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How to Watch Chronologically and by Release Date

The Matrix hit theaters in 1999, and dazzled audiences with a leather-clad and gravity-defying Keanu Reeves, as he, along with Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne, Kung-Fu fight against artificial agents of a programmed reality, and work to free humanity from the grips of a machine-controlled Matrix. The film introduced the now well-known redpill/bluepill metaphor for interpreting the world, and asked viewers to consider the similarities of our own reality to that of a computer simulation.

The Matrix was followed by three more feature films, The Matrix Reloaded (May 2003), The Matrix Revolutions (November 2003), and The Matrix Resurrections (December 2021), with the franchise also including an anthology of animated short films released in the middle of the trilogy, titled The Animatrix (June 2003). With four of the nine shorts written by the Wachowskis themselves — writers of The Matrix trilogy — The Animatrix is considered Matrix canon. While the collection of animated short films are housed within the anthology, the individual shorts take place at various points along the Matrix timeline. And, although a couple of The Animatrix stories take place before the events of the first Matrix film, we suggest watching The Matrix before diving into The Animatrix in order to fully understand and appreciate the short stories.


As for the feature films, the fourth installment of The Matrix franchise, starring Keanu Reeves and Christina Ricci, was released in December 2021, adding one more chapter to the epic story. So whether you’re planning to watch the latest one and need a quick recap, or you’ve seen it already and you’d like to revisit the previous titles, then this list is for you. Below, we’ve organized all The Matrix franchise movies and shorts by order of chronological events and by order of release date for easy perusing. See you in cyberspace!

Related: All ‘Animatrix’ Shorts, Ranked

The Matrix Movies in Order of Release Date

Image via Warner Bros.

And here is every Matrix movie in order of release date:

The Matrix (March 31, 1999)

The Matrix Reloaded (May 15, 2003)

The Animatrix (June 3, 2003)

The Matrix Revolutions (November 5, 2003)

The Matrix Resurrections (December 22, 2021)

The Matrix Movies in Chronological Order of Events


Animatrix: The Second Renaissance, Part I and II

Part I and Part II of The Second Renaissance tell the origin story of the computer matrix featured in the film trilogies, circa the year 2090, including the creation of artificial intelligence and the events leading up to the enslavement of humans by machines.

The Animatrix: A Detective Story

A Detective Story mixes anime and classic film noir while following Detective Ash in his pursuit within the Matrix of the ever elusive internet hacker known as Trinity, sometime after the creation of the Matrix and before she joins forces with Morpheus.

The Matrix

The Matrix is the 1999 film that introduces audiences to Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus, as they fight machines of the real world and agents of the Matrix, somewhere around the (estimated) year 2199.

The Animatrix: The Kid’s Story

The “kid” featured in this gritty animated story is a character seen in the second installment of the film trilogy — a young boy who breaks out of the Matrix and saves himself by sheer willpower alone — and his story takes place within the six-month gap of time between the events of The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded.

The Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris

Final Flight of the Osiris takes place just before the events of The Matrix Reloaded, and highlights training simulations in the real world and battles of the ship Osiris.

The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded occurs six months after the events of The Matrix and follows the love story between Neo and Trinity, as Neo discovers the cyclical nature and creation of the Matrix.

The Matrix Revolutions

The Matrix Revolutions picks up immediately after The Matrix Reloaded ends — concluding the trilogy of feature films and portraying Neo’s ultimate sacrifice and attempt to make peace with the machines.

The Animatrix: Beyond

Beyond occurs sometime after the events of the film trilogy, and follows a young girl named Yoko who soon discovers a “haunted house” of sorts, filled with anomalies that previous film installments have described as “glitches in the Matrix.”

The Animatrix: World Record

Similar to The Kid’s Story, World Record features a man who momentarily breaks out of the Matrix due to the strength of his physical willpower, and is a story set in an unspecified time of the Matrix canon.

The Animatrix: Program

Program is a stunningly animated short that revolves around simulated training and samurai culture, and is also difficult to place in terms of time-setting.

The Animatrix: Matriculated

Another animated short without clear placement on the Matrix timeline, Matriculated follows the attempts of two humans as they work to teach humanlike qualities such as empathy and compassion to the machines they capture.

The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections is set 60 years after the events of The Matrix Revolutions. It shows how Neo’s sacrifice has led to a period of peace that neither humans nor machines could have predicted. But not everyone is happy with the way the world has changed.

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