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The Matrix (1999)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 139
Fresh: 121 | Rotten: 18

An ingenious combination of Hong Kong action, ground-breaking Hollywood FX, and an imaginative vision.


Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 11

An ingenious combination of Hong Kong action, ground-breaking Hollywood FX, and an imaginative vision.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 33,313,035

My Rating

Movie Info

What if virtual reality wasn't just for fun, but was being used to imprison you? That's the dilemma that faces mild-mannered computer jockey Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) in The Matrix. It's the year 1999, and Anderson (hacker alias: Neo) works in a cubicle, manning a computer and doing a little hacking on the side. It's through this latter activity that Thomas makes the acquaintance of Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), who has some interesting news for Mr. Anderson -- none of what's going on

Sep 21, 1999

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (140) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (121) | Rotten (18) | DVD (43)

Extremely violent, extremely preposterous, extremely entertaining, The Matrix succeeds at two extremely difficult tasks: as a vast, exciting virtual-reality movie and as a defibrillator for Keanu Reeves' big screen career.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is nonsense, but it does achieve a brazenly chic high style -- black-on-black, airborne, spasmodic.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Wachowskis and cinematographer Bill Pope take advantage of currently available technical trickery to create visually distinct levels of reality while setting high-speed cameras in motion to make the action sequences particularly dynamic and fluid.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where other films are done in by the freedom offered by computer effects, The Matrix integrates them beautifully.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A must-see among genre fans, especially guys in their teens and 20s, for whom the script's pretentious mumbo-jumbo of undergraduate mythology, religious mysticism and technobabble could even be a plus rather than a dramatic liability.

June 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (3)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's not much humor to keep it all life-size, and by the final stretch it's become bloated, mechanical, and tiresome.

June 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (48)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The effects are astonishing. It's funny, it's dark, it's smart and it's filled with guns, lots of guns. A landmark film and quite possibly the ultimate expression of cyberpunk.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

Hang on tight for a real mind-blower, with astonishing visual effects, frightening monsters and exciting stunt fights.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Matrix is a movie experience like no other, and experience is what it's all about. It explodes with dazzling visuals and a transcendent sense of excitement.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Thematically complex, yet intelligently integrating eastern philosophy, Lewis Carroll and ancient mysticism.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Writer/director siblings the Wachowskis have gone further with the action genre than you'd have ever thought possible.

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The Matrix is tough to explain, but then how much explaining does an amusement park ride require?

October 21, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Inspired by different sources (including Japanese anime), The Matrix is a new kind of movie, a visionary mixture of technology, philosophy and thrilling action.

July 1, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

It's that balance between blockbuster-style action sequences and in-depth philosophical undertones that I've always admired about The Matrix.

January 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Intense, but many teens will be able to handle it.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (2)
Common Sense Media

Exemplifies the idea that a sufficiently cool outcome justifies all of the tortured narrative it takes to get there.

July 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Other than some caveats, this is an innovative and original science fiction entry...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The original Matrix stands perfectly well on its own, despite the fact that the filmmakers went on with second and third episodes.

April 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Dimension-hopping has never been so exhilarating and breathlessly lyrical as brilliant visuals and bracing Hong Kong action stunts punch through lengthy streams of technobabble.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

The surprise sleeper success of 1999, this ingenious science fiction thriller easily surpassed The Phantom Menace.

July 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinefantastique

The paranoid details of the premise are thoroughly worked out; the characters and motives, much less so.

March 11, 2008 Full Review Source: | Comments (3)

The Matrix is fun, and while it may confuse you first time around, a second viewing is really required to get the full 'entertainment' value out of it.

January 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Audience Reviews for The Matrix

saw one of cinema's greatest achievements, 'Plan 9 from Outer Space'. Widely regarded as the worst film of all time, it featured a plot unrivalled in absurdity.

