The Wachowski Sisters Movies, Ranked According To IMDb

Since the release of Bound and then The Matrix, Lilly and Lana Wachowski have gone on to reinvent the blockbuster genre. They have consistently made films ambitious in scope, both in the stories they seek to tell and the radical styles they employ; from the multi-camera "bullet time" effect in The Matrix to the full-focus cameras used in Speed Racer.

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With the release of The Matrix Resurrections, albeit with only Lana directing this time, it's worth looking back at the siblings' filmography and how they stand today. While it's evident from ratings on IMDb that their films have seen varying responses, they still remain two of the most influential directors of the last thirty years.

8 Jupiter Ascending - 5.3

Jupiter Ascending is the most recent film the Wachowskis made together, and since its release, it has been poorly received by audiences and critics. The film is a space opera retelling of the Cinderella story, starring Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones, a modest housekeeper who discovers that her destiny extends beyond the bounds of Earth.

The film's lack of success can be attributed to the usual reasons why Wachowski films are often so divisive. There's a clear ambition and aesthetic direction to the film that is perhaps restricted by its two-hour runtime, which tries to contain the dense world-building and sprawling web of characters.

7 The Matrix Resurrections - 5.9

While the jury is still out on Lana Wachowski's return to the Matrix for the first time in twenty years, Resurrections has been one of the most divisive films in the series. The film is simultaneously a sequel to Revolutions and a remake of the first Matrix film, in a similar manner to how The Force Awakens reworks the first Star Wars film.

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The darker colors and greenish tint of the original Matrix trilogy are abandoned in favor of a more colorful look, with the red and blue pills taking on a much greater symbolic meaning in this release. Resurrections is both a return to the first film while at the same time a deconstruction of its themes and its slight shift in balance from all-out action to heartfelt romance is indicative of the Wachowskis' own development as filmmakers.

6 Speed Racer - 6.0

The Wachowskis' follow-up to the Matrix trilogy is perhaps their most over-the-top, dizzying blockbuster that they've yet made. Speed Racer has a simple premise, following the titular Speed Racer who strives to be the fastest driver in the world. The film is based on the 1960s anime and manga of the same name, and while it has one of the most distinctive styles of any blockbuster in the 21st century, it was widely criticized for its thin characterization in favor of bold, glitzy style.

That being said, while the film's emotional core is simple, it is extravagant and big-hearted, and this is enhanced by the unique special effects that emphasize the significance of these races to Speed. The Wachowski's bright, vibrant color scheme is a stark contrast to the washed-out, green-tinted Matrix films, and it is like no other film with its unconventional shot transitions, artificial landscapes, and aforementioned full-focus camera.

5 The Matrix Revolutions - 6.8

Despite being the conclusion to the series for nearly twenty years, The Matrix Revolutions is perhaps the least memorable film in the original trilogy. Its release five months after Reloaded may have dampened its impact, and in many ways, it watches like an epilogue to its predecessor.

Revolutions is by no means a bad film, with scenes like the battle for Zion and Neo and Agent Smith's final battle in the rain being suitably grand finales to the trilogy. However, it does continue Reloaded's tendency to include impressive yet unnecessary Matrix action scenes that detract from its characters, that, although riveting to watch, seem more and more distanced from the story at hand.

4 The Matrix Reloaded - 7.2

Released four years after the first Matrix film, Reloaded is an attempt to top the spectacle of its predecessor in almost every way possible. The film sees an expansion of the world introduced in The Matrix, showing the audience Zion and its internal politics, and also new aspects of the Matrix itself with a new cast of Matrix villains including the Architect, the Merovingian, and the Twins, who are fascinating and memorable additions to the franchise.

In addition, Reloaded is a film saturated with spectacular action sequences, building on the thrilling and inventive nature of The Matrix's iconic action, this time with more of an emphasis on computer animation, in particular Neo's powers going beyond the bounds of Keanu Reeves' physical performance. The best way to describe the film would be indulgent, and scenes like the Zion cave party or the lengthy car chase sequence exude a sense of pure fun.

3 Bound - 7.3

The Wachowskis' first film, Bound, is far from the maximalist science fiction that is typically expected of the siblings, instead, the film is a low-budget noir thriller that showcases the directors' talents on a smaller scale. Bound follows Violet, a femme fatale and mistress to Ceasar, who finds herself plotting to frame the gangster with the help of her lover, Corky.

The $6 Million Bound cost to make is minuscule compared to the hundreds of millions that have backed later Wachowski films, and it's fascinating to see their style in action without the dizzying action scenes and CGI spectacle. Bound revels in the tension between its characters, and the central romance between Violet and Corky is what ties it all together.

2 Cloud Atlas - 7.4

Perhaps one of the most narratively ambitious films by the Wachowski Sisters, Cloud Atlas is an adaptation of David Mitchell's film of the same name and follows six stories from the past, present, and future that explore themes of reincarnation and interlocking lives.

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Cloud Atlas is the longest film the Wachowskis' have made, coming close to three hours in runtime. Its adaptation of Mitchell's book drops the Russian Doll narrative structure in favor of a haphazard intercutting between stories, and it approaches the theme of reincarnation awkwardly through casting actors in multiple roles throughout the film. While Cloud Atlas could easily be a sprawling, incoherent disaster, its themes and ideas are brought together by the intuitive editing style, and importantly, Tom Tykwer's score and the titular 'Atlas March' that fuses together the disparate stories.

1 The Matrix - 8.7

By far the highest-rated Wachowski film on IMDb, The Matrix is still the most acclaimed and iconic film the siblings have created, and for good reason. Both the film's narrative and style were revolutionary for 1999 and it has become one of the most recognizable science fiction films of all time.

The Matrix was influenced by several films and works of literature and has been read as a trans allegory, a misinterpretation of Baudrillard's Simulacra, and a retelling of Plato's Cave. But what makes the film so compelling is its deliberate and cohesive structure, where every shot, line of dialogue, and note of music is a piece that enhances the whole experience. The special effects are stunning, and the world-building is fascinating, but most importantly they are storytelling devices that make such a complex concept seem instantly understandable.

NEXT: 10 Things in The Matrix That Still Hold Up Today



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