12 Monkeys

Universal / Atlas Entertainment / Classico Released 1996




out of 10
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Movie Summary

Terry Gilliam

Based on an experimental 1962 French film, La Jetée, 12 Monkeys takes place in a post-apocalyptic future world devastated by a mysterious virus. James Cole, a convict in the year 2035, makes a deal: if he travels back in time to stop the virus before its release, he will get parole. His first trip goes wrong; he is sent back to 1990, several years too early, and his warnings about the virus land him in a mental institution thanks to Dr. Kathryn Railly. There, he meets inmate Jeffrey Goines, the son of a famous scientist who happens to work with viruses. After an intervention by scientists in his own time, Cole finds himself in the year of the outbreak, 1996. Cole kidnaps Railly and sets out to find Goines, who is the leader of a mysterious group called the Army of Twelve Monkeys. However, when Goines tells Cole that the virus was Cole's idea all along, the mission -- and Cole's grip on reality -- begins to unravel.



Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    Fierce and disturbing, with a plot that skillfully resists following any familiar course. The film's hero fears that he's half-crazy, and for two hours Mr. Gilliam artfully keeps h...

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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 inadequ...

  • 40

    Variety Emanuel Levy

    Gilliam's work is long on sensibility, short on sense.

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Production budget - $30,000,000
      Domestic gross - $57,141,459 (31st)
      Worldwide gross - $168,839,459 (19th)

      Domestic adjusted for 2013 - $105,491,924
      Worldwide adjusted for 2013 - $311,703,617

    • Academy Awards Nominations:
      1. Supporting Actor - Brad Pitt (won by Kevin Spacey for The Unusual Suspects)
      2. Costume Design

      ASCAP Awards Wins:
      1. Top Box Office Film

      Saturn Awards Wins:
      1. Best Supporting Actor - Brad Pitt
      2. Best Science Fiction Film
      3. Best Costumes

      Saturn Award Nominations:
      1. Best Actor - Bruce Willis (won by George Clooney for From Dusk Til Dawn)
      2. Best Actress - Madeleine Stowe (won by Angela Bassett for Strange Days)
      3. Best Director - Terry Gilliam (won by Kathryn Bigelow for Strange Days)
      4. Best Writing

      Golden Globe Wins:
      1. Supporting Actor - Brad Pitt

    • Filming locations:
      Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Maryland
      Camden, New Jersey
      City Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Delaware Generating Station, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Garrett-Jacobs Mansion, Baltimore, Maryland
      Girard College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Met Theatre, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Montréal, Québec, Canada
      Mount Vernon, Baltimore, Maryland
      Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Renfrew Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Richmond Generating Station, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Ridgeway Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Senator Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland
      Upperco, Maryland
      Wanamaker's Department Store, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Westport Power Plant, Baltimore, Maryland

    • Taglines:
      1. They're Coming.
      2. The future is history.

    • Music:
      Piano Concerto No. 21 In C Major, K.467
      Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
      What a Wonderful World
      Written by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss
      Performed by Louis Armstrong
      Blueberry Hill
      Music by Vincent Rose
      Lyrics by Al Lewis, Larry Stock
      Performed by Fats Domino
      Sleep Walk
      Written by Johnny Farina, Ann Farina, Santo Farina
      Performed by B.J. Cole
      Vertigo Theme
      Written by Bernard Herrmann
      from "Suite Punta Del Este"
      Written by Astor Piazzolla
      Written by Milton Grant, Link Wray
      Performed by Link Wray & The Wraymen
      The Earth Died Screaming
      Written and Performed by Tom Waits
      Woody Woodpecker Music
      Written by Walter Greene
      Written by Bob Spickard, Brian Carman
      Performed by The Chantays
      Silent Night, Holy Night
      Music by Franz Gruber
      Lyrics by Joseph Mohr


More Info About This Movie


Psychological, End of The World Movies