The Matrix


The Matrix

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 149


Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,324,202
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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


News & Interviews for The Matrix

Critic Reviews for The Matrix

All Critics (149) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (131) | Rotten (18)

  • The Matrix still stands up as a fiercely exciting and discombobulating futurist drama, which pioneered breathtaking "bullet-time" action sequences inspired by Asian martial arts.

    Jul 12, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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

    David Denby

    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

    Keith Phipps

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Matrix

  • Apr 09, 2018
    10/04/2018 - Yes there are some cheesy one liners. But you should expect that. As of writing this, The Matrix is almost 20 years old! The simple fact is, The Matrix is STILL the greatest science fiction film ever made, and doesn't look like it will be beaten any time soon.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 27, 2017
    The Matrix is a masterfully created action film that near-flawlessly weaves a contained story into a complex universe.
    Sean T Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2017
    After having re-watched The Matrix for the first time since I was a kid, I was incredibly pleased to find that it's just as cool watching it as an adult as it was as a kid. The action and choreography are what paved the way for Keanu Reeves' career, as well as the future of action and science fiction movies of the early 21st century... but it's not only Reeves' performance that is exceptional. Laurence Fishburne, Carrie Anne-Moss, and Hugo Weaving all deliver physically disciplined and skilled performances, and it's a privilege to watch. Here we are 18 years later and it's still very relevant today- focusing on the danger of artificial intelligence, and of course, destiny.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • May 11, 2016
    "The Matrix" isn't a perfect film, but it really is close to being one. The Wachowskis show us for the first (and only) time how good they are with original stories that they know is really going to touch the audience in a very deep and fascinating way. It's very smartly put together and the structure and story are great opposite each other. The performances by Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving are great and you believe every moment that these characters are on the screen in front of you. This movie shows an alternate world in a very dreamlike and almost trippy way, and that's the audience wants: something that can really challenge them and make them see everything differently afterwards. This movie definitely managed to do that and can easily be put on the list of the greatest films of all time.
    Lasse G Super Reviewer

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