'The Matrix'
‘The Matrix’ | Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

The Matrix is a 1999 science-fiction action film that follows a computer hacker named Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) — aka Neo — as his eyes are opened to the truth: Humans are unknowingly trapped in simulated reality called the Matrix. With the help of Trinity (Carre-Anne Moss), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), and others who have been freed from (or born outside of) the Matrix, Neo fights against this dystopian future, which is a result of intelligent machines harvesting human bodies as an energy source.

Written and directed by the Wachowskis, The Matrix won four Academy Awards and is widely considered among the best science fiction films of all time — grossing more than $460 million worldwide. It’s known for its elaborate martial arts fight scenes that incorporate the “bullet time” effect, which allows a shot to progress in slow motion as the camera seems to move through the scene at a normal pace.

Its success led to two sequels in 2003: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. A highly-anticipated fourth installment, The Matrix Resurrections, is scheduled to release on Dec. 22, 2021.


  • Genres: Science fiction, action
  • Premiere Date: March 31, 1999
  • Number of films: Three in the original trilogy, and one in a reboot film
  • Writers/Directors: Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski
  • Stars: Original trilogy: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano; The Matrix: Resurrections: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jessica Henwick, Priyanka Chopra Jonas
  • Where to Watch: HBO Max

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