After his smashing debut in Brick and the criminally underrated Brothers Bloom, Rian Johnson is three for three with this superb sci-fi. Despite advanced exposure to the marketing, the film surprises in many ways, and I’m not going to be the bastard who spoils anything by talking about what this film actually is. Suffice to say that the time travel assassination concept evolves into a beautifully ambiguous reworking of noir tropes and one particular sci-fi classic. Unified by theme, which itself takes centre stage as the film reaches its climax, Looper is an inspired idea executed brilliantly. Complex, uncompromising and at times exhilarating, its only significant flaw is that it never really hits home on an emotional level the way it’s meant to. Preceding the feature, my showing had trailers for Taken 2 and some Sylvester Stallone movie. Alas the motivations in play are understandable, but too overused across the years to overwhelm. Nevertheless, Looper is one of the films of the year. See it before anyone talks to you about it.