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Looper (2012)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Sci-Fi  |  28 September 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 394,913 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 655 user | 583 critic | 44 from

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Old Joe's Wife (as Summer Qing)
Gat Man


In the year 2044, a man working for a group of killers called "Loopers" (they work for the mob and kill people who are sent blindfolded back in time from the year 2074 by their bosses) recognizes a victim as himself. He hesitates resulting in the escape of his older self. Written by malachmcfreak

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Face your future. Fight your past. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

28 September 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Looper: Asesinos del futuro  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,801,552 (USA) (28 September 2012)


$66,468,315 (USA) (28 December 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film takes place in 2044 and 2074. See more »


When young Joe kills himself, this means old Joe never existed. It would follow, then, that everything the old Joe did, and everything caused by his existence would never have happened. Here are some of them in (approximate) reverse order: The cut on Sara's forehead and the bullet wound on Sid's cheek would have disappeared. The damage to the field and the truck and the golf cart would have disappeared. All of the gat-men, as well as Abe, would be alive again. The first boy, that old Joe killed, would be alive again. The damage to Suzie's apartment would have disappeared. Furthermore, since old Joe never existed, every single thing that was put in motion by his existence would never have happened at all. Young Joe would never have met Sara or Sid at all, so when she saw his body she would not have recognized him and Sid would not have asked "Where's Joe?". See more »


[first lines]
Joe: Time travel has not yet been invented. But thirty years from now, it will have been. It will be instantly outlawed, used only in secret by only the largest criminal organizations. It's nearly impossible to dispose of a body in the future... I'm told. Tagging techniques, whatnot. So when these criminal organizations in the future need someone gone, they use specialized assassins in our present called "Loopers." And so, my employers in the future nab the target, they zap them back to...
See more »


References Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »


I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
Written by Richard Thompson
Performed by Richard Thompson and Linda Thompson
Courtesy of Island Records Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Intelligent Science Fiction Thriller
24 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Looper is a film that goes to extraordinary lengths to leave every base covered in its quest to avoid plot holes and inconsistencies and in my mind it deals with the problems associated with time travel very well. One thing I liked is that the older Joe is aware of everything the younger Joe is about to do which gives him an edge if they were to do battle. I also liked that the older Joe in true Bruce Willis style bypasses the whole idea of trying to work out how and why what is happening is happening by saying he can't be bothered to work it all out. As well as the older Joe having the advantage of memory over the younger Joe, the younger Joe in turn has his own advantages which become apparent. There were several times when I thought I'd worked out what was going to happen or what a particular character's arc was going to be but the film cleverly manipulates its audience, leading them down alleyways only to jump out at them from behind and spin them around. There is a nice early twist which gave me a smile and plenty more to keep you guessing right the way to the end. In the end it turns out that time travel plays second fiddle to another phenomenon which I was pleased by as there was no mention of this in the trailer which I've been trying to avoid for several weeks. The plot is multifaceted with each character having their own reasons for being where they are, when they are and doing what they are doing. It is a dense plot which explores several different ideas and concepts both personal and scientific.

As well as confidently dealing with a complex script which would have been very easy to either make too complicated or too full of holes, Writer/Director Rian Johnson (Brick) also creates a very believable future and fills it with people and events which feel plausible. Cities have continued to expand upwards and outwards but they themselves are filled with tent cities in which a large vagrant class live. Life is cheap and hard in this world in which the have's and have not's are much more separated than today. There is enough in the film to make to world feel as though it is our near future and the technology on display feels as though it is a few logical steps along the road. I especially liked the ingenious solution to running cars after the inevitable the oil crisis and there's also a great line about China in there which had a lot of people laughing.

The writing and direction are superb but another strength are the acting performances. Joseph Gordon-Levitt wears heavy makeup and prosthetics to make him look more like Bruce Willis and although this is occasionally a little distracting, it looks unnervingly good at times, especially closer up which is odd. The effect is actually better in close up than when JG-L is in the middle distance. Underneath the prosthetics though Gordon-Levitt delivers a fine performance, adopting a few of Willis' telltale mannerisms and affectations but avoiding pure mimicry. He appears confident and at ease in the dense lead role, carrying off a mixture of hard edged killer and caring young man while switching from one to the other with ease. Bruce Willis equally is very good but we have seen this kind of performance from him many times before. Nevertheless he is on good form here. The chemistry between the two leads was great and really helped with the believability of them being one person. Emily Blunt was another actor who performed very well and in a departure from her more familiar roles. She adopts a convincing American accent, drops a few F-Bombs and looks comfortable holding a gun. She brings to the fore the feminine caring side when it matters though. Probably the standout actor though despite the three A Listers is Pierce Gagnon, a very young child actor who is incredible in a pivotal role. He and Gordon-Levitt have some funny and tense scenes together which work very well.

Overall there was little I didn't like about Looper and it has gone straight into my Top 10 films of the year so far as well as being probably my favourite Sci-Fi since 2009's Moon. It treats its audience with respect and isn't afraid to keep you them of the loop for a while as it teases them with false and sometimes seemingly false information. It is well designed and acted and features a wonderfully multifaceted and intelligent story which rewards patience and concentration with a fantastic ending.

313 of 555 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Sudden dismemberment SorroVV
Temporal analysis of Looper republished mjyoung-2
SEQUEL!!! marston325
I only have 1 major problem with the ending... Filaipus
future guys should just send their kills to the moon awkemp
SO MANY PROBLEMS! Robert_Hartley
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