12 Monkeys (1995)Terry Gilliam's nightmarish low-tech/high-tech future vision takes place in 1997, after a deadly virus has killed 99% of the human population--forcing the survivors to flee beneath our planet's surface. This leaves the (other) animals topside, to rule the Earth once again. The scientists select James Cole, an imprisoned sociopath, to return to the past and gather information useful in the defense against this contagion. Once back in time, he is to investigate the mysterious 'Army of the Twelve Monkeys' and report his findings. Scientific, social, and political themes like time travel (and its inherent paradoxes and nested loops), mental illness, the nature of reality, animal rights, and the Armageddon-potential of unchecked technological advances are artfully and cleverly explored.
Gritty and realistic like all of Gilliam's work. Willis is perfectly cast as a reluctant hero, while Brad Pitt earns the ClassicSciFi.Com award for "Best Portrayal of a Mental Patient".
Directed by: Terry Gilliam
The cast includes: Bruce Willis (James Cole), Madeleine Stowe (Dr. Kathryn Railly), Brad Pitt (Jeffrey Goines), Christopher Plummer (Dr. Leland Goines), Jon Seda (Jose), David Morse (Dr. Peters), Frank Gorshin (Dr. Owen Fletcher)
MPAA rating: , Running time: 131 minutes
Presented in: Color
Sci-Fi Channel Ranking: 43
Awards: Golden Globe Awards '96- Best Supporting Actor (Pitt) Academy Awards '95 Nominations:- Best Supporting Actor (Pitt)- Best Costume Design
Related titles: Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), Millennium (1989), Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The (1989)
Related categories: End of the World, Time Travel, Other Dimensions, and Alternate Realities, Utopia and Dystopia, Views of the Future