Essential Viewing: 11 Riley Keough Movies and TV Shows You Must See

When you go into a craft like acting, where there are so many moving parts between the writing, the direction, and the overall production, making something that will shine for critics isn’t always a guarantee.

That is unless you are the siren of the big and little screen that is Riley Keough, whose impressive body of work has earned her much well-deserved acclaim.

Seriously, search the actress and her filmography if you want to see what it’s like to have critics foaming at the mouth for your next television or film role.

Essential Viewing: 11 Riley Keough Movies and TV Shows You Must See

Before we go any further, let’s go ahead and address the elephant in the room.

Yes, Riley Keough is the eldest granddaughter of Elvis and Lisa Marie Presley, so it should be no surprise that she did amazing as the titular lead singer in a miniseries about a band.

Related: Under the Bridge: The True Story Behind the Murder of Reena Virk

For all her musical heritage, Keough is very well known for her acting triumphs, as she has with roles such as Marie Currie in The Runaways, where she starred alongside Kristen Stewart.

With only fourteen years of acting experience, the actress has already rubbed elbows with and worked alongside some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.

Riley Keough Met Gala 2024

We’ve compiled a list that barely scratches the surface of this talented actress and her illustrious resume of film and television roles.

Have mercy because we are about to go down a “must watch” list full of shady doctors, traveling free spirits salesmen, and a thieving, good-time-having family of hicks.

The Good Doctor (2011)

Role: Diane Nixon. Available to watch on Hulu.

Dianne Nixon - Riley Keough - The Good Doctor - 2011

In Riley Keough’s second film appearance, she was applauded for her chemistry with Orlando Bloom and for the way that her performance counteracted the film’s tense tone.

The critical praise and superb acting are almost enough to compensate for the very creepy premise of this 2011 thriller.

An illicit romance springs to life when an eager and ambitious young physician develops an obsession for a teenage patient with a kidney disorder.

However, things spiral out of control when an orderly discovers what is happening and begins to blackmail the dangerously delusional doctor.

Riley Keough plays Diane Nixon, the barely age-appropriate patient for which Orlando Bloom’s Dr. Martin starts a wildly misguided obsession.

Dianne Nixon - 2 - Riley Keough - The Good Doctor - 2011

Diane’s teenage gaze is whispy with wonder as she initially develops a liking for the physician turned criminal, Martin Blake.

This is one of those intense thrillers with many cringes to the story where you don’t know the payoff, so getting invested in characters is a hit or miss.

Related: YOU Season 5: Everything We Know So Far

The Good Doctor is an animal of its own, but for those who enjoy the themes played with here, check out YOU for that super fun stalking vibe and Grey’s Anatomy to regain your trust in doctors.

Lovesong (2016)

Role: Sarah. Available for rent or purchase.

Sarah - Riley Keough - Lovesong - 2016

What’s great about this film is that while it was very well received, it accurately portrayed a relatable lesbian love story that perfectly combines reality and fiction.

Plus, Jena Malone steals just about every scene she’s in, and this movie is no exception as she acts her butt off as Mindy, delivering an emotionally infused performance.

Sarah, a neglected housewife, takes her life into her own hands and embarks on a road trip with her young daughter and best friend, which brings the two friends closer than expected.

Years after the two women have parted ways, Sarah attempts to rebuild their relationship days before Mindy’s wedding.

Keough keeps her cool as the lonely and desperate housewife who decides it’s time to hit the road and experience this crazy thing called life.

Sarah - 2 - Riley Keough - Lovesong - 2016

Sarah experiences highs and lows as a friend throughout this film, but she easily develops a deep, intimate longing for her friend Mindy.

Malone and Keough keep the chemistry alive in this romance drama, bringing together two likable leads that viewers will hold out hope for from beginning to end.

Related: Fellow Travelers Goes Out With Tears, Hope, and a Powerful Goodbye

For more intense love stories about star-crossed lovers, watch The Time Traveler’s Wife, and for risky romance, Fellow Travelers.

