The Matrix Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2007
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)
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2006
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.
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2012
Fantastic special effects and creative story. Neo is possibly the only role that Reeves handles appropriately.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2012
Underwhelming in its action sequences, and its philosophical themes, 'The Matrix' is simply a dull piece of cinema.

Telling an unoriginal story of a world where we are really controlled, and reality is a lie, 'The Matrix' brings together the 'wonderful' talents of Keanu Reeves playing a computer hacker who discovers that reality is all false.

Written and directed by the Wachowski brothers, the film has been heralded for its visual effects, of which it should be. The incredible achievements of the film in the special effects cinematic arena will and should, stand for generations as a pinpoint of cinematic history.

Only in that field however. Whilst the effects may wow, and occasional moments of interesting cinematography may hold your interest, the film drags and drapes throughout the majority of its running time.

The action scenes, which the brother directors said were inspired by John Woo and other's Hong Kong heroic bloodshed films, do not live anywhere close up to their standard. Apart from a few famous and bold moves, the action is quite like any other standard from the time and from today. It is not special, nor impressive, let alone revolutionary.

Indeed, the very themes and hidden religious subject matter which the film sets out to explore in a more accessible blockbuster format, are tainted and disrespected by the cast and crew.

Keanu Reeves leads the charge with his most shocking performance to date. It is not underplayed, it is not delicately done, Reeves acting skills are simply not up to the task of this film, or any film like it.

