Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. 91
    The Matrix slams you back in your chair, pops open your eyes and leaves your jaw hanging slack in amazement.
  2. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    90
    This wildly imaginative thriller is a futuristic head trip you most definitely want to take.
  3. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    90
    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.
  4. 90
    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.
  5. 90
    The Wachowskis do it so playfully well, keeping The Matrix's potentially confusing plot intelligible, intelligent, and suspenseful, that it doesn't matter.
  6. 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.
  7. The Wachowski Brothers have created some of the most unrivaled and imaginative sci-fi in years.
  8. 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.
  9. 88
    Kinetic, atmospheric, visually stunning, and mind-bending.
  10. 80
    This dazzling pop allegory is steeped in a dark, pulpy sensibility that transcends nostalgic pastiche and stands firmly on its own merits.
  11. 80
    This full-tilt visual and aural bombardment is simply a lot of fun. It never lets up. Nor does it ever want to.
  12. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    80
    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.
  13. There's a kind of liberating, almost transforming energy in this film; it lights you up and sends you out all giddy with silliness.
  14. One big, fat, honking comic book of a sci-fi-martial-arts adventure flick.
  15. 78
    Doesn't just raise the bar on sci-fi and action films, it rips that sucker off and sends it spiraling into the sun.
  16. 75
    A visually dazzling cyberadventure, full of kinetic excitement, but it retreats to formula just when it's getting interesting.
  17. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    75
    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.
  18. The plot switches gears every time it threatens to run out of energy, which keeps the show as lively as it is preposterous.
  19. A dazzlingly original visual adventure.
  20. Reviewed by: Rod Dreher
    75
    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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 70
    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.
  24. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    70
    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.
  25. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    70
    The martial arts stunts that are its single strongest selling point.
  26. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    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.
  27. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    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.
  28. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    An eye-popping but incoherent extravaganza of morphing and superhuman martial arts.
  29. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    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.
  30. 60
    The cumulative effect is perversely deflationary: long before it's over, the film has flushed the paranoia from its system.
  31. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    60
    An exercise in outrageous style over substance.
  32. 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.
  33. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    50
    Snazzy visuals, of which she (Moss) is one, carry The Matrix past its klutzy script.
  34. There's not much humor to keep it all life-size, and by the final stretch it's become bloated, mechanical, and tiresome.
  35. It's astonishing that so much money, talent, technical expertise and visual imagination can be put in the service of something so stupid.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 662 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 181
  1. Oct 4, 2011
    9
    Yes, the movie has flaws. But who cares? "The Matrix" is a astonishing movie that is for-your-eyes only. The film has top notch (slo-mo was first introduced by this movie) CGI as well as a well rounded plot. It gives you more than you can ask for from a 1990's action film. Full Review »
  2. KevinV.
    Nov 4, 2007
    8
    What a concept! Although the movie is well executed, it is not exceptional. It makes for an entertaining ride.
  3. Jul 10, 2011
    10
    An excellent movie with tons of special effects, fight scenes, etc., and the best thing is that they are all done perfectly. A really good film with an interesting story behind it. YOU'LL ENJOY IT. Full Review »