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The Limits of Control (2009)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Alex Descas ...
Jean-François Stévenin ...
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The Waiter
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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 | Add 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:

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Release Date:

19 September 2009 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

No Limits No Control  »

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:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Isaach De Bankolé exchanges matchboxes throughout the film with 'Le Boxeur' (The Boxer) written on them, the name of his character in his other film White Material (2009). 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 »

Crazy Credits

"Quantum Respect and broken flowers to BART WALKER" in closing credits See more »

Connections

References The Lady from Shanghai (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Omens and Portents 1: The Driver
Written by Dylan Carlson
Performed by Earth and Bill Frisell
Courtesy of Southern Lord Recordings
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Occasionally Charming But Too Long and Slow
11 August 2011 | by (Orlando, United States) – See all my reviews

I guess for Jim Jarmusch, the shot, not the characters or the narrative is the building block and center of the film. Each shot is almost a minor Magritte painting with some detail incongruous enough to make us chuckle or wonder WTF. Why does the lead character order two cups of espresso? Why does the character wear those too tight shiny suits? What is the meaning of the constant exchanging of match boxes? This movie could be called "Match boxes and coffee" instead of "Cigarettes and Coffee," an even slower movie Jarmusch. The narrative is without excitement or tension. For a brief moment I had hoped that Jarmusch would pick up the pace when the hero saw the armed camp/complex. I thought the hero would race down and shoot ten or twenty men and jump out of the way of army jeeps and bound over walls to get inside. Nope, not this movie. Jarmusch just has the character appear inside the complex in the next scene and mysteriously hint at the way he got in. The movie does pick up in about five or six scenes with Paz De La Huerta. She is just called Nude and she appears in a series of what seems like nude poses. It is quite erotic and does make the first half of the picture move entertaining. There is also a nice dialogue scene about Orson Welles "Lady from Shanghai." These are the highlights of the film for me ten minutes watching Paz De La Huerta act without clothes, a discussion of "Lady from Shanghai" and those too tight shiny suits. Amusing, but too laid back.


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