The Matrix Movies in Correct Order – Animated Story Arcs Included

The Matrix Movies in Correct Order – Animated Story Arcs Included

After its first release in 1999, The Matrix instantly became one of the most iconic science fiction movies of all time. The Matrix series has spawned a number of spin-off works, including animated shorts, comic novels, and video games, all of which continue the main plot and keep fans interested.

The series introduced us to the main character, Thomas Anderson, a young programmer who goes by the hacker alias “Neo” and discovers that the world he lives in is controlled by virtual machines. His opposition to this idea led him to join a group of former Matrix citizens in an uprising against the robots.

To help you get caught up on this incredible series, we’ve arranged the films of “The Matrix” by release and chronological order: 

How to Watch Matrix Movies in Release Order

For your convenience, we’ve arranged all The Matrix series films and shorts by the release date. See you in the desert of the real.

Matrix Movies In Release OrderRelease Year
1The Matrix1999
2The Matrix Reloaded2003
3The Animatrix2003
4The Matrix Revolutions2003
5The Matrix Resurrections2021

How to Watch Matrix Movies in Chronological Order

The chronological order of the Matrix films is more intricate than the order of their theatrical releases. The film’s plot can only be understood if seen in its intended chronological order.

The Matrix Movies In Chronological OrderRelease Year
1The Animatrix: The Second Renaissance, Part I and II2003
2The Animatrix: A Detective Story 2003
3The Matrix1999
4The Animatrix: The Kid’s Story2003
5The Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris2003
6The Matrix Reloaded2003
7The Animatrix: Beyond2003
8The Animatrix: World Record2003
9The Animatrix: Program2003
10The Animatrix: Matriculated2003
11The Matrix Revolutions2003
12The Matrix Resurrections 2021

Matrix Movies Explained

The plot of the movie revolves around the concept that human beings are overtaken by self-aware machines and imprisoned in a virtual reality system– The Matrix. These machines divert human attention and capture their bodies to use them as an energy source.

The series is an amalgamation of action, philosophy, religion, and technology with a wholly unique and exhilarating storyline and characters. If you’re a fascinated watcher looking out for a spoiler-free look at the Matrix movies, then go through all the synopsis listed below:   

1. The Animatrix: The Second Renaissance, Part I and II (2003)

1. The Animatrix The Second Renaissance Part I and II
  • Release Date: Part I (June 3, 2003), Part II (June 7, 2003)
  • IMDB Rating: 8.0/10
  • Directed By: Mahiro Maeda
  • Leading Stars: Isshin Chiba, Katsumi Cho, Dane A. Davis

The Animatrix is a featured collection of nine animated series that precisely elaborates the story of The Matrix era. The Second Renaissance, Part I and II take place in 2090 and shows us the technological fall of humanity through the creation of the artificial intelligence-based machine. The series also introduced viewers to Zion Archives, where all the information and pre-history about the device is stored. 

2. The Animatrix: A Detective Story (2003)

2. The Animatrix A Detective Story
  • Release Date: April 2003
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5/10
  • Filmaffinity: 6.6/10
  • AllMovie: 7.2/10
  • Leading Stars: James Arnold Taylor, Carrie-Anne Moss, Terrence ‘T.C.’ Carson

As the name implies, a private detective by the name of Ash appears into the series who’s mission is to search for a hacker, Trinity. Carrie-Anne Moss depicted the role of Trinity, a  computer programmer and hacker who rescued herself from the prison of the Matrix. Now, Ash must investigate and track down the intelligent computer hacker Trinity. 

3. The Matrix (1999)

3. The Matrix (1999)
  • Release Date: March 31, 1999
  • IMDB Rating: 8.7/10 
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
  • Letterboxd: 4.2/5
  • Directed By: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
  • Leading Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano

The first released film in the Wachowski trilogy of The Matrix that opens up the reality of the world that we were living in. Neo, a computer hacker discovered that humans are being controlled by a machine and even their thoughts are machine-guided. In order to free humanity from the grips of a machine-controlled Matrix, he is recruited by Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne). He and other rebels teamed up for a war against the Machine that rules over human beings’ very existence.

Neo goes deep to learn unique skills through direct download, including kung fu. This opens the way for some epic fight scenes taking on the Agents, namely Smith, to release the Matrix from his mind and launch the beginning of an exciting franchise. 

4. The Animatrix: The Kid’s Story (2003)

4. The Animatrix The Kid’s Story
  • Release Date: June 2, 2003
  • IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
  • Filmaffinity: 6.8/10
  • Letterboxd: 3.5/5
  • Directed By: Shinichirō Watanabe
  • Leading Stars: Clayton Watson, Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss

 The Animatrix: The Kid’s Story is a gritty animated series that features a young boy who dreams of falling off a building, and is haunted by thoughts of “The Matrix” and “Neo.” He searches over the internet to know what he actually saw in his dream and gets some mysterious replies via his computer. 

A tragedy happens when he receives a call from Neo despite his mobile being turned off. Neo tells him, “they know you know and are coming for you,” and the kid immediately escapes from the place. Who the kid, actually is? And how does Neo know about this kid? 

5. The Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris (2003)

5. The Animatrix Final Flight of the Osiris
  • Release Date: March 21, 2003 
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5/10 
  • Letterboxd: 3/5
  • AllMovie: 6.6/10
  • Directed By: Andrew R. Jones 
  • Leading Stars: Kevin Michael Richardson, Pamela Adlon, John DiMaggio

Occurring prior to the events of The Matrix Reloaded, Final Flight of the Osiris introduces the crew of the hovercraft as they battle in a virtual dojo while blindfolded. They explored a quarter of a million sentinels digging through the earth’s surface towards the last human city of Zion. The Osiris is on their mission to warn Zion of an upcoming Sentinel invasion, but the machine instantly detects them. To complete the mission, Jue must enter the Matrix and hope that her companion can stop the enemy from reaching out to her until she completes her mission. 

6. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

6. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
  • Release Date: May 16, 2003
  • IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
  • Common Sense Media: 3/5
  • Directed By: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
  • Leading Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

The Matrix Reloaded premiered six months after the launch of the original Matrix series, The Matrix. In this movie, Neo and the rebel leaders face an attack on Zion as they attempt to uncover the Keymaker, who can assist them gain access to the source of the Matrix. Neo, along with the crew finds that only 72 hours are left until Zion falls under siege to the Machine Army. All the eyes are on Neo, who is the only hope to save the world and cease the war with the Machines. 

7. The Animatrix: Beyond (2003)

7. The Animatrix Beyond (2003)
  • Release Date: 2003
  • IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
  • LetterboxD: 3.6/5
  • Filmaffinity: 6.8/10
  • Directed By: Kôji Morimoto
  • Leading Stars: Hedy Burress, Tress MacNeille, Kath Soucie

The story reveals a mysterious plot, a “Haunted House” followed by a teenage girl named Yoko. One night at the dinner table, Yoko finds her cat missing and got suspicious, which leads her to the haunted house in search of her loving cat. As Yoko started to explore the place, she felt that place wasn’t an ordinary one. The objects disappear suddenly, bird’s feathers turning into birds, and on the top, it’s home to numerous glitches in the Matrix that local kids used to have fun with. 

8. The Animatrix: World Record (2003)

8. The Animatrix World Record (2003)
  • Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
  • LetterboxD: 3.4/5
  • Filmaffinity: 6.6/10
  • Directed By: Takeshi Koike
  • Leading Stars: Victor Williams, John Wesley, Alex Fernandez

A record-breaking runner, Dan who is a strong and powerful athlete breaks the world record by running 100 meters in just 9 seconds. He was a prisoner who broke out of the matrix through his remarkable strength and now is competing in the Summer Olympic Games to win the 100m dash. But something strange is happening as the machine agents are spying on Dan.  His friends think Dan might get injured, and as the race begins, his muscles collapse and severed. But his willpower and skill let him defeat his opponents.

9. The Animatrix: Program (2003)

9. The Animatrix Program (2003)
  • Release Date: April 17, 2004
  • IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
  • LetterboxD: 3.5/5
  • AllMovie: 7/10
  • Directed By: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
  • Leading Stars: Hedy Burress, Phil LaMarr, John DiMaggio

“Program” is a wonderfully animated short that focuses on simulated training that takes place in a training course similar to that of Samurai’s. It seems probable that “Program” takes place after “The Matrix” but before “The Matrix Revolutions,” given that it is a narrative about rebels testing their crew’s commitment to the cause and that it is told from their point of view.

10. The Animatrix: Matriculated (2003)

10. The Animatrix Matriculated (2003)
  • Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
  • LetterboxD: 3.1/5
  • Filmaffinity: 5.8/10
  • Directed By: Shinichirō Watanabe, Peter Chung, Takeshi Koike, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Mahiro Maeda, Koji Morimoto, Andrew R. Jones
  • Leading Stars: Kevin Michael Richardson (voice), Pamela Adlon (voice), John DiMaggio (voice)

The human rebels in “Matriculated” are distinct from the Zion rebels we know and love, making it yet another animated short that doesn’t fit quite nicely into the Matrix canon. They dwell in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and spend their time hunting out and “waking” robots or giving them human emotions and traits like empathy, passion, and fun. This is difficult to date since these people may exist in a time and place far apart from the Zion and Machine cycles.

11. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

11. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
  • Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 34%
  • Filmaffinity: 6/10
  • Directed By: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
  • Leading Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Monica Bellucci, Jada Pinkett Smith

The Matrix Revolutions continues up just where the last film (The Matrix Reloaded) left off. When the all-powerful computer programme Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) shows up in the flesh, the few humans who are aware of the dismal facts of the world urgently strive to fight off their mechanical adversaries long enough for Neo to escape and rescue the day.

12. The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

12. The Matrix Resurrections (2021)
  • Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • IMDB Rating: 5.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
  • Filmaffinity: 5/10
  • Directed By: Lana Wachowski
  • Leading Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Henwick, Priyanka Chopra

The movie takes place 60 years after the events of The Matrix Revolutions. Niobe now rules over the human population in the city of IO. Since Neo sacrificed himself and reintegrated himself into the matrix, there has been a time of relative calm, but the matrix has become much more robust, and fewer individuals are ready to try to break free of it. Neo must once again make the choice to follow the White Rabbit!

Winding up! 

Matrix is worth-watching and is considered among the most outstanding science fiction that portrays how the world is living in a simulated reality. We hope that your quest to find how to watch Matrix movies in order is over.

So sit down, relax, grab some popcorn, and enjoy binge-watching your favorite The Matrix movies as you’re in a movie theater. Also, don’t forget to share your experience watching the Matrix franchise with us in the comments below.  Have a good time!