Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski — together making up The Wachowskis — were born in Chicago to their mother Lynne and father Ron. Lana was born in 1965 and Lily was born two and a half years later. The pair attended school together at Kellogg Elementary School and Whitney Young High School, which was known for its performing arts programs. Lana attended post-secondary at Bard College, while Lily attended Emerson College, however, neither would graduate; instead, dropping out to start a carpentry business. In the early-90s, the pair wrote for both Marvel and Epic Comics, namely the Clive Barker-created Ectokid, Hellraiser, and Nightbreed.
In 1994, however, they tried their hand at screenwriting when they wrote the script for Assassins. In a rare interview with the pair, they discuss how their experience with Assassins motivated them to become directors so that they could preserve the integrity of their work as writers. In 1996, the Wachowskis celebrated their directorial debut with the cult classic heist movie Bound. Lana and Lilly Wachowski would publicly come out as transgender in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Here are the Wachowskis’ best movies and TV series, ranked.
The Matrix Revolutions
The Matrix: Revolutions is the third installment of the cyberpunk franchise, and picks up right where Reloaded left off. Stuck in a train station halfway between reality and the Matrix, Neo must rely on his associates to free him from The Merovingian so that he can once again save the world. The film is one of the Wachowskis best as it marks the last in the series that they collaborated on.
The Matrix Reloaded
Set six months after the events of the original movie, The Matrix: Reloaded follows Trinity and Neo, now a couple, as they rebel against the Machine Army. Faced with the threat of 250,000 Sentinels programmed to destroy the human race, Neo fights through a barrage of disturbing visions to fulfill his prophecy. Despite receiving generally favorable reviews from critics the film did not live up to its predecessor.
Speed Racer is a remake of the 1967 anime TV series of the same name. It tells the story of Speed Racer (played by Emile Hirsch), the youngest driver in the World Racing League gifted with a natural affinity for the sport. Speed and the mysterious Racer X eventually discover that the powerful executives are rigging the races to boost profits. He vows to beat them at their own game by participating in the same dangerous race that took the life of his brother. Despite lackluster box office success, the film has gained a loyal following and is generally perceived by fans as “misunderstood”. There is currently a Speed Racer TV series in production for AppleTV+.
Cloud Atlas is a underrated science fiction movie masterpiece that spans six different eras in time that extends hundreds of years and features multiple storylines. The same cast plays different roles within each covered era, often changing social stature from one era to the next. The film is one of the Wachowskis best due to its innovative concept that earned it several Saturn Award nominations, including one for Best Science Fiction Film.
The neo-noir thriller Bound is one of the Wachowskis’ best films as it marks their directorial debut, and stays true to the story they wrote, unlike their first film Assassins, which was re-written. It chronicles the budding relationship between ex-con Corky and her lover Violet who is dating Caesar (Joe Pantilione) a money launderer for the mob. Things get complicated when the duo plan a heist to rob a suitcase full of mob money from Caesar. Bound has since become a cult classic.
The Netflix science-fiction drama Sense8 is a play on the word Sensate, which means “percieving or perceived by the senses”. It is about a group of eight random strangers who find themselves inexplicably linked to one another both mentally and emotionally. The film was praised for its representation of the LGBTQ+ community and won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series. Despite having a loyal following, Netflix canceled the series after its Season 2 cliffhanger finale. Feeling the heat from fans, Netflix produced a two-hour series finale to wrap up the unresolved storylines on June 8, 2018.
V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta is an action film inspired by the DC Vertigo comics of the same name. It is set in a future dystopian Britain and follows freedom fighter V (Hugo Weaving) and like-minded Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) on their fight to overthrow a tyrannical government. V for Vendetta is one of the Wachowskis’ best movies because of its socio-political underpinnings, high-paced action sequences, and its top-notch dialogue.
In the first installment on the popular franchise, The Matrix sees Keanu Reeves as Thomas Anderson a.k.a. NEO, a computer hacker who is sought out by a group of underground rebels to liberate the human race from an enemy they don’t yet know exists. The Matrix is one of the Wachowskis’ best movies as it was a blockbuster hit upon its original release, has gained cult status, and has spawned several sequels and spin-offs — the most recent being The Matrix: Resurrections, which has been described as a metaphor for the transgender experience.