Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Matrix (1999)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Matrix (1999)

In Andy and Larry Wachowski's first remarkable film in a series of three futuristic sci-fi action films:

  • the zoom-shot into dripping Japanese-like characters in the film's opening
  • the scene of the questioning of obsessed computer software hacker Thomas 'Neo' Anderson (Keanu Reeves) in a white room after being seized by a sinister agent with a dark suit and sunglasses, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), and a proposed bargain - they would "wipe the slate clean" if Neo would cooperate in bringing Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), "the most dangerous man alive" - to justice: ("As you can see, we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson. It seems that you've been living two lives. In one life, you're Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a social security number. You pay your taxes. And you help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in computers where you go by the hacker alias 'Neo' and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future. And one of them does not") - and when Neo asked to make a phone call, Agent Smith threatened: ("You're going to help us, Mr. Anderson, whether you want to or not")
Agent Smith to Thomas "Neo" Anderson:
"You're going to help us, Mr. Anderson, whether you want to or not"
  • the scene in an upper floor of a dilapidated hotel, where rebellion leader Morpheus gave a description of The Matrix (a massive AI system) to cyber-messiah Neo: ("The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. (Neo asked: "What truth?") That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back"
  • Morpheus' choice for Neo: a contrast between what was real and not real by the choice of a pill (a red one and a blue one, in his open hands and reflected in his glasses): ("You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember, all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more. (Neo chose the red pill and swallowed it) Follow me")
  • the sequence of Neo being disconnected or "unplugged" from the Matrix, after Morpheus asked him: ("What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?") - suddenly Neo (in a liquid-filled pod and connected to wires to suck out his life force energy) was unplugged from the main cable connected at the back of his neck, and freed; and he was brought onboard Morpheus' hovercraft the Nebuchadnezzar and freed, where he was greeted: "Welcome to the real world"
Neo In Liquid Filled Pod, Literally Plugged
Into and Harvested as an Energy-Producing Battery
  • the exciting sequence of Neo training in various combat skills and martial arts via downloads of virtual combat (Jujitsu, Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, Drunken Boxing, etc.) - and personally facing Morpheus in a kung fu competition
  • Neo's encounter with gifted young child Potentials, one of whom showed him how to bend a spoon, and then imparted wisdom: ("Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth...There is no spoon...Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends. It is only yourself")
  • the scene during Agent Smith's capture of Morpheus and his speech that human beings were a virus: ("Human beings are a disease. A cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are the cure"), and his intense brow-beating to extract the access codes to the mainframe of Zion: ("I hate this place, this zoo, this prison, this reality, whatever you want to call it. I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell. If there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink. And every time I do, I fear that I have somehow been infected by it. (He wiped sweat from Morpheus' forehead onto the tips of his fingers, and had Morpheus smell it.) It's repulsive. Isn't it? (He tightly held Morpheus' head between his hands). I must get out of here. I must get free. And in this mind is the key. My key. Once Zion is destroyed, there is no need for me to be here. Do you understand? I need the codes. I have to get inside Zion and you have to tell me how. You're going to tell me or you're going to die" (He gouged his fingers into Morpheus' flesh))
  • the spectacular action sequence inside the Matrix, set in the lobby of a high-rise - a massive gunfight between the Chosen One (Neo), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) (both wearing long trenchcoats, sunglasses, and black boots) and a group of soldiers-guards
  • the gripping sequences of a showdown on the rooftop of the high-rise that defied gravity ("bullet time") with Neo's mid-air, limbo-style freeze-frames of the dodging of CGI bullet shots and super-heroic gunfight against shape-shifting Agent Smith, before their exciting rescue by helicopter
  • the climactic underground abandoned subway station confrontation between Agent Smith and Neo when he was ambushed - the two engaged in a long kick-boxing struggle (involving some gravity-defying mid-air conflict and "bullet-time" acrobatics)
  • the exciting sequence of the rescue of Morpheus, when both Morpheus and Trinity safely exited the Matrix, but Agent Smith ambushed, shot and killed Neo before he could leave; at the same time in the real world, machines called Sentinels attacked the Nebuchadnezzar; Trinity whispered to Neo that he couldn't be dead because she loved him and that the Oracle had told her that she would fall in love with the One; she kissed Neo and he revived with the power to perceive and control the Matrix; Neo stood up, raised his arm, and the palm of his hand resisted more of the agents' bullets in mid-air; as the One, Neo finally understood that the bullets fired against him were not real - he saw the Matrix as it really was -- solely lines of downward-streaming computer code (or 'digital rain'); Neo then singlehandedly and effortlessly conquered Agent Smith's attack and destroyed him; when the remainder of the agents fled, Neo returned to the Nebuchadnezzar as the EMP (emergency self-destruct system) was deployed, producing a blast of white light to kill off the attacking Sentinels
Agent Smith Shooting and Killing Neo in the Matrix
Neo Revived From Death by Trinity's Kiss

Neo Restored and Resisting Bullets
Destruction of Agent Smith
  • the concluding voice-over of Neo in the film's short epilogue, shown as a cursor moving on a black screen, as he made a telephone call from a phone booth in a busy part of the downtown area, within the Matrix, and promised to save the people imprisoned in the Matrix: ("I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you")
Neo's Threatening Phone Call
Neo Flying Away
  • when the call was completed, he hung up, stepped out of the booth, donned his sunglasses, and flew off straight up

Morpheus: "The Matrix is Everywhere"

Neo's Choice Between Two Pills

Neo's Training in Martial Arts

Bent Spoon

Agent Smith's Threatening Speech to Morpheus

Massive Gunfight and Bullet-Time

Smith vs. Neo

Sentinel (a Search and Destroy Gatekeeper for the Matrix)

The Matrix: Green Lines of Code


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