Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

A Glitch in the Matrix

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Mature, muddled docu about possible "artificial reality."

Movie NR 2021 108 minutes
A Glitch in the Matrix Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (1 ):

This haphazard documentary is centered around Philip K. Dick's fascinating lecture and leads up to a terrifying ending, but it's mostly pop culture references and unconvincing arguments. Dick's speech is worth hearing, because he's clearly in the midst of exploring new ideas/theories, but the modern-day interviewees in A Glitch in the Matrix are far more certain. For example, Professor Nick Bostrom, who published a famous 2003 essay, "Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?," has a thoughtful and complex hypothesis. But the movie spends barely any time on it.

The main interviewees seem like nice enough people, and they all seem to be movie and video game fans. And, interestingly, most have some kind of faith-based background. They tell stories about how they started to detect patterns and coincidences that convinced them of an artificial reality. But Ascher's choice to disguise them as avatars seems like something of a joke or a tease. The documentary's constant use of movie and video game clips also suggests that it's in a slightly less than serious mood. But then it comes to its final stretch, and it's not funny anymore. That's when it addresses the story of Joshua Cooke, who was obsessed with The Matrix, believed he was living in an artificial reality, and subsequently killed his parents (he confesses that he was surprised when they didn't die like video game characters). Ultimately, A Glitch in the Matrix not only fails to convince viewers of its argument, but it doesn't really seem to know what it wants to say at all.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate