The Matrix (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Matrix1999

The Matrix (1999)



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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Hugo Weaving
as Agent Smith
Paul Goddard
as Agent Brown
David Aston
as Rhineheart
Denni Gordon
as Priestess
Rowan Witt
as Spoon Boy
Elenor Witt
as Potential
Tamara Brown
as Potential
Janaya Pender
as Potential
Adryn White
as Potential
Natalie Tjen
as Potential
Bill Young
as Lieutenant
David O'Connor
as FedEx Man
Jeremy Ball
as Business Man
Fiona Johnson
as Woman in Red
Steve Dodd
as Blind Man
Luke Quinton
as Security Guard
Michael Butcher
as Cop Who Captures Neo
Nigel Harbach
as Parking Cop
Lilly Wachowski
as Window Cleaner
Lana Wachowski
as Window Cleaner
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News & Interviews for The Matrix

Critic Reviews for The Matrix

All Critics (159) | Top Critics (45)

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.

July 12, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Neo offers Reeves the perfect combination of Ted Theodore Logan's curiosity and wonder, Johnny Utah's earnestness and the badassedness of Jack Traven.

February 22, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | 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.

October 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.

October 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.

October 21, 2013

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 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for The Matrix


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


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

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