Paul Robinson’s review published on Letterboxd:
I present to you Terry Gilliam's greatest achievement with this extremely detailed, rich and complex story introducing some of the most memorable characters in film. Twelve Monkeys is an extremely accomplished Time Travel Sci-Fi adventure dealing with multiple themes and concepts through some amazing storytelling. Even with it's multiple time lines, flashbacks and crazy plot Gilliam feeds the story to us with amazing skill also treating us to some amazing cinematography and backdrops of a dark and bleak future world.
Gilliam is notorious for his almost stubborn attention to tiny details. Each scene is busy with cogs and mechanisms and such richness it's sometimes hard to take it all in, but this all adds to the overall effect and feel of the film.
A huge amount of this films success lies in the amazing performances from all the cast. Particular praise goes to Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt who bring to the screen quite possibly their greatest performances to date.
The film is set in the future where a virus has wiped out the majority of human life and the survivors live underground where they are safe. Attempting to find a cure the head scientists send James Cole (Willis) back to the year 1996 to gather information. When he is sent to 1990 by mistake and after a fight he finds himself in a mental institution where he meets the wild eyed and crazed Jeffrey Goines (Pitt). It really is a roller coaster of events from here.
The joy of this film is that it never ages, it always seems a fresh, new and clever concept that always rewards. Definitely up in my Top 5 Time Travel films. Twelve Monkeys is a masterpiece. Watch this!