5 Best Wachowskis Films

5 Best Wachowskis Films

The Wachowskis have quite a body of work. They were lauded for their gigantic blockbuster smash hit The Matrix and have not slowed down since then. Their films tend to have gigantic, intricate scale with casts of bizarre, imaginative characters. They may make blockbusters, but they often proffer philosophical questions and ideas. The Matrix ponders the nature of existence and whether enlightenment is possible, drawing clear parallels between its hero Neo and religious figures. V For Vendetta—for which they penned the screenplay—discusses liberation and revolution. Even their considerably lighter fare, like Speed Racer, interests itself in passion and the corrupting nature of money. Indeed, they are fascinating filmmakers worthy of deep examination even as their works are sometimes dismissed by critics as silly or overwrought.


The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix was the Wachowskis’ breakout film. It is lauded as one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. The film imagines a world in which sentient machines now control the world. Their energy source is humans themselves, who remain blind to their true reality and are instead plugged into a simulated reality called “the Matrix.” A computer programmer named Thomas Anderson (but goes by the alias “Neo”) is played by Keanu Reeves. A group of freedom fighters gives him the option to see the world as it truly is and to help them fight back against the computers. The film was recognized for its powerful allegory of enlightenment and liberation as well as its groundbreaking digital effects.

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Speed Racer (2008)

The Wachowskis’ live-action adaptation of the animated Speed Racer television show follows similar beats to the show. Emile Hirsch plays the eponymous Speed Racer, a young man whose family is obsessed with racing. After his brother dies, he takes it upon himself to represent his family in the world of racing. While the film bombed at the box office unable to earn back its budget, it has been championed in the years since by many for its fun, campy story, over-the-top color palette, and dizzying editing style.

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Bound (1996)

While The Matrix was certainly what skyrocketed the Wachowskis to fame, their directorial debut deserves praise as well. Violet, the girlfriend (Jennifer Tilly) of a mafia money launderer (Joey Pantoliano) falls in love with an ex-con handyperson named Corky (Gina Gershon) when she begins working in her building. Together they devise a plan to steal the mafia’s money and frame him so that they can escape together. Typical of a directorial debut, it is significantly smaller in scale than the Wachowskis’ later films, but their unique style is obvious from the beginning.

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The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

The Wachowskis’ follow-up to their groundbreaking film is even more action-packed than the original. While a great victory is accomplished on the part of Neo and his cohorts, the battle against the sentient computers continues. The Matrix Reloaded did not receive as wide of praise as its predecessor—but was applauded for its intricate, imaginative story and cool, dynamic characters and costume design.

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The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

The definitive series of the Wachowskis’ careers come to a conclusion in The Matrix Revolutions. The battle continues to rage between the Neo and the rest of the enlightened humans and the sentient computers—as well as the rogue computer program Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) who seeks to rule them both. While it too received less praise than that of the innovative, original film, it was widely admired for its gusty, subversive and surprising conclusion to the story.

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