Keanu Reeves Can’t Get Enough of These Movies and Books

Keanu Reeves is a Hollywood icon, with a large number of cult classics to his name. Where does he get the inspiration to play these great characters?

Recently, Reeves participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything forum, where he shared his favorite movies and books. How did Reeves become the great actor he is today? Maybe his favorite media can give us some perspective on that question. 

Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves | Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

Keanu Reeves likes these movies

When asked, “What is your favorite movie?” by user Reddit user NorthItaly, Reeves answered:

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!Here’s some: Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange, Stroszek.

Not sure what the scream was about, but let’s take a closer look at a few of his answers. 

  • Taxi Driver (1976): A Martin Scorsese classic, Taxi Driver is a psychological thriller about a taxi driver who descends into insanity. He plots to assassinate the presidential candidate and a pimp, because of the roles these men play in the lives of the women he cherishes. 
  • Apocalypse Now (1979): An epic war film set in the Vietnam War, it follows a captain down a river journey to assassinate a renegade officer. 
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971): A Clockwork Orange is set in a dystopian future Britain and follows the leader of a gang of thugs who commit “ultra-violence.” He is eventually captured and forced into rehabilitation with experimental psychological conditioning. 

Keanu Reeves’ favorite books

When asked by Reddit user ollobollo, “What are your favorite books?” Reeves answered:

Where do I begin? Here are some. As a kid, we can start with the Count of Monte Christo. We could start with the Lord of the Rings. Then we could get into finding as a teenager getting into Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, Notes from Underground, The Brothers Karamazov, we could get into Jim Thompson, we could go into some William Gibson, then we could do In Search of Lost Time by Proust. And then just getting into the works of Philip K. Dick and recently I was reading Don Delillo, Cosmopolis, I like Updike’s the Rabbit Series.

That’s a lot of books! Reeves clearly enjoys reading. Let’s take a closer look at a few.

  • “The Count of Monte Christo” by Alexandre Dumas: The story takes place in the 19th century and follows a character that was wrongfully imprisoned through his release, and through his journey of revenge. 
  • “The Lord of the Rings” by JR Tolkien: An epic high fantasy novel that follows a hobbit’s journey to destroy a ring of power.
  • “The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky: The novel takes place in pre-reform Russia and follows a character that many assume lacks intelligence because of his open-heartedness. It examines the effects of putting such a person in the center of their society.

How did Keanu Reeves’ favorite media influence his work?

In many of Keanu Reeves’ movies, like The Matrix, Reeves speaks with a very intentional, intense voice. It seems many of his favorite media also follow this pattern, as you’ll notice he listed many classics and stories that took place centuries ago. The exception, of course, is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures, where Reeves uses a very different type of voice.

Another pattern noticeable in Reeves’ choices, is his tendency to pick stories that have quite a bit of action, but also require careful consideration to really understand the plot.

The movies that Reeves has chosen to be a part of in his career would also fall into this category. Take The Matrix, the movie asks some very important questions about our world and how we perceive it, but it also has lots of action. Slow moving bullets, anyone?

Reeves seems to enjoy many classics, which is fitting for an actor that has played the leading role in many of his generation’s classics.