Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Mystery, Sci-Fi
  • 1995
  • 129 mins

Twelve Monkeys

Twelve Monkeys


Richly detailed, deliriously realised time-travel thriller from Terry Gilliam, starring Bruce Willis


Based on the 1962 short La Jetée, Terry Gilliam's brilliant dystopian thriller is his finest film yet, with its inevitably stunning visuals, a nail-biting plot, and the casting against type of Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt.

Willis, here remind everybody of his ability to alternate no-brain blocksbusters with smaller, interesting projects, is time-travelling convinct James Cole, who is sent from his futuristic prison back to the 1990s to prevent mankind from being destroyed by a virus which may have something to do with mental patient Jeffrey Goines (Pitt, earning a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination).

Kicking off with a bizarre sci-fi thriller - once sent back, Cole's babblings about the impending human wipeout land him in an institution alongside the clearly barmy Jeffrey - Gilliam goes on to deliver a movie that is not only rich in visual detail but offers an involving, occasionally baffling storyline and builds the tension to positively unbearable levels during the final reel.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Joseph Melito, Christopher Plummer, David Morse, Frank Gorshin, Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Jon Seda, Brad Pitt, Frederick Strother
  • Director: Terry Gilliam
  • Screen Writer: David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples
  • Producer: Charles Roven
  • Photographer: Roger Pratt
  • Composer: Paul Buckmaster

In a nutshell


Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Thunder Island

    Thriller. A hit man (Gene Nelson) is hired to kill a former Caribbean dictator. He abducts a couple and their boat to reach the despot's island, but then his plans go badly wrong.

  • Film4

    The Enchanted Forest

    An old man raises a young boy who became lost in the woods, teaching him about life and nature

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF: five favourites

    Elena Lazic reports from the Toronto International Film festival on her five favourites of the fest. The Lobster Yorgos Lanthimos' success in realising the usually disastrous combination of farci

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF: five favourites

    Manuela Lazic reports from the Toronto International Film Festival on five favourites from the fest. The Witch What if the sorceresses and deadly spells in which people believed so fervently in th

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register