(Warner Bros., 1999)
A smorgasbord of cinema styles rolled into one of the great dystopian sci fi films ever made, certainly the best of its era, and all sprung from the mind and vision of the brothers Wachowski. With explosive Western action, Hong Kong martial arts, and bleeding edge cinema, this one swept critical praise, worldwide box office, and technical Oscars to land on top of the heap as great fun, utter cool, and visually iconic at the same time, and made the Wachowskis cinematic rock stars. Spawning an unfortunate slew of sequels that missed the mark set by this first one, this film is nevertheless worth watching just for itself, with all the lead actors, particularly Hugo Weaving as the chief villain, giving career high-water performances. Won Oscars for Best Film Editing, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing, and earned a megablockbuster $463M overall. And it's cool as hell.