The Matrix

January 3, 2021 - A phone call and a red pill set a computer hacker named Neo on the path to discovering the truth behind his reality. Keanu Reeves plays the hacker. Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne show him the way in this special effects-fueled thriller from 1999.

By day, Reeves's character goes by the name Thomas Anderson and holds down a soul-sucking job at a tech company of some sort. But, at home, he's Neo, who stays up late into the night monitoring phone conversations from mysterious people. One day, those mysterious people make contact. Neo eventually meets Trinity (Moss) and Morpheus (Fishburne), and they try to convince Neo that he is "the One."

The first step is showing Neo that reality is not what he thinks it is. In fact, what Neo perceives as reality is a computer-generated simulation powered, in part, by his physical body. As Morpheus explains, at some point in the past, the human race lost a war with the artificial intelligence that it created. Now, AI is in control and human bodies provide the energy that powers a computer-generated reality. Only a few humans, including Morpheus and Trinity, know the truth. They believe that once Neo learns and accepts the truth, he can help free the human race from the clutches of AI.

Overall review: *** The movie won four Oscars for its special effects, and they hold up well, even 20 years later. The plot also holds up well as the questions the movie raises are perhaps even more relevant now than they were in 1999.