Keanu Reeves wearing a suit.

Best Keanu Reeves Movies of All Time

Keanu Reeves is considered one of the finest actors in Hollywood. He has given some brilliant performances in the many movies he has starred in over the years, and they just keep coming, with John Wick: Chapter 4 as his latest hit. If you want to watch his best works, below are what I’d argue are the top 10 Keanu Reeves movies of all time.

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Man of Tai Chi (2013)

Keanu Reeves in Man of Tai Chi.
(Universal Pictures)

The martial arts epic Man of Tai Chi follows a young man named Tiger Chen Linhu (Tiger Chen), who is recruited by a powerful underground fight club owner, Donaka Mark (Reeves), to compete in illegal fight tournaments. As Tiger’s skills increase, he begins to question the morality of what he’s doing and whether or not it’s worth sacrificing his own humanity for success.

The action in Man of Tai Chi is some of the best that Reeves has ever been a part of, and he also gives a surprisingly nuanced performance as the film’s villain. It’s one of his most underrated films and well worth seeking out for fans of martial arts movies or Reeves’ work in general.

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Keanu Reeves fights Agent Smith in The Matrix Reloaded.
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Reeves returns as Neo in The Matrix Reloaded, the stunning followup to the first film in franchise. Picking up where The Matrix left off, Reloaded finds our hero coming to terms with his newfound abilities while also having to save Zion from certain destruction. With mind-blowing action sequences and a complex plot, this is one of the best sci-fi films ever made.

The Matrix Reloaded displays Reeves’ exceptional acting skills. He portrays Neo both powerfully and vulnerably, demonstrating a range few actors could match. In a particularly moving moment, he conveys all the emotion behind his character’s words in a conversation with Oracle (Gloria Foster). Without becoming overly dramatic or corny, he conveys the weight of responsibility that comes with this role.

Dracula (1992)

Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman in Dracula.
(Columbia Pictures)

Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula is one of the most visually stunning films ever made, and Reeves gives a great performance as Jonathan Harker, the lawyer who travels to Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase an estate in England. Reeves is excellent as the fish out of water who slowly realizes that he’s in over his head, and he has great chemistry with Gary Oldman, who plays the titular character.

Throughout the film, he displays his versatility as an actor, acting as both heroic and scared characters at the same time. Especially interesting are the scenes in which he confronts Oldman’s monster, which he is sent to help return. Through his performance, he conveys terror without becoming over-the-top, which allows for a more nuanced rendering.

John Wick (2014)

Keanu Reeves aiming a gun in John Wick.
(Summit Entertainment)

Keanu Reeves stars as the titular character in the action-packed thriller John Wick. When a criminal organization kills the dog he got as a gift from his late wife, Wick, a retired assassin, sets out on a mission of revenge. The movie features some of the best fight scenes ever put to film, and Reeves absolutely nails the role of a grieving husband seeking vengeance.

In addition to the intensity and exhilaration of the action scenes, Reeves gives Wick a depth you don’t see in many action films. There’s more to him than an unstoppable killing machine; he has a deeply emotional story at his heart. As the film progresses, he is driven by the love he has for his deceased wife, which drives him to succeed no matter what challenges he faces.

The chemistry between Reeves and the other actors in the movie is also excellent. All of the characters bounce off each other in a seamless way, from Ian McShane and Lance Reddick to Willem Dafoe and Michael Nyqvist. The dialogue flows naturally, and Reeves never seems out of place. In his portrayal of John Wick, he is equally badass and sympathetic; his vengeance mission makes us feel for him.

The Matrix (1999)

Keanu Reeves and Carrie Fisher get guns, lots of guns, in The Matrix.
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Wachowski siblings’ debut feature, The Matrix, is a tour de force of philosophy, action, and mind-bending visuals that dazzled audiences upon its release and has only grown in stature in the years since. Reeves stars as Neo, a man who discovers that the world he knows is actually a simulated reality created by sentient machines to keep humans docile while they are used as an energy source. Once he learns the truth, Neo joins forces with a rebel group, led by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), to overthrow the machines and free humanity.

