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12. The 'Matrix' Trilogy
Films: "The Matrix" (1999), "The Matrix Reloaded" (2003), "The Matrix Revolutions" (2003)
Director: The Wachowskis
Best of the bunch: "The Matrix"
Weakest Link: "The Matrix Revolutions"
Why it's a great trilogy: A film becomes a classic if it can stand the test of time. A "great" trilogy has to have at least one classic and in this case it's the Wachowskis' groundbreaking "The Matrix." Their follow ups weren't as positively received at the time, but hindsight is 20/20. If you watch "The Matrix Revolutions" today you'll find a dramatic thriller that features heart-stopping action alongside some very big philosophical ideas. The casual fan of the first "Matrix" was disappointed, but "Reloaded" has aged incredibly well. A decade later and it's still smarter and more sophisticated than half he films nominated for best picture this year. It's well known in the industry that reaction to "Reloaded" prompted the Wachowskis' to dumb down the final part of the trilogy, "Revolutions." Whether the duo ever admit it publicly remains to be seen, but the final product still deserves more credit for being a satisfying conclusion to the series. And how can you not adore an epic that ends with the lines "Did you always know?" "Oh, no. I didn't. But I believed. I believed."
- Gregory Ellwood