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Love ‘The Matrix’? Here Are 30+ Sci-Fi Action Movies You'll Want In Your Queue ASAP

It’s going to be a trippy night.

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Warner Brothers Pictures

It’s hard to place The Matrix in a single film genre. While there are some classic elements of science fiction, there’s also plenty of action and suspense — not to mention all the philosophical questions the film raises. The Matrix was an instant hit in the box office and among critics. In fact, it won four Academy Awards. The 1999 movie, directed by the Wachowskis, stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano, and takes place in a dystopian future where humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality (known as “the Matrix”). Contemplating the point of life takes on a whole new meaning when humans are grown in pods as sustenance for intelligent machines who have taken over the planet.

The Matrix is one of those films that’s incredibly rewatchable, revealing new clues and details upon each viewing. But if you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve found all of those and know the lines by memory, it may be time to branch out. If that’s the case, you may be interested in some of these other movies like The Matrix. Here are a few suggestions.

Movies Like The Matrix

The 13th Floor (1999)

If you were really into the simulated reality aspect of The Matrix, then give The 13th Floor a shot, too. It came out the same year as The Matrix, but was overshadowed (both then and now) by the more famous science fiction flick. While The 13th Floor has the hypothetical scenarios and ethical dilemmas featured in The Matrix, it’s more neo-noir than action thriller. But there’s also romance and murder to boot — what more could you ask for? Written and directed by Josef Rusnak, the film stars Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Dennis Haysbert.

Tron (1982)

Before there was The Matrix, there was Tron. This 1982 sci-fi action-adventure movie was written and directed by Steven Lisberger, and based on a story by Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird. It stars Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, a computer programmer and video game developer who ends up being transported inside the software of a computer, where he must interact with computer programs in order to escape. Though the movie wasn’t a box office smash, it was well-received by critics — especially for the groundbreaking visuals that were highly advanced for their time.

Source Code (2011)

If the simulated reality part of The Matrix really spoke to you, you may also enjoy the 2011 film Source Code. Written by Ben Ripley and directed by Duncan Jones, the movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an army captain who is sent into a computed reality to track down a bomber. Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Michael Arden, Russell Peters, Cas Anvar, and Jeffrey Wright in supporting roles.

John Wick (2014)

If you love The Matrix, then you’re probably going to like another Reeves action-thriller: John Wick. Plus, there’s not only Chad Stahelski’s 2014 original film, but two additional installments — John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) — and two more follow-ups have been announced (John Wick: Chapter 4, set for a May 2022 release and a subsequent untitled fifth film).

Existenz (1999)

Turns out, 1999 was a big year for movies straddling science fiction and another genre. In this case, it’s Existenz, a sci-fi horror film (sometimes written as “eXistenZ” because it was the ’90s, and that’s how we did things). It’s another example of the age-old story of a person who works with computers (in this case, Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays video game designer/Ross and Monica’s long-lost sister Allegra Geller) whose life is in jeopardy thanks to a program they’re created themselves. It was written, produced and directed by David Cronenberg and also stars Jude Law, Ian Holm, Don McKellar, Callum Keith Rennie, Sarah Polley, Christopher Eccleston, Willem Dafoe, and Robert A. Silverman.

Primer (2004)

Like The Matrix, Primer is a sci-fi thriller. But unlike The Matrix, it was not written to be a box office hit. Instead, Shane Carruth — who wrote, produced, directed, scored, edited, and starred in the movie — integrated his background in mathematics and engineering into the film, and didn’t water it down to cater to mainstream audiences. While it only made it into theaters on limited release, the movie was developed a cult following.

More Science Fiction Action Movies Like The Matrix

  1. Another Earth (2011)
  2. Moon (2009)
  3. Inception (2010)
  4. Blade Runner (1982)
  5. Dark City (1998)
  6. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
  7. The Man From Nowhere (2010)
  8. Watchmen (2009)
  9. Hunter Killer (2018)
  10. Darkman (1990)
  11. Machete (2010)
  12. Payback (1999)
  13. A History of Violence (2005)
  14. Total Recall (1999)
  15. Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
  16. In Time (2011)
  17. Oblivion (2013)
  18. V for Vendetta (2005)
  19. Gamer (2009)
  20. Cloud Atlas (2012)
  21. Returner (2002)
  22. Repo Men (2010)
  23. The Machine (2013)
  24. Chappie (2015)
  25. Retrograde (2004)

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