Keanu Reeves and his Top 3 Neo-Noir movies

keanu reeves neo noir

Keanu Reeves with his movies has been involved in primarily dark stylized cinema (Neo-Noir) throughout his career. This is a characteristic feature of Neo-Noir genre of movies which basically took over the US from the 1940s to 1960s. The genre features a wide range of Reeves’ movies, from the John Wick franchise to the Matrix franchise. He has contributed greatly to the genre that circulates around these ideas of anti-heroes and counter-narratives in darkness. Here are potentially Keanu Reeves’ best Neo-Noir films.

keanu reeves in Matrix
Keanu Reeves in Matrix (1999) (Image via Rolling Stone)

Keanu Reeves is an artist par excellence and in this article, we will discuss some of his greatest works when it comes to the Neo-Noir Genre. The article will follow some basic parameters to rank these movies but the views are purely subjective.

The Fundamentals of Neo-Noir Genre

The Neo-Noir genre typically follows the trajectory of a dark cinematographic creation underlined by a perpetual pessimistic mood. The genre is strongly influenced by the aesthetics of post-war America. The plots are, therefore, very troubling and gruesome in nature. Even the action element in these movies are filled with gore and graphic representations.

No country for old men
No Country for Old Men (2007) (Image via IMDb)

Through these basic fundamentals, we will examine how Keanu Reeves’ movies strongly send out a Neo-Noir depiction and how it is similar to some Neo-Noir classics like No Country for Old Men (2007).

Keanu Reeves: Top 3 in the Neo-Noir Genre

We will follow the basic ranking process which is based on audience appeal and rankings on various websites. Let’s begin!

1. The Matrix (1999), IMDb rating 8.7

the matrix trilogy
the Matrix became a significant Neo-Noir Aesthetic. (Image via IMDb)

The Matrix trilogy and later the fourth addition to the franchise stand as one of Keanu Reeves’ greatest accomplishments. The first part became one of the highest-grossing films of the late 90s and soon entered the list of some of the greatest global hits. The Matrix follows the story of a certain individual named Neo who seeks to find the truth. The truth is freedom from the matrix that entraps the human mind. It is a movie about how a certain prodigal hero saves humankind from possible annihilation by machines.

2. John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023), IMDb rating 8.2

John wick chapter 4 keanu reeves
John Wick Chapter 4 poster. (Image via IMDb)

With a meta-score of 78 and a rating average of 8.2 John Wick 4 tops the list of Keanu Reeves’ greatest action thrillers. The Neo-Noir film is a classic example of colossal fear and action. It is jam-packed with a lot of consistent action scenes. But all-in-all, the movie is a must-watch and it follows John Wick’s greatest adventure and Reeves’ greatest silent performance.

3. John Wick 1, 2, and 3 (2014, 2017, 2019), IMDb rating 7.4

John wick 1, 2, 3, keanu reeves neo noir cinema
John Wick Trilogy and their experimentation with Neo-Noir. (Image via Twitter/HectorNavarro)

The John Wick trilogy is basically the foundational pillar for John Wick’s final showdown in John Wick 4. The three movies with the same rating and meta-score on IMDb feature some of Reeves’ strongest performances. The fight against the High Table and the allyship of the Continental and the Underworld’s vendetta against Wick is a strong pacifier to build suspense for the final edition. This trilogy, therefore, stands as a must-watch.


The post-war aesthetics of Neo-Noir become deciding motivators and themes in this genre. The movies, therefore, feature a strong undertone of darkness and the actors are mostly cynical and in search of constant conflict. The society of post-war America was strongly influenced by such ideals and therefore this genre also reflects the same.

Top 5 action-packed Keanu Reeves movies to watch if you loved John Wick 4

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Source: IMDB

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