If you’re in the mood to watch something exciting, there are two equally good choices. Depending on your mood, you can either laugh hysterically at a comedy or get lost in something trippy. On this page, you will find, Who to Watch The Matrix movies in order including The Animatrix short films, one of the best Psychedelic movies (Trippy Movies) series that will blow your mind.
The Matrix film series features a cyberpunk story of the technological fall of humanity, in which the creation of artificial intelligence led the way to a race of self-aware machines that imprisoned humanity in a virtual reality system–the Matrix–to be farmed as a power source. Occasionally, some of the prisoners break free from the system and, considered a threat, become pursued by the artificial intelligence inside and outside of it. The films focus on the plight of Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), trying to free humanity from the system while pursued by its guardians, such as Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving, Abdul-Mateen II, and Jonathan Groff). The story incorporates references to numerous philosophical, religious, or spiritual ideas, including the dilemma of choice vs. control, the brain in a vat thought experiment, messianism, and the concepts of inter-dependency and love. Influences include the principles of mythology, anime, and Hong Kong action films (particularly “heroic bloodshed” and martial arts movies). The film series is notable for its use of heavily choreographed action sequences and “bullet time” slow-motion effects, revolutionizing action films.
Conceived by the Lilly & Lana Wachowski, THE ANIMATRIX takes fans far beyond the boundaries of the movie screen and deeper into the vast, mind-bending realm of The Matrix in nine visually stunning stories that introduce new characters and scenarios, including the original war between humanity and machines which led to the creation of the titular Matrix, in addition to providing side stories that expand the universe and tie into the film series. So to understand the full movie series watch all The Matrix Movies in Order.
All The Matrix Movies In Chronological Order
[Including The Animatrix Short Films]
1. The Animatrix: The Second Resistance, Parts 1 and 2
Tells the early history of how conflict began between the humans and machines. The Animatrix: The Second Resistance, Parts 1 and 2 describes the history and genesis of the Matrix. This history lesson is presented as an archive (historical file 12-1) from the Zion mainframe, with an angelic figure as your guide. Because the Second Renaissance segments are crucial to understanding the Matrix and the relationship between man and machine, you’ll find a lot more detail in this section than you’ll find for most of the other Animatrix segments. Both parts are packed solid with background information and extremely arresting visuals, so let’s look at the plots one at a time, then the overall effect at the end.
2. The Animatrix: A Detective Story
Set in a dystopian future, the story follows a down-on-his-luck private detective, Ash (James Arnold Taylor), who wanted to be like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. He receives an anonymous call to find a hacker named “Trinity” (Carrie-Anne Moss). Ash starts looking for Trinity and learns that other detectives have failed: one committed suicide, one disappeared, and one went insane.
Ash finds Trinity by using Alice in Wonderland phrases and facts. He agrees to meet her on a train. She removes a “bug” from his eye that Agents planted during a “eye exam” Ash thought was a dream. Three Agents shoot at Trinity and Ash to capture her. An Agent tries to take over Ash’s body as the two escape, forcing Trinity to shoot him. Ash is injured, and he and Trinity part amicably. Trinity tells Ash he could have handled the truth as she escapes. Ash points his gun at the Agents while lighting a cigarette and looking away. Even though Ash is armed, he will likely die. Ash’s lighter flame goes out as he says, “A case to end all cases.”
3. The Matrix
Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you couldn’t awaken? How would you know the difference between dream and reality? The film depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside the Matrix, a simulated reality that intelligent machines have created to distract humans while using their bodies as an energy source.
When a beautiful stranger (Carrie Ann Moss) leads computer hacker Neo (Keanu Reeves) to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth–the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence. Neo joins legendary and dangerous rebel warrior Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) in the battle to destroy the illusion enslaving humanity. Now, every move, every second, every thought becomes a fight to stay alive–to escape The Matrix.
4. The Animatrix: The Kid’s Story
Kid’s Story is the only one of the animated shorts contained in The Animatrix in which Neo (Keanu Reeves) appears. The story takes place during the six-month gap between The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded, where Neo has joined the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar and is helping the rebels free other humans from the Matrix. Kid (Clayton Watson), formerly Michael Karl Popper, is a disaffected teen. The Kid asks a hacker chat room online why dreaming feels more real than being awake. He asks the unknown person (presumably Neo) who he is and if he’s alone.
The next day at school, he writes Neo and Trinity’s names and “get me out of here” Neo calls him on his cell phone to warn him that Agents are coming for him. He’s chased through the high school and cornered on the roof. He trusts Neo and jumps off a roof. At the Kid’s funeral, his teacher tells another school staff member that the real world is somewhere else. He also says that reality can be scary and that the Kid’s world must have been dangerous.
