12 films to watch if you love 'The Matrix'

Warner BrosKeanu Reeves in ‘The Matrix.’
  • Although “The Matrix” revolutionised the sci-fi genre, there are other movies for fans of the film to enjoy.
  • “The Matrix” star Keanu Reeves also plays an action hero in “John Wick” and “Speed.”
  • Films like “Blade Runner 2049,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Minority Report” feature dystopian futures and action-packed sequences.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Over two decades ago, writers and directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski wowed critics and audiences alike with their release of “The Matrix.”

Fortunately for fans, there are plenty of great, similar movies out there.

Read on for 12 films to add to your watch list if you loved the innovative science-fiction thriller.


“Speed” (1994) is a great precursor to “The Matrix” for Keanu Reeves’ fans.

20th Century FoxKeanu Reeves stars in ‘Speed’ alongside Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper.

Summary: In “Speed,” a Los Angeles SWAT officer named Jack (Keanu Reeves) teams up with a civilian (Sandra Bullock) to outsmart a bomber, all while aboard a bus that is rigged to explode if it drops under 50 miles per hour.

Why you’ll like it: Before he played Neo in “The Matrix,” Reeves garnered critical acclaim for his performance in “Speed.”

Upon its release, the breathless action flick solidified Reeves’ position as a strong protagonist and proved he could add dimension to a high-stakes thriller.


The creators of “The Matrix” wrote and directed the space adventure “Jupiter Ascending” (2015).

Warner Bros. Pictures Roadshow EntertainmentLana and Lilly Wachowski wrote and directed both ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Jupiter Ascending.’

Summary: In “Jupiter Ascending,” a young woman named Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) inherits an unexpected legacy she learns that she is the princess of an ancient alien dynasty.

Why you’ll like it: Fans who enjoyed the stranger aspects of the “Matrix” mythology will love this homage to space operas.

Although it wasn’t a hit with most critics, “Jupiter Ascending” amassed a cult following from viewers who praised its magnetic premise, oddball charm, and striking visual effects.


The Wachowskis also wrote the acclaimed science-fiction thriller “V for Vendetta” (2005).

Warner Bros.Hugo Weaving, who plays Agent Smith in ‘The Matrix,’ stars in this film alongside Natalie Portman.

Summary: Set in a future dystopia where the British government rules with an iron fist, “V for Vendetta” centres upon Evey (Natalie Portman), a fearful citizen who is radicalized by a faceless vigilante (Hugo Weaving).

Why you’ll like it: Although Lilly and Lana Wachowski passed directing duties to James McTeigue, “V for Vendetta” benefits from the Wachowski’s intelligent dialogue and innovative storytelling.

The film also stars Weaving, who delivers an unforgettable performance as V and memorably played Agent Smith in “The Matrix” trilogy.


“District 9” (2009) is an inventive science-fiction thriller.

Sony Pictures Entertainment‘District 9’ is set in an alternate version of South Africa.

Summary: Set in an alternate history where aliens have come to Earth seeking refuge, field agent Wikus (Sharlto Copley) must hide amongst the aliens in the same South African region he used to police after he’s infected with otherworldly biotechnology.

Why you’ll like it: “District 9” is an inventive take on alien films – the new species comes looking for peace and aid instead of destruction.

“The Matrix” makes viewers question the motives of the sentinels who hunt down Neo and his friends, and similarly “District 9” turns the science-fiction narrative on its head and questions the morality of the humans.


“Inception” (2010) makes its characters, and viewers, question reality.

Warner Bros. PicturesBoth ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Inception’ have memorable plot twists.

Summary: In a world where people can influence each other’s dreams, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) takes on one last job to plant an idea in a target’s subconscious with the help of a skilled team of thieves.

Why you’ll like it: Just as Neo rewrites the code around him to stop bullets, the characters in “Inception” use dreams to bend the reality around them.

Although “The Matrix” reveals its plot twist early in the film,“Inception” holds onto its twist until the final frame – a cleverly executed ending that keeps viewers on their toes until the last second.


“Ex Machina” (2014) is a dark psychological science-fiction film.

