The Matrix

1999

The Matrix (1999)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Thanks to the Wachowskis' imaginative vision, The Matrix is a smartly crafted combination of spectacular action and groundbreaking special effects.

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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 around him is real. The year is actually closer to 2199, and it seems Thomas, like most people, is a victim of The Matrix, a massive artificial intelligence system that has tapped into people's minds and created the illusion of a real world, while using their brains and bodies for energy, tossing them away like spent batteries when they're through. Morpheus, however, is convinced Neo is "The One" who can crack open The Matrix and bring his people to both physical and psychological freedom. The Matrix is the second feature film from the sibling writer/director team of Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, who made an impressive debut with the stylish erotic crime thriller Bound. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Matrix

All Critics (143) | Top Critics (35)

A technologically stunning movie that furthers the genre and features crowd-pleasing performances to go with the frequent scenes of gunplay and violence.

Oct 3, 2015 | Full Review…

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.

Oct 21, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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

Oct 21, 2013
New Yorker
Top 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.

Oct 21, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

Oct 21, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

With an arsenal of cool f/x at their disposal, they've come up with a dizzyingly enjoyable junk movie that has just enough on its mind to keep the pleasure from being a guilty one.

Nov 1, 2007 | Full Review…
Newsweek
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Matrix

½

A mind-blowing modern classic that feeds the mind with thought-provoking philosophical ideas about what reality is, and it will always be remembered as a major breakthrough in Cinema with its combination of innovative visual effects, thrilling action and iconic religious references.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

By far my favourite of the matrix trilogy. Its fast paced, action packed and really interesting to watch. Its a great concept and an interesting storyline that i thoroughly enjoyed. its a great sci-fi thats worth the watch.

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

½

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)

Bruce Bruce
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.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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