Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Sep 27, 2012
    100
    So what's left for the audience to hook into? Only pounding action, elegant style, steady-state suspense, marvelous acting and, despite that droll pooh-poohing every now and then, haunting explorations of youth, age and personal destiny. It's a lot to claim for a sci-fi thriller, but I was blown away by Rian Johnson's Looper.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Sep 26, 2012
    100
    Looper is a tremendous motion picture experience. Not merely a "very good" one, but a great one.
  3. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Sep 17, 2012
    100
    Intelligent science-fiction sometimes seems an endangered species - too much physics and there's a risk of creating something cold and remote, too many explosions and get lost in the multiplex. Looper isn't perfect, but it pulls off the full Wizard Of Oz: it has a brain, courage and a heart.
  4. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Sep 7, 2012
    100
    Director Rian Johnson's resulting film, a cornfield neo-noir, is the coolest, most-confident sci-fi flick since 2006's "Children of Men."
  5. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Sep 7, 2012
    100
    The best sci-fi movie since "Moon." The best time-travel yarn since "12 Monkeys." And one of the best films of 2012. You'll immediately want to see it again.
  6. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Sep 26, 2012
    91
    Looper is a remarkable feat of imagination and execution, entertaining from start to finish, even as it asks the audience to contemplate how and why humanity keeps making the same rotten mistakes.
  7. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Sep 26, 2012
    91
    Johnson keeps it simple, yet never stupid. Looper is a puzzle engaging your brain, rather than frying it, as one character describes the process. Obviously he has seen enough movies on the subject by 2024 to know how frustrating that is. This one plays fair with the fantasy.
  8. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Oct 1, 2012
    90
    For all its mayhem, runs like a mad and slightly sad machine, whirring with hints of folly and regret, and the ending, remarkably, makes elegant sense to a degree that eludes most science fictions. How to describe it, without giving anything away? Scrambled, but rare. [1 Oct. 2012, p.84]
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Sep 28, 2012
    90
    I'm not ready to proclaim Looper a sci-fi masterpiece just yet; let's let it sit awhile. But it's a lean, mean, smart, violent picture with a bit of Stanley Kubrick edge, fueled by the terrific Gordon-Levitt.
  10. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Sep 27, 2012
    90
    This is a highflying, super-stylish science-fiction thriller that brings a fresh approach to mind-bending genre material. We're not always sure where this time-travel film is going, but we wouldn't dream of abandoning the ride.
  11. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Sep 26, 2012
    90
    Looper may not have the bell-ringing resonance of Chris Marker's "La Jetée," one of its touchstones, but it's a jaunty match-up of genre and character drama that's far smarter and more finely wrought than almost anything else in the multiplexes.
  12. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 26, 2012
    89
    Looper makes a full-meal entertainment out of piecemealing genres: It boasts the kicky mental gymnastics that come with time-travel terrain, the relentless rapid heart rate of a crackerjack thriller, and the bursts of extreme violence, buttressed with black humor, of a modern actioner.
  13. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 28, 2012
    88
    This is an exciting, exceptionally well-made futuristic thriller that also happens to be loaded with lived-in touches and punchy ideas.
  14. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Sep 28, 2012
    88
    Thanks to the assured hold Johnson exerts over this ingeniously structured game of cat-and-cat, we'll go anyplace he has in mind.
  15. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Sep 27, 2012
    88
    An indie-inflected popcorn movie with major brains, brilliant acting and a highly satisfying payoff, Looper is the first must-see movie of the season.
  16. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 27, 2012
    88
    When so much of what Hollywood churns out is almost instantly forgettable, it says a lot about a film when viewers want to take time to argue, ponder and puzzle over it.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 27, 2012
    88
    Lacing tremendously exciting action with touching gravity, Looper hits you like a shot in the heart.
  18. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 27, 2012
    88
    Late in Looper, when a highly telekinetic kid starts levitating things, it really does look like Christopher Nolan had wandered onto the set and taken over.
  19. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Sep 27, 2012
    88
    The leads blend as seamlessly as any young-old character coupling I've seen. The prosthetically altered Gordon-Levitt, unrecognizable at first, really resembles Willis.
  20. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 26, 2012
    88
    This film leads to a startling conclusion that wipes out the story's paradoxes so neatly it's as if it never happened. You have to grin at the ingenuity of Johnson's screenplay.