A24/Universal PicturesDomhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac star in ‘Ex Machina.’

Summary: In “Ex Machina,” young programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a contest to stay at the private estate of his CEO (Oscar Isaac).

In the process, he becomes the unwitting test subject for Ava (Alicia Vikander), the company’s latest advancement in artificial intelligence.

Why you’ll like it: It’s not as bombastic or action-packed as some other entries on this list, but “Ex Machina” is a compelling slow burn with a distinguished cast and has all of the elements of a mesmerising science-fiction thriller.


In “The Terminator” (1984), the human race is plagued by killer robots.

TriStar‘The Terminator’ was released 15 years before ‘The Matrix.’

Summary: In the action-fuelled flick “The Terminator,” a murderous cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) travels from 2029 to kill young Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and secure the future of an artificial intelligence network known as Skynet.

Why you’ll like it: James Cameron introduced a game-changing entry in the science-fiction genre with “The Terminator” 15 years before “The Matrix” made its debut.

Although its six sequels received mixed critical reception, the long-running franchise is a testament to the massive success of the first film.


“Minority Report” (2002) is a cautionary cyber-thriller.

20th Century Fox‘Minority Report’ is also set in a dystopian future.

Summary: In the distant future, police chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is tasked with using predictive technology to track down criminals before they can commit murder. But at the hands of the same authoritarian technology, he is accused of the future killing of a man he’s never met.

Why you’ll like it: Like “The Matrix,” “Minority Report” is another science-fiction thriller set in a dystopian future. While the former makes great use of computer programming and tech to forward its story, the latter uses its protagonist’s technology against him.


In the action-thriller “Upgrade” (2018), a man adjusts to his newfound abilities.

Universal PicturesBoth films feature unexpected heroes.

Summary: After Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) barely survives a mugging, he wakes up paralysed and devastated by the loss of his wife. But when a rich benefactor offers Trace a miracle cure, he uses his new superhuman abilities to get revenge.

Why you’ll like it: In “The Matrix,” Neo goes from isolated hacker to kung-fu master after Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) offers to train him.

And in the action movie “Upgrade,” Trace has a similar trajectory as he uses new powers to become an unexpected hero.


“Blade Runner 2049” (2017) is a science-fiction movie with spectacular special effects.

Warner Bros. PicturesRyan Gosling stars in the follow-up to the original ‘Blade Runner.’

Summary: In “Blade Runner 2049,” Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is a future mercenary known as a blade runner. When K comes face to face with a long-dead secret, he tracks down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) to get answers.

Why you’ll like it: A follow-up to the science-fiction classic “Blade Runner” (1982), “Blade Runner 2049” returns to a city in shambles with Gosling providing a fresh pair of eyes.

Like “The Matrix,” the “Blade Runner” films benefit from innovative world-building and cutting-edge special effects to fully immerse viewers.


“I, Robot” (2004) imagines a future where robots and humans live side by side.

20th Century StudiosWill Smith in ‘I, Robot.’

Summary: Set in 2035, “I, Robot” follows detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) as he investigates the mysterious death of a high-profile Robotics CEO. Despite the laws set to protect humans from robots, Spooner suspects that an android is responsible.

Why you’ll like it: Like a lot of films on this list, “I, Robot” explores the relationship between robots and humans in an alternate future.

Although the war between machines and humans is volatile in “The Matrix,” this film establishes a more tenuous and nuanced connection between metal and man.


Reeves proves that he’s still an action hero in “John Wick” (2014).

LionsgateThe fourth instalment of the ‘John Wick’ series is set to release in 2022.

Summary: In “John Wick,” assassin John Wick (Reeves) is forced out of retirement when a mafia dealer’s son kills his dog. Out for blood, Wick will stop at nothing in his path for vengeance.

Why you’ll like it: Since “The Matrix,” Reeves has worked across an array of genres, but his most recent critical success has stemmed from the “John Wick” series.

The film, and its subsequent sequels, have gripping action sequences, stunning fight choreography, and worthy villains. Through it all, Reeves never misses a beat as the titular hero, taking down thugs and top assassins with a flick of his wrists.

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