10 Best The Matrix Moments

Nobody was quite prepared in the early months of 1999 for what would happen when The Matrix unleashed itself upon the world. There is a certain argument to be made that, when talking about Hollywood blockbusters, there is the era before The Matrix and the era after The Matrix. Blending cyberpunk, kung-fu, anime, and anything else they could think of, the Wachowskis managed to create something that has stood the test of time as important, mind-blowing, and to many people, utterly revolutionary.

Taking inspiration from as wide a range of texts as “Neuromancer”, “Simulacra and Simulation”, and “Ghost in the Shell”, two unknown filmmakers put an almighty cast together and directed their script to within an inch of its cybernetic life. Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano, Gloria Foster, and a host of others, it managed to blend the personal and the epic, pop culture with Platonic philosophy, and carved a mark into the cultural psyche that might never truly fade.

Twenty-five years after its release, The Matrix is still a glorious thing to behold, filled with best of class stunts, the greatest special effects, iconic quotes, and moments – the latter of which might feel ordinary purely through their permeation into the public consciousness, but are still shocking even when you know they’re coming. In this Movie List, we at The Film Magazine are taking a look back at one of the most important science-fiction films ever to come out of the Hollywood machine, reflecting on its most important, fun, and groundbreaking moments. These are the 10 Best The Matrix Moments.

10. Sentinels

Despite all the talk of robots and machines and artificial intelligence, this first film in the franchise very rarely shows us the machines themselves. Midway through the film, we get our first introduction to our cybernetic overlords in the flesh, or, perhaps, in the metal. Squid-like, with a myriad of eyes, they track down the heroes’ ship, the Nebuchadnezzar, which is forced to set down in the underground tunnels, hiding in the shadows, hoping that they’ll pass by.

What makes this sequence work is that it’s one of the rare moments in the film that is pure suspense – perhaps the only other moment of suspense of this nature is when the team hides in the walls to evade the Agents a little later. Ready with their finger on the trigger of the Electromagnetic Pulse, or EMP, everyone quietens down, they power down everything, and wait, hoping these monstrous, tentacled machines pass them by.

This is the moment when the Wachowskis set up the dual threats, inside The Matrix and outside, and as our protagonists hold their breaths, so do we. It’s dark and sinister and full-on horror, hands over mouths in the closet as the bogeyman passes by.

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9. Spoons and Oracles

“There is no spoon.” It’s a line now so often joked about that its purpose to set up the Oracle is now overlooked. It is a realisation that not everything is as it seems, that nothing is tangible; precisely the themes that the Wachowskis drew from their reference texts. Then, when we finally meet the mysterious Oracle, we get this in the flesh. Never assume things. Our oracle, our Delphic fountain of wisdom and supernatural understanding, is an elderly lady baking cookies. Fortune… cookies.

Hers is a small part in the grand scheme of things, but it has worked its way into the hearts of fans. Gentle and wise, she is vastly different from almost everything else in the film, which is dark, foreboding and evil. Whilst her main role is to give plot information, and to propel Neo along his hero’s journey, she also gives a little something back to a world which has, throughout the course of the film, been giving up its secrets. She puts mystery back into the concept. Even if it’s only to ask if Neo would have broken a vase if her mentioning it hadn’t caused him to turn around and break it in the first place, she gives a little lightness to a gloomy film, a ray of sunshine in the night.

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  • <cite class="fn">Sam Sewell-Peterson</cite>

    Can’t argue with this order! I’ve never particularly been a The Matrix is a masterpiece cheerleader, but the hit rate of its iconic moments can’t be denied.

  • <cite class="fn">Kieran</cite>

    Trouble is deciding which ten make the cut. Had to leave some out and merge others. Very ashamed the 2001 reference in the score when Neo finally becomes The One had to be left out.

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