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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20.95%
Average: 9.46%
Pretty Bad: 4.73%
Total Crap: 3.38%

8 reviews, 100 user ratings

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12 Monkeys
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by Ryan Arthur

"He's a mental patient! He's supposed to act out!"
4 stars

Psychos everywhere, plague of madness...

What's notable about this movie is that it showed that Brad Pitt wasn't just a prettyboy. Oh no. He could act. What's more, this is also the movie that gave just a little bit of insight into the actor that Bruce Willis COULD be. The smirk was gone, man. He was actually acting here.

It's a Terry Gilliam film, so the visuals are striking. There are lots of comparisons to Brazil in Gilliam's vision of the future, where a lethal virus has wiped out 99% of the population and survivors live underground. James Cole (Willis) is sent back in time (too far, as it turns out) to stop the plague. He overshoots his intended year and ends up stuck in a mental hospital where he meets Jeffrey Goines (Pitt), the insane son of the man who may be responsible for the plague.

It's sort of low-rent sci-fi, I guess, and the action is minimal. The strength lies in the performances. Pitt and Willis are outstanding (Pitt won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar), and there are nice turns from Madeline Stowe, David Morse and Christopher Plummer, not to mention a cameo from Frank Gorshin. Frank Gorshin!

As I said earlier, the visuals are amazing. The story is somewhat difficult to follow, what with time travel and loopbacks and at least one of the major characters being crazy, but somehow, it all works.

A decent flick, worthy of your attention.

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originally posted: 08/28/98 23:37:52
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival For more in the 2006 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

