DVD 123: 'Looper,' 'Killer Joe' and 'The Words'

In our weekly column, we give you the lowdown on the weekly top three essential DVDs and Blu-ray releases.

Well, it's almost the end of the year, and we're rounding up the best releases still to hit before 2013. One of the year's most original films takes center stage: "Looper," a science fiction vision of a stark assassin-filled future. Next up is the violent and fascinating film from director William Friedkin, "Killer Joe," that takes a look at the assassin and debt-riddled problems of one family in Texas. Rounding out the bunch is the literary thriller starring Bradley Cooper, "The Words." Strongly stylized and distinctive, these films are highly original and unique, sure to please film lovers of every kind.

1. "Looper"

Starring: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels, Piper Perabo

Director: Rian Johnson

Studio: Sony Pictures

Running Time: 119 min.

Rating: R

Release Date: Dec. 31, 2012

The year is 2044, and time travel won't be invented for another 30 years -- when it's used to send those who've run afoul of crime lords into the past to be killed. A hired assassin, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), works putting criminals out of commission by day and explores the dark drug fueled underbelly of the city by night. When assassins all around him begin "closing their loops" by killing their future selves, Joe accidentally allows a future version of himself (Bruce Willis) loose in the city. As he seeks to close his own loop before the future is altered, he meets a lonely woman (Emily Blunt) who is guarding a terrible secret.

This release includes audio commentary with actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and director Rian Johnson, 22 deleted scenes with commentary from the director, an animated trailer, three feaurettes on scoring the film, featurettes on time travel and future tech and more.

This fantastic Blu-ray release also comes with an UltraViolet digital copy.

2. "Killer Joe"

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon, Scott Martin

Directors: William Friedkin

Studio: Lionsgate Films

Running Time: 103 min.

Rating: NC-17

Release Date: Dec. 21, 2012

This haunting and violent drama follows the path of one young man, Chris (Emile Hirsch). When he falls into debt and his life is endangered, he offers up his young sister (Juno Temple) as an offering to an assassin (Matthew McConaughey) in exchange for killing his evil mother. When things begin to go wrong deep in the heart of Texas, Chris finds his entire family up against forces he can't control and extreme violence that threatens their future. Based on the wildly successful play by Tracy Letts, "Killer Joe" marks director Friedkin's second collaboration with the playwright, after "Bug."

Special features on this Blu-ray release include a featurette that explains the transition from play to film, SXSW Q&A with the cast and an intro by William Friedkin, the red band theatrical trailer and audio commentary with Friedkin.

3. "The Words"

Starring: Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Ben Barnes

Director: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal

Studio: Sony Pictures

Running Time: 97 min.

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: Dec. 24, 2012

In this dark romantic drama, a struggling writer (Bradley Cooper) publishes an astonishing and remarkable novel. The only problem is, he didn't write it, but discovered the work hidden away and claimed it as his own. As he continues to take the credit for the work of another man, he finds there's a steep price to pay for his lies, one that may affect the woman he loves (Zoe Saldana) and the lives of those around him.

Special features on "The Words" includes four featurettes that explore production, character development and artistic collaboration, the theatrical and extended cuts of the films, as well as previews for other Sony releases.

Enjoy this film on Blu-ray, it also comes with an UltraViolet digital copy.

Want more awesome DVD picks? Check in with Queue it Up over at NextMovie!