Twelve Monkeys

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 382 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 382

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User Reviews

  1. Jan 14, 2011
    10
    This movie is amazing. It leaves your mind in a twist wondering what happened. Great acting by Bruce Willis. Great directing. But the best part is the story line! Truly original. It shows the flaws in time travel very very well!
  2. Aug 1, 2012
    10
    12 Monkeys is the 2nd best science fiction; #1 being Bladerunner. A highly imaginative movie with a heart crushing ending. This will be around my 6th watching through and you notice something new every time. For example, this time I noticed that each inmate in the future had plastic pouch stapled to their prisoner uniform shirt, for identification.
  3. Apr 7, 2014
    10
    Gilliams best work. Stow and Willis are awesome as well. Love the cinematography. Might take a few viewings to really fully grasp and appreciate it. One of my favorite movies.
  4. Oct 27, 2012
    9
    A very touching and thought-provoking film surprisingly made by Terry Gilliam, one of the people behind Monty Python. The insight and themes surrounding this brilliant science-fiction film have depicted that somehow we ourselves are unsure of what is real and what is not. Each actor has their own creative part to play, and despite what you may think, with all the life-threatening andA very touching and thought-provoking film surprisingly made by Terry Gilliam, one of the people behind Monty Python. The insight and themes surrounding this brilliant science-fiction film have depicted that somehow we ourselves are unsure of what is real and what is not. Each actor has their own creative part to play, and despite what you may think, with all the life-threatening and time-travel twists to get your head around, it will end up having a real impact on you, thinking about the real issues that are actually quite close to home. Expand
  5. Aug 13, 2014
    9
    This movie is one of Gilliam's best, and it won't leave your brain bored. Brilliant performances by Bruce Willis and one of the best performances of Brad Pitt in his acting career. Great movie.
  6. Mar 20, 2012
    10
    I love this film, its artistic enough to be slightly confusing and has fantastic visuals and eerie music. A note to Max P...if its too confusing then, you just aren't bright enough to understand it. And really, its not hard to understand at all. Not if you watch it all the way through.
  7. Aug 5, 2013
    10
    Magnificent work, who initially argued that we can not change the future. Frightening ...
    Magnífica obra, que desde un principio nos plantea que no es posible cambiar el futuro. Atemorizante...
  8. Oct 22, 2013
    9
    This is one thought provoking, disturbing, and ingeniously constructed film. It may have even inspired Looper, but I found this film both superior in style and plot. Terry Gilliam always creates strange, disorienting worlds. When I first saw Brazil I really didn't like it at all, but I might have to watch it again after viewing 12 Monkeys. The performances are all incredibly convincingThis is one thought provoking, disturbing, and ingeniously constructed film. It may have even inspired Looper, but I found this film both superior in style and plot. Terry Gilliam always creates strange, disorienting worlds. When I first saw Brazil I really didn't like it at all, but I might have to watch it again after viewing 12 Monkeys. The performances are all incredibly convincing and strange. Willis gives perhaps his most mortal and desperate performance, and Pitt goes full retard as a crazy animal rights activist, showing that he possesses an acting range which I thought he lacked. I don't want to spoil things, so I'll just say that the plot needs to be paid close attention to at all times and it will definitely keep you on your toes. If you're a fan of sci-fi or mindbender films at all then you need to see this creepy and unique vision. Expand
  9. May 18, 2014
    8
    I love this movie so much and I can't even explain why.

    Like, there's so much going on but it's not a mess, it's all in its place.

