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The Limits of Control (2009)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 13,432 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 109 user | 158 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

The story of a mysterious loner, a stranger in the process of completing a criminal job.

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Title: The Limits of Control (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alex Descas ...
Jean-François Stévenin ...
...
The Waiter
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Héctor Colomé ...
Second American
María Isasi ...
Flamenco Club Waitress
Norma Yessenia Paladines ...
Flight Attendant
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Storyline

A solitary man who does not speak Spanish is an underground courier. Two men who are both thuggish and philosophical send him to Madrid with cryptic instructions. Over the course of a few days, he receives his instructions from a series of distinctive individuals who provide words of philosophy or of warning and also give him a matchbox with a tiny piece of paper, which he reads then eats, accompanied by espresso served in two cups. He is quiet, self-contained, focused on his work. He has rules. He encounters and at times transmits a violin, diamonds, a guitar, and a map. Is he a smuggler? Merely an independent conduit? Or, something else? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For every way in, there is another way out.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

19 September 2009 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

No Limits No Control  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$55,820 (USA) (1 May 2009)

Gross:

$425,025 (USA) (26 June 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Tilda Swinton talks about a swooping bird in a room full of sand she is referring to a scene in the Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker (1979). See more »

Goofs

When the Lone Man travels from Madrid to Sevilla, he enters a S 100 AVE train set. But the interior shots are clearly done in a S 103 (Velaro E), a totally different - and much newer - type of train. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Creole: [character speaks in Spanish/French creole, English subtitles] You don't speak Spanish, right?
French: [character translates for Creole] You don't speak Spanish, right?
Creole: You are ready? Everything's cool?
French: You are ready? Everything's cool?
Lone Man: Yes!
Creole: Good.
French: Good.
See more »

Connections

References In a Lonely Place (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon Dust
Written and Performed by William Doggett (as Bill Doggett)
Courtesy of Unlimited Media GmbH/Setco Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Brilliant cinematography, but not much else.
14 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I really enjoy some of Jim Jarmusch's work (Night on Earth, Mystery Train and Dead Man), and I thought that I would like this film based on the story (or lack thereof) and the soundtrack, however, I was quite disappointed. The film is very slow, and while this can work and be beneficial to the plot, I think that it dragged on far too long in this instance. There was a lot going on visually, which made up for the slowness to a degree, but it seemed as if there was too much time to take it all in. I felt myself noticing the same things over and over in various shots/scenes, because there wasn't anything else to do besides look, which made me feel like I was staring at the film more so than actually watching it.

As for the soundtrack, I am a fan of some of the artists on it (Boris, Sunn, Earth, etc.), which is part of the reason I wanted to see this film initially. Because these bands can have a very slow, droney sound, I was very interested to see how the mood of the music would work with the tone of the film. I expected the two to compliment each other, but instead, the soundtrack just made everything drag on. Because the film progressed as such a slow pace, I assumed that it was leading up to a grand climax, but the film's culmination barely stood out.

I will say that I admired the film from a technical aspect, and I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from Jarmusch's earlier work, but I don't think I'll ever watch it again.


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