8.0/10
508,671
559 user 149 critic

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Director:

Writers:

(film La Jetée), (screenplay) (as David Peoples) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,184 ( 217)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #243 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Groundhog Day (1993)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Donnie Darko (2001)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director: Richard Kelly
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
Se7en (1995)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
Action | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Jason Bourne dodges a ruthless CIA official and his agents from a new assassination program while searching for the origins of his life as a trained killer.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Matt Damon, Edgar Ramírez, Joan Allen
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a television show.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Alien (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt
Memento (2000)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her - a team she was once part of.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah
Terminator 2 (1991)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten year old son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
Die Hard (1988)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Melito ...
...
...
Michael Chance ...
Scarface
Vernon Campbell ...
Tiny
H. Michael Walls ...
Botanist
...
...
Zoologist
Carol Florence ...
...
Ernest Abuba ...
Engineer
Irma St. Paule ...
Poet
...
...
Detective Franki
Bruce Kirkpatrick ...
Policeman No. 1
Edit

Storyline

An unknown and lethal virus has wiped out five billion people in 1996. Only 1% of the population has survived by the year 2035, and is forced to live underground. A convict (James Cole) reluctantly volunteers to be sent back in time to 1996 to gather information about the origin of the epidemic (who he's told was spread by a mysterious "Army of the Twelve Monkeys") and locate the virus before it mutates so that scientists can study it. Unfortunately Cole is mistakenly sent to 1990, six years earlier than expected, and is arrested and locked up in a mental institution, where he meets Dr. Kathryn Railly, a psychiatrist, and Jeffrey Goines, the insane son of a famous scientist and virus expert. Written by Giancarlo Cairella <vertigo@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The future is history. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 January 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

12 Monkeys  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$29,000,001 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,200,000, 7 January 1996

Gross USA:

$57,141,459

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$168,839,459
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The two newscasters shown in the film were actual newscasters on Philadelphia's Channel 10 news at the time of filming. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Railly first interviews Cole, the long trail of drool coming from his mouth disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
James Cole: Jose - psst! Jose, what's going on?
Jose: Bad news, man
James Cole: Volunteers?
Jose: Yeah. And they said your name.
[pause]
Jose: Hey, maybe they'll give you a pardon, man.
James Cole: [sarcastic] Yeah, that's why none of the volunteers come back. They all get a pardon.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The symbol of the 12 Monkeys provides the backdrop for the opening and closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No. 21 In C Major, K.467
(uncredited)
Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Superior sci-fi
20 April 2012 | by See all my reviews

A convict from the year 2035 is assigned a mission in order to win parole. He is sent back in time by a group of scientists to try and discover the source of a fatal plague that wiped out most of the human race. A plague which did not kill animals. In his travels he discovers mysterious graffiti announcing the arrival of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys.

Terry Gilliam has always been an interesting film director and visual stylist even when some of his movies are uneven. With 12 Monkeys he perhaps produces his most wholly satisfying work. It's a consistently compelling mystery within the framework of a time-travelling sci-fi narrative. It's a fairly complex story, so attention is demanded of the viewer. This is perhaps the chief strength of the film, however, as the labyrinthine narrative is one that benefits from multiple viewings. There are still some elements of ambiguity even at the end, so it's a film that actively encourages discussion.

There's a good cast too. Bruce Willis was on a bit of a run in the mid 90's and this is one of the great films he appeared in at the height of his powers. On the other hand, it's one of the first films where Brad Pitt was allowed to display his acting chops and show that he was a lot more than just a pretty face. While in visual terms, it's as interesting as you would expect from a Gilliam movie; although not as phantasmagorical as some of his more personal fantasy features. In 12 Monkeys he was a director for hire but it's not immediately obvious. Perhaps the distance this gave him actually helped instill some discipline that made the whole more cohesive on the whole. Whatever the case, this is an excellent sci-fi film with a compelling central mystery.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 559 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page