"Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself."
Truer words have never been spoken. Morpheus may have been talking about the actual "Matrix" in the movie—the virtual reality dream world that robots use to enslave humanity--but he might as well have been talking about the actual film.
Written and directed by the Wachowskis, The Matrix is omnipresent in our popular culture. Its innovations have become hackneyed tropes. The movie's dark aesthetic is played out by imitators. Reading a summary of the movie, one might be unimpressed, because the story--of the One who saves humanity and sees "beyond" what he's been told--has been told countless times, particularly in the superhero and fantasy genres, since 1999.
But just watch it, especially if you haven't seen it in a while. What made it groundbreaking 20 years ago is no longer as impactful, but what does remain is a thrilling, fun action movie. The visual effects, shockingly, still hold up--the filmmakers used just enough practical effects alongside the CGI to blend them well. And even if you know the story, The Matrix tells that story better, and more emotionally, than its imitators.
Here are 30 facts you didn't know about The Matrix. The Matrix 4 will debut in theaters on May 21, 2021. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity.