Best '90s cyberpunk movie: 'Dark City' or 'The Matrix'?
via Warner Bros. Pictures

Best '90s cyberpunk movie: 'Dark City' or 'The Matrix'?

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Dark City” and “The Matrix” are regarded as cyberpunk classics from the late ‘90s. As Indiewire puts it, "There’s undeniably a bit of a creative intersection that exists between 'The Matrix' and 'Dark City,' what with all the flowing black costumes, allegorical allusions, and poker-faced seriousness.” “Dark City” came out a year prior, and is now revered as a cult classic. But “The Matrix” became a commercially successful, groundbreaking blockbuster. Which '90s cyberpunk movie is the best?

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Indiewire’s Nicholas Laskin wrote:

Dark City” came out a year before the philosophically loaded cyberpunk thriller “The Matrix,” the directorial breakthrough of the Wachowskis that went on to become a massive smash it, inspiring a veritable slew of imitators and two inferior sequels. There’s undeniably a bit of a creative intersection that exists between “The Matrix” and “Dark City,” what with all the flowing black costumes, allegorical allusions, and poker-faced seriousness, and with this new video essay from Cinefix, we’ll take a look at those parallels.
These films might seem dated to some now, but it’s important to remember that the ’90s were a fruitful time for sleek, studio-backed sci-fi flicks (the video cites Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days” and David Cronenberg’s “eXistenZ” as other noteworthy examples), and “Dark City” and “The Matrix” are very much a part of this genre. Granted, “The Matrix” is a bigger, louder movie — it’s undeniably a blockbuster — while “Dark City” is suffused with a quieter dread that is nevertheless unnerving. Still, the video is very much worth a look, especially if you’re into these sorts of films. Check it out below.

Below is the synopsis of “Dark City,” per IMDb.

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun.

“Dark City” holds a 74 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has a massive cult following. 

Below is the synopsis of “The Matrix,” per IMDb.

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

“The Matrix” holds a fresh rating of 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The film grossed over $463 million globally.

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