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The Matrix (1999)

screenshot XMatrix screensaver displaying Matrix digital rain

This movie had it all. Sunglasses, clamshell phones, and a radical agenda. At one level the story is set in 1999, the year the film was released. Its protagonist, talented programmer Thomas Anderson, works for a software company by day, and turns his skills to illegal ends under his online alias, Neo, at other times. While searching to find out what the Matrix is, he meets a clique of hacktivists led by the enigmatic Trinity, and the elusive Morpheus. The latter is also on a quest. He seeks someone to lead a resistance movement. What Neo does not know is that his new acquaintances are visiting him in what is effectively a digital dimension. There is a reality Neo is largely sheltered from by a virtual one.

At some juncture in the Matrix backstory mankind believed it had perfected artificial intelligence, only to be deemed very imperfect by that new creation. A battle between human and solar powered machine followed that resulted in people blocking the sun by "scorching the sky". The robots still win. Humans are reduced to being a source of renewable energy by the victors.

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Directed by The Wachowski Brothers

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