The Matrix Reloaded distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

Top 10 Best Keanu Reeves Action Movies, Ranked From Demon Hunting to Bullet Time

Keanu Reeves has been kicking butt for a long time.

Keanu Reeves is an action icon after having starred in several blockbuster films in the genre. The John Wick series has ensured that Reeves will return every few years with another entertaining movie for fans to enjoy. The actor has had many other successes, but he remains most well-known for his scene-stealing exploits in action films.

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It’s interesting to see that Reeves has been a household name for over three decades, during which generations of fans have seen him kick butt onscreen. Whether it’s in sci-fi, supernatural horror, or classic thrillers, the actor has engaged in all kinds of battles. With that in mind, here are the 10 best Keanu Reeves action movies.

10) The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

The Matrix Revolutions distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Matrix Revolutions was deemed a disappointment at the time of its release because of its confusing plot. The final clash between Neo and Smith had a rather unsatisfying end due to the protagonist’s demise. But there’s no doubt the action sequences remain remarkable to behold, with sequences that make use of special effects.

The film can be easily enjoyed solely on the action alone, ranging from the final stand of the people of Zion against the machines to Neo’s elaborate battle against Smith. It’s not the most plot-satisfying film, but The Matrix Revolutions is a great watch for those who prefer to see CGI used to its best potential.

9) Man of Tai Chi (2013)

Man of Tai Chi distributed by Universal Pictures
Image Source: Universal Pictures

Man of Tai Chi is directed by Keanu Reeves himself, remaining his sole directorial effort. He plays the villain of the movie, with his character, Donaka, operating an illegal underground fighting club. Donaka recruits youngster Tiger as part of his team, slowly corrupting the young man.

Reeves’ character plays a supporting role as Tiger is part of the film’s main action scenes. However, Donaka returns in a climactic clash when Tiger sees the error of his ways, which is when the two characters duke it out. Man of Tai Chi does a good job of conveying how brutal underground fights work. The movie entertains with martial arts scenes to enjoy but is far smaller in scale compared to Reeves’ other efforts.

8) Constantine (2005)

Constantine distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Constantine is a superhero horror film based on DC Comics. Reeves plays the title exorcist, who is drawn into a plot revolving around the return of Lucifer to Earth. The film features quite a lot of gruesome material, as Constantine battles beings from Hell in his mission to avoid the world’s doom.

The movie is a slow burn in terms of pacing – the progression of the story is deliberately kept in such a way as to create a sense of tension among viewers. The climax is where everything goes off the rails, with angels and hellish monsters coming into the fold. Constantine might be an acquired taste favoring those who like horror, but it’s a good watch regardless.

7) Point Break (1991)

Point Break distributed by Lionsgate
Image Source: Lionsgate

Just like Keanu Reeves’ game debut in Cyberpunk 2077 proved to be a surprising turn in recent times, so was his appearance in the action-thriller Point Break. Back then, Reeves wasn’t known for his action prowess, making this film a game-changer. The film is about Reeves’ character, FBI agent Johnny Utah, who infiltrates a group of bank robbers led by surfer Bodhi.

Point Break features a lot of over-the-top action, including explosions, jumping off impossible high areas, and hard-to-believe fight scenes. But this is what makes it so entertaining since nothing seems off-limits. It’s easy to overlook the premise when the protagonists are getting their action groove on in each scene of the movie.

6) The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

The Matrix Reloaded distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Matrix Reloaded is appropriately loaded with fights, high-octane clashes, and a whole lot of special effects. The film took the world by storm back in the day, as the titular Matrix comes alive in the sequel. The story leaves viewers a bit perplexed, but the thrills are what keep fans invested.

Neo has to go up against agents, the Merovingian, and the return of Smith as he looks for a way to save Zion. The Matrix Reloaded has incredible fight choreography that lights up the screen with entertaining fight scenes. While the CGI can be heavy at times, it works well with the high-stakes plot where Neo and his team have to keep evading danger.

5) John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

John Wick: Chapter 2 distributed by Lionsgate
Image Source: Lionsgate

John Wick: Chapter 2 expands on the protagonist’s story, going deeper into his connections in the world of assassination. John is tasked with returning a favor by crime lord Santino, who ends up betraying him. The film then follows his goal of gaining revenge, as John mows down Santino’s forces.

John Wick: Chapter 2 has bigger fight scenes than the original film, but is slightly lower when it comes to emotional depth. There are great clashes between John and his enemies – the hero uses creative kills such as using a pencil, along with hiding in plain sight in a mirror room. It sets the stage for John’s further battles down the line while upping the ante with just how deadly he can truly be.

4) John Wick (2014)

John Wick distributed by Lionsgate
Image Source: Lionsgate

Before fans were getting excited about John Wick: Chapter 4, the original film took everyone by surprise. The film’s premise of a former assassin hunting down his pet dog’s killers sounds ludicrous, but it’s actually quite emotional in execution. Of course, the best part of the movie is how John executes the people responsible.

The movie integrates neo-noir elements to set the scene, featuring shadowy cinematography amid neon lighting, themes of desperation and isolation, as well as elaborate set designs where fights take place. John’s incredible use of weaponry ushered in a new style of action-based storytelling that’s carved out an entire franchise.

3) Speed (1994)

Speed distributed by 20th Century Fox
Image Source: 20th Century Fox

There’s no doubt that Keanu Reeves’ status as an A-lister was cemented through Speed’s success. It has a simple outline of a cop who boards a bus that will explode if it goes below a certain speed limit. His attempts to keep everyone alive while defying the villain’s plans make up the movie’s story.

Speed remains a powerhouse of the genre due to the likable protagonists, thrilling twists and turns of the bus’ fate, and climactic battle between hero and villain. It briefly spawned a subgenre of movies where characters were trapped in vehicles. The fast-paced style of the film ensures that viewers are firmly interested in the events from start to finish.

2) The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Matrix revolutionized the science fiction genre with its use of “bullet time” effects that brought new respect to slow-motion cinematography. In addition, the story of Neo’s turn as the One makes him a protagonist audiences want to root for, as he enters a whole new world filled with possibilities.

Keanu Reeves cemented himself as a legend of the genre with the success of The Matrix. The film’s action set pieces have aged very well, remaining just as entertaining to watch. The fight sequences and abundance of thrills are abundantly placed within the film so that there’s always an adrenaline rush to experience.

1) John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum distributed by Lionsgate
Image Source: Lionsgate

It’s because of the success of the third John Wick movie that the hype for John Wick: Chapter 4 is so high. It has John travel around the world to rid himself of the bounty on his head, being careful to avoid all kinds of assassins and enemies in his journey, during which he once again engages in a lot of kills.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum fully showcases the knowledge of fighting styles the protagonist has. He partakes in fights ranging from weapons like knives, swords, throwing stars, and assault rifles, and even uses a book to kill his foe. You can feel the desperation he has to escape his life, which is exactly the kind of connection needed to make an action star stand out.


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Author
Image of Saim Cheeda
Saim Cheeda
Saim is an entertainment writer and a franchise film/TV expert. An avid fan of indie and mainstream cinema, you can find his features on Twinfinite. Playing games and watching film/TV since 1993. Favorite genres: Action, Superhero, Drama, Comedy, and Horror.