11/06/17 FireWithFire Grow up, terry, you're demented, unreasonable, paranoid, and stuck in the '60s, 1 stars
9/13/17 morris campbell bleak & mind bending 4 stars
1/27/14 Nick Very average movie. Doesn't innovate in any way and there are many time travell flaws. 3 stars
9/19/13 Annie G Can be watched over and over - it's a classic! 5 stars
9/29/12 bob uninvolving 2 stars
7/23/09 Steven M Lol the worst bruce willis film! load of shit!! crap film!! Boring!! 1 stars
8/01/08 Quigley An expertly executed virus thriller with great direction from Gilliam and great acting 5 stars
3/05/08 ladavies Well, unfortunately I thought about it too hard, and hated it. 2 stars
2/05/08 kam Who knew Bruce could act? I'm an official fan now! 5 stars
9/03/07 Double M Interesting, thought-provoking, CONFUSING and a briliiant ending. Gilliams's masterpiece. 5 stars
6/28/07 Ez Waste of my life. i agree id rather walk into a fart at seArs. 1 stars
6/15/07 Steve Newman Great film - wish there more sci fi films like this!! 4 stars
5/04/07 malakogavlis The best film ever behind ''requiem for a dream" 5 stars
4/21/07 fools♫gold Took me a try and a half (a rare thing) to become in awe of it. 5 stars
2/06/07 David Pollastrini saw it but have no memory so it must have sucked 2 stars
1/11/07 Jake Pretty interesting plot with good characters 4 stars
1/09/07 Drew Galletti Brad and Bruce at their best 5 stars
8/05/06 Stanley Thai An over rated movie with a clever ending. Nothing special but still a good movie. 3 stars
12/19/05 Bree It is crazy! 5 stars
10/16/05 Moctezuma A highly entertaining sci-fi flick. Plus, Pitt's performance is flawless. 5 stars
9/02/05 ES Can't run around recommending it, its over the top and has way too much craziness 3 stars
8/08/05 Del IMO, The best Sci-Fi Flick Ever! 5 stars
3/13/05 Ronin One of the best SF movies ever. And it doesn't have spaceships and laser guns! 5 stars
2/14/05 M A Smith Just my kind of movie 5 stars
9/24/04 Al Guy Great movie that requires focus to enjoy. 4 stars
6/22/04 John better than expected remake of La Jetee 4 stars
4/20/04 ALI HBOUS a decent deal 4 stars
2/21/04 Denise Duspiva Creepy 5 stars
1/03/04 A F Best movie ever 5 stars
11/14/03 Gogo All parts fit together. This movie gets even better everytime I'm watching this. Intense! 5 stars
10/17/03 Josh Standlee You have to see it to believe it! 5 stars
10/11/03 Jack Sommersby A near-masterpiece. Imaginative, challenging, w/ an A+ perf by Willis. 5 stars
10/07/03 tatum One of the best science fiction flicks of all time 5 stars
10/01/03 yui the story bring me a great sad feeling, Good 5 stars
7/24/03 Max This film and Pulp Fiction showed us Bruce Willis could actually act. Who knew? 5 stars
7/09/03 natasha_theobald great acting, great direction, fascinating story, something to think about - I loved it! 5 stars
5/24/03 Ryan F. Very trippy. Great performance by willis. Brad Pitt was fuckin awesome!!!! 4 stars
5/11/03 Geo78665 In the top five, of the best films of the 1990s. 5 stars
2/13/03 Cartzca Pity about Willis. Still good enough for me 5 stars
2/11/03 Ubu the Ripper Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. AWESOME. 5 stars
1/23/03 Pinkline Jones It might help if Bruce could Act! 2 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby One of 1995' best. A staggering cinematic achievement! 5 stars
12/22/02 Pigwidgeon TG even got a good performance out of Bruce. And Philly was awesome. 5 stars
9/29/02 Fuze44 It's the end of the world. 5 stars
9/29/02 Morally Sound One of Gilliam's best films. 5 stars
8/08/02 Jack Thompson hell yes 5 stars
8/07/02 Jon Shouldn't a plot have a beginning, a middle and an end? 2 stars
8/05/02 Del Only people who don't like to think would hate this movie 5 stars
7/04/02 KMG I'd rather walk into a fart at Sears than watch 1 millisecond of this again! 1 stars
5/26/02 erick gilliam strikes again 5 stars
2/16/02 Bertha Venation The world will not appreciate Terry for awhile, inexplicably 5 stars
1/27/02 Andrew Carden Highly Overrated, but Still A Very Interesting and Engaging 4 stars
1/10/02 daniboy it's not that hard. a masterpiece 5 stars
12/01/01 Scottish Kilt Decent film, but the end fucked me, a bit over the top. 4 stars
10/30/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Weird. Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, and Terry Gilliam doing a movie together? That's creative. 3 stars
9/06/01 spaceworm Among so many pluses: Willis gives finger to those who write off his acting talent. 5 stars
7/26/01 dog great movie 5 stars
7/03/01 Obi Wan Loved Pitt in it!! Very good film, good dialogue not all that Hollywood "eyecandy" 4 stars
6/26/01 Geebo Very interesting. About the ending, I am still clueless though. But very interesting. 5 stars
5/02/01 BrainPan Weird, plus Madeline Stowe is one of the most beautiful women on earth now or in the future 5 stars
3/28/01 Monster W. Kung Very good, very sad sci-fi ALMOST masterpiece. 4 stars
2/16/01 Del R Time travel could (almost) make a man go crazy or think he is- AWESOME FILM 5 stars
2/16/01 Jake what trash. 1 stars
6/24/00 Naushad Khanji Willis is as usual terrific.Plot drags.Weak ending. 3 stars
6/24/00 Aaron White Star Wars? Pshaw. Trek? Away with these annoyances. 12 Monkeys is real SF cinema. 5 stars
6/04/00 perverted pixie It's directed by Terry Gilliam and set in the future- It has to be brutal! 5 stars
5/25/00 Elvisfan Brad was great & so was the story; Bruce was less successful, ditto Mad Stowe 5 stars
5/24/00 julie great movie 5 stars
2/23/00 Neil Austin Top film, Pythons can still rule. Pitt was cool too. 5 stars
2/14/00 mark great movie ,terrible ending. 4 stars
10/26/99 Karahde Khan In the 1990s they still make great Sci-Fi films. They're not many, but they do exist. 5 stars
10/25/99 jillian george art director / director 2 stars
10/17/99 Shelagh Excellent!! I loved it. Such an atmosphere ! 5 stars
7/24/99 Hagbard Celine You need to watch this two or three times to appreciate it. Excellent film! 5 stars
5/08/99 davebo I *heart* Terry Gilliam, just a great movie :) 5 stars
4/26/99 Michael Grimm could have been great, Willis made it average 3 stars
4/25/99 JDC Best crafted scifi in a long time. All the leads are great, even Willis. Well thought out. 5 stars
4/21/99 Robert Williams Vivid and thought provoking 4 stars
2/23/99 Jeff Terry Gilliam is genius--this movie is Fantastic--See it. 5 stars
2/20/99 Piz Well intended mess, won't hold a restless viewer, sci fi fans will enjoy. 3 stars
2/18/99 Daria It's GREAT to see Brad acting instead of his hairdo! Good movie... 4 stars
12/31/98 Todd The music alone made this movie 5 stars
12/29/98 Schizofrenic Now that's showbiz! 5 stars
12/09/98 Science fiction flicks doesn't get any better than this. GREAT MOVIE! 5 stars
12/08/98 Shadow Raider It isn't pure shit like Lost In Space and ID4, it's 100% authentic film. Period! 5 stars
11/27/98 BBReBozo The closest Bruce Willis ever got to acting. 5 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Willis and Pitt are terriffic! T. Gilliam's best film!! 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred Pretty good once you realize it's not as deep as it seems to be. 4 stars
11/12/98 Jules I don't know why, but I love fatalistic shit like this... GREAT story! 5 stars
11/06/98 David Torpey Killer movie worth DVDing that has a plot! 5 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo Scifi films DO get better and this was no BladeRunner. Willis=pain. 3 stars
10/05/98 Negative Creep Sci Fi Films dont get any better than this. 5 stars
9/29/98 Johny Gilliam is crazy, gotta love him 4 stars
9/23/98 Patti Brad, Brad, Brad...he makes any movie good. 5 stars
9/16/98 Chuck-D the only time I've gone to a mainstream film in a firstrun theater and everyone stayed... 5 stars
9/12/98 kanatcha im too lazy for this... 5 stars
9/01/98 MikeF I liked this a lot. 4 stars
8/26/98 Pete Cool flick. Pitt is amazing. Gilliam is pure genius. 4 stars
8/23/98 Superfly Brad Pitt is amazing in this. Check it out if you like strange movie concepts. 4 stars
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  29-Dec-1995 (R)
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