What are the best and worst Keanu Reeves movies? Since breaking out in the mid 1980s, the Canadian star has done everything from dark teen drama to broad comedy to adult-targeted romance. But it's action cinema that's benefited most from his presence, effortless charisma and ability to calmly hold down the center of a film while chaos goes on around him. And critics have mostly praised his comedic skills, work ethic and ability to turn offbeat projects into winners.
Reeves has become something of a cultural institution. (He might also be immortal, and star in a secret Keanu Cinematic Universe where all of his films are on the same timeline.) Still, not every Keanu film is a winner with critics. For all his success in the Matrix and John Wick franchises, Reeves has made plenty of bombs that stiffed at the box office and fell flat with critics.
In honor of Keanu's big role in the newly-released Cyberpunk 2077 game, here are all of Reeves' movies (except documentaries he narrated or films where he makes a brief cameo as himself) ranked by their critical reaction. We'll start with his worst, and work our way up to the best. (Can you guess what that No. 1 movie is?)
57. The Prince of Pennsylvania (1988)
An early star turn for Reeves, The Prince of Pennsylvania sees him playing a small-town punk rocker who schemes with an older woman to kidnap and ransom his own father. The mostly forgotten film came and went at the box office, and was panned by critics. Typical of the bad reviews was Hal Hinson in the Washington Post, who wrote, "stuff happens in The Prince of Pennsylvania -- it's just that none of it amounts to much."
Metacritic score: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes score: 14%
56. Chain Reaction (1995)
Reeves plays a low-key but brilliant physicist who invents a form of cold-fusion energy that will power the world with no waste. Naturally, a conspiracy of bad people wants to steal the technology, sending Reeves on the run.
Critics found Chain Reaction's story needlessly convoluted, and they weren't especially buying Keanu as a nuclear physicist. "The narrative is very complex, but what's on the screen is little more than generic, non-narrative-specific, guy-being-chased stuff," wrote Jeff Millar in the Houston Chronicle.
Metacritic score: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes score: 18%
55. Replicas (2019)
In this film, Reeves plays a neuroscientist trying to clone the family he lost in a car crash, even as he runs up against tyrannical corporations and pesky ethics in his quest to tamper in God's domain. IndieWire's David Erlich wrote that Replicas is "Frankensteined together from the stiff corpses of a dozen smarter movies" and is "so carelessly stupid that it often feels like a mad science experiment gone wrong."
Metacritic score: 19prevnext
54. The Watcher (2000)
The backstory of how Reeves got involved in the rote thriller The Watcher could make its own film. Reeves claimed that "a friend" forged Reeves' signature to play a serial killer in the movie, a cameo that turned into a major role – one that he was substantially underpaid for.
As for the movie? It was slammed by critics, including the New York Post's Jonathan Foreman, who deemed it "a crass, mechanical attempt at a thriller that should have gone straight to video."
Metacritic score: 22prevnext
53. Exposed (2016)
Reeves starred in and produced this religious-themed sex crime thriller. It was originally written as a critique of sexual violence and mass incarceration, but was re-edited around Reeves' character to be a more conventional thriller. The director took his name off it, and it was dumped straight-to-video, with The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck writing that, "Exposed mainly serves to expose the often-torturous process of movie making and distribution."
Metacritic score: 23prevnext
52. Generation Um... (2013)
While Reeves has spent the last 20-plus years doing blockbusters, he's also done his share of quirky, under-the-radar films. Generation Um… squarely fits that description, with Reeves playing a lost soul who wanders New York City with two party girls looking for meaning. Judging by the reviews, he didn't find it. In the New York Times, critic Stephen Holden wrote, "What does it add up to? Um ... I have no idea and don't really care."
Metacritic score: 25prevnext
51. Sweet November (2001)
Charlize Theron co-starred with Reeves in this romantic tragedy about a couple who spend one month together while one of them is dying of cancer. The film tanked at the box office and was savaged by critics for its manipulative and contrived plot. Sweet November "passes off pathological behavior as romantic bliss. It's about two sick and twisted people playing mind games and calling it love," wrote Roger Ebert in a one-star review for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Metacritic score: 27prevnext
48. 47 Ronin (2013) (tie)
Reeves stars as a half-English, half-Japanese warrior created especially for a first-time director's big budget adaptation of one of Japan's most well-known historical events. Neither audiences nor critics believed it, though.
Reviewers dismissed 47 Ronin as a mess of different styles and bad CGI, with Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times writing that "[T]here are moments of genuine beauty and a few terrifically eye-popping effects, but no feel for storytelling."
Metacritic score: 28prevnext
48. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1994) (tie)
This surreal indie film about a hitchhiker with giant thumbs who leads a fight against a tyrannical government agency trying to take her ranch, was savaged by critics as a disconnected jumble. Calling it one of the worst films of the year, Roger Ebert wrote, "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues is one of the more empty, pointless, baffling films I can remember, and the experience of viewing it is an exercise in nothingness." Reeves, with a small role, got off pretty lightly.
Metacritic score: 28prevnext
48. Feeling Minnesota (1996) (tie)
Reeves played Jjaks (yes, that's the character's name), one of two loser brothers fighting over the same unbalanced woman and plotting a convoluted heist in the Tarantino-inspired Feeling Minnesota. Critics were not feeling this dark comedy, though, with Deeson Thomson of the Washington Post writing that it "stumbles mindlessly in all directions."
Metacritic score: 28prevnext
47. The Replacements (2000)
Reeves plays ex-hotshot quarterback Shane Falco in a film that loosely retells the story of the 1987 NFL strike, and in particular, Washington winning three games with replacement players. The Replacements was roasted for its obvious and cliched story, and for the numerous inaccuracies in its football scenes. Writing in the San Francisco Examiner, critic Wesley Morris said the film felt like "two hours of outtakes in search of a studio audience."
Metacritic score: 30prevnext
46. Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Audiences and critics alike were confused by Johnny Mnemonic, a dystopian cyber-hacking techno thriller featuring Reeves as a courier who gets data implanted in his brain. In her New York Times review, Caryn James wrote, "Johnny Mnemonic looks and feels like a shabby imitation of Blade Runner and Total Recall. It is a disaster in every way."
Regardless, the film is now seen as one of the earliest depictions of what the internet could do for society.
Metacritic score: 33prevnext
45. Siberia (2018)
Reeves produced and starred in this little-seen thriller, playing an American diamond merchant who gets in over his head with gangsters and the Russian secret police. Critics wrote Siberia off as a listless and obvious thriller beneath Reeves' stature, with Jake Cole writing in Slant that "the film has the tone and look of a direct-to-video feature."
Metacritic score: 34prevnext
44. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
This remake of the 1951 science fiction classic finds Reeves starring as the alien messenger Klaatu with a mission to save the planet. The Day the Earth Stood Still performed well at the box office, and critics mostly praised Reeves' quiet, contemplative performance. But the film was dinged for a slow plot and muddled exposition.
Metacritic score: 40prevnext
42. I Love You to Death (1990) (tie)0comments
One of Reeves' first roles after his breakout with Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure was I Love You to Death, a dark murder comedy where Reeves plays part of a permanently stoned team of hitmen. Critics at the time were mostly split on the film, with Roger Ebert calling it "an actor's dream," and Variety slamming it as "a stillborn attempt at black comedy."
Metacritic score: 45prev