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Parents' Guide to

12 Monkeys

By Carly Kocurek, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Terry Gilliam's violent dystopian masterpiece.

Movie R 1995 130 minutes
12 Monkeys Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+

A Really, Really good movie that needs no Common Sense for Age: It's Rated R

Sometime I get the feeling this site is a mother hen trying to make everything fit into a lens of what age child should watch this. This is rated R folks, check the MPAA as they do us a service and R is Restricted – under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. The review by CSM makes it seem like it's aimed for 8 year olds and they're being over protective against you showing it to one. Do not show this to under 18 kids. It's not really meant for kids at all. I have a friend who has a bit part (blonde in the van when they take the tape off the Doctor) and she even said it's for adults and she was there in filming. I would click the buttons below but they're mostly "too much" of something and again, it's not for kids.
age 13+

Smart, interesting dystopian sci-fi can be confusing and provocative

12 Monkeys is a unique, memorable dystopian time travel flick with mature themes and a moody atmosphere. It's meant for adults, but it should be alright for older kids--however, if you're thinking about letting your younger ones watch it, then there are some issues to consider. Not only is the movie's depiction of a mental institution relatively upsetting, but various scenes throughout depict severe beatings, sometimes with bloody dead bodies / painful wounds lingered on. The movie's final sequence features a slow motion gunshot with spurting blood. There's also plenty of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "p---y,") and a few sexual references (to prostitution, etc.). Several shots feature naked male buttocks in a non-sexual context. Most suitable for teens 13+.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (9 ):

Few directors have visions as ambitious as Terry Gilliam's; while cinematically rich, this is more than just a feast for the eyes -- it's a sharply written, well-acted piece of cultural commentary.

Acting throughout the film is exceptional. Although at times skeptical or downright terrified, Stowe makes her character's alliance with James Cole seem reasonable. In the lead, Bruce Willis really demonstrates why he has managed such a long career; he is utterly charismatic on-screen. Gilliam's artistic vision is really allowed to develop in the film, and as a result, the film provides some very interesting commentary on the proliferation of media outlets.

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