The Matrix Revolutions, the third instalment, was met with mixed reception. According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the consensus was that "characters and ideas take a back seat to the special effects". Paul Clinton, writing for CNN, praised the special effects but felt Reeves' character was "dazed and confused". In contrast, the San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Meyer was highly critical of the special effects, writing, "[The Wachowskis] computer-generated imagery goes from dazzling to deadening in action scenes that favor heavy, clanking weaponry over the martial-arts moves that thrilled viewers of The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded." Nevertheless, the film grossed a healthy $427 million worldwide, although less than the two previous films. Something's Gotta Give, a romantic comedy, was Reeves' last release of 2003. He co-starred with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, and played Dr. Julian Mercer in the film. Something's Gotta Give received generally favourable reviews.
In 1997, he starred in the supernatural horror The Devil's Advocate alongside Al Pacino and Charlize Theron. Reeves agreed to a pay cut of several million dollars so that the film studio could afford to hire Pacino. Based on Andrew Neiderman's novel of the same name, the feature is about a successful young lawyer invited to New York City to work for a major firm, who discovers the owner of the firm is a devil. The Devil's Advocate attracted positive reviews from critics. Film critic James Berardinelli called the film "highly enjoyable" and noted, "There are times when Reeves lacks the subtlety that would have made this a more multi-layered portrayal, but it's nevertheless a solid job".More Info
Towards the end of the 1980s, Reeves starred in several dramas aimed at teen audiences, including as the lead in The Night Before (1988), a comedy starring opposite Lori Loughlin, The Prince of Pennsylvania (1988) and Permanent Record (1988). Although the latter received mixed reviews, Variety praised Reeves' performance, "which opens up nicely as the drama progresses". His other acting efforts included a supporting role in Dangerous Liaisons (1988), which earned seven nominations at the 61st Academy Awards, winning three: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design. This was followed by Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), in which he portrays a slacker who travels through time with a friend (portrayed by Alex Winter), to assemble historical figures for a school presentation. The film was generally well-received by critics and grossed $40.5 million at the worldwide box office. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 79% approval rating with the critical consensus: "Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are just charming, goofy, and silly enough to make this fluffy time-travel Adventure work".More Info
In 1991, Reeves starred in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, a sequel to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, with his co-star Alex Winter. Michael Wilmington of the Los Angeles Times felt that the sequel was "more imaginative, more opulent, wilder and freer, more excitingly visualized", praising the actors for their "fuller" performances. Film critic Roger Ebert thought it was "a riot of visual invention and weird humor that works on its chosen sub-moronic level ... It's the kind of movie where you start out snickering in spite of yourself, and end up actually admiring the originality that went into creating this hallucinatory slapstick". The rest of 1991 marked a significant transition for Reeves' career as he undertook adult roles. Co-starring with River Phoenix as a street hustler in the adventure My Own Private Idaho, the characters embark on a journey of personal discovery. The story was written by Gus Van Sant, and is loosely based on Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V. The film premiered at the 48th Venice International Film Festival, followed by a theatrical release in the United States on September 29, 1991. The film earned $6.4 million at the box office. My Own Private Idaho was positively received, with Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly describing the film as "a postmodern road movie with a mood of free-floating, trance-like despair ... a rich, audacious experience". The New York Times complimented Reeves and Phoenix for their insightful performances.More Info
In 1989, Reeves starred in the comedy-drama Parenthood directed by Ron Howard. Nick Hilditch of the BBC gave the film three out of five stars, calling it a "feelgood movie" with an "extensive and entertaining ensemble cast". In 1990, Reeves gave two acting performances. He portrayed an incompetent hitman in the black comedy I Love You to Death, and played Martin, a radio station employee in the comedy Tune in Tomorrow. He also appeared in Paula Abdul's music video for Rush Rush which featured a Rebel Without a Cause motif, with him in the James Dean role.More Info
In 2001, Reeves continued to explore and accept roles in a diverse range of genres. The first was a romantic comedy, Sweet November, a 1968 remake of the same name. This was his second collaboration with Charlize Theron; the film was met with a generally negative reception. Desson Thompson of The Washington Post criticized it for its "syrupy cliches, greeting-card wisdom and over-the-top tragicomedy", but commended Reeves for his likability factor in every performance he gives. Hardball (2001) marked Reeves' attempt in another sports comedy. Directed by Brian Robbins, it is based on the book Hardball: A Season in the Projects by Daniel Coyle. Reeves plays Conor O'Neill, a troubled young man who agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of obtaining a loan. Film critic Roger Ebert took note of the film's desire to tackle difficult subjects and baseball coaching, but felt it "drifts above the surface", and Reeves' performance was "glum and distant".More Info
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