American Honey (2016)

Role: Krystal. Available to watch on Max.

Krystal - Riley Keough - American Honey - 2016

This coming-of-age road drama hit all the right targets for critics and viewers, securing many award nominations and wins.

Riley Keough keeps knocking it out of the park with these choices of one intense character after another.

Fed up with her troubled life at home, a young adolescent girl named Star runs away and joins a traveling sales team that drives across the Midwest selling subscriptions.

Having found a home in this renegade gang of teenagers, Star soon adapts and accepts the group’s hard-partying, law-bending, and young love.

As Krystal, Riley Keough takes no prisoners with her eye on the prize and her mind on her money.

In case it isn’t clear, she’s all about that cold, hard cash.

Krystal - 2 - Riley Keough - American Honey - 2016

Beyond her determined approach to making money, Krystal also, in her spare time, intimidates everyone while enforcing rules against anything that distracts them from filling their wallets.

This is an excellent film for anyone who likes a smooth and easy ride where the only problems are the ones the characters make for themselves as they learn lessons about life, love, and breaking the law.

Related: The Shows That Best Depict Being a Gen-Z Teenager

For more characters living on society’s fringes and playing only by their own rules, check out Outer Banks on Netflix.

Logan Lucky (2017)

Role: Mellie Logan. Available for rent or purchase.

Mellie Logan - Riley Keough - Logan Lucky - 2017

This hidden gem didn’t manage to make it in front of many eyeballs, but those that it did, both critics and audiences, applauded the movie for its remarkable action and comedy.

Rolling Stone went as far as to describe the film as “a terrific, twisty, funny-as-hell crime flick about so-called hicks who decide that making America great again starts right at home.”

When Jimmy Logan, a West Virginian family man, hatches a plan to steal money from The Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina, he recruits his brother, Clyde, and sister, Mellie.

Along the way, the trio teams up with other experts to help them break in, but things get complicated when a popular NASCAR event happens simultaneously with the heist. All the while, a relentless FBI agent is hot on their tails.

Riley Keough plays Mellie Logan, the sister of Channing Tatum’s Jimmy and Adam Driver’s Clyde Logan, completing the trio of unlucky Logan siblings.

Mellie Logan - 2 - Riley Keough - Logan Lucky - 2017

Mellie dabbles in hair styling.

When she’s not helping her brother rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a NASCAR race, she’s helping her niece Sadie prepare for a beauty pageant.

Tatum, Driver, and Keough catapult audiences into a crazy down-country good time in this 2017 heist comedy with other familiar faces like Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank, and Sebastian Stan.

Related: Good Girls Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Fine & Frugal

If a brave trio of heist enthusiasts is what gets your remote finger itching, then when you’re done with this good-time movie, check out Good Girls.

The Lodge (2019)

Role: Grace Marshall. Available to watch on Max.

Grace Marshall - Riley Keough - The Lodge - 2019

Based on what’s been listed so far, it’s fair to say that Riley Keough has some major winners with both critics and audiences.

This is a real feat, as the actress seems to be casting a wide net for roles.

This psychological horror continues the actress’s trend of making high-quality movies alongside actors of similar caliber, such as Jaeden Martell and Richard Armitage.

While camping in the woods in a remote cabin over the holidays, Richard Hall is called away for work and must leave the care of his two children with his new wife, Grace.

As a storm rages outside, Grace becomes trapped in the cabin with the children, and her mind begins to show dark specters from her past.

Riley Keough has a tough time from the start as Grace Marshall, with the kids less than thrilled about her being in the picture.

Grace Marshall - 2 - Riley Keough - The Lodge - 2019

Being a stepmom is hard enough, but when the bio mom commits suicide at the news of her ex-husband getting remarried, that’s likely to sour even the most solid start to a new family.

This horror has quickly become a classic of cult proportions.

The story is very twisty and keeps audiences second-guessing from beginning to end.