  21. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Sep 26, 2012
    88
    As in the very best Anthony Mann and John Ford westerns, Looper at once understands the visual power of violence and is deeply critical of it.
  22. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Sep 27, 2012
    83
    While the third act inevitably bogs down a bit in gunplay and chases, there are more than enough moments of visual wonder and storytelling surprise to make it worth the trip.
  23. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sep 26, 2012
    83
    The time swivels in Looper evoke some of Inception's fancy temporal tricks... But it's the glimpses of Children of Men-like societal dystopia that give the movie its real weight, and distinguish Johnson's third feature as a marked step forward.
  24. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Sep 10, 2012
    83
    Perhaps the most thrilling thing about Looper is watching Johnson really grow leaps and bounds as a filmmaker.
  25. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Sep 27, 2012
    80
    A fanciful film with the patina of hyper-realism, Looper is well served by actors who behave not as if they were dropped carelessly into the future but spent their whole desperate lives there.
  26. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Sep 27, 2012
    80
    Gordon-Levitt is flinty, and Willis, on his A-game, is fiery. Together, they take us on a helluva trip.
  27. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 26, 2012
    80
    Gordon-Levitt has been so terrific for a while now that he's become a magnetic presence; Willis is also on a nice streak, not as strong here as in "Moonrise Kingdom," but still quite good.
  28. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Sep 25, 2012
    80
    Thrilling in its deft juggling of complex narrative elements, utterly clear in its presentation, and unfolding with what feels like serious moral purpose, Looper still can't help but suggest that its larger ambitions are something of a put-on, a nice thematic polish to set off its interpersonal drama.
  29. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Sep 25, 2012
    80
    As time-travel action films go, here's one that's brainy, stylish and carries itself with B-flick modesty - all of which feels like some kind of alchemy.
  30. 80
    If high-toned futuristic time-travel pictures with a splash of romance float your boat the way they do mine, you'll have yourself a time.
  31. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 7, 2012
    80
    Their physical disparity notwithstanding, Gordon-Levitt and Willis both come across strongly, while Blunt effectively reveals Sara's tough and vulnerable sides.
  32. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 7, 2012
    80
    In a genre infamous for loose ends, this thinking man's thriller marshals action, romance and a dose of very dark comedy toward a stunning payoff.
  33. Reviewed by: Henry Barnes
    Sep 7, 2012
    80
    Once you commit to the lexicon – to the blunderbusses, the silver, the loops that close and the loops let run – you're in for a breathless ride. It's been a patchy summer for sci-fi, absent of anything that really sticks in the mind. Johnson's deep, distinctive film plays on repeat.
  34. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 28, 2012
    75
    My favorite line in the movie comes when Gordon-Levitt, in a face-off with his mob boss (Jeff Daniels), informs him that he'd like to leave the business one day and move to France, to which Daniels replies: "I'm from the future; you should go to China."
  35. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Sep 28, 2012
    75
    Looper, a cocky sci-fi tale with more brass than substance, is rife with these "Say what?" moments.
  36. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Sep 28, 2012
    75
    Looper ups the ante like a poker player on speed. What a potpourri of genres we have here – noir again, but sci-fi too, and action and horror and psycho-drama with existential trimmings, the latter designed to invite the thinking viewer into the fray.
  37. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Sep 27, 2012
    75
    The casting is carefully considered, as well, from Willis, whose Old Joe is even more dangerous than Young Joe, to Emily Blunt, who goes American this time and plays a young mother with a winning warmth and vulnerability.
  38. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 27, 2012
    75
    With Looper, Johnson proves he can finesse the most complicated notions and visual setups his mind can imagine. It's the simple things that still elude him.
  39. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Sep 27, 2012
    75
    While Looper lacks the heft of a classic, this wayback machine is worth taking for a spin.
  40. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 27, 2012
    75
    For about an hour Looper really cooks. Its second half is more of a medium boil, and less fun. But watching it, I realized how few commercial entertainments hold up straight through to the end-point.
  41. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 7, 2012
    75
    There's a adrenaline rush even in the problematic finish, an eagerness that drives the filmmaking so that Looper is thrilling to watch even when it falls apart.
  42. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Sep 27, 2012
    70
    Mr. Johnson throws a lot at the screen, blasted corpses included, yet little here is as initially transfixing as Mr. Gordon-Levitt's mug.
