MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 269 this week

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

R  |   |  Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  5 January 1996 (USA)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 414,655 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 521 user | 112 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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 »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 15 Mar 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 22 Nov 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 24 Sep 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Twelve Monkeys" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Twelve Monkeys (1995) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Twelve Monkeys.

User Polls

Top 250 #205 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

12 Monkeys (TV Series 2015)
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will nearly destroy the human race.

Stars: Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Noah Bean
Groundhog Day (1993)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Donnie Darko (2001)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident.

Director: Richard Kelly
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell
Blade Runner (1982)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Drama
    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 T.V. show.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Sin City (2005)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption.

Directors: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Bruce Willis
Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles.

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
Snatch. (2000)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro
Memento (2000)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A man creates a strange system to help him remember things; so he can hunt for the murderer of his wife without his short-term memory loss being an obstacle.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Brazil (1985)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Melito ...
...
...
Michael Chance ...
...
H. Michael Walls ...
Bob Adrian ...
...
Carol Florence ...
...
Ernest Abuba ...
Irma St. Paule ...
...
...
Bruce Kirkpatrick ...
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:

They're Coming. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 January 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

12 Monkeys  »

Box Office

Budget:

$29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,320,430 (UK) (19 April 1996)

Gross:

£3,532,343 (UK) (17 May 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed 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

Young James Cole has a scar that runs horizontally almost the entire length. The adult James has no such scar. Some scars acquired as a child may disappear later in life. I had a scar at age 17 and now at 62 is gone. Another scar acquired at age 11 was originally about 3 inches long but is now only about 3/4" long. The section that remains was the most significant part of the injury. 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

References The Omega Man (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Pipeline
(1963)
Written by Bob Spickard, Brian Carman
Performed by The Chantays
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Imaginative, clever, engaging and very enjoyable – one of the best sci-fi's I've seen
13 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In the future humans exist underground, the surface having become uninhabitable due to the release of a virus years before in 1996. The ruling classes are scientists and large sections of the population are held as prisoners in tiny cells; prisoners who "volunteer" to help work out what happened back in 1996 that killed off 99% of the population. Requiring information about the visit, James Cole is sent back to 1996 to gather what information he can. However, sent to 1990 by accident, Cole finds himself in a mental hospital where he meets From the very start this film marks itself out as being very much a Terry Gilliam product and those who hate his work will probably dislike this film for the same reason. However, pleasing people like that is not my concern and 12 Monkeys is actually one of Gilliam's most accessible films as it sets his imaginative style within a narrative that is satisfyingly complex and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The story is not perfect though, the connection to the start is nice but the ultimate twist behind the virus just seems to have been thrown in to keep the film tidy; a minor complaint though because even then the main thrust of the story (Cole) keeps it together. The twisting plot plays with both Cole's and our sense of reality and it is genuinely gripping from start to finish Gilliam's direction is superb, whether it be the realistic world of the 1990's filmed with clever angles and shots or the wonderfully twisted world of the future, it is all excellent and was such a pleasant find in my local cinema at the time.

The film benefits from great turns from the cast. Willis was having a bit of a career resurrection in the mid-90's when several films showed us that he could actually act – for me, 12 Monkeys was one of them. Willis is superb as he spins from madness to sanity and back again; he underplays all the way and is so much better than the wise-cracking everyman that he is better known for. Pitt is just as good but in a different way. Getting an Oscar nomination that he deserved, Pitt risks overdoing it but pushes his crazy performance as far as he can without being indulgent – I'm not saying he is perfect but I would could this as one of his best performances to date. Stowe is very much in the shadow of these two but she holds her own well. Morse, Seda, Meloni and Plummer are all good in minor roles but really the film belongs to the lead three – Willis in particular and Pitt in a great supporting role.

Overall this is a great sci-fi; the story is great and is only helped by Gilliam's imaginative direction and awareness of the fantastic. Meanwhile the cast are very strong, with the famous leads giving some of their best performances to date. Downbeat, imaginative, engaging and one of the more accessible of Gilliam's films, it stands out as one of the best American sci-fi's of the past few decades.


90 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Absolutely Pathetic tsmit67
Why live underground? imdb-2920
Brad Pitt's Best performance ever? sherrilrichardson
Young Cole original life kirisutegomen1
How graphic, gory and distrurbing is this film? JackWyndamChandlerMD
Why did Dr Kathryn Railly feel she'd met Cole before? kieron39
Discuss Twelve Monkeys (1995) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page