No one can be told what The Matrix is... So go watch it first, if you are one of the 0.0001% of the planet who hasn't seen it. Okay, now you know that The Matrix envisions a future where machines have enslaved humanity with the help of an illusory dreamworld in which everyone only imagines being alive in the 20th century. You also know that the Matrix films cause coffeehouse philosophers to go "whubba-ding-ding-ding" inside their heads with all the notions the films raise about free will, truth, and the nature of reality.
But it's not like The Matrix is the only dystopian cinematic vision that encourages widespread navel-gazing. Let's have a look at other films of a similar bent:
The anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion is, like The Matrix, chockfull of allusions to Christianity, and has also generated much philosophical mumbo-jumbo. This work by Hideaki Anno depicts a future Tokyo in the aftermath of a worldwide cataclysm known as the Second Impact. A mysterious agency called NERV is tasked with protecting humanity from the mysterious, powerful beings called Angels who periodically attack our world for inexplicable reasons. A boy called Ikari Shinji, along with other children who are able to pilot the Eva robots are the lone saviors that stand against the Angels and the utter destruction of humanity from the feared Third Impact.
Evangelion is concerned with the themes of identity, sacrifice, the role of the individual within society, the past as the determinant of one's fate, and the question of what it truly means to be human. Though in the end it lacks true profundity, it is refreshing to find a commercial animated work that even skims the surface of such philosophical issues. And the series draws us into the lives of its characters, so that Shinji, Rei, Asuka and Misato become people we deeply care about, to the point that it pains us to watch their suffering.
Another animated fantasy, Wizards from Ralph Bakshi, imagines a future nuclear wasteland where the magic-wielding forces of good must go up against the technologically proficient forces of evil... a scenario uncannily similar to The Matrix's, yet portrayed in a completely different (and much less violent) style. The ironic ending suggests that technology will win the day one way or another — another theme omnipresent in the computer-wizard world of The Matrix.