It's funny that in the later movies (I don't remember hearing it that much for The Matrix) people then brought up Neo as being a "Jesus" like figure because I saw that in the original movie trailers. I thought to myself, "I just don't buy Keanu Reeves as being 'Jesus'". So I skipped out on the original theater release.
Skip a couple years ahead. Somehow I finally watched it on DVD and was completely blown away. I agree with MeBe, it's almost a perfect movie IMO. It's the only one I own on DVD.
I was really excited to see II and III in the movies and like the rest of you was greatly disappointed after it was all said and done. I really wanted to like them, and like the prequels made excuses for them. But looking back at them now I just don't like them that much. I find it really funny the brother's knocked the prequels because they relied too much on effects and not enough of story and character development when that's where the II & III films failed most at. There's a couple cool scenes in each (the freeway in II & the superman fight in III), but not enough to carry the films. So I only count the 1st one. And for the record I grade ep II and ep III above Matrix II & III.