Keanu Reeves Most Iconic Performances Over The Years

Keanu Reeves Most Iconic roles
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With Keanu Reeves celebrating his birthday yesterday, it seems like an appropriate time to have a look back at some of his best, most iconic performances throughout his long film career. A man with an incredibly long list of credits in his acting career, he’s no stranger to a huge pop culture character. And with relatively few missteps in his career, he is one of the biggest actors Hollywood has to offer right now.


Neo – The Matrix Franchise

Reeves as Neo in The Matrix: Reloaded

A franchise with (currently) four films to its name, Reeves has played the lead character Neo in all four films. In a franchise where some films believe it should have stopped after the fantastic first film, Reeves plays Neo, a disillusioned hacker that finds out his world is a complex program created by a group of robots, using the imprisoned humans as a power source. Breaking out with the help of Lawrence Fishburne’s Morpheus, he takes the fight to the robots with the intent of saving and releasing humanity from their prisons.

Related: “Could he be any nicer?”: Keanu Reeves Surprises British Couple By Actually Gracing Their Wedding Day With His Presence After Invite, Ensures His Nicest Guy Tag Stays Unblemished


John Wick – John Wick Franchise

Reeves as John Wick in John Wick 4.

Considered one of his biggest roles, and for good reason, Keanu Reeves plays the titular John Wick, a retired assassin brought out of retirement shortly after his wife has passed, thanks to an inopportune moment with some Russian mobsters who steal his car, give him a beating and kill his dog. What follows is three, and soon to be four films with Reeves killing every man between him and those he considers responsible, and the repercussions of his rampage. Brutal, fast-paced, and well-choreographed fight and shooting scenes, the films are lauded as having some of the best action scenes in modern cinema.

Ted – Bill and Ted Franchise

Reeves as Ted, in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

In one of his break-out cinematic performances, Reeves plays Ted, the lovable, excitable, and well-meaning character in the Bill and Ted franchise. Time traveling, meeting historical figures, and more follow in the three films, with Ted a completely different character from most that Reeves chooses to play, bringing levity to his usually stoic and brutal characters.

Related: ‘They Made Me Watch Anime’: Keanu Reeves Reveals How He Prepared for the Matrix, Calls Anime the Greatest SH*T He’s Ever Watched


Johnny Utah – Point Break

Reeves as Johnny Utah in Point Break.

On the face of it, an undercover FBI agent whose job is to ingratiate himself with a group of adrenaline-junkie thieves sounds odd and ridiculous. The film is exactly that, but incredibly more nuanced too. Featuring the late Patrick Swayze as the leader of the bank robbers, the film shows Reeves taking part in all sorts of death-defying stunts in an attempt to get close enough to find out the truth. In doing so he realizes everything isn’t as black and white as he first thought, and of course, the film features the famous scene of Reeves shooting into the air in frustration, rather than taking down Swayze.

Related: ‘Never played it’: Keanu Reeves Reveals He Has Never Played Cyberpunk 2077 – A Game That Literally Has His Face on the Poster

Jack Traven – Speed

Reeves as Jack Traven in Speed.

In one of the most fun and intense action films of the ’90s, Reeves stars as Jack Traven, a cop who is at odds with a domestic terrorist, a former cop himself, played by the late Dennis Hopper. Finds himself on a bus that can’t drop below 50mph, else it’ll explode, the majority of the film is confined to this one location, and it’s a fun ride for sure. Corny, cheesy, and a standard ’90s action film in a lot of ways, this film would have been a lot of people’s introduction to the future action star.


There are considerably more roles Reeves have done and is known for, but these are some of his most iconic. What else would you include in this list?

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Written by Luke Addison

Articles Published: 432

Luke Addison is the Lead Video Game Critic and Gaming Editor. As likely to be caught listening to noughties rock as he is watching the latest blockbuster cinema release, Luke is the quintessential millennial wistfully wishing after a forgotten era of entertainment. Also a diehard Chelsea fan, for his sins.

Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd