Keanu Reeves is a pop-cultural phenomenon. With his iconic beard and chin-length hair that adds to his aesthetic, Reeves is a highly accomplished actor whose superstardom has transcended any genre constriction. A thorough philanthropist and extremely humble, Reeves’ career underwent a resuscitation- also known as Kenessaince- following his performance as John Wick in the eponymous film.
Having initially started out in television, Reeves quickly ventured into the world of films before making a breakthrough alongside River Phoenix in Our Own Private Idaho. Reeves has appeared in countless films and has gained a cult-like fanbase who marvel at his personality and the ability to blend into any character he’s given.
The star will be next seen in the fourth sequel to the Matrix franchise, The Matrix Resurrections, besides also reprising the role of John Wick in two upcoming unannounced sequels.
Here are some of his best films that are now streaming on Netflix:
5 best Keanu Reeves films to watch on Netflix
5. Knock Knock (Eli Roth, 2015)
A doting father and husband, Evan, finds himself alone at home for a weekend when two allegedly stranded young women knock on his door unexpectedly for assistance. Unable to say no, he lets them in. What starts off as mere kindness soon turns into a deadly game of seduction, violence and bloodlust as the young temptresses wreak havoc, threatening to disrupt his perfect life. A quiet weekend becomes a nightmare for him.
A remake of the 1977 film Death Game, Roth’s modern twist on the thriller genre is scintillating and horrifying. Reeves’ character has issues with fidelity and it becomes too hard to root for him given the dark fantasies that send him down this rabbit hole. Although Roth’s writing is pretty terrible, the film is a flawed yet entertaining watch.
4. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)
Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a hypnotic film filled with erotic surrealism that is an extravagant yet faithful adaptation of the source material. Dracula is an undead hapless lover whose tryst with the aeons of time brings him to the present as he looks for his wife Mina who turns out to be his solicitor’s intended lover. Vowing to woo back his long-lost love, he does not shy away from indulging in frenzied bloodshed in the process.
Steeped in gothic horror, this operatic tale of love and loss is a testament to Dracula’s undying love. Also starring Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman’s performance as the claustrophobic Count is overwhelming. Keanu Reeves played Jonathan Harker, Mina’s betrothed who gets caught up in the Count’s erotic world of darkness and madness. Reeves was a questionable casting choice due to his garish accent; however, he managed to gain a massive cult-like following because of his performance.
Available: All regions
3. To the Bone (Marti Noxon, 2017)
Ellen, a 20-year-old girl suffering from anorexia, deals with various problems at home. Her absent father impacts her life deeply but her stepmother sends her to Dr William Beckham’s patient program for Ellen to deal with her eating disorder. Although she keeps spiralling while dealing with addiction and in the pursuit of loving oneself, the doctor’s unusual methods challenge her.
The film deals with heavyweight issues such as eating disorders, dysfunctional families with absent fathers, separation anxiety as well as miscarriages and depression. Based on Noxon’s personal experiences with eating disorders, the film is quite a cathartic escape for her. Lily Collins, who dealt with the same issue, found respite in her character. The other cast members including Keanu Reeves deliver heartfelt performances which gives an insightful and empathetic outlook towards such a critical issue within the scope of the film.
Available: All regions
2. The Matrix (Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, 1999)
Set in the dystopian future where humans are trapped inside a simulated reality called the Matrix. Thomas Anderson, stars under the alias of Neo, reaches out to Morpheus and his team to uncover the truth by partaking in a rebellion against the machines to show their human prisoners that almost everything is possible.
Starring Keanu Reeves, the film won four Academy Awards in addition to other accolades and is a part of the cyberpunk subgenre under sci-fi. With alternate realities and conspiracy theories running wild, the film has groundbreaking action and special effects. If you needed convincing, it was called the greatest sci-fi film by both James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino.
1. John Wick (Chad Stahelski, 2014)
The film revolves around the titular John Wick, who looks for the men who broke into his house, killed his puppy and stole his vintage car — the puppy being the last gift from his late wife — sending him into a spiral of rage and revenge. It was seen as one of the best action films of the year and recorded Reeves’ best performance of his career.
With well-stylised fight sequences that derived inspiration from Hong Kong action cinema, the director’s admiration for westerns, anime films and martial arts films, in general, was palpable. It stands out in an overdone genre due to the right balance of violence, revenge, humour and action.