Epithelial cells display dynamic behaviours, such as rearrangement, movement and shape changes, particularly during embryonic development and in equivalent processes in adults. Accumulating evidence suggests that the remodelling of cell junctions, especially adherens junctions (AJs), has major roles in controlling these behaviours. AJs comprise cadherin adhesion receptors and cytoplasmic proteins that associate with them, including catenins and actin filaments, and exhibit various forms, such as linear or punctate. Remodelling of AJs induces epithelial reshaping in various ways, including by planar-polarized apical constriction that is driven by the contraction of AJ-associated actomyosin and that occurs during neural plate bending and germband extension. RHO GTPases and their effectors regulate actin polymerization and actomyosin contraction at AJs during the epithelial reshaping processes.