    All in all, something refreshing.
  10. DaveN.
    Aug 26, 2005
    10
    "12 Monkeys" is a modern classic, inspired loosely by Chris Marker's "La Jetee," but taking the concepts therein to a new level. This is Gilliam's second-best movie, after "Brazil," but it's still head and shoulders above 90% of the stuff out there. A thought-provoking script, fine acting, wonderful visuals ... "12 Monkeys" has it all.
  11. NeilJ.
    Jul 15, 2008
    10
    When 12 Monkeys was released, it was hyped as: 'Bruce Willis is in a madhouse! Is he really crazy?' Buzz was mostly negative, but with a few enthusiastic endorsements. Since that is usually the sign of crap-- the rare endorsement almost always a shilly affair-- I stayed away. Well, I just watched this movie because it was a monthly freebie on digital cable. I'm here to say When 12 Monkeys was released, it was hyped as: 'Bruce Willis is in a madhouse! Is he really crazy?' Buzz was mostly negative, but with a few enthusiastic endorsements. Since that is usually the sign of crap-- the rare endorsement almost always a shilly affair-- I stayed away. Well, I just watched this movie because it was a monthly freebie on digital cable. I'm here to say that 12 Monkeys is a fine movie, and I really enjoyed it. Most 'good' thrillers and time-travel films have clues that you need to look for on the second viewing if you want to know what happened, if you really want to find out why the film was 'good'. Or, the 'good' film shows you directly, in a big reveal, so that no explanations are necessary for anyone with an IQ over 80. 12 Monkeys, however, if you are intelligent, puts everything right in front of the (observant) viewer's face and doesn't play any tricks; there's no filmmaker dishonesty or bait and switch involved, which is incredibly refreshing. Willis and Stowe are quite good together; their growing intimacy is convincing, and their relationship becomes the non-cheesy center of a sci-fi time-travel film. (Not to sound too creepy, but the many close-ups of Stowe's lovely face were not at all unpleasant; her transformation from concerned psychiatric professional to a modern Cassandra with her hair down is a real pleasure to watch.) The film's major, glaring flaw is Brad Pitt, who is so over-the-top and verbose in his role as a certifiable ingrate gazillionaire scientist's son, that one wonders how much better a film it would have been without him. His manic and too-clever by-half exposition doesn't seem to disturb Willis, yet Willis (apparently like Gilliam) could not reign him in. Art direction of 'the future' is where 12 Monkeys seems most like a Gilliam film-- the environment of the survivors on a post-apocalyptic Earth looks something like something from Time Bandits, with modern technology apparently cobbled out of chain-link fencing, old TVs, 50s-era medical instruments and the guts of grandfather clocks. Willis' performance is weakest after his transformation (which I won't spoil); he is simply too contrite; a lighter touch would have been much more powerful. Anyway, this review is getting long. If you've always thought of 12 Monkeys as a cheap sci-fi thriller starring Bruce Willis that nobody really remembers or cares much about, I suggest that you watch it. I promise that you will be pleasantly surprised. Expand
  12. Nov 22, 2014
    9
    Twelve Monkeys was a great movie. Brad Pitt was so great as a psycho, you'd think that's what he is in real life. The movie seemed pretty realistic too. The whole disease scenario spreading worldwide.
  13. Apr 23, 2014
    10
    Ah, I just love a good non-linear film, and 12 Monkeys satisfies that craving to the fullest. Bruce Willis is unsettling and crazy in all the right ways, and Brad Pitt is neurotic in all the best ways. There's no fairytale world in this movie; just a great big messed up fantasy. To decipher what's real, what's fake, what's in the past, what's in the future could take forever, in fact, itAh, I just love a good non-linear film, and 12 Monkeys satisfies that craving to the fullest. Bruce Willis is unsettling and crazy in all the right ways, and Brad Pitt is neurotic in all the best ways. There's no fairytale world in this movie; just a great big messed up fantasy. To decipher what's real, what's fake, what's in the past, what's in the future could take forever, in fact, it might even be impossible. This is the great mystery of this film. Expand
  14. Aug 25, 2010
    10
    Since I see most reviews are spot on here, I will simply say "ditto".

