Looper is the movie that made me a Rian Johnson fan, way before The Last Jedi or Knives Out.
It’s a smart, inventive, gripping sci-fi drama about an assassin in 2044 who kills people sent back in time to him from 2074, which is a brilliant concept on its own, but Johnson adds several finishing touches that are best left unspoiled. I loved the world-building here, which is detailed, but not in your face or implausible.
At the risk of starting an internet fight: I think this movie accomplishes what the original Blade Runner tried and failed to. It’s a dark vision of the near future with a new class structure of gun-toting men, and Looper explicitly engages with the human, moral questions of what it means to be one of those men, rather than getting sidetracked by the sci-fi of it all.
The stars — Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt — are all excellent, but I really like everyone in the cast, including Paul Dano, Noah Segan, and one of the best child actors I’ve seen in any movie, Pierce Gagnon. Recommended. ★★★★½