The next scene fades out as The Kid awakens to find Neo and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) watching over him. “Self substantiation” (removing oneself from the Matrix without external aid) was thought impossible. The Kid believes Neo saved him in both scenes, but Neo says he saved himself. The hacker chat room answers the Kid’s last question with “You are not alone.”
5. The Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris
Though it occurs just before the events of The Matrix Reloaded, “Final Flight of the Osiris” primarily focuses on the stylized simulated fight between Jue and Thadeus. Osiris begins with a sexy sparring program between Thadeus, captain of the hovercraft Osiris, and Jue, his senior crewmember. Thadeus and Jue are jolted out of the sparring program when the crew of the Osiris stumbles upon the machine’s dire plans for the human resistance. It’s here that we learn the key plot point for Reloaded: the machines are digging their way to Zion, and there’s not much time to stop them. Thadeus’ crew resolves to warn Zion, but they’re immediately discovered by the Sentinel army, and a fantastic chase and battle scene follow. Jue volunteers to get the information to the mail drop in the Matrix while Thadeus and the Osiris’ crew hold off the sentinels long enough for her to do so.
6. The Matrix Reloaded & Enter the Matrix
Following the conclusion of the “Final Flight of the Osiris” short, this story continues in its entirety. The events of Reloaded can be traced back to the Animatrix short “Final Flight of the Osiris,” which is referenced in the video game “Enter the Matrix.”
Six months after the events of The Matrix, in the second chapter of the Matrix trilogy, Zion falls under siege to the Machine Army. Only hours before 250,000 Sentinels destroy the last human enclave on Earth–and its growing resistance–Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) choose to return to the Matrix with Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), unleashing their arsenal of extraordinary skills and weaponry against the forces of repression and exploitation.Now, at the confluence of love and truth, faith and knowledge, purpose and reason, Neo must follow the course he has chosen if he is to save humanity from the dark fate that haunts his dreams–The Matrix Reloaded.
7. The Animatrix: Beyond
Set in an unidentified Asian city in the Matrix, “Beyond” occurs sometime during the events of the trilogy given the existence of the previous version of the Matrix. It is a haunted house story with a twist. The twist is that the house isn’t haunted, it’s a glitch in the Matrix. Some piece of code isn’t executing as expected, and kids from the neighborhood flock to the house to experience the weirdness.
The central character Yoko is told by some local street urchins that her cat is maybe in the ‘haunted house’, which although a prohibited space is also the kid’s favourite hang out. Inside the walled off derelict building she finds a forbidden zone where the rules of physics are subtly warped, gravity can be defied, the weather differs to the world outside and fleetingly glimpsed cracks seem to appear in reality itself. As she plays with the kids and chases her cat through this mysterious magical ruined and rubbish strewn secret garden, an ominous looking armoured truck is seen making its way towards the compound.
8. The Animatrix: Program
This short opens with a feudal Japanese fighting program that takes place in a Matrix-like construct. Program follows the protagonist, Cis (Hedy Burress), who is engaged in her favorite training simulation: a battle program set in feudal Japan.
Cis, a human who has defected from The Matrix, is currently participating in a computer-based training program designed to enhance her abilities. In an instant, another human being named Duo appears and joins her. After some back-and-forth, he starts talking about how everyone has second thoughts about abandoning the safety and security of The Matrix at some point in their lives. He guarantees that no one can hear them because he has severed all connections to the interface. Cis admits she was skeptical, but Duo admits to an even more serious issue. Even if she doesn’t want to, Cis should accompany him on his return to The Matrix.
As the title suggests, “Program” takes place after “The Matrix” but before “The Matrix Revolutions,” as the rebels in the story put their crew through a series of tests to see how loyal they are to the cause.
9. The Matrix Revolutions & The Matrix Online
Following the events of The Matrix Reloaded, the final film in the trilogy, The Matrix Revolutions, depicts Neo’s ultimate sacrifice and his attempt to make peace with the machines.
In this explosive final chapter of the Matrix trilogy, Neo, Morpheus and Trinity battle to defend Zion, the last real-world city, against the onslaught of the machines that have enslaved the human race. And, now as Neo learns more about his heroic powers–including the ability to see the codes of things and the people, he faces the consequences of the choice made in The Matrix Reloaded.
While being the final entry in the original trilogy of the series, the Matrix storyline was continued in The Matrix Online video game.
10. The Matrix Resurrections
Set 60 years after the events of The Matrix Revolutions, In The Matrix Resurrections, return to a world of two realities: one, everyday life; the other, what lies behind it.
Sixty years after Revolutions Neo, who lives a seemingly ordinary life as a video game developer having trouble with distinguishing fantasy from reality. To find out if his reality is a physical or mental construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. And if Thomas…Neo…has learned anything, it’s that choice, while an illusion, is still the only way out of—or into—the Matrix. Of course, Neo already knows what he has to do. But what he doesn’t yet know is the Matrix is stronger, more secure and more dangerous than ever before. So a group of rebels, with the help of a programmed version of Morpheus, free Neo from a new version of the Matrix and fight a new enemy that holds Trinity captive.
11. The Animatrix: World Record
The Animatrix: World Record tells the story of an athlete who becomes aware of the Matrix while attempting to set the world record for the 100 meters sprint. The story is set in an unspecified time in The Matrix canon.
Dan Davis is a world champion sprinter who recently was accused of blood doping, and subsequently had his 100M World Record time wiped from the record books. In the stadium on race day, he is being watched by four Agents. Dan gets off to a fast start in the race. Sadly, he suffers a setback when the muscles in his leg violently rupture, frightening many spectators in the process. Dan’s injury wouldn’t stop him from running, so he pushed through the pain and improved his speed, allowing him to easily outrun the competition. His massive burst of energy is detected by the Agents before he can cross the finish line, and they report that his “signal” is becoming unstable in the Matrix. Three of the agents take control of the three closest runners and try to stop him, but they can’t catch up.
The Agents realize his body’s signal is becoming erratic. Cut to his cell in the machine’s powerplant: Dan wakes himself up! …continued in the second column… Share Thrashing and flailing, his freedom is short-lived – the machines immediately swoop in, pass currents of electricity through him, and render his mind useless. His body slumps in the cell as we cut back to the race. Tumbling to the ground, Dan finishes first and shatters the record, but the machines have won this day. The Animatrix: Scene from World Record His mind nearly empty, Dan lives out his life confined to a wheelchair in a long-term care facility, a prisoner who briefly tasted freedom, and paid dearly for it.
12. The Animatrix: Matriculated
One of the most original of the Animatrix episodes, Matriculated is also one of the most thought-provoking. The Animatrix: Matriculated is another animated short without clear placement on the Matrix timeline.
It follows the story of a band of resistance fighters that attempt to convert captured machines to fight for humanity. On the surface of the destroyed earth a young woman, Alexa, is seemingly being hunted down by two sentinels. Alexa flees to a tunnel, but the sentinels still follow. This is all according to plan however. Alexa is part of a resistance group that has set a trap. After a robotic device kills of one sentinel, Alexa is able to stun the other. The group wants to use the living sentinel for an experiment. By linking the sentinel to them all in virtual reality, they hope to convince the man-made creature to join the human’s cause. But there isn’t much time.
How many The Matrix movies are there?
The Matrix film series consists of FOUR (4) movies, beginning with The Matrix (1999) and continuing with three sequels, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions (both in 2003), and The Matrix Resurrections (2021). The Matrix franchise also features NINE (9) animated short films “The Animatrix”—the backstory of The Matrix film series, including the original war between humanity and machines which led to the creation of the titular Matrix, in addition to providing side stories that expand the universe and tie into the film series.
All The Matrix Movies in Order of Release Date
Here is the List of Matrix films in order, they were released.
1. The Matrix — March 31, 1999
2. The Matrix Reloaded — May 15, 2003
3. The Matrix Revolutions — November 5, 2003
4. The Matrix Resurrections — December 22, 2021
All The Animatrix Movies in Order of Release Date
The cinema release order for The Animatrix (at least in Australia), and its sequencing in a subsequent release on HBO Max, differed from the DVD release, placing the Final Flight of the Osiris last instead of first. The cinema release-order:
1. The Second Renaissance, Part I — June 3, 2003
2. The Second Renaissance, Part II — June 7, 2003
3. Kid’s Story — June 14, 2003
4. Program — June 21, 2003
5. World Record — July 5, 2003
6. Beyond — July 12, 2003
7. A Detective Story — August 30, 2003
8. Matriculated — September 20, 2003
9. Final Flight of the Osiris — September 27, 2003
Watching The Matrix movies in chronological order introduced how the the virtual world of the Matrix came about in first film “The Matrix”. The short comic “Bits and Pieces of Information” and the Animatrix short film The Second Renaissance show how the initial conflict between mankind and machines came about, and how and why the Matrix was first developed. Its history and purpose are further explained in The Matrix Reloaded. In The Matrix Revolutions a new status quo is established in the Matrix’s place in mankind and machines’ conflict. This was further explored in The Matrix Online, a now-defunct MMORPG. The order in which you do these things is up to you now. But when we watch it, we prefer to do so in order.