4. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Original Release Date: February 17th, 1989
Box Office Earnings: Bill and Ted quadrupled the film’s original budget of $10m to gross $40.5m domestically.
Critical Acclaim: It’s been over thirty years, but Bill and Ted are holding strong on Rotten Tomatoes with a 78% rating from critics and 75% approval from audiences.
About the Role: Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are two academically underachieving rock musicians who need to pass a history report or face the consequences. Meanwhile, in the year 2688, their music has helped humanity restore peace and order. So the denizens of the future band together to help Bill and Ted by sending Rufus (George Carlin, in a rare movie role) to help the dudes out, pinging them around in the past to learn what they need to secure their future.
Simply the Best: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure marked Keanu Reeves’s first breakout role. In portraying Ted, he proved himself to be affable, funny, and adaptable… and also maybe played the role a bit too well because the dim bulb reputation would stick for decades to come.
Regardless, Reeves’s and Winters’s enthusiasm is infectious, and so it’s legit impossible to watch this film without smiling. Also, the original film spawned a successful sequel and the Keanussance has re-sparked interest in the franchise, so a third movie is filming right now. Anticipated release date 2020. Or earlier for you if you can find a phone machine time booth thingy. Where’s Rufus when you need him?