Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 160 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Between sanity and madness, fantasy and reality, the past and the future, comes an adventure beyond imagination from Terry Gilliam, the acclaimed director of "The Fisher King." Penal colony prisoner James Cole (Willis) must travel back in time from the year 2035 to find the cause of a virus that killed five billion people in 1997. (Universal) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 100
    Gilliam, along with the gifted cinematographer Roger Pratt and production designer Jeffrey Beecroft, fashions a disturbing and dazzling lost world.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Barbara Shulgasser
    88
    One of the qualities that makes "12 Monkeys" so good is the fact that it is almost too complicated to explain.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Rosenberg
    80
    To Gilliam's quiver of attributes this new movie adds a quality that's on the endangered list in today's Hollywood: coherence.
  5. A grandiose cinematic invention, cleverly turning the present-day urban American world on its ear.
  6. In a movie in which time travel is used to rectify the past, it's too bad scriptwriters David and Janet Peoples didn't go through the time/space tunnel to work on that first draft again.
  7. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    40
    Gilliam's work is long on sensibility, short on sense.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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! Expand
  3. 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!!! Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. Jul 6, 2012
    8
    just recently had the chance to watch this movie. This was an awesome time travel movie, especially the conclusion. The actors have also done justice to their roles. Altogether a neatly put sci-fi thriller Expand
  7. MaxP.
    Jul 10, 2007
    2
    This film was both too confusing and broing and as for the ending, its a joke, pathetic. if you are going to find out who the killer is then make it a big character not some ginger haired idiot.....A failure for Gilliam, on a kinder note the only reason i give this a 2 is for Brad Pitts unbelievable acting, his best peice to date, too bad the movie was rubbish! Expand

See all 40 User Reviews

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