12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys (1995) Movie Review

12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys (1995) Poster

12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys (1995)

1995 | R | Thriller, Sci-Fi, Mystery
129 minutes / 2h 09min

[ Movie Page: Twelve Monkeys (1995) ]
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12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys Plot Synopsis:

An intense film about time travel, this Sci-Fi entry was directed by Terry Gilliam, a member of the comedy troupe Monty Python. The film stars Bruce Willis as James Cole, a prisoner of the state in the year 2035 who can earn parole if he agrees to travel back in time and thwart a devastating plague. The virus has wiped out most of the Earth's population and the remainder live underground because the air is poisonous. Returning to the year 1990, six years before the start of the plague, Cole is soon imprisoned in a psychiatric facility because his warnings sound like mad ravings. There he meets a scientist named Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe) and Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), the mad son of an eminent virologist (Christopher Plummer). Cole is returned by the authorities to the year 2035, and finally ends up at his intended destination in 1996. He kidnaps Dr. Railly in order to enlist her help in his quest. Cole discovers graffiti by an apparent animal rights group called the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, but as he delves into the mystery, he hears voices, loses his bearings, and doubts his own sanity. He must figure out if Goines, who seems to be a raving lunatic, holds the key to the puzzle.

12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys (1995) Review

Twelve Monkeys (1995) is a 2h 9-min rated R cult classic American science-fiction mystery thriller film that was shot in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and several locations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA and Maryland, USA. Director Terry Gilliam (Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), The Meaning of Life (1983)) exceeded all of my expectations. I did not think the movie was going to be anything much, but boy was I wrong and happy that the film was an excellent watch with awesome twists. Twelve Monkeys (1995) is a remake that was loosely based on the Chris Marker short film titled La Jetee (1962). The film was similar to a lot of other movies, but it does not matter because it was executed brilliantly enough to make it stand out from the rest and better than most.


Twelve Monkeys is about a virus that killed most of humanity in 1996. The few survivors seek refuge/shelter underground. Skip forward to the year 2035 where James Cole (Bruce Willis - The Sixth Sense (1999), Die Hard (1988), The Fifth Element (1997), Armageddon (1998)) is a prisoner who lives under the ruins of Philadelphia. Cole is no ordinary prisoner as he was trained for a particular mission where he will be sent back in time to collect data on the virus so that the scientists can possibly develop a cure. The mission did not go as planned as Cole arrives in Baltimore but not in 1996. He arrived in 1990 and is arrested which led him to be sent to a mental institution where he met Dr. Kathryn Railly. He also met Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt - Inglourious Basterds (2009), Fight Club (1999), World War Z (2013), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)) who he tried to escape with but failed.

It did not take long after Cole was locked in a cell for him to return to the future from the timeline he originally came from. Cole was given some information regarding the Twelve Monkeys who are responsible for the virus and is sent back to the past but accidently arrives at a battlefield of World War I. The movie progresses to being an outstanding film with detail scenes that does not leave the audience/viewers guessing for answers. Twelve Monkeys had an estimated budget of $29 million and grossed over $168 million at the box office which speaks for itself saying that science fiction and thrillers fans should not miss Twelve Monkeys.

With all said, the plots were a bit haywire, but there were some mind-blowing plot twists, and all of the actors gave us excellent performances which altogether left us with a compelling experience. I like the idea of Cole not being sent to change the past but instead to take notes on how to improve their future. The movie was brought together well with the help of the editors and entire production crew including the cinematographer, sound, and special effects department.

  • 12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 8
  • Overall Score: 8.07
  • IMDB: 8.0
  • MetaCritic: 7.4
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 8.9

About 12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys 1995

Title: 12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys
AKA: Twelve Monkeys
Year: 1995
Runtime: 129 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi, Mystery
Reviewer:
Score: 4 / 5 stars
Published:
Avg. Rating: 4.03/5 stars from 529,127 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 529,127
MPAA Rating: R
12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys Cast Starring: Bruce Willis, David Morse, Richard Stanley, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer, Jeff Tanner, Raymond Mamrak, Bruce Kirkpatrick, Christopher Meloni, Chuck Jeffreys, Bart the Bear, Matt Ross, Charles Techman, Aaron Michael Lacey, Bill Raymond, Julie Mabry, Rozwill Young, Sal Mazzotta, Allelon Ruggiero, Rick Warner, Renee Spei, Drucie McDaniel, Michael Chance, Jann Ellis, LisaGay Hamilton, Janet Zappala, Stan Kang, Bob Adrian, C.J. Byrnes, Joseph McKenna
12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys Writers: Chris Marker, David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples
12 Monkeys - Twelve Monkeys Director: Terry Gilliam
Production: Universal Pictures
Language: English, French
Country: USA