The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowski Brothers and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano, and Gloria Foster.
It depicts a dystopian future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called “the Matrix”, created by sentient machines to subdue the human population, while their bodies’ heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Cybercriminal and computer programmer Neo learns this truth and is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, which involves other people who have been freed from the “dream world.”
The Matrix was well-received by critics and won four Academy Awards, as well as other accolades, including BAFTA Awards and Saturn Awards. Reviewers praised The Matrix for its innovative visual effects, cinematography and entertainment value. The film has since appeared in lists of the greatest science fiction films, and, in 2012, was added to the National Film Registry for preservation. The success of the film led to the release of two feature film sequels, both written and directed by the Wachowskis: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
The Matrix franchise was further expanded through the production of comic books, video games and animated short films, in which the Wachowskis were heavily involved, and even inspired books and theories on ideas in religion and philosophy.