    ALSO, another in a long line of my favorite movies that require you to THINK! (A lost concept in movie making). IT IS BRILLIANT!!!
  15. KyleA.
    Mar 7, 2005
    10
    Brilliant. Probably Gilliam's best non-Python film, although his earlier, independent works are his most visually appealing. Truly one of the greatest directors of all time.
  16. EveningSun
    Jun 2, 2004
    7
    A smart and interesting sci-fi thriller with a fair amount of twists and surprises. What this clever thriller lacks, however, is the ability to entertain the viewers long enough for them to witness the spectacular conclusion. But to sum it up, 12 Monkeys is a trip worth taking.
  17. JimmiH.
    Apr 7, 2004
    9
    A favourite of mine. Mad hallucinations and reality are hard to tell apart, and soon you find yourself just as lost and confused as the main character. Has similarities with 'Training Day,' only better. Excellent plot.
  18. timr.
    Feb 4, 2009
    10
    Thought provoking.
  19. raVen
    Apr 11, 2004
    9
    (8.75) Brad Pitt really is an actor. There's just no mistaking it. And Gilliam chalks another one up for the non-Cleese Post-Pythonites. Like 'Unbreakable,' the story defiantly finds greatness in spite of Bruce Willis.
  20. Mike
    Feb 14, 2005
    10
    Finally a SMART sci fi/thriller movie!
  21. Oct 22, 2010
    7
    I loved this movie up until the unsatisfactory ending. It's not bad at all, it's just not what I wanted. Willis' acting is completely natural in this movie for how out-of-place his character is. Brad Pitt is excellent in his role, he nails it perfectly. The music is mainly just reconstructions of the hypnotically enticing theme to the film, but overall is silent aside from a few classicI loved this movie up until the unsatisfactory ending. It's not bad at all, it's just not what I wanted. Willis' acting is completely natural in this movie for how out-of-place his character is. Brad Pitt is excellent in his role, he nails it perfectly. The music is mainly just reconstructions of the hypnotically enticing theme to the film, but overall is silent aside from a few classic songs. The plot is a bit confusing at times, but if you can get your head wrapped around the idea of it, it's really interesting. I recommend it for people who like Sci-Fi as well as good thrillers. Check it out. Expand
  22. ApocalypseBrown
    May 20, 2009
    9
    I'm rating this movie a nine because at the time of release, it was definitely one of the cleverest movies made. Yes it was a little too long and over-pedantic, but all the actors put a good shift in. Great movie, Empire magazine also agrees with me.
  23. BrandonS.
    Feb 5, 2007
    10
    Thoroughly enjoyable time travel movie.
  24. OrenK.
    Sep 16, 2005
    10
    Undoubtably the best time travel film I've ever seen. Highly enjoyable.
  25. chads.
    Aug 12, 2007
    8
    The best time travel movie i have ever seen. very interesting, well acted, and an overall entertaining and good movie. Pick it up.
  26. [Anonymous]
    Nov 17, 2005
    10
    Top movie definately in my top 20. Well acted, well directed and an interesting and well told stoy.
  27. Mar 1, 2011
    8
    This was science fiction time travel at its best. I am not a fan of Brad Pitt but he portrayed a mentally ill man very well. Bruce Willis is also not one of my favorite actors but he also did a great job as a reluctant pawn of scientists. Great plot.
  28. Mar 23, 2011
    10
    As a 56 yr old I really enjoyed this movie when it came out and now. Clever people making clever movies is a joy to see. In this day of coming climate change and the very real chance our grandchildren will see a much different world than the sanctuary we presently enjoy this 1996 movie raises interesting dramatic points for the 2011 audiences.
  29. Jul 2, 2011
    9
    One of my favourite time-travelling based sci-fi movies (Together with "Back to the future" being the funny approach); with a very catching end (a "real" end, considering many actual movie endings which are more like "stop filming, because time is up")
  30. Apr 27, 2013
    10
    An endlessly entertaining, head-twisting sci-fi time travel tale directed by the great Terry Gilliam so everything is off-kilter. Bruce Willis' and Brad Pitt's best career performances. Truly amazing ending. One of my favorite movies ever.
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 100
    Gilliam keeps the audience guessing, and in doing so creates a startlingly effective rumination on the nature of sanity and madness cloaked in the shroud of a sci-fi thriller.
  2. Brad Pitt has fun with his secondary part as a pontificating lunatic, but I wish I'd enjoyed the rest of the cast more.
  3. 75
    Any laughs that it inspires will be very hollow. It's more of a celebration of madness and doom, with a hero who tries to prevail against the chaos of his condition, and is inadequate.