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One of the strongest films in current theatrical release is Rian Johnson’s Looper, a thrilling and well-written sci-fi noir that showcases the writer-director’s knack for combining genre kicks with sophisticated storytelling, out of which, through layers of ingenious narrative construction, emerges a surprising depth of emotion. Looper makes for a formidable hat-trick as it follows Johnson’s second and first features: The Brothers Bloom and Brick – brilliant films in their own right.

The latter announced Johnson as a talent to be reckoned with, winning the Special Jury Prize (Originality of Vision) at the Sundance Film Festival. Engrossing, literate, melancholy, and brilliantly shot by Steve Yedlin, Brick isn’t afraid of getting a little skin under its fingernails, or blood on its high-tops.

Recommended for a user who likes: The Grifters

Format requested: Netflix, Hulu, etc.

Availability in the US: streaming instantly on Netflix, as well as Amazon Instant Video. Want media that you can touch and hold? Brick was released last year on DVD and 1080p Blu-ray, the latter edition DVDBeaver-approved marginally over a 1080i edition that was released overseas. Netflix streams the film in HD, with English subtitles.

Also by Rian Johnson: Looper (2012) and The Brothers Bloom (2008).

Also with Joseph Gordon-Levitt: The Lookout (2007), Mysterious Skin, (2004), Inception (2010), Lincoln (forthcoming)