12 Monkeys
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Inspired by Chris Marker's acclaimed short film La Jetée (which is included on the DVD Short Cinema Journal, Volume 2), 12 Monkeys combines intricate, intelligent storytelling with the uniquely imaginative vision of director Terry Gilliam. The story opens in the wintry wasteland of the year 2035, where a virulent plague has forced humans to live in a squalid, oppressively regimented underground. Bruce Willis plays a societal outcast who is given the opportunity to erase his criminal record by "volunteering" to time-travel into the past to obtain a pure sample of the deadly virus that will help future scientists to develop a cure. But in bouncing from 1918 to the early and mid-1990s, he undergoes an ordeal that forces him to question his own perceptions of reality. Caught between the dangers of the past and the devastation of the future, he encounters a psychiatrist (Madeleine Stowe) who is initially convinced he's insane, and a wacky mental patient (Brad Pitt in a twitchy Oscar-nominated role) with links to a radical group that may have unleashed the deadly virus. Equal parts mystery, tragedy, psychological thriller, and apocalyptic drama, 12 Monkeys ranks as one of the best science fiction films of the ês, boosted by Gilliam's visual ingenuity and one of the finest performances of Willis's career. The Collector's Edition DVD includes a fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary (The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of 12 Monkeys) in addition to the theatrical trailer, production notes, and a 12 Monkeys archive of still photos, design concepts, and storyboards. --Jeff Shannon

uuid: E3614574-5C00-4879-A781-5CFDC5B8066E
upc: 0025192018626
title: 12 Monkeys
theatricalDate: 05-01-1996
rating: 5
purchase date: 08-05-2005
publisher: Universal Studios
published: 02-09-2003
price: $14.98
net Rating: 4.5
MPAA Rating: R
minutes: 130
last lookup time: 137287744
genre: Time Travel
Heroic Missions
Race Against Time
fullTitle: 12 Monkeys
features: Color
director: Terry Gilliam
currentValue: $9.95
created: 137287744
country: us
aspect: DVD
asin: 078322608X