Twelve Monkeys

Synopsis: An unknown and lethal virus has wiped out five billion people in 1996. Only 1% of the population has survived by the year 2035, and is forced to live underground. A convict (James Cole) reluctantly volunteers to be sent back in time to 1996 to gather information about the origin of the epidemic (who he's told was spread by a mysterious "Army of the Twelve Monkeys") and locate the virus before it mutates so that scientists can study it. Unfortunately Cole is mistakenly sent to 1990, six years earlier than expected, and is arrested and locked up in a mental institution, where he meets Dr. Kathryn Railly, a psychiatrist, and Jeffrey Goines, the insane son of a famous scientist and virus expert.
Director(s): Terry Gilliam
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 18 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
129 min

Flight 784 for San Francisco

is now ready for boarding.

Passengers for flight 841

to Rome, come to gate seven.

Flight 784 to San Francisco

is now ready for boarding at-

Inmate number 87645: Cole, James.

Jose. Psst.

- Jose, what's going on?

- Bad news, man.

- Volunteers?

- Yeah. And they said your name.

Hey, maybe they'll give you

a pardon, man.

Yeah. That's why none of

the volunteers come back.

They all get a pardon.

- Some come back, I heard.

- Yeah.

Please put me back!

Don't take me!

Yeah, they got 'em up on the

seventh floor. They hide 'em up there.

They're all messed up in the head.

Brains don't work.

You don't know they're all messed up.

Nobody's seen 'em.

And maybe they're not messed up.

That's a rumor. Nobody knows that.

I don't believe that.

Good luck, man.

- Volunteer duty!

- I didn't volunteer.

You causing trouble again?

No, no trouble.

These are the instructions

for the first time probe.

Listen carefully.

They must be followed exactly.

All openings of your garment

must be sealed completely.

If the integrity of the suit

is compromised in any way,

if the fabric is torn

or a zipper not closed,

readmittance will be denied.

Holy infant

So tender and mild

Sleep in heavenly


lf there are any

indications of contamination by germs,

the subject will be denied

reentry to secure population.

Please place

blood sample in receptacle provided.

There will be a socialization

class in room 700...

for citizens cited

for deviations 23-A and 96-A...

per subchapter six

of the Permanent Emergency Code.

James Cole cleared from quarantine.

Thank you. You two wait outside.

He's got a history, Doctor.


- Antisocial six.

Repeated violations of

the Permanent Emergency Code.

Insolence. Defiance.

Disregard of authority.

Doing 25 to life.

I don't think he's gonna hurt us.

You aren't gonna hurt us,

are you, Mr. Cole?

No, sir.

Why don't you sit down, Mr. Cole?

We appreciate your volunteering.

You're a very good observer.

- Thank you.

- We have

a very advanced program.

- Something very different.

- Opportunity

to reduce your sentence.

And possibly play an important role...

in returning the human race

to the surface of the Earth.

We want tough-minded people.

Strong mentally.

We've had some misfortunes

with... unstable types.

For a man

in your position, an opportunity.

Not to volunteer

could be a real mistake.

Definitely a mistake.

"Yet among the myriad microwaves,

the infrared messages,

the gigabytes of ones and zeros,

we find words, byte-sized now,

tinier even than science,

Iurking in some

vague electricity.

But if we but listen,

we hear the solitary voice

of that poet telling us...

yesterday this day's madness

did prepare...

- tomorrow's silent triumph of despair.

Drink, for you know not

whence you came, nor why.

Drink, for you know not

why you go, nor where."

...wandering around

in nothing but his underpants...

and one of those plastic,

see-through lady's raincoats.

So, they get there, they ask the guy

real nice for some kind of l.D.

He gets agitated,

starts screaming about viruses.

Totally irrational,

totally disoriented.

- Doesn't know where he is,

what day of the week it is.

- Lemme see.

- All they got was his name.

- Thanks.

Of course, they figured

he's stoned out of his mind.

Some kind of psychotic episode.

- He's been tested for drugs?

- Negative for drugs.

But he took on five cops

like he was dusted to the eyeballs.

- No drugs. You believe that?

- He's in restraints.

Yeah. Weren't you listenin'?

I've got two police officers

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