1. Looper (dir. Rian Johnson)
This one is an easy pick. I’ve watched Rian Johnson’s first film, Brick, more times than I can count, and I quite like his follow-up, The Brothers Bloom. He’s a smart guy with a slightly off-kilter sense of humor and a real talent for working with actors. Put him in charge of a film in which time travel is used as an assassination tool, leading to a situation where a young man has to kill his older self, and I’m sold.
Early screening reports have pegged the film as a success, but even without those reports this would probably be number one on my list. Rian Johnson is one of the crop of young directors who straddles mainstream and arthouse filmmaking, and to see him working with an original sci-fi concept is tremendously exciting. And not to diminish Johnson, but the fact that he roped in Primer director Shane Carruth to work on the film in some capacity is a major draw for me as well.
(Sept. 28 — news recap)
Hit the next page for the films that didn’t make my primary ‘most anticipated for 2012′ list. There are quite a few honorable mentions.