Terry Gilliam's masterwork Brazil (1985), starring Jonathon Pryce and Robert De Niro, tells the story of a low-level bureaucrat named Sam Lowry (played by Pryce) and his attempt to escape the monotony of his day-to-day life through a recurring daydream in which he is a hero who saves a beautiful damsel in distress. As he investigates a case that led to the wrongful arrest and eventual death of a innocent man instead of the true target - wanted terrorist Harry Tuttle (De Niro) - he meets the woman from what he thought was his fake daydream (Kim Greist). In trying to help himself and her, he gets caught up in a web of mistaken identities, mindless and nonsensical bureaucracy and lies.
Upon release, the film was met with critical acclaim. At the time of writing, the film has a 98% approval rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, with the only negative review being that of Roger Ebert, who said that the film is "Hard to follow." Nonetheless, many other reviewers loved the film and many have named it one of their favorite films of all time. Jack Matthews describes the film as "satirizing the bureaucratic, largely dysfunctional industrial world that had been driving Gilliam crazy all his life." Since release, Gilliam's creation has also become a cult classic.