Keanu Reeves displays an incredible range of emotion as he delivers an intense and sympathetic performance. He elevates the movie by portraying Neo as a common man thrust into extraordinary circumstances, making it one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. It would have been easy to dismiss this as just another action flick without Reeves’ deft portrayal of his character’s journey from confusion to enlightenment during fight scenes.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Keanu Reeves in a fight scene on a street in the rain in John Wick Chapter 2.
(Summit Entertainment)

Keanu Reeves is back as the dog-loving, revenge-seeking John Wick in this amazing sequel. The movie picks up right where the first one left off, with John Wick coming out of retirement to take on a new contract. This time around, the contract is even more dangerous, and John Wick has to face some truly deadly opponents. Reeves once again proves that he is one of the best action stars of all time in this movie.

His deadpan seriousness combined with impeccable physicality make John Wick an extremely believable action hero. From the fight scenes to the emotional moments, Reeves’ performance is intense and powerful enough to make us feel every moment of his struggle. He also pulls out subtle nuances in Wick’s character without ever overplaying it, which adds depth to his performance. In addition to portraying John Wick’s inner turmoil in a powerful and heartbreaking way, Reeves also captures the sense of loss and despair he feels.

He plays the character with such honesty and rawness that we begin to feel the weight of his struggles, making us sympathize with him even more.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

John Wick walking in a desert in John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum.
(Lionsgate)

The third installment of the John Wick franchise sees Keanu Reeves return as the titular character. The movie picks up immediately after the events of the second movie, with John on the run from assassins. Basically, you should watch all three John Wick movies to appreciate Reeves’ performance.

The performance he gives as John Wick is nothing short of astounding. It is difficult to find another actor who can match the level of realism in his portrayal. As the legendary assassin, he is winning over both the public and the critics. Acting chops are on full display in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, in which Reeves effortlessly navigates a series of action sequences. It is a movie where Reeves delivers some of his most powerful performances to date. From rage to sadness to guilt and despair, he manages to convey multiple emotions in one scene. It is truly remarkable how well he communicates these complex emotions.

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Keanu Reeves duels John Malkovich with swords in Dangerous Liaisons.
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 historical drama film based on Christopher Hampton’s play Les Liaisons Dangereuses. This is one of the films that catapulted Keanu Reeves into superstardom. He played the role of Chevalier Raphael Danceny, music teacher and love interest for Uma Thurman’s Cécile de Volanges. Although this is one of Reeves’ older movies, his performance still stands out among the veteran cast, which also includes John Malkovich, Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Peter Capaldi.

Speed (1994)

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in Speed.
(20th Century Studios)

Reeves stars as Jack Traven, an LAPD cop who is tasked with defusing a bomb that has been planted on a city bus, which will go off if the bus drops below 50 mph. The movie is full of high-octane action and suspense, and Reeves is excellent in the lead role. He is believable as an action hero, and he has great chemistry with costar Sandra Bullock.

In Speed, Reeves displays his talent as an action star, and it is one of his most iconic roles. A naturally charismatic actor, he makes it easy for you to think that he will succeed in his role, and he has a strong sense of conviction.

Toy Story 4 (2019)

Duke Kaboom, Keanu Reeves' character, looking triumphant in Toy Story 4.
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Surprisingly, one of the best Keanu Reeves movies of all time is Toy Story 4. While many people may not have expected much from the fourth movie in the franchise, it turns out that it’s a heartwarming and hilarious addition to the series that perfectly caps off the story of Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

Reeves voices Duke Caboom, a Canadian stuntman toy who comes into Bonnie’s possession in the film. And while he doesn’t have as large a role as some of the other toys, he steals every scene he’s in. From his hilarious catchphrases to his over-the-top stunts, Duke is an instant fan favorite.

His unique ability to bring a depth of emotion and authenticity to the character accounts for Reeves’ success in the role. Aside from delivering some of the funniest moments in the movie, he gives Duke a vulnerability and naïveté that makes him endearing. Duke’s nuances are brought out in his strong acting, creating a memorable character that audiences can’t look away from.

(featured image: Summit Entertainment)


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Author
Marijim Dy Timkang
Marijim Dy Timkang enjoys catching up on the latest in pop culture and entertainment. She has extensive content writing experience, which she has used to explore topics like film, television, music, and fashion. As an avid reader, she spends her free time perusing books and articles on the latest news. Although she prefers reading books to watching movies or TV shows, she enjoys beautifully shot films and series just like anyone else.