Reviews - The Matrix (1999)
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The Matrix (1999)

Genres: Action, Sci-Fi

Taglines: The Fight for the Future Begins

Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

Writers: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, ...

Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans' body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents: super-powerful computer programs devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion.

91 | Shawn Levy

The Matrix slams you back in your chair, pops open your eyes and leaves your jaw hanging slack in amazement.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

90 | Keith Phipps

The Wachowskis do it so playfully well, keeping The Matrix's potentially confusing plot intelligible, intelligent, and suspenseful, that it doesn't matter.
Read More: The A.V. Club

90 | Manohla Dargis

Bill Pope's swooping, noir-inflected cinematography is wonderfully complemented by Owen Paterson's inventive production design, a great soundtrack and the best fight choreography this side of Hong Kong. And even if this isn't "Blade Runner," it is very cool shit.
Read More: L.A. Weekly

90 | Christopher Brandon

The Wachowski Brothers have created some of the most unrivaled and imaginative sci-fi in years.
Read More: TNT RoughCut

90 | Cody Clark

This wildly imaginative thriller is a futuristic head trip you most definitely want to take.
Read More: Mr. Showbiz

90 | Kenneth Turan

A wildly cinematic futuristic thriller that is determined to overpower the imagination, The Matrix combines traditional science-fiction premises with spanking new visual technology in a way that almost defies description.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

90 | Ron Wells

I'll just say to anyone lamenting the state of American cinema since the 1970s, if you're curious where the next generation of auteurs is coming from, look in the art houses and look in The Matrix.
Read More: Film Threat

88 | James Berardinelli

Kinetic, atmospheric, visually stunning, and mind-bending.
Read More: ReelViews

88 | Steven Rea

With its mix of Lewis Carroll and William Gibson; Japanese anime and Chinese chopsocky; mythological allusions, and machine-made illusion, offers a couple of hours of escapist fun.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

80 | Stephen Hunter

There's a kind of liberating, almost transforming energy in this film; it lights you up and sends you out all giddy with silliness.
Read More: Washington Post

80 | David Edelstein

One of the more lyrical sci-fi action thrillers ever made, in which space and time become love slaves to the directors' witty visual fancies.
Read More: Slate

80 | Maitland McDonagh

This dazzling pop allegory is steeped in a dark, pulpy sensibility that transcends nostalgic pastiche and stands firmly on its own merits.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

80 | Bill Gallo

This full-tilt visual and aural bombardment is simply a lot of fun. It never lets up. Nor does it ever want to.
Read More: Dallas Observer

80 | Michael O'Sullivan

One big, fat, honking comic book of a sci-fi-martial-arts adventure flick.
Read More: Washington Post

78 | Marc Savlov

Doesn't just raise the bar on sci-fi and action films, it rips that sucker off and sends it spiraling into the sun.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

75 | David Sterritt

The plot switches gears every time it threatens to run out of energy, which keeps the show as lively as it is preposterous.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

75 | Wesley Morris

Where most effects-laden extravanganzas aspire to be nothing more than a live-action comic book, The Matrix sees things with the venturesome clarity of a graphic novel.
Read More: San Francisco Examiner

75 | Marc Caro

The writing remains more intelligent than most thrillers, and the action is executed with such panache that even if you don't buy the reality of The Matrix, it's a helluva place to visit.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

75 | Jack Mathews

A dazzlingly original visual adventure.
Read More: New York Daily News

75 | Rod Dreher

It's like animation come to three-dimensional life, and f/x addicts as well as sci-fi fans will not want to miss a split-second.
Read More: New York Post

75 | Roger Ebert

A visually dazzling cyberadventure, full of kinetic excitement, but it retreats to formula just when it's getting interesting.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

75 | Ray Conlogue

For those who have been waiting for movies to catch up with the graphic possibilities of comic books, wait no longer: The Matrix is among us.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)


Aerves up so much visual wizardry and thought-provoking ideas that even the inevitable Silver touch -- a finale with more bullets than the opening of "Saving Private Ryan" -- can't destroy the magic.

70 | Andrew O'Hehir

It may bore you to death or blow your mind -- and it's long and convoluted enough to do both -- but it holds nothing back.
Read More:

70 | Todd McCarthy

An eye-popping but incoherent extravaganza of morphing and superhuman martial arts.
Read More: Variety

70 | Richard Schickel

Given a budget that encourages their kinesthetic skills, the filmmakers tend to go on a bit, but it's mostly a kind of quick, glancing hipness that's being indulged here.
Read More: Time

70 | Janet Maslin

The martial arts stunts that are its single strongest selling point.
Read More: The New York Times

70 | David Ansen

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

63 | Mike Clark

Even if a lot of adults have problems following this picture 100%, look for computer-savvy teen-agers to guarantee this sometimes original but too often derivative time-killer a shelf life.
Read More: USA Today

60 | Dennis Lim

The cumulative effect is perversely deflationary: long before it's over, the film has flushed the paranoia from its system.
Read More: Village Voice

58 | Lisa Schwarzbaum

The real soullessness here is built into the production, a polished adaptation of Hong Kong-style filmmaking that, with its cast of depressive characters, allows for little Hong Kong-style joy.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

50 | Jonathan Rosenbaum

There's not much humor to keep it all life-size, and by the final stretch it's become bloated, mechanical, and tiresome.
Read More: Chicago Reader

50 | Jay Carr

Snazzy visuals, of which she (Moss) is one, carry The Matrix past its klutzy script.
Read More: Boston Globe

25 | Bob Graham

It's astonishing that so much money, talent, technical expertise and visual imagination can be put in the service of something so stupid.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle