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12 Monkeys

Terry Gilliam's 1995 science fiction film starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt.

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A muct see for all sci-fi fans, or just fans of good film

  • Jul 29, 2010
12 Monkeys is not only my favorite time traveling movie, but one of my favorite movies in general. It has a solid, fun and smart story, solid acting and a great feel to it.

James Cole (Willis) is a prisoner in the future where everyone lives in some sort of underground steam punk bunker after a virus killed 5 billion people in 1996 driving humanity below. It's not made clear what kind of government there is left, if any, but Cole is confronted by a group of scientists who have developed a way to travel through time to go back to 1996 to stop the virus in exchange for a full pardon and hero's welcome. He agrees only the machine doesn't work. He is sent to 1990 where he is disoriented from the journey and winds up in a mental hospital where he runs into a crazy guy names Jeffrey Goines (Pitt). He is swept back to the future after being locked in an isolation cell and reprimanded for having drugs in his system from the institution and for not finding anything out. They give him a second chance though and send him back again. This time things are wrought with coinsurance. He finds out one of his doctors from the previous journey is giving a speech about pandemic viruses as well as a phenomena that is directly related to other time travelers running into people in the past. He also discovers that Goines is out of the crazy house as well and it turns out his father runs a biological research company and has started soem sort of group called the Army of the 12 Monkeys, which is who the scientists from the future think are responsible for the outbreak. The rest of the movie spent with Cole trying to convince his doctor he is from the future and needs to stop Goines. He tracks Goines down and finds out that the Army of the 12 Monkeys was in fact just a bunch of stupid kids who freed a bunch of zoo animals and graffiti tagged their logo all over the place and that the real culprit was was on the researchers at Goines' dad's company. Cole fails to stop this guy himself, but the scientists are informed of the true source of the virus and if you pay attention to the last couple of scenes, they take the necessary action to stop him.

This was such a great movie, Terry Gilliam is a brilliant film maker who is very adept at keeping you IN the movie and throwing in the twists and turns in an effective manner. The movie is a bit off-beat but if it weren't for this I seriously doubt Pitt and Willis would have landed some of their quirkier roles down the road, like Tyler Durden or Corben Dallas. One of those movies everyone should see to witness what a real film is.

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More 12 Monkeys reviews
Quick Tip by . August 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Awesome looking movie with cool art direction, story and characters. Bruce Willis must save the world from a killer virus. I need to see this again.
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
Best movie ever! I am always interested what the off camera activities of the characters of the film and learn new secrets about the film so many times watching it.
review by . December 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Teaser poster
From his days with Monty Python to his visionary epic Brazil, Terry Gilliam has never been an ordinary filmmaker. His unique sense of style and his trademark absurdist humor can be found in all of his films. In 1995, he cemented his reputation as one of the most unconventional directors in America with his brilliant science fiction film, 12 Monkeys. 12 Monkeys is an apocalyptic, romantic, time travel adventure inspired by the French film, La Jetée, which was written by Chris Marker. …
review by . March 06, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Despite the cheesy special effects and some unnecessarily silly scenes that greatly detract from the movie, 12 Monkeys is a very good science fiction movie.      Set in the year 2035, a plague has wiped out much of the human race and they are forced to live deep underground. Scientists of the era send criminals back in time, using imperfect time machine technology, to try to discover the origins of the virus so they can bring a sample back to the future to find a cure, and take …
review by . February 08, 2004
Pros: Something different for a change.     Cons: Aw, I don't like the end. =P     The Bottom Line: A lil old though it may be, it's a pretty good change from the stuff that's around these days.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. What to watch, what to watch. Hey look, Bruce Willis movies. 12 Monkeys huh? Ok, cool.      It actually wasn't until about midway through the movie …
review by . January 13, 2002
Pros: Acting & directing     Cons: A bit confusing at times     The Bottom Line: Intriguing concept and I really don't think you ever 'get' all the plots involved        Just call me late to supper. Seldom do I catch a movie when released, and I had pretty much written this one off considering the reviews given. However, a recent bout with the flu and a Bruce Willis weekend on Showtime dropped this one in my lap. I'm not a big …
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About this movie


12 Monkeys
is a 1995 science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée, and starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, and Christopher Plummer.

After Universal Studios acquired the rights to remake La Jetée as a full-length film, David and Janet Peoples were hired to write the script. Under Terry Gilliam's direction, Universal granted the filmmakers a $29.5 million budget, and filming lasted from February to May 1995. The film was shot mostly in Philadelphia and Baltimore, where the story was set.

The film was released to critical praise and grossed approximately $168 million worldwide. Brad Pitt was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and won a Golden Globe for his performance. The film also won and was nominated for various categories at the Saturn Awards.
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