Since its blockbuster release in 1999, The Matrix has triggered off an avalanche of studies focusing on different aspects of the movie. What is striking about the proliferation of explanations of The Matrix is the extent to which the early writings of Jean Baudrillard, especially his Simulacra and Simulation (1983), now appear as the chief interpretive grid of the movie. Under close scrutiny, however, it soon becomes obvious that a reading of the movie in terms of Baudrillard's theory is based on a profound misunderstanding of his tenets. Departing from a critical re-examination of those studies that see in The Matrix a meticulous visualization of Baudrillard's theory, it will be elucidated that the film's explicit visual reference to Simulacra and Simulation is but one element within the "smorgasbord" of a double-coded network (Charles Jencks) of intertextual references.By resorting to Fredric Jameson's concept of pastiche and his theory on late capitalism, this essay sets out to illustrate that The Matrix is a comprehensive reflection and representation of postmodern culture at the conclusion of the twentieth century. As such the film functions as an example of the distinct and contrasting modes of discourse that have come to define both culture and aesthetic production in contemporary Western societies.