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”.”
Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: 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)

See Also: 1990s Films, End of the World, Mad Science, Medical, Time Travel

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