How to Watch the Matrix Movies in Order

Have you watched the Matrix movies and then been confused about the order you should watch them?

If you’ve seen The Matrix, but then were led to believe The Animatrix should be watched first, and maybe even visit The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, only to find yourself more confused than ever before.

Well, this is where I can help. Moving from left to right, top to bottom we will explore the movies in chronological order so that it makes more sense. Look at each movie as they move forward through time instead of moving backward like some do.

But before we start here are few things you will find interesting, I’ve answered below.

Why are the Matrix Movies important?

The Matrix movies are important because they introduce the concept of the Matrix to the world. The first Matrix movie was released in 1999 and it introduced a new way of thinking about the world. The premise of the Matrix is that we are all living in a simulated world, created by machines to control us. 

The Matrix movies raise important questions about our world and our place in it. They make us think about the way we live and the choices we make.

The Matrix franchise has had a significant influence on popular culture. The movies introduced a number of innovative concepts that have been adopted by other filmmakers and used in other genres. The Wachowskis’ groundbreaking visual effects and action sequences have been cited as an influence by directors such as Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino. 

The Matrix movies also helped to popularize the bullet-time effect, which has been used in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. In addition, the series has inspired a number of video games, comics and merchandise.

The Matrix Movies in Order of Release Date

There have been so many movies based on the iconic movie series, The Matrix, that it can be difficult to remember where to start. Let’s take a moment to look at the release dates of each instalment and how you can watch them in order of release date.

  1. The Matrix (March 31, 1999)
  2. The Matrix Reloaded (May 15, 2003)
  3. The Animatrix (June 3, 2003)
  4. The Matrix Revolutions (November 5, 2003)
  5. The Matrix Resurrections (December 22, 2021)

The Matrix Movies in Chronological Order of Events including Animatrix

Since the release of the original movie in 1999, the Matrix series has become a global phenomenon, spawning two sequels and a spin-off. The sheer scale and ambition of the movies are what has made them so iconic, with stunning fight sequences and mind-bending plot twists

But with such a complex and multi-layered story, it can be hard to know where to start. So keep reading to know how to watch the Matrix movies in chronological order.

1. Animatrix: The Second Renaissance, Part I and II

  • IMDb Rating: 8/10
  • Director: Mahiro Maeda

The Animatrix is a collection of nine animated short films, each serving as a prequel or side story to The Matrix movie trilogy. The shorts were written and directed by some of the biggest names in anime, including Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) and Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski (co-writers and directors of The Matrix trilogy). 

The Second Renaissance, Parts I and II are two of the most important shorts in the collection, as they tell the story of how humanity first became enslaved by artificial intelligence. If you’re planning on watching The Matrix movies in chronological order, you’ll need to watch these two shorts first.

2. The Animatrix: A Detective Story

  • IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
  • Director: Shinichirō Watanabe

The Matrix franchise is a series of science fiction action movies that explores the nature of reality. The Animatrix: A Detective Story is a stand-alone anime movie that was released in 2003 and bridges the gap between the first and second Matrix movies. 

The story follows two detectives, Dan and Chaud, as they investigate a series of murders that may be linked to the Matrix. The movie is set in Japan and features stylish visuals and an exciting plot.

3. The Matrix

  • IMDb Rating: 8.7/10
  • Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss, was released in 1999 and directed by the Wachowskis. It tells the story of Neo (played by Reeves), a computer hacker who discovers that the world he thought was real is actually a simulated reality created by machines in order to control the human race. With the help of Morpheus (Fishburne) and Trinity (Moss), Neo begins to learn the truth about his existence and sets out to free humanity from machines.

4. The Animatrix: The Kid’s Story

  • IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
  • Director: Shinichirō Watanabe

The Animatrix: The Kid’s Story is a short film that serves as a prequel to the Matrix trilogy. In it, we are introduced to the character of The Kid, who is living in the Matrix and has no idea that the real world exists. 