  43. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 28, 2012
    60
    The resulting slowdown, as well as a significant narrative shift, gives Looper a slightly sprawling and ungrounded feel at times, almost as if the first and second halves are two separate movies.
  44. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Sep 28, 2012
    50
    Looper felt to me like a maddening near-miss: It posits an impossible but fascinating-to-imagine relationship...and then throws away nearly all the dramatic potential that relationship offers. If someone remakes Looper as the movie it could have been in, say, 30 years, will someone from the future please FedEx it back to me?
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1017 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 239
  1. Sep 29, 2012
    10
    Best movie I've seen in a long time; definitely the best this year. Absolutely superb. The intellect of Inception with underpinnings of TheBest movie I've seen in a long time; definitely the best this year. Absolutely superb. The intellect of Inception with underpinnings of The Terminator. Plot, story, action, acting, pacing... everything fit perfectly. It has a certain intellect to it that you simply do not see in many movies nowadays. It also is a new story and is not some rehashed superhero flick or modern remake of an older film. My only issue is that I would have liked a little more info about the "rainmaker" in the future. Otherwise I loved it. Very highly recommend; I don't give out many 10s. Full Review »
  2. Sep 28, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Looper has a fantastic start but soon collapses under a weak combination of different storylines and a somewhat random plot element that has too much contrast with the Rian Johnson's "realistic approach".
    I was enjoying the film profusely in the beginning - and then Johnson brought up "telekinesis". Yes, being able to move things with your mind. Up until that point, "Looper" has been depicted as a semirealistic movie that focuses on the gangster influenced youth. Bringing telekinesis in for about ten seconds, Johnson then abruptly drops it until it appears in a major plot point. The problem: telekinesis simply has too weak of a context to be actually taken seriously at this point in the movie, making it just seem like a cheap gimmick.
    There was also a huge issue in the way the characters were portrayed. At first, I really admired the way Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt tackled the whole "one being, future vs present" issue: one of them is a naive hothead, while the other is a slightly sadistic but mature old man. Both have great traits that enable us to sympathize with both of them, and the whole first third or so of the movie really plays this development out. And then, Johnson introduces the stupid kid, Sid. Why is Sarah not his mom? Why does that even matter? Why is he so annoying? Why is he such an obnoxious child? Johnson wants us to sympathize with this superkid, yet he makes him as annoying as possible. He also adds an extraneous tension with his mom, Sarah. Apparently she's not his real mom...or is she? Why does it matter, why does Sid have to hate his mother? Willis already suggests that he saw his mom die, so why can't that mom be Sarah and not her sister?
    Johnson then wants the audience to feel for Sid by giving him...super telekinetic powers. Yes, a little brat who treats his pretty awesome guardian like crap also causes **** to fly around when he gets mad. Is this Looper or "It's a Good Life"? Instead of the highly anticipated, and heavily emphasized game of cat vs mouse between Willis and Levitt, we get two separate simultaneous story lines that show Willis being cool and Levitt learning to open his heart to women and children. I understand the need to keep plot details to a minimum in trailers, but jesus christ what a misleading bunch of teasers. I wouldn't even mind if the unshown twist was well done and clever; instead we get the same old "kid and mom warm up a killer's heart".
    There are plenty of other issues. Every single **** Sid freak out scene is just done so poorly...it's supposed to be serious and emotional, not some guy floating in mid air dancing. Also, Johnson makes us sympathize with Jesse the hired gun: he **** puts his gun down when he sees Sid fall, and then he gets ripped apart by telekinesis? How are we supposed to **** sympathize with that super brat?
    I really wanted to like Looper, and I still do. Rian Johnson made a fantastic movie with Brick, and Joseph Gordon Levitt is one of THE best actors today. And who could forget Bruce Willis - one of the most overly typecast and underrated actors of movie history. Unfortunately, there are simply too many flaws with both character development, plot devices, and just plain old "not supposed to be funny but **** hilarious scenes" (Jesse flying and looking like an idiot before getting ripped apart). Unrelated nudity, too many characters...Looper was a great big letdown.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 28, 2012
    10
    One of the best films of 2012, if not, THE BEST. This movie aims to achieve the main thing we all want in movies, a mesmerising and intriguingOne of the best films of 2012, if not, THE BEST. This movie aims to achieve the main thing we all want in movies, a mesmerising and intriguing science fiction action movie that drives the attention of the audience at all times, and that is what a great film does. Full Review »