Reeves is most well known for a prolific acting career, beginning in 1985 and spanning for more than three decades. He gained fame for his starring role performances in several blockbuster films including comedies from the Bill and Ted franchise (1989-1991), action thrillers Point Break (1991) and Speed (1994), and the science fiction-action trilogy The Matrix (1999-2003). He has also appeared in several dramatic films such as Dangerous Liaisons (1988), My Own Private Idaho (1991), and Little Buddha (1993).
Since becoming active in the film industry, Reeves’ abilities have earned critical acclaim. One New York Times critic praised Reeves’ versatility, saying that he “displays considerable discipline and range. He moves easily between the buttoned-down demeanor that suits a police procedural story and the loose-jointed manner of his comic roles.” Even with an amplitude of skills, Reeves has spent much of his later career being typecast. A recurring character arc in many roles he has portrayed is one of saving the world, as can be seen in the characters of Ted Logan, Buddha, Neo, Johnny Mnemonic, John Constantine and Klaatu. His acting has garnered several awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
During his film career, Reeves has engaged in several forms of artistic expression. He played bass guitar in the bands Dogstar and Becky. Acting onstage, he performed as Prince Hamlet for the Manitoba Theatre Centre‘s production of Hamlet. He wrote the text for a picture book, Ode to Happiness, illustrated by Alexandra Grant. He has also produced a documentary, Side by Side, and directed the martial arts film Man of Tai Chi.