At some point in their careers, you can guarantee that almost any actor who either resides on the Hollywood A-list or has designs on getting there will star in a courtroom drama or legal thriller, in what has apparently become something of a rite of passage.
Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts’ The Pelican Brief is streaming on Netflix as we speak, while Matthew McConaughey’s resurgence began in earnest with The Lincoln Lawyer, Robert Downey Jr. made a rare foray outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when The Judge arrived in 2014, Chadwick Boseman played the title role in Marshall, Tom Cruise faced off against Gene Hackman in The Firm, Tom Hanks won his first Academy Award for Philadelphia, and the list goes on and on.
Keanu Reeves had dipped his toes into those waters before as well after being caught in the wake of Al Pacino’s incredibly shouty scenery-chewing turn in The Devil’s Advocate, but that was more of a Gothic piece than a straightforward entry into the legal genre. Although, he remedied it by giving one of his more understated performances in 2016’s The Whole Truth.
The actor plays a defense attorney who inherits a case trying to get his 17 year-old client acquitted for murdering his father, and he ends up enlisting a young lawyer to help him crack it open. It’s got a middling Rotten Tomatoes score of just 30% and made less than $2 million at the box office, but the enduring popularity of the leading man has seen The Whole Truth quietly clamber its way up the Netflix most-watched list since being added to the library last week, even if it isn’t one of Keanu Reeves‘ superior efforts.