directors Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski
leading actors/actresses Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving
supporting actors/actresses Gloria Foster, Mary Alice, Joe Pantoliano, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson, Harold Perrineau, Nona Gaye, Harry Lennix, David Roberts, Helmut Bakaitis, Collin Chou, Tanveer K. Atwal, Monica Belluci, Cornel West
type of work Motion picture
genre Science Fiction
time and place produced
dates of release
producer Joel Silver
setting (time) 1999 and circa 2199
setting (place) Unnamed cities in the Matrix, the ravaged real world, the underground human city (Zion), the Machine City
protagonist Neo (a.k.a. Thomas A. Anderson, a.k.a. the One)
major conflict Neo must find the faith in himself to assume his role as the One and lead the fight against the machines to save Zion and free human minds.
rising action When the Agents ambush the Nebuchadnezzar’s crew, kill half of it, and capture Morpheus, threatening the security of all of Zion, Neo must choose to have faith in himself and re-enter the Matrix against all odds to attempt to rescue Morpheus.
climax Neo and Trinity’s successful rescue of Morpheus directs his path toward a final confrontation with Agent Smith, which Neo initially appears to win heroically, but Smith surprises him by appearing out of nowhere and murdering him. When Trinity resurrects Neo’s dead body with a kiss, Neo fully believes he is the One and defeats Agent Smith.
falling action Having fully assumed his role as the One at the end of The Matrix, Neo can now lead the renegades throughout the two sequels on their quest to save Zion and free minds.
themes The blurred line between humans and machines; fate vs. free will in the Matrix and the real world; the relationship between body, brain, and mind
motifs Sexuality and sensuality; sunglasses, eyes, and mirrors; Biblical references
symbols Zion; the green light of the Matrix; three/the Trinity
foreshadowing In a trilogy about fate, free will, and the repeating cycles of a computer program, foreshadowing is embedded in the very structure of the plot, its characters’ words, and its visual system. Everything the Oracle says, for example, foreshadows something. Every piece of information Neo learns about previous cycles of the Matrix foreshadows a future event.