He is content with his life inside the Matrix until he begins to experience strange dreams that make him question his reality. In the end, he decides to take a chance and escape the Matrix in search of the truth.

5. The Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris

  • IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
  • Director: Andrew R. Jones

The Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris is a 2003 American-Japanese anime science fiction short film written and directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski. 

The film tells the story of the final conflict between the human race and the machines, following the events of The Matrix Reloaded. In the Final Flight of the Osiris, the crew of the hovercraft Osiris discover a machine stronghold located in Egypt. After narrowly escaping, they relay their findings to Zion.

6. The Matrix Reloaded

  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Directors: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

The second movie in the Matrix series, The Matrix Reloaded, picks up where The Matrix left off. In this movie, Neo and the rebels fight against the machines and attempt to save Zion from certain destruction. The Matrix Reloaded is full of action, suspense and even a little bit of humour. It’s a great movie to watch if you’re looking for a good adrenaline rush.

7. The Matrix Revolutions

  • IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
  • Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

The Matrix Revolutions is the third instalment of the Matrix trilogy. The film picks up where The Matrix Reloaded left off, with Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) battling the machines in downtown Zion. 

As the human race braces for another Machine onslaught, Neo learns that he is the one and the only person who can stop the machines and free humanity from their enslavement. But his powers come at a cost, and Neo is faced with some difficult choices as he tries to save Zion and end the war once and for all.

8. The Animatrix: Beyond

  • IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
  • Director: Koji Morimoto

The Animatrix: Beyond is a 2003 anime anthology film produced by Studio 4°C and written by brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski. It is one of the best-animated features in the Matrix franchise and the first to be produced after The Matrix Reloaded. The film explores the backstory of the Matrix universe and focuses on the original war between humans and machines that led to its creation.

9. The Animatrix: Matriculated

  • IMDb Rating: 7/10
  • Director: Peter Chung

The Animatrix: Matriculated is the sixth Animatrix anthology of animated shorts set in the Matrix universe. The film tells the story of a small group of humans who have been captured by the Machines and are being used to create new robots. 

The humans are able to resist the Machines’ control, and they eventually manage to break free and destroy their captors. The film is written and directed by Peter Chung, who also created the cartoon series Aeon Flux. It features the voices of Pam Grier, Ray Wise, and Natalie Portman.

10. The Animatrix: Program

  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Program is an episode of The Animatrix written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. The characters were designed by Yutaka Minova and the film was produced by Madhouse Productions. The story follows the main character Cis (Hedy Burress) as she takes part in her “favourite simulation”: a battle program that takes place in feudal Japan. After successfully eliminating the invading enemy cavalry, a samurai appears, whom Cis recognizes as Duo (Phil Lamarr).

11. The Animatrix: World Record

  • IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
  • Director: Takeshi Koike

The World Record is one of The Animatrix’s animated short films that tell of an athlete who recognizes the Matrix as he tries to break the world record for the 100-meter sprint. It was created by Madhouse, written by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, and directed by Takeshi Koike.

12. The Matrix Resurrections

  • IMDb Rating: 5.7/10
  • Director: Lana Wachowski

The Matrix Resurrections is a 2021 American science fiction action film produced by Lana Wachowski, James McTeigue, and Grant Hill and directed by Lana Wachowski. In this film we are introduced to Neo and Trinity taking on the Analysts one last time, now fully dressed in their Matrix ensemble. Trinity has developed a powerful new set of abilities. Not only can she fly now, but she is able to slice the Analyst’s throat and then immediately bring him back to life.


And that’s it! You can now watch all the Matrix movies in order without having to wonder about the prequels or sequels.

It’s not too hard to do, but even still, it might be safer to use this guide if you plan on watching not only the main trilogy, but also the subsequent films that were released later. Hopefully now you have a better idea what this movie series is all about, and don’t need to worry about whether one film might be missing from your viewing experience.

Happy Matrixing!

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