The Matrix streaming guide: Where to watch every movie online

Since its debut in 1999, the Matrix franchise has put fans in a trance, much like the machines do to humans in the movies. But the difference is we thoroughly enjoy getting lost in this fictional world. By perfectly balancing elements of action, philosophy and religion, the Wachowskis have managed to enthrall fans with every new release from the franchise for over two decades.

The three feature-length films alone grossed over $1.6 billion at the box office worldwide. After the release of the third movie, Matrix Revolutions, in 2003, there have been several additional short films with varying timelines to further add to the story. And fans eagerly await the release of an additional sequel, The Matrix 4 in 2021.

Fortunately for die-hard Matrix fans and newbies to the franchise, the abundance of on-demand streaming services means you no longer have to wait for these movies to air on cable. While you can’t watch all the Matrix movies through a single streaming provider, most of them will at least have the feature-length films.

Your guide on where to stream The Matrix movies

The leading on-demand streaming service, Netflix, lets you watch all three movies from the Matrix Trilogy, including The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (in chronological order). These movies are available by default with your subscription, so you won’t have to pay extra to watch them.

The same goes for Philo and Sling TV, where you can enjoy all three Matrix movies at no extra charge. At the time of writing this post, Netflix, Philo and Sling TV are the only streaming providers that let you watch all the Matrix movies on demand. But you won’t get the Animatrix short films with these services.

ProviderPrice
Netflix$8.99/mo.
Philo$20/mo.
Sling TV$30/mo.

Renting vs. buying The Matrix movies

Although there are currently only three streaming providers that let you watch all three Matrix movies, your options don’t end there. There are several ways to buy or rent every Matrix movie, including the Animatrix short films.

While an Amazon Prime Video subscription doesn’t come with free access to the Matrix movies, you can rent or buy them through the service. Other popular buying and rental options include Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play and VUDU. These platforms even have all nine short films from the Animatrix collection, so you can get your much-needed Matrix fix.

Renting

When you rent Matrix movies online, you typically have 30 days to start watching them. Once you start watching, you have 48 hours to finish. Rental fees for the trilogy start at $3.99 per title, regardless of whether you stream in standard definition (SD), high definition (HD) or 4K ultra high definition (UHD). However, not every platform has 4K streaming. For instance, you only get HD streams for the Matrix movies on Amazon Prime Video.

The Animatrix animated short film collection costs a bit less to rent, with fees starting at $1.99. The actual rate may vary depending on where you rent it. Note that you won’t get 4K streams for this collection, regardless of the platform you use.

With the low price point, renting is a great option for newbies to the franchise who want to check out all the Matrix movies before getting too invested. But for avid fans who regularly rewatch the films, the time restrictions that come with renting might pose a problem.

Buying

Alternately, you also have the option to buy all the Matrix movies through these platforms, with rates starting from $9.99 per title. Prices may vary by platform, so it helps if you shop around to find the best deals. On platforms like the Google Play Store, you can even get the trilogy and Animatrix for $22.99.

Buying is a perfect choice for die-hard fans, as it gives you the freedom to rewatch any of the movies at any time without 48-hour or 30-day restrictions.

How to stream The Matrix movies in order

While the Matrix movies originally came out in chronological order, some of the animated short films and video games that came later explore the world at a different time period. This can get a little confusing, especially for those new to the franchise. So here’s a breakdown of the order in which you should stream the Matrix movies:

The Animatrix: The Second Renaissance, Part I and II (June 2003)

Taking place in the mid-21st century, these two short films explore how the relationship between machines and humans gradually deteriorated, eventually leading to a war. They focus on the events of the war and how the machines came up with the Matrix to keep human prisoners sedated.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU

The Animatrix: A Detective Story (June 2003)

This follows the story of a down-on-his-luck private detective named Ash and his investigation into a hacker who goes by the alias Trinity.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU

The Matrix (March 1999)

The movie that started it all, The Matrix takes place in a simulated version of 1999, although, in reality, it’s the 22nd century. It follows the story of Neo and how Morpheus and Trinity help him break free from the illusion created by the Matrix.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Netflix, Philo, Sling TV, VUDU

The Animatrix: Kid’s Story (June 2003)

Set in the period between The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded, this movie focuses on the story of a blue-pilled teen named Kid, who senses something wrong with the world. It follows his escape from the simulation after a conversation with Neo.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU

The Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris (June 2003)

A direct prequel to The Matrix Reloaded and the video game Enter the Matrix, this movie focuses on the events that take place on the ship Osiris. It follows Captain Thadeus and Jue as they attempt to warn Zion about an impending attack by the machines while evading capture at the same time.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU

The Matrix Reloaded (May 2003)

Taking place six months after The Matrix, this movie follows the original characters as they attempt to foil the attack on Zion. It shows the city’s preparation for the war as Morpheus, Neo and Trinity go in search of the Keymaker so they can reach the Source of the Matrix.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Netflix, Philo, Sling TV, VUDU

The Matrix Revolutions (November 2003)

Set almost immediately after Reloaded, Revolutions continues to follow the attack on Zion. This time, the story focuses on Neo’s attempts to foil the plans of rogue agent Smith to destroy both the Matrix and the real world.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Netflix, Philo, Sling TV, VUDU

The Animatrix: Beyond (June 2003)

Beyond follows the story of a teenager named Yoko, who encounters glitches in the Matrix while searching for her lost cat. This short takes place sometime after the events of the three feature films.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU

The Animatrix: World Record

This short follows the story of a track athlete named Dan Davis and his accidental escape from the Matrix. Although it’s hard to discern an exact timeline for this film, the Instructor from The Second Renaissance narrates the story, linking it to a familiar character.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU

The Animatrix: Matriculated

Matriculated tells the story of a group of human rebels who capture hostile machines and put them into a matrix they designed themselves. Here, they attempt to teach the machines some positive human traits such as compassion and empathy. Like with World Record, there aren’t any discernable events linking the story to a specific timeline.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU

The Animatrix: Program

This short tells the story of a protagonist named Cis, who duels with her crew member, Duo, inside a battle simulation set in feudal Japan. Again, there aren’t any clear hints about the timeline of this story, just like Matriculated and World Record.

Available on: Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU

While you can watch the trilogy movies first and follow up with the Animatrix shorts, the chronological viewing order highlighted above makes it easier to follow the story. But don’t worry about following a specific order for the last three shorts, as they don’t seem to be set in a specific place in time.

The takeaway

While you can watch all the Matrix movies through several streaming providers, keep in mind that services frequently update their content line-up. So make sure you start streaming them as soon as possible before the trilogy leaves these streaming services. Even if you don’t have a subscription, you can always sign up for a free trial with Netflix, Philo or Sling TV and see which option fits you best.

As for the Animatrix collection, you can either rent or buy it since no streaming services currently have it in their line-up.

Jacqueline Zote

Jacqueline Zote is a digital marketing and entertainment writer who makes regular contributions to Sprout Social and Recreation Insider. Her interests range from pop culture and mythology to social activism. When she’s not writing, she goes on food adventures and binges on crime drama. Her short fiction has been published by HarperCollins Publishers and Zubaan Books.