But spare a thought to Laurence Fishburne, the only shining light from this, save the excellent visual effects. For those two things, 'The Matrix' must be praised. For the rest, it should not. Why this film is heralded as a modern day classic or masterpiece is beyond me. Instead all I can see is a disappointing and dull two and a quarter hours.
Super Reviewer
½ August 7, 2012
Um... Yeah. I finally saw this, and it's all right. It's certainly a massive innovator in visual effects, I'll give it that much. But beyond that, it's pretty good. While the action scenes are tightly executed and some of the best in the business, the rest of the movie is merely all right. I don't know how to feel about this one, for all the hype everyone gives it, I suppose it lives up to the hype? I honestly am kind of baffled by the huge following for this movie. Putting William Gibson/Philip K. Dick style themes into what is essentially a Honk Kong action movie is certainly an interesting idea, I can't help but feel like the execution could have been just a bit smoother. This mostly falls on the burden of the actors, who are usually good in this film, except for one: Keanu Reeves. He's really bad in this movie, with the only time he shows emotion being during the dojo sequence where he grins at Morpheus and briefly imitates Bruce Lee. In any case, pretty good movie, just don't go in thinking it'll be a sci-fi masterpiece.
Market Man
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2012
Groundbreaking. Intense. Intelligent. "The Matrix" is one of the greatest action films ever made. The ideas presented are original and the story keeps you engaged. The action scenes are some of the best in cinematic history. Neo is a great protagonist and we really see him change throughout the film as he comes to terms with his purpose. Highly recommend.
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2008
A film that makes you question things from beginning to end but yet still makes it satisfying for you. A dark and mesmerizing direction is what the Wachowski Bros. undertook in the development of this crafty film. It's main stars provided action and emotion that is simply masterful. 4.5/5
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2007
A well-done, original, philosophical slam-bang thriller concerning a computer hacker (Keanu Reeves) who is sucked into an alternative universe by mysterious figures who believe he is the answer to many of their questions, while he questions what is real and what his role on earth is. Reeves stoic, cool expression that he keeps on his face makes him perfect for the part, as he just looks effortlessly relaxed while he takes part of some of the sickest, revolutionary action sequences in the history of film. Sure, it goes a little crazy in its last third and puts the philosophy to hell during an intense conclusion, but the first two-thirds of the movie build appropriately to an eye-popping finale. Flawed to a degree, but still very rewatchable and an irrefutable cult classic deserving of its status.
Super Reviewer
November 20, 2007
The Matrix didn't invent a new vocabulary. Hong Kong action cinema is clearly the inspiration for the martial arts fighting for example. There's allusions to comic books and Japanese animation as well. That's not its legacy. The point is that The Matrix so perfectly adapted many divergent notions into an exhilarating unified science fiction and then brought these ideas to the masses. By and large, this is a dazzling work. Now and then the human destiny presented here can be pretty icky. There are visions of human life in which biology and technology intermingle in a way so unsettling it would give David Cronenberg pause. And Keanu Reeves surfer dude accent can be unintentionally funny. But I suppose that's part of the film's charm. One thrilling set piece after another impresses with such artistic zeal and excitement, it more than makes up for the narrative's occasional lapses in clarity. The Matrix is the inspiring realization of the Wachowski brothers' imagination made real - their self acknowledged understanding of a live action anime fulfilled.
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2006
Pretty good action
Directors Cat
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2011
The Matrix is groundbreaking on almost every level. In terms of imagination this is definetely near the top of the ladder. Everything else is fantastic too. It was actually released 10 years before James Cameron's Avatar, which was the next great achievement in imagination and technical effects that surpassed The Matrix. But what this amazing piece of cinema has that its achievement sucessor doesn't is a mind-bending plotline that isn't as simple or as camp as Avatar.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
This is an awesome movie! Just when the sci-fi genre was going down the tubes, this film revitalized the entire genre. The special effects are more than memorable, they made the film a household name. The careers of almost the whole cast have been helped by being in this movie. And there is a thought-provoking story behind it all. I highly recommend this movie, it's a contemporary classic!
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2007
Has a few flaws, but they are nothing when compared to everything this movie does right. Fantastic story with thought-provoking ideas and great action sequences that dazzle. It does get a little cheesy at times, but thats only if you don't like Hong Kong action style movies that this takes some inspiration from. Everyone knows how influential this movie was to the movie industry, even though it had to pull inspirations of its own along the way. Keanu Reeves has never been better as well. He plays this characters almost perfectly, while Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss are great as well. It's unfortunate that the Wachowski's didn't reach the same heights as this film with the sequels, but we can all still appreciate this movie on its own terms without the sequels.
Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2011
The Matrix offers a little something for everyone. The die-hard science fiction fan will discover a plot that mixes and matches both new and old conventions of the genre in a compelling fashion. Action aficionados will find that there's no shortage of electric excitement, whether it's in the form of hand-to-hand kung fu-type fights or shoot-outs with seemingly limitless ammunition. There's also betrayal, a little romance, some humor, and a moral dilemma or two, all wrapped into a well-produced package. As I stated earlier, the way in which the Wachowskis choose to resolve everything seems slightly contrived, but, in the overall scheme of things, that's a small price to pay for one of the most enjoyable science fiction thrillers to reach the screen in months.
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2011
A hacker fantasy. Have you ever felt out of place in the real world or frustrated at how ineffectively people and authorities run things? Yearned to explain the entire world in terms of a complex designed software system? Or wanted to reduce the success of an anointed hero in "doing what's never been done before" to him simply creating edge cases that a programmer hasn't foreseen? Then you'll love this movie.
Super Reviewer
November 15, 2010
Confusing and pretentious, the Matrix has always been made out to be more than it was and depressingly it gathered a cult following regardless. All the basic threads of this film are siphoned off from other books and movies of a similar genre and then to cast Reeves, one of the WORST actors of our generation, to play a role that should have been handed to someone with half an ounce of emotion, was criminal. No wonder Will Smith and Ewan McGregor turned down the role. I will never see what everyone else does in this tiresome franchise.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2011
Keanu Reeves may not be the greatest of actors but he doesn't need to do much here other that do Kung-fu and wield a gun (or lots of them). The Matrix is an ingenious film that has a combination of ground-breaking visual effects and an imaginative premise, which really makes this an interesting, thought-provoking film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 28, 2011
Despite its neat special effects, "The Matrix" ultimately turns out to be a redundant, boring, predictable mess. The concept of the film may be mildly interesting, but the final execution is sloppy and confusing. Unless you're particularly keen on films which rely heavily on convoluted action scenes (think "Transformers"), "The Matrix" is hardly a must-see.
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2011
The Matrix is a stunning achievement in cinema. This is a film that broke new ground in special effects, and Action films since then haven't been the same. The film boasts a strong cast of established talent, and a lavish, complex storyline that was made less intriguing by the disappointing sequels. The film is filled with top notch, unforgettable action scenes. I honestly think that because of this film, many films have had what I call "The Matrix sickness" that's when almost every action film has to have a few slow motion action scenes. At first it was cool, but after a dozen films mimic the techniques used in this film, it becomes redundant and tiresome. The Matrix breaks new ground in that respect as this was a stunning picture when it was released over a decade ago. Looking back over ten years after this film was released; The Matrix has had a terrific impact on Action and Sci Fi films alike. I very much enjoyed this film as it broke new ground, and took risks and it payed off. The result is a near perfect action film that has stunning acting, a terrific concept and terrific directing. If you're in the mood for a solid action film with strong visuals and memorable, then give Matrix a viewing. This is terrific film, and with each viewing you understood this work a lot more than the first time you've seen it. This is the best Wachnowski Brothers film that you'll ever see, as the sequels fail to capture the imagination like this one did so well.
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