In 2044, the United States has suffered economic collapse, causing severe social decay and growth in organized crime. In addition, a strange mutation has occurred in 10% of the population, giving them minor telekinetic powers, manifested by their ability to float small objects. They are referred to as TKs. Thirty years into the future in 2074, time travel is invented, but is immediately outlawed. However, because by that point tracking technology has rendered it nearly impossible to dispose of bodies secretly, crime bosses turn to time travel to send their targets to the past to be killed using "loopers": hired guns paid in silver to kill whoever is sent to them. The victims have bags over their heads, and silver bars strapped to their backs. When crime bosses want to end a looper's contract, they send his older version back to be killed by his younger self, referred to as "closing the loop".Joseph "Joe" Simmons (Gordon-Levitt), 25, works for a mafia company in Kansas City as a looper. Joe's boss, Abe (Jeff Daniels), was sent back in time to manage the loopers and also owns a club where Joe frequents and spends time with Suzie (Perabo), a showgirl. Abe also controls the "Gat Men", his muscle, led by Kid Blue (Segan).While at the club one evening, another looper announces that he has just closed his loop. After killing the victim, he finds gold instead of silver, and recognizes his older self. The big payoff is reason to party. Joe notices that loops are being closed at an increasing pace.One night, Seth (Dano), Joe's friend and a fellow looper, visits him in a panic telling him that he was supposed to close his own loop but couldn't do it. Seth reports that his victim appeared, singing a song his mother had sung to him when he was a baby. He couldn't kill him. Old Seth tells Seth that a person called the Rainmaker has taken over organized crime and is closing all loops for unknown reasons. The Gat Men then knock on Joe's door, so he hides Seth in his apartment floor safe. The Gat Men suspect Joe is shielding Seth, so they take him in to Abe.