Parents' Guide to

12 Monkeys

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Twisty, clever dystopian thriller has disturbing images.

TV Syfy Drama 2015
12 Monkeys Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Smart Sci-Fi TV show has action, romance, comedy, and a great soundtrack

Smart Sci-Fi TV show has action, romance, comedy, and a great soundtrack. One of my all-time favorite Sci-Fi TV shows. but it has some violence. Most of violence is shootings (TV-14 rated) but it has a handful of stronger violence (TV-MA). Below are much details, if you or your child wants to watch this great show but avoid the violence. 1.1 has a shooting death (to the head). It's obvious when it will happen. 1.2 a couple of bloody scenes 1.4 a few bloody fight scenes 1.5 bloody pics during a briefing. Bloody in the night room. 1.7 someone is impaled (obvious when it happens). some shootings 1.8 bloody shootings 1.9 bloody shootings 1.12 gruesome scene in last 2 minutes (when the door opens) 1.13 recap of gruesome scene at 0:05. more gruesome scenes 5:40 & 6:15 2.1 very bloody at 14:20 to 15:00. bloody at 36:06 to 36:32. bloody headshot at 41.20 2.2 reply of this bloody headshot at :25 and ~2:00 2.3 very bloody at 8:40. blood at ~34:00 and at ~42:00 2.4 replay of a bloody shooting (head shot) 2.5 bloody shooting at 7:50 2.6 bloody flashback ~1:00 and ~15:30. very bloody at ~29:00 to 36:40 2.7 bloody person at 15:25 & at 19:25 2.9 very bloody dead person ~2:40 and ~ 19:00. Torture scene starts ~32:00 2.12 bloody last couple of minutes 2.13 very bloody first couple of minutes. bloody deaths starting ~28:00 3.1 stabbings and shootings throughout (obvious when it happens) 3.2 a few shootings 3.3 bloody surgery 3.4 bloody deaths at 18:00. a few shootings throughout 3.5 very blood shooting at 33:42 mark (head shot) 3.7 bloody shootings and killings (obvious before it happens) 3.9 bloody murder (normal violence) 3.10 some bloody murders towards the end 4.1 a lot of shootings and stabbings 4.3 some bloody murders 4.4 extremely bloody death ~19:40. another bloody death ~33:00. 4.6 bloody death at 1:50. torture at 21:00. bloody death at 7:00 left 4.7 Bloody death of a woman starting at 23:12. A man has quick images about his torture early on and toward the end. 4.8 mild shootings ~9:00. bloody death ~12:43. bloody death: 31:20 A man's gruesome death ~ 36:00. Plus bloody shooting through ~38 4.9 bloody shooting ~27:00 4.10 beginning recap shows a man's gruesome death (original from 4.8) 4.11 bloody gun death at 5:00. bloody death at 15:50. very bloody body at 22:00

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

The idea of a pandemic that wipes us all out is definitely realistic enough to give this Syfy series a creepy chill. It's easy to picture an unhinged somebody (or an army of somebodies) hell-bent enough on some esoteric goal to unleash destruction, and 12 Monkeys plays it smart by making the Army of 12 Monkeys' motives a mystical puzzle that Cole and Cassandra must unravel piece by piece. What is the connection to shadowy, resolute virologist Leland Goines? What did his unstable daughter Jennifer (breakout live wire Emily Hampshire) witness that landed her in a psych ward? How can Cassandra and Cole stop the plague when they aren't even sure where it came from?

Time travel is a typical and tidy way to tie up loose ends in sci-fi, but 12 Monkeys skewers the trope by making "splintering" an inexact science. When the desperate academics of 2043 try to send Cole back to find someone, they're as likely to send him to the wrong country (at one point he's captured in North Korea) as to the wrong time. It's a cool conceit: Going back in time is no guarantee everything's going to wind up OK. Sci-fi fans are definitely going to want to watch to see what happens; and, so long as you don't have young or sensitive viewers in your house, the whole family can check this show out.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate