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Reviews & Ratings for
Looper More at IMDbPro »

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Flawed but not without merit

Author: xaniver
5 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Looper, made note-worthy thanks to the incredible prosthetics applied to Joseph Gordon-Levitt turning him into a young Bruce Willis. That alone was enough to pique my curiosity.

I expected a Total Recall romp with lots of action, improbable gun fights, heroic martial arts displays, a fair amount of running away from the bad guys and playing with futuristic gadgets. Looper was all of that and then some. There was actually substance to this story and the film felt a lot more like a drama than an action movie. The trailer is a little misleading. Without being too spoilery, suffice it to say, that all those cool action shots aren't really what the movie is about. At it's core, Looper is about a guy examining his choices in life, how those choices affected others and how far he'd be willing to go for others. Pretty intense and dramatic stuff.

As the credits rolled, my friends and I looked at each other and said "That was good." As in, far better than we expected because honestly we expected flashy sci-fi action and got a more introspective story, which was pleasantly surprising.

Fast forward an hour to when the initial post movie stars in our eyes had faded to bear glimmers and we started analysing the story. So the analytical phase began and the more we examined the movie the worse Looper became.

*Warning: There be spoilers ahead*

1) The whole premise is deeply flawed. Apparently, people are sent back in time because disposing of a body is hard in the future – Um, why? But they never elaborate and we just have to accept that this is the way the world works.

2) Loopers are sent the future versions of themselves to kill and 'close the loop' along with a payout in gold and early retirement. This is where things go wrong, so why send the Loopers their future selves to kill? Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to send the offending Looper to another Looper for regular offing? Again, this is never explained and we just have to believe it's the way the world works.

3) Having closed the loop, the Looper in question is free to enjoy his gold for 30 years before being sent back to the past for offing in some sort of weird continuing cycle that honestly defies the laws of physics. Physics and quantum theory of time travel aside, why on earth would you give this Looper a bunch of gold and 30 years to live when you could just off said Looper in the present and save all future woes? This system makes NO sense. None. I've tried looking at it from every angle and it just isn't practical or economical. It's not good business.

4) In a completely random and almost completely unrelated subplot turned mainplot, by 2074 people will have evolved a special telekinetic gene. Why? How? No one knows but it's convenient for making little boys into super creepy antagonists. I don't even know why this TK-gene thing was shoved into this story that would've been way more awesome as an existential examination of what happens when a Looper is accidentally sent their future selves to kill because if you know you're going to have to off your future self one day, what's the big deal? You go in knowing this is going to happen. Again, the trailer is misleading because it implies that future-self meeting present-self is all a surprise when it very definitely isn't.

So, at first glance Looper is a great movie – fun and intriguing, creepy and dramatic, action packed and occasionally comical but don't think too hard about the story because as soon as you look a little too closely, the whole thing starts to fall apart. Looper could've been brilliant but it just wasn't. Instead of dishing up thought-provoking science fiction, it dishes up mediocre action with a dash of anorexic romance that just disappoints if you're looking for anything more than two hours of brain numbing entertainment.

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Excellent Film

Author: Brian Neumann
30 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the year 2044, the world is in shambles. Poverty rates have skyrocketed, crime rate has increased, and around 10% of the population have a small genetic mutation that allows them to telekinetically move small objects. Thirty years into the future, time travel is invented and immediately outlawed. However, organized crime has taken advantage of this new technology as a way to easily get rid of bodies in secret, as it is essentially impossible to dispose a body in the future. As targets are sent back in time to what is present day and "Loopers" are given a specific time as to when the targets are to appear. The loopers kill the target who is tied up with a bag over his or her heads with a blunderbuss, take the silver bars attached on the victims back, and dispose of the body. When the looper is no longer needed, the mob ends their working relationship by sending back the loopers future self-back for them to kill, thus "completing the loop." The story follows Joe, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a looper whose future self, played by Bruce Willis, manages to escape and causes turmoil trying to avenge the death of his wife. Future Joe attempts to find and kill the new mob boss, dubbed "The Rainmaker", who is currently a ten year old boy living nearby. The Rainmaker has been closing all loops still open and the future Joe is trying to stop him from ever becoming the mob boss in order to save his wife. Things easily get out of hand quickly, and Joe struggles to keep his future self from murdering a seemingly innocent child at the time. This thriller has amazing cinematography and special effects, an intriguing storyline, great acting, and will have you on the edge of your seat for the entire film, even holding back tears at the end.

Looper embeds the futuristic ideas of time-travel with all the elements of an action thriller and a drama all into one. The film is expertly written from where the film intertwines a love story and drama into an action packed sci-fi thriller. The movie is filled with a celebrated cast, whose acting brings the audience closer into the story as if they were one of the characters. Different from most action movies, Looper provokes the viewer to delve deeper into what makes humans decide to act the way they do and how their actions change what occurs in the future.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Looper features a complex yet alluring plot aided by the cinematography from Steve Yedlin. Although the storyline is difficult to follow at times, the screenplay brings up many questions that are left up to the viewer to be answered. Since the technology of time travel is still too complex, Johnson did an amazing job making sure that time travel followed its own rules and could be properly interpreted by the viewer and because every time someone is sent back into the past, it may affect those in the future, the characters never know if or how their actions would change the timelines in front of them. In Looper, Johnson creates a myriad of timelines that constantly change with each different action.Many different scenes in the movie makes the audience think as to why humans make the decisions they do. Since the basis of the movie has to do with time travel, Looper is effective in showing how the human species deal with these types of decisions. Yedlin worked with Johnson to make this concept more understandable, and draw the viewer into the story with many different camera moves and shots that makes the viewer feel as though they are in the movie, dealing with some of the same problems as the characters.

The characters cast in Looper comprised of a star studded cast featuring names including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, and Jeff Daniels. The acting in Looper is what really contributed to the films positive reception. Since Bruce Willis was playing an older version of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Johnson was able to train both Willis and Gordon-Levitt to act with the same mannerisms and physical qualities one would have with their older self. The film was also effective in changing the looks of the older Joe whenever anything happened to the present Joe, as the timeline changes constantly. Although the "Rainmaker " was never shown as his future self, he was played in present day as a young 10 year old boy, played by Pierce Gagnon. Especially for an actor younger than ten years old, Gagnon did a terrific job in portraying the dark and twisted mind of the young "Rainmaker." Although the storyline may not end up the same as that of the older Joes timeline, the film will test the limits of your emotions and leave you begging for more.

This film brings the best of both an explosion filled action movie and a heart wrenching drama. Not only does the acting and cinematography of the film bring the viewer closer and more involved into the story line, but also the premise itself will leave the audience questioning how humanity decides what actions to take and how it affects his or her lives in the future. This film is a must watch and deserves to be rated a nine out of ten.

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Good, a bit muddled

Author: begob from United Kingdom
15 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Terminator meets Witness.

If you don't think too hard about the time travel conundrum this is good entertainment.

Once you accept the premise it cracks along at a good pace. It's a violent America, where people shoot for little reason and speed through the streets, forcing pedestrians to leap out of the way. And for some reason, in a technologically advancing world, gold and silver are the currency.

The pace slacks off when Bruce Willis turns up from thirty years in the future. His younger self, Gordon Levitt (very convincing as a confident hit-man) then morphs into the older man, although about half way through he does a Mickey Rourke impression.

There are two fine blonds in this, which was overkill. And a scary little boy, who does great angry faces.

One thing I didn't understand - why did the older Seth disintegrate as he was racing to make the date mysteriously etched on his forearm? You could say the same thing is happening to Bruce too, but not in this movie.

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An Incredibly Original and Masterful Work of Art (FULL REVIEW)

Author: kgaillard from United States
1 September 2014

After torturing myself by sitting through The Nut Job, I decided to wash that bad taste out of my mouth with one of my favorite movies Looper. Looper is one of the most original films that I have ever seen in recent years, and that's refreshing considering all of the uninspired crap that Hollywood keeps throwing at us nowadays. Now lets get into the review.

In the year 2074, time travel will be invented, but it will be considered illegal and will only be used by criminal organizations to kill people. To do this, they send people back 30 years where they will be killed by hit men called Loopers. As a result, the victims are erased from existence and the Loopers are awarded with silver bars. When the criminal organizations want to release a Looper from his contract, the Looper's future self gets sent back from 30 years from the future and the future self gets killed by the Looper. This is otherwise known as "closing your loop" and the Looper will be awarded with gold bars and be released from his contract if he does this. Failing to close your loop is otherwise known as "letting your loop run" and it will only be punishable by execution. One Looper named Joe is about to close his loop, however he lets his future self get away and needs to fix his dilemma by killing his future self. Joe then meets his future self at a diner where his future self tells him that there is a boss known as the rainmaker who is closing all of the loops.

The story of this film is so original and unpredictable. Nowadays, films are usually either sequels, prequels, adaptations, or films based on a true story. However, this film has a plot that has never been done before and has many unpredictable moments. Which is what makes the story so intriguing and exciting from beginning to end. There are a few plot-holes, but I don't mind any of them because of how exciting and unpredictable the film is.

The acting is also fantastic. Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers a great performance as Joe, who is more of an anti-hero, meaning that he will do the right thing, but he will become a bad guy when he needs to. Bruce Willis plays Joe's future self, he did a great job and his character is more of an anti-villain, meaning that he is doing the bad thing, but for reasons that would save the future. The 2 people act so great that they feel more like Yin and Yang to each other. Emily Blunt also does a great job in her role and her character is someone who will do anything to protect her son from danger. Speaking of her character's son, Cid, he is played by Pierce Gagnon and all I can say is WOW! He pulls off some of the greatest child acting on screen. Overall, the acting is fantastic.

This movie also has a very nice visual style. The film looks very stylish and the action sequences are also very intense and exciting. There are also some instances of slow motion and they are all used in the right places. So the action, visuals, and directing are all given a large pass.

Overall, Looper is one of the most original sci-fi action thrillers that I have ever seen. With its original plot, strong acting, and thrilling action sequences, Looper is not only one of my favorite films of 2012 and one of my favorite films of the decade so far, but it is also one of my favorite films of all time, top 10 in fact.

MY GRADE: A+ (10/10)

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the toddler will create the time machine

Author: jettaaaha3 from Slovakia
1 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really enjoyed the movie and i don't understand why is there so much haters. This movie is about time traveling and (logically) still be questions like "and what will happens if his future self..." I think most of haters didn't realize toddler is the future developer of time machine, to save his mother.

Very good directed and very enjoyable performances of all main protagonist, like Gordon-Levitt, Willis or Blunt, but especially, the toddler, because - in my opinion - he stole the movie.

So, I hope you will enjoy this movie like I do and don't bother with time travel debates, you are not Stephen Hawking or anybody with such intelligence, to be even close to time traveling concept.

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Novel ideas and strong themes delivered with precision; good solid sci-fi

Author: Chris Allen from United Kingdom
16 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A strong, original plot, superb acting and heavy themes make this action/sci-fi movie an understated classic.

Interlinking motifs like the ticking clocks stitch the film together; the soundtrack is brooding and effective despite its minimalism. Camera shots and angles show little variation, but the clever script and darkened colour palette carry each scene smoothly and quickly. The parallels drawn between Joe and Cid are subtle, but clear on a second watch: the Older Joe's bloodied face, the stroke of hair at Joe's temple, the backstory of an angry child - isolated from his mother - doomed to cause havoc if his path isn't altered by kindness. This contributes powerfully to the idea of karma in the film, as a never- ending circle of events. There are a myriad of references and recurrences, like the arrogant Kid Blue's perpetual injuries and anger within each of the cycles of Joe's life. Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to represent the arrogance of youth; the cafe scene belays the way he thinks of his life as his own to live as he chooses - despite the evidence of his future self in front of him. Bruce Willis embodies a weary older self, shaken by the death of a woman who cared for him so deeply and driven to change the past in order to save her.

The violence is bloody, but minimal and necessary (disregarding Bruce Willis' final killing spree to tie up the loose plot ends of the Gat Men gang). Excellent performances all round, specifically Emily Blunt (grounded but emotional as Sara), Bruce Willis (a hardened, yet surprisingly tender Older Joe) and Pierce Gagnon (otherworldly and ominous as the mature-beyond-his-years Cid), give the film a depth beyond its action-blockbuster advertising.

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Inconsistent Core Story

Author: Helio Copter from United States
10 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, this is a well-made film in nearly every way. Acting, cinematography, dialog, visual effects, sets and locations. And the directing is good on a scene-by-scene basis, with some very nice moments of theme reinforcement. The basic story is also interesting. And of course, there is the gimmick of Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing a young version of Bruce Willis' character, which is really well done all around.

However, and some other reviewers have noted it, the story here takes a turn about midway through and the film as a whole winds up feeling inconsistently focused. In some cases, change-ups and uncertainties are good. In this case, it all feels more like it is unfinished, and could have used some more revisions.


Specifically, the whole idea of "The Rainmaker" needed to have been worked into the screenplay earlier and in a more substantial fashion. As is, it feels to me like a peripheral story element that gets suddenly upgraded to being the primary focus, but there isn't enough of a full-circle effect for what happens in the later parts of the film to feel consistent with what has already happened in the early parts of the film.

All of that being said, though, I do not think that Looper is a bad film, and it certainly has enough going for it to merit a positive rating from me. My gripes here are not the same as those I have with Star Trek Into Darkness, for example. Looper is a bit unfocused as a whole, but more as a matter of editing and foreshadowing. It's still a well-written film, beat-for-beat. The fact that it moves slowly at times is not a flaw--that's just the type of film that this is. And there are some truly powerful moments here and there, brought to life by great technical filmmaking and a top-notch cast. Rian Johnson may not have hit perfection here, but he definitely has my attention as an up-and-coming director.

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An Entertaining, if not logically consistent, sci fi thriller

Author: clambakejr from United States
24 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I certainly enjoyed Looper. It's refreshing to see a sci fi flick that is dependent upon its script, and an original screenplay at that. Also, I have no idea why this film wasn't at least nominated for best Makeup, as it is pretty incredible how much alike Willis and Levitt look thanks to it. However, I had some problems with the logical possibility of the plot. Granted, I had no trouble suspending my disbelief, but since this movie strives to be in the same class as time travel classics such as Terminator and 12 Monkeys, a little scrutiny is called for. To start off, it is logically impossible to change the past. Otherwise, the problem of the grandfather paradox would be possible, where someone travels back in time and kills their grandfather, causing them to somehow never have been born and disappear in a puff of logic. Something close to this very thing happens in the movie, as young Joe (Levitt) kills himself causing older Joe (Willis)to disappear right in front of him. The problem is, older Joe would now never exist in order to come back in time to cause these events to happen. Even if we accept the films premise about time, it is still not completely internally consistent, mainly because of the ending. Since in the movie, it is possible for young Joe mutilate himself so that scars immediately appear on older Joe (when he is in the same time as young Joe), then it stands to reason that when young Joe shoots himself, old Joe should simply drop dead and not disappear. Along a similar vein, the film mixes up two meanings of the word 'can'. To illustrate, one meaning of 'can' is to have the physical (including mental activity) ability to do something. For instance, since my body functions properly, I have the physical ability to eat a hamburger. The second meaning of 'can' is that it is possible for you to do something. For instance, I can eat a hamburger this second if I have one in my hand. However, I cannot (it is impossible) for me to eat a hamburger this second if there is not one immediately available. To apply this to the movie, when young and old Joe are sitting across from each other, young Joe has the physical ability to take out his knife and mutilate himself. However, if old Joe has no scars, then it is impossible for young Joe to mutilate himself, because that mutilation did not happen. It would be consistent for young Joe to mutilate himself if old Joe already had a corresponding scar.

Despite the long rant, I would still recommend this movie to fans of sci fi or thrillers.

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Looper Fails to Excite

Author: jb_campo from United States
15 July 2014

I had high expectations of Looper, but ended up disappointed in the final product. The story falls flat and gets caught in its own repetitive loop, which drags it down the tubes.

Joseph G-Levitt lives in the past, does drugs, and is a looper whose job is to kill people sent back from the future by mobsters. Apparently the bad guys cannot just kill someone in the future, so they grab them, send them back in time, illegally, and the looper kills them for silver. This guy is a loser who just goes around killing people with no soul or purpose or respect or really anything at all. He just does what he's told to do, sleepwalking through life, and getting paid for. His only marginal friend is not really a friend. He shows his social side by studying French, a useless throw-in that served no apparent purpose.

How many times do we need to see this guy shoot somebody with his special gun? I didn't count the numbers, but enough already!! We get the point - he kills people. Kind of reminds me of 8 Mile, when the first few F-bombs have an impact, then you just get numb from overuse. Obviously, the plot didn't have enough depth, so the director used this tactic as a filler that added no value.

Enter Bruce Willis, Levitt's older version from 30 years in the future. OK you think, now it's going to get interesting. Not really. Willis and Levitt had no real chemistry. Casting mistake here. You learn some stuff about Willis in the future, and you learn he's trying to preserve his future by controlling his past. OK, yep, we saw this in Terminator 1, 2, 3. Nothing new here.

There are chase scenes, and killings, and an interesting Diner scene, but really, the story drags. I started using fast forward so I could get somewhere where something would happen. The final scene takes place on this farm which I think lasts a good 30 minutes, and brings in Emily Blunt. She does an OK acting job, but her role again lacks depth of character, so there's not much to work with. The ending, oh wow, what a surprise...not. Figure it out yourself, you don't have to be too imaginative.

Boring plot, disappointing chemistry, ad nauseum killing, standard b-grade acting. I cannot recommend this film, despite the advertising you see. It's just a poor film all around. I recommend instead Source Code which plays on a time travel theme, without the killing, and a superb storyline with superior acting. Skip Looper - it stinks.

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"This time travel crap, just fries your brain like a egg..."

Author: classicsoncall from United States
14 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are any number of reasons time travel stories can make your head hurt. This film had a Young Joe, an Old Joe and a Dead Joe. Dead Joe was the narrator. See what I mean?

Well I liked the concept of this picture, but to say that there were numerous inconsistencies in the execution would be an understatement. For example, when Abe's (Jeff Daniels) gat men eventually found and finished off Seth (Paul Dano), his on the run future self began losing body parts and became disfigured. But when Young Joe killed himself at the end, Future Joe disappeared. Why the two different treatments for what should have been the same outcome?

I guess you shouldn't force yourself to think about these things too much. If you just accept the flow of the story as it occurs, then it's a fairly entertaining sci-fi/action thriller. Still, if you think there ought to be some credibility built into the premise for a time travel flick, you'll only wind up discombobulated here. Like why would anyone agree to become a looper if your life span in retirement was guaranteed to max out at thirty years?

Here's an interesting thing though. The first time I saw this movie was shortly after I caught an Encore presentation of a film titled "Kid Blue". I tried to figure out if there was any connection to the character in this film, portrayed by Noah Segen, with Dennis Hopper's portrayal in the 1973 Western. The only thing I could come up with was that Dennis Hopper was an outlaw too, but as you might expect, in the future they had bigger guns.

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