Related: Why Has Gen Z Produced So Few Prominent TV Stars?

After you finish this gem, add Yellowjackets to your watch list when you need more of that suspicious character vibe.

Zola (2020)

Role: Stefani. Available to watch on Max.

Stefani - Riley Keough - Zola - 2020

Nowadays, genuinely original gems like this black comedy crime film are made by drawing inspiration from the unlikeliest places, and deriving a whole movie from a viral Twitter/X thread is a special kind of flex.

This wild ride was taken and loved by critics and viewers so much that this little movie managed to nab several awards nominations and wins, including an Independent Spirit Award.

When Zola, a Detroit waitress, meets a new customer named Stefani, she is seduced into a weekend of stripping for some quick cash down in Florida.

However, things quickly take a turn as this casual weekend road trip quickly turns into a sleepless forty-eight-hour journey involving nefarious friends, pimps, and idiot boyfriends.

Riley Keough plays Stefani, a cringe-inducing, white trash stripper from Florida who is covered with red flags from head to toe and has all the class of a mudflap.

Stefani - 2 - Riley Keough - Zola - 2020

Stefani is the light and the fuse to her bomb as she torpedoes Zola with her into a world of impulsive decisions and questionable characters.

Variety called the movie “a true story so extravagant it feels like it must have been made up. It’s a mini volcano of sex and violence and danger and deception. It’s a close-to-the-bone portrait of women who work in the sex industry.

“It’s a youthquake as real as American Honey.”

Related: Dead to Me Season 3 Trailer: Jen and Judy Are in a Lot of Trouble

If you like your comedy with a side of edge and a scoop of harsh reality, be sure to also watch Dead to Me.

The Devil All the Time (2020)

Role: Sandy Henderson. Available to watch on Netflix

Sandy Henderson - Riley Keough - The Devil All the Time - 2020

Once again, we find ourselves at another entry in the actress’s filmography where the critics just went nuts for her and her movie.

But with the acting chops of Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattinson, you’re likely to have more acting talent than a director knows what to do with.

The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the present in a town with questionable agendas.

In rural southern Ohio, a young man devoted to protecting his family must face corruption in a sinister postwar backwater town.

As Sandey Henderson, Riley Keough plays one of the movie’s primary antagonists, and with that bottle-job blonde, we don’t blame her.

Sandy Henderson - 2 - Riley Keough - The Devil All the Time - 2020

Since she’s the sister of Sheriff Lee Bodecker, she feels a little worried about helping out her serial killer husband.

That’s smart since they can’t make you testify against your spouse and true love.

This Southern gothic psychological crime thriller will take viewers’ senses through humanity’s gritty under-grime.

Related: Is True Detective Returning to Greatness or Regurgitating a Tired Formula?

For those whose crazy crime thriller appetites haven’t been satiated, go to Max to stream True Detective.

The Girlfriend Experience (2016)

Role: Christine Reade. Available for purchase.

Christine Peade - Riley Keough - The Girlfriend Experience - 2016

In her first television venture, Riley Keough landed the hit Starz show The Girlfriend Experience, which is considered the actress’s breakout performance.

Seriously, this series received much praise from every critic, especially its first season, which spotlighted Keough’s character.

Audiences couldn’t get enough of the show.

As a second-year Chicago Burnham Law School student, Christine Reade has taken a new internship at a prestigious company.

While working hard to make a name for herself, her focus shifts when a classmate introduces Christine to transactional relationships.

Christine Peade - 2 - Riley Keough - The Girlfriend Experience - 2016

Riley Keough portrays Christine Reede, the Chicago law student turned high-class escort who has a knack for knowing what her clients want.

This 2016 series was riding high from the Fifty Shades of Grey wave sweeping the world and gave audiences exactly what they wanted with more steamy stories about sex and social standards.

Related: The Age of the Renewed Limited Series: Is Network Execs’ Fear of Commitment Bad For TV?

