Keanu Reeves, the Canadian actor, and musician is easily one of the most accomplished entertainers of recent generations. His works as an actor for the big screen are quite too many to be counted and more than a handful of them are blockbusters. Although he is also admired for a good number of his television roles, it is his efforts in movies that have made him the darling of innumerable moviegoers across the globe. If you haven’t seen any of the films below, you shouldn’t regard yourself as one of his fans; they are the finest Keanu Reeves movies everyone needs to see.
Must-Watch Keanu Reeves Movies
15. River’s Edge (1986)
If you really want to get to know a performer, you should definitely look at their earlier work. River’s Edge was one of Keanu Reeve’s foremost movies and his performance received critical acclaim from the media and audiences alike. He played a stoner kid who gets thrown into a moral dilemma after he finds himself entangled in a murder. You can almost sense the agitation rising off his body as he struggles to come to terms with what happened while also coming of age.
14. Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
It’s not very often that we get to see Keanu in play a role that does not involve him being a calculative hero that somehow saves the day, but like the title, this movie gives us just that. His character is Julian Mercer, a charming doctor who is vying for the love and attention of Diane Keaton’s character with a master playboy portrayed by Jack Nicholson. Whether you are a fan of romantic comedies or not, you are certainly going to enjoy watching Keanu unleash his adorable, lovable side while vying for the love of a woman. Love sucks.
13. Man of Tai Chi (2013)
Aside from acting, the versatile performer has also tried his hand at directing, and Man of Tai Chi is the result of that experiment. It’s one of the finest Keanu Reeves movies out there because it’s him doing what he knows how to do best. The storyline draws heavily from kung fu style action movies, which when combined with Keanu’s attention-stealing acting and wonderfully shot sequences makes it a movie that’s worth watching over and over.
12. The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
This is one movie that has gotten a lot of mixed reviews, but most people agree that Keanu Reeves was superb in it. It also stars the legendary Al Pacino, so you know you are in for a jolly ride. The film is imbued with fantastical elements as well as a healthy serving of the supernatural. Keanu is a young and successful lawyer who is making waves in his profession but soon has to contend with moral quandaries when he realizes his new boss is a man with a lot of dark and grisly secrets.
11. My Own Private Idaho (1981)
We believe the movie star when he says that this was a really difficult film to make, which might explain why it belongs to the canon of the finest Keanu Reeves movies. It stars him and River Phoenix as two young men with complicated relationships with themselves and each other, trying to make a living by engaging in sex work. The story is poignant, heavy with pain and promise as the characters make their way through the narrative.
10. Parenthood (1989)
It’s easy to fall in love with Keanu’s persona in Parenthood. He plays Tod, a screwup low-lifer that is every parent’s nightmare, the kind of kid they warned their kids not to hang around. However, it turns out that Tod has a kind and mature side that is not easily seen by everyone. Keanu’s charm and appeal are on wide display in this daring comedy. He is not the controlled and clinical superstar that we know him as today. In this movie, he is just a young man stumbling blindly through life and trying to do some good along the way.
9. Speed (1994)
Keanu Reeves saves the day in this action-packed thriller in which he teams up with Sandra Bullock to keep a bus that has been rigged with a bomb by hijackers from exploding and killing everyone on board. There’s a lot of tension and anxiety flowing from scene to scene, and his character struggles to figure out ways to outsmart the bad guys and keep people from dying. He also makes time to flirt unabashedly with Sandra Bullock’s despite the danger they are literally sitting on top of, so there’s plenty to love about the movie.
8. Permanent Record (1988)
Permanent Record is a deeply emotional movie about a teenager played by Keanu who is trying to come to terms with the death of his best friend who committed suicide. There are no attempts at manliness or being strong here, there is no pretending that everything will be alright. Keanu is devastated and grief-stricken by the loss and his performance is so convincing that it makes the viewer shake in their seat. Watching this movie, it is easy to see that the actor was always destined for greatness.
7. The Gift (2000)
If you are searching for an outstanding Keanu Reeves movie to make movie night worth it, look no further than The Gift. The actor plays a violent asshole and abusive husband who is accused of murder which he didn’t commit even though the evidence points alarmingly in his direction. His character is truly despicable but Keanu manages to pull it off perfectly. He has to save himself somehow, and the only person that might be able to help him is a psychic played by Cate Blanchett.
6. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
This film is one of Keanu’s earliest and it shows off his sunny and humorous side. The story centers around his character, Ted, and his best friend who travel through time just so they can gather historical artifacts for their history project. They are not very smart, so their only hope of passing the course is a miracle which presents itself in the form of a magical telephone booth that lets them travel back in time to when history was actually taking place. The premise of the movie is ridiculous, but Keanu’s performance makes it a delightful watch.
5. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Without contest, the action hero makes his most badass entrance ever in this movie. For that alone, it is one of the finest Keanu Reeves movies you can have the pleasure of watching. He plays himself in this adorable romantic comedy, where he is one of the love interests trying to win the affection of Ali Wong’s character. It’s always refreshing to see the superstar let loose and be silly on film, so Always Be My Maybe is an absolute treasure.
4. Point Break (1991)
This is definitely one of the finest movies Keanu Reeves has appeared in. It has gone on to achieve cult status and his performance takes up a special place in the hearts of film lovers everywhere. His character is an undercover cop who takes on the identity of a surfer so as to inveigle his way into a gang of robbers and bust them for their crimes. However, things turn out to be not so black and white and Keanu has to reconsider a lot of things. His onscreen chemistry with Patrick Swayze is the icing on what is already a delicious cake.
3. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
We all know Keanu loves taking on dark, twisted, mind-boggling roles. A Scanner Darkly is one movie where he gets to really explore all these and more. The film promises to take you on a mentally tasking journey that will leave you better or worse off than when you began watching. It’s a cinematic masterpiece that bends genres and mediums in a powerful narrative about a drug police officer who is battling with addiction and trying to conceal it from everyone. Prepare to have your mind blown.
2. John Wick (2014, 2017, 2019)
Many of us would do a lot of unthinkable things to avenge the people we love, but Keanu would do even worse to avenge his dog. The John Wick franchise reinstalled him as the ultimate action hero and there are honestly very few things quite as satisfying as watching him kill dozens and dozens of bad guys with near-perfect shots and fighting abilities. Sure, the violence is a little disturbing, but Keanu’s charisma and competence at being an assassin overshadow it all.
1. The Matrix (1999, 2003, 2003)
When The Matrix was released, it was like nothing anyone had ever seen before. It was new, urgent, and breathtaking to behold, and even after two decades, it still is. It is impossible to forget Neo as he renders one electrifying performance after another in the sci-fi trilogy that has become his most iconic movie role to date. The film is thought-provoking and crucial even in today’s climate. If there’s any Keanu Reeves movie you need to see in your lifetime, it definitely has to be The Matrix, especially the first installment.