Then came 'The Matrix'. Apparently robots (or space zombies, or some variety of scary CGI monsters) have enslaved humanity, and are harvesting them for energy. To keep their living batteries entertained the robo-zombies (or space alligators, it doesn't really matter) have created a giant computer game called 'the Matrix'. With a devil-may-care disregard for the first law of thermodynamics, this game runs on the energy of the people it simulates.

But some of these people break out of the computer game and live in a rusty metal bucket and eat gruel. Being heroes, they plan to overthrow their demon-squid robot overlords and free humanity, so they can all live in rusty metal buckets and eat gruel. There are some philosophical pretensions and religious references in there, but these are too simplistic and crass to be worth going any deeper into.

Keanu Reeves gives a very believable performance of bad acting, while the rest of the cast mince around in sunglasses and trench-coats, delivering dialogue which serves no other purpose than carrying the plot.

The first fifteen minutes of this film are quite watchable, which is why I am giving it a generous 1 1/2 stars 10-04-01 (Updated)
February 8, 2014
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

A computer hacker who is unsatisfied with his life is contacted by a mysterious stranger who reveals to him that the "real world" is in fact a computer generated simulation designed to subjugate the human race. The most striking aspect of The Matrix is obviously its visuals; highly influenced by the wire work of Asian cinema, the Wachowski brothers cranked it up another level by creatively using computer software to pretty much perfect the action sequence. The mix of fetish wear, brilliantly designed cyber punk technology and super cool actors (both Reeves and Fishburne were catapulted into mega-stardom by this film) makes for an audio visual cocktail that influenced virtually every film that followed. But for me it is the simple but brilliant concept that is the real strength of The Matrix, which marries all the favourite themes of sci-fi. The Messianistic super hero, technophobia, conspiracy theory and prophecy all combine to make a thrilling story which creates the perfect structure in which the hero can perform fantastic feats without compromising narrative logic. It still looks amazing more than a decade later and is two solid hours of pure, adrenaline-fuelled entertainment. A stone cold classic.
December 26, 2013
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

What if I told you "The Matrix" must be seen to be believed?

Review coming to on 9/7
August 7, 2013

Super Reviewer

Cool, groundbreaking, mind-twisting and simply phenomenal! A landmark science fiction masterpiece, that set a whole new standard for out-of-the-box film-making. Keanu Reeves may be dryer than a stick under the scorching California sun, but I still think he was one of the greatest of all possible casting choices for Neo. The true scene-stealer of the film, however, is the mesmerizingly brilliant Hugo Weaving, as the chilling and calculative Agent Smith. He isn't the typical villain, but an extremely intelligent baddie, whose every utterance is a fascinating piece of his multi-faceted, yet cold-hearted mind. Of course, the real crowd-drawer here though, is the visually spectacular special effects. At the time of release, they made everything that came before it virtually obsolete. While it isn't a perfect creation (no movie truly is), it's still pretty much as close as you can get. A personal favourite of mine, whose mind-blowing concoction of philosophy, martial arts and top-of-the-line SFX, makes it one of the most awesome film experiences ever. Now, the question remains: Will you take the red pill or the blue pill?
March 24, 2013
Mike S

Super Reviewer

    1. Switch: Listen to me, Coppertop. We don't have time for 20 Questions.
    – Submitted by Juliet C (23 days ago)
    1. Neo: Am I dead?
    2. Morpheus: Far from it.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (6 months ago)
    1. Switch: Great, the digital pimp at work.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (6 months ago)
    1. Tank: How?
    2. Morpheus: He is the one!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (6 months ago)
    1. Morpheus: Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is. You'll have to see it for yourself.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (6 months ago)
    1. Trinity: I know why you're here, Neo. I know what you've been doing... why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You're looking for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn't really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It's the question that drives us, Neo. It's the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.
    2. Neo: What is the Matrix?
    3. Trinity: The answer is out there, Neo, and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.
    – Submitted by Lorenzo V (12 months ago)
View all quotes (87)

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