Check out The White Lotus for more of that fun anthology feel about characters who walk that fine grey line of life.

The Terminal List (2022)

Role: Lauren Reece. Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Lauren Reece - Riley Keough - The Terminal List - 2022

This action thriller is one of the rare installments in Riley Keough’s career that wasn’t praised, applauded, and given a parade for its spectacular and thought-provoking story.

That being said, The Terminal List is a fun action film.

Chris Pratt leads a star-studded cast of characters, including Constance Wu and Taylor Kitsch.

This novel-turned-TV series follows James Reece as he returns after his entire platoon was ambushed during a covert mission.

However, his unreliable memories have him questioning events as he discovers that dark forces are at work against him, putting him and his family in danger.

Lauren Reece - 2 - Riley Keough - The Terminal List - 2022

Riley Keough plays the wife of Chris Pratt’s James Reece and is a loving, devoted wife who cares for other SEAL families while the platoon is on a mission.

Even though critics didn’t love it, this action thriller novel turned live-action dramatic journey is getting a prequel titled The Terminal List: Dark Wolf.

Taylor Kitsch’s Ben Edwards will be the central character, and Chris Pratt will reprise his role as James Reece.

Related: Why Tracker and Reacher are Peak “Difterpreneur” TV

For more entries that fall under the “shows for dad” genre, add Reacher to your “must-watch” list.

Daisy Jones & The Six (2023)

Role: Daisy Jones. Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Daisy Jones - Riley Keough - Daisy Jones & The Six - 2023

Right back to form, Riley Keough starred in this musical drama miniseries, which, as you probably guessed, was loved by critics.

The leads received considerable praise for their musical chemistry.

With Riley Keough and Sam Claflin, it’s no wonder this series was nominated for several awards and even won an Emmy.

Daisy Jones & The Six were on top of the world in 1977, having risen from obscurity to fame, but after a sold-out show at Chocago’s Soldier Field, the band split up.

Decades later, this iconic rock group has agreed to meet and reveal the truth about all the drama and secrets behind the band’s history.

Keough plays the titular character of Daisy Jones, the band’s lead singer known for being beautiful, talented, ambitious, and chaotic.

Daisy Jones - 2 - Riley Keough - Daisy Jones & The Six - 2023

Raised by wealthy but inattentive parents, Daisy grew up in the Hollywood Hills, where she discovered a love for all things music at a young age.

If you liked A Star is Born, this musical drama based on the novel of the same name features fantastic acting and musical talent.

For more of that road life and the warm glow of the stage lights, be sure to watch this series and stream Nashville on Hulu.

Under the Bridge (2024)

Role: Rebecca Godfrey. Available to stream on Hulu.

Rebecca Godfrey - Riley Keough - Under the Bridge - 2024

It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway: Under the Bridge has critics frothing at the mouth with praise for the story, acting, and overall production.

When you have Golden Globe winner Lily Gladstone as a headliner for a miniseries, heads will turn, and eyes will be watching.

Under the Bridge is a series based on the novel of the same name that follows the hidden world of teenagers accused of murder.

After fourteen-year-old Reena Virk went to a friend’s party and never returned, seven teenage boys and girls were accused of the savage killing.

For trivia enthusiasts, you can add this to yet another project from Riley Keough based on a book of the same name.

Related: These TV Shows are Fighting Sexism in the Workplace

With true crime on the rise, audiences are looking for that murder mystery fix, and they’ll find it in this series and similar ones like Mindhunter.

Riley Keough Under the Bridge LA Premiere

With so many fantastic acting credits, it’s no wonder that Riley Keough has received so much acclaim over the years for her choice of roles.

Whatever the actress does next is guaranteed to be a “must-watch” as she will undoubtedly bring all of her acting talent and skill.

Which of Riley Keough’s projects have you seen?

Was there a film or show of hers that you love that we didn’t cover?

Drop a comment below to let us know, and join us again when we shine the spotlight on the next actor!

Joshua Pleming is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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