The Matrix films, along with the video games, animé and toys inspired by them, are rich with philosophical, religious and social references that cry out for interpretation. Here these ideas are examined in the context of the history of thought and cinema. The variety of applications in this study is remarkable, engaging thinkers ranging from conservative Christians to postmodernist critics. Feminist issues meet cyberpunk, cosmological perspectives meet mythological and literary analysis. Violence in society, American values, politics, heroic models - all are called into question as several esteemed scholars decode the entire world of the Matrix franchise.