Keanu Reeves is known for starring in major blockbuster films, often heavy on the action and sometimes carrying with them a big body count. He’s been part of huge franchises and has some highly-anticipated flicks coming down the pike in the next few years. So when you hear that he has one of the most-watched movies on Netflix in the United States, you’d probably think it was The Matrix or John Wick. But no, it’s actually a courtroom drama. That’s right, The Whole Truth is currently in the top-10 on the streaming platform.
The Whole Truth came out in 2016 and is a very different kind of film for Keanu Reeves. It’s a murder mystery in a courtroom setting that has Reeves starring as attorney Richard Ramsey. Ramsey has been tasked with defending the son of a friend who’s been accused of killing his father. From the very beginning, things clearly aren’t what they appear. Though Mike Lassiter has confessed to the killing of his father, there’s reason to believe that not everything is as it seems here.
The film follows Mike’s trial with Keanu Reeves ditching the guns and ammo from some of his other films in favor of a pressed suit and some legal pads. It’s for sure a transformation for the actor who we are so used to seeing flying around on the big screen in some fashion or another. But this one is a thriller with Reeves’s character trying to get to the bottom of things while also possibly even being involved himself. Here, check out the trailer for The Whole Truth.
The film unfolds through a number of sequences that go back through the details of the murder but also the time leading up to the crime, giving some context for why Mike (if he did it) might have killed his father. The stories change, there is a growing sense that someone (or many people) are keeping secrets and what looked like an open-and-shut case against the kid could have multiple, and maybe sinister layers to it. Sure, it takes place in the form of a trial, but there is a lot more going on with this film as Keanu Reeves and others unwind the plot and pull on the threads.
The Whole Truth brings a very solid cast to join Keanu Reeves. There’s Renee Zellweger as Loretta Lassiter, Mike’s mother. Her character and Reeves’s Ramsey clearly have some kind of relationship that might be more than just friends. There’s also Jim Belushi as the now-deceased Boone Lassiter, who was seen to have had a troubled relationship with Mike. Gabriel Basso plays Mike who might be taking the fall for a crime he didn’t commit. Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Janelle Brady who is there to help Ramsey with the case but who becomes suspicious that other motives are at play.
The reason you might not have heard of The Whole Truth when it first came out is that basically, no one went to see this thing. It earned a measly $1.8 million at the box office on its $7.9 million budget. For Keanu Reeves, this represents as close to zero as you’d ever get. By comparison, Reeves was paid more than that for each of his John Wick appearances.
And critics weren’t all that into The Whole Truth either. It’s sitting at just 32% on Rotten Tomatoes. The general complaint was the movie was too formulaic to ever be all that suspenseful. For director Courtney Hunt, it represented a major disappointment after she’d won Sundance with her first film Frozen River. And for Keanu Reeves, this was also a low score considering his action films have even been landing higher on the Tomatometer.
For Keanu Reeves, there’s plenty coming for him on the big screen in the next couple of years. He’s set to return as Neo in the upcoming Matrix 4 and is going to have numbers four and five in the John Wick franchise as well. In the meantime, though critics weren’t totally sold on it, those on Netflix are into seeing Reeves strut around the courtroom. The Whole Truth is crushing it on the streaming platform and you might want to see him in a totally different setting.