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The