Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - July, 2010


"12 Monkeys" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook



A deadly virus has ravaged the planet, forcing whats left of human civilization to live in an underground world. Scientists attempt to discover a cure for the virus by sending convicted felons back in time through dangerous experiments.  Bruce Willis plays one of these criminals, James Cole, looking for more information on the terrorist organization called the Army of 12 Monkeys.  Cole is accidentally sent a few years too far back in time and ends up in a mental institution after getting arrested.  Here he meets Jeffery Goines (Brad Pitt).  On a later trip back in time, Cole finds out that Goines is the leader of the Army of 12 Monkeys. Unfortunately, Goines denies having any involvement in the creation of the virus and insists that was Cole's idea, brought up to him when they were at the mental institution. 

Throughout the movie, Cole has dreams about a shooting at an airport involving a blond woman who looks just like Dr. Railly (Madeleine Stowe).



  • Universal
  • 1995, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr 9 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: VC-1
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe
  • Directed by Terry Gilliam
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Yes


12 Monkeys is a terrific film that welcomes repeat viewings.  Terry Gilliam has such a wonderful imagination that, no doubt, contributed a lot to the look and feel of the movie. The performances are great, with Brad Pitt playing a crazy person a little TOO well.  I wish the image was a bit cleaner, but that shouldn't stop you from giving the movie 2 hours of your time.


Unfortunately the image quality on this blu-ray does not quite do the movie justice. The transfer has a soft look that lacks detail and depth.  Although the wonderful score sounds great on the DTS-HD audio track, some of the dialog and sound effects are harsh.


Commentary tracks with Terry Gilliam and Charles Roven. The Hamster Factor & Other Tales of 12 Monkeys. 12 Monkeys Archive.