Perhaps appropriately, many of the best films of 2012 dealt in some way with endings. In the year in which the world was to end, many masterpieces explored the idea of ending, finality, conclusion—whether the end of slavery (Lincoln), the end of innocence (Moonrise Kingdom), the end of life (The Grey, Amour, Les Miserables, Skyfall, Killing Them Softly, etc.), the end of an affair (The Deep Blue Sea), a manhunt (Zero Dark Thirty) or the world itself (Turin Horse).
Movies like Looper give me hope for American cinema. Rian Johnson's film is a tight, stylish, deftly scripted crowd pleaser, a clever film that engages the audience viscerally, cognitively and emotionally. Its also a film that takes a schoolboy's delight in the magic and thrill of cinema. Rian Johnson is film nerd, fanboy, and B-movie genre postmodern in the vein of Tarantino, with a smidge less irony and a bit more Raymond Chandler noir. His films (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) are characterized by anachronistic pop culture pastiche and the merging of multiple genre tropes.