Looper is a 2012 science fiction action thriller film written and directed by Rian Johnson and starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt. In the film, time travel is invented by the year 2074 and is used by criminal organizations to send those they want killed into the past where they are killed by "loopers", assassins paid with silver bars strapped to their targets. Joe, a looper, encounters himself when his older self is sent back in time to be killed. An American-Chinese co-production, Looper was selected as the opening film of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Since its release, it has been critically acclaimed, with much of the praise going to its acting, originality, and action sequences. It was released in Australia on September 27, 2012, and in the US and the UK on September 28, 2012 by TriStar Pictures and FilmDistrict in the US, and Entertainment One in the UK.