Adapted from Philip K. Dick’s 1977 novel, there’s plenty of intelligent depth to excavate but the pace and aesthetic can make the whole thing feel cumbersome. Of course, Reeves acts the shit out of the role and makes us sympathetic to this poor schlub. Even so, this is far from his best film.
Keanu is a demon-hunter in this 2005 horror-fantasy Constantine. He wears a suit. Let’s just say it’s no John Wick, but it’s thrilling in its own right. The movie received mixed reviews from critics but has become an object of cult fascination more recently.
A big part of me wanted to put John Wick at the No. 1 spot, but it wound up here instead. But let me say this, John Wick is the best action movie franchise of the 2010s, and arguably the entire century thus far. How in the world does an actor so deeply connected to other iconic action movies like The Matrix and Speed create an entirely new and distinct character that makes us forget about the rest? That’s the magic of Keanu, baby, and it’s especially potent in this neo-noir thriller about the hitman underworld and one retired gun who is back for vengeance. (Don’t even say the word dog around me after watching this). Reeves plays the grizzled yet precise John Wick, an assassin known by other assassins as “the boogeyman.” He’s unbeatable, but not invincible. Reeves flexes his physical prowess in über-creative fight scenes and wears that black-on-black suit better than any other man could.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Keanu is a baby in this film. It’s not a leading role, but it’s fun to see him get comfortable on-screen in this classic horror movie.
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Even less of a main character, but a fun movie starring Uma Thurman that most people don’t realize features Keanu.
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