Keanu Reeves or Tom Cruise: Who’s the Better Actor?

Hollywood is overrun by reboots, sequels, and remakes. Yet, Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise are both still gracing the big screen after all these years. The two beloved actors are in their mid-to-late 50s, rose to stardom in the mid-1980s, and still lead two of the biggest action series in Mission: Impossible and John Wick. But who’s a better actor: Cruise or Reeves?

Keanu Reeves attends the Japan premiere of 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum' in Tokyo
Keanu Reeves attends the Japan premiere of ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum’ in Tokyo | Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

The two stars have both led a wide variety of box office hits

Looking back, both stars have had remarkable careers. Cruise broke through a bit earlier, with Top Gun and Risky Business among his biggest hits. These movies ultimately laid the groundwork for the actor to become one of the 1990s’ most dependable box office draws. Though his success rate is spottier now, Cruise can still deliver a winner, such as Edge of Tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Reeves’ career has been more erratic but still teeming with classics. Movies such as the Bill and Ted trilogy, The Matrix trilogy, Speed, Point Break, and The Devil’s Advocate prove Reeves has serious range. And in real life, it’s hard to compete with “the internet’s boyfriend.” Still, looking only at their acting ability, the answer is clear which star is a better actor.

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Who is a better actor: Tom Cruise or Keanu Reeves?

It’s Cruise, without question. Reeves certainly has charisma on screen, particularly in action-heavy roles. And he has the comic timing to boot, as in Always Be My Maybe. But it’s the dramatic side where Cruise gets a real edge. Reeves is far more limited in that regard, though — to his credit — he has stretched his acting muscles and truly held his own on many occasions.

However, Cruise has proven he can rise to a challenging role. And he’s been acknowledged for it several times over the years. In fact, Cruise has three Academy Award nominations to his name and for three wildly different roles. Born on the Fourth of July, Magnolia, and Jerry Maguire all show what he can do when he commits to a role. And he’s outstanding in all three.

Not every Cruise movie sticks the landing. Like Reeves in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, his accent work in Far and Away has long been the subject of ridicule. But his highs as an actor outshine Reeves’ work. Still, both actors overall deliver on what fans expect, based on their ability, their public personas, and the impressive range of projects they choose to take on.

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Could Keanu Reeves join the ‘Mission: Impossible’ cast?

Cruise and Reeves are both iconic stars individually. But if the two actors were to unite on the big screen, fans would certainly be thrilled. In late 2020, a rumor claimed Reeves was being considered for a role in the Mission: Impossible series. And though it’s unconfirmed, it’s a curious idea to think about.

In some ways, it makes a lot of sense. After all, Reeves and Cruise both go all-in with their action roles. And it would be an event to see them share the screen, especially if Reeves played a villain. Fans will have to sit tight and wait to see what the future holds for the Mission: Impossible franchise. The seventh and eighth entries are currently in the works.