Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Most Paused Neo Scene From The Matrix

More than two decades after its release, 1999's "The Matrix" still captures our imagination in ways few movies ever have. Directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, "The Matrix" is equal parts cyberpunk science-fiction, action thriller, and late '90s "free your mind" mysticism. This magnum opus is able to synthesize these disparate influences into a perfect blend as it tells the story of Neo (Keanu Reeves), a computer hacker whose search for a mysterious figure named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) leads to an eye-opening discovery about the true nature of his reality. The Wachowski's movie was such a hit, both critically (via Rotten Tomatoes) and commercially (via Box Office Mojo), that it led to two sequels, "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions," both released in 2003. The trilogy has become such an integral entry in pop culture that a fourth film in the franchise, "The Matrix Resurrections," will arrive in December 2021.

Part of what makes "The Matrix" such a compelling watch is Keanu Reeves as a leading man. Reeves brings a much-needed mischievousness to his role as Neo, alternating between bemused grins and befuddled stares as he reacts to the impossible things taking place around him. His grounded performance allows viewers to immerse themselves in the unique movie world without feeling alienated.

Across the two-hour runtime, every fan of "The Matrix" is likely to claim a different Neo moment as their favorite. Some may go nuts for the dojo scene, while others may prefer the hero's death-defying subway fight scene opposite Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). But when it comes to the most paused moments in "The Matrix," there's really only one contender.

Neo's transformation into the One is very pause-worthy

There is no moment that is more pause-worthy in "The Matrix" than when Neo finally becomes the One, which arrives after two hours of buildup in the 1999 movie. The moment occurs in the final act when Keanu Reeves' Neo stops bullets midair, kicks Agent Smith halfway across the room, then explodes Smith from the inside out. If that sounds incredibly cool, trust us when we say it's sublime to watch.

Prior to his bullet-stopping moment, Neo is nearly dead after he is fatally shot by the Agents. At the same time, back in the real world, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) stands over his body and confesses her love for him. Her kiss seemingly brings Neo back to life, unlocking his full potential. As he blocks the bullets, the computers on the Nebuchadnezzar go haywire, crackling and sparking. As this happens, Morpheus declares, "He is the one." It's the kind of fist-pumping moment that can only happen when a movie has done everything right up until that point, and it is glorious.

Part of what makes this Neo moment so good is that the movie does a bang-up job building tension and expectations. Over the course of "The Matrix," audiences have watched Neo attempt to fight Agent Smith several times. In those early battles, he is always either beaten or left with a stalemate. Now, in the moment of his greatest defeat, Neo finds his true power.