5. Twelve Monkeys
Original Release Date: December 29, 1995
Box Office Earnings: The trippy sci-film was a box office success, earning almost $170 million off a budget of $30 million. Either people really responded to the film or else they bought tickets to what they thought was a film about a group of monkeys going on wacky adventures. Either way, the movie made a lot of money.
Critical Acclaim: Twelve Monkeys was a big critical success with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 89% with a general consensus saying “the plot’s a bit of a jumble, but excellent performances and mind-blowing plot twists makes Twelve Monkeys a kooky, effective experience.” It’s worth mentioning that a young Brad Pitt earned an Academy Award nomination for the film.
About the Role: Bruce Willis plays James Cole, a convict in a future dystopia devastated by disease. In a desperate attempt to save the world, Cole is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.
Simply the Best: Although it was released in 1995, Twelve Monkeys still holds up today and a lot of that is because of Bruce Willis’s performance as James Cole. There’s a lot of insane moments that happen all around him but again, Bruce Willis plays the straight man and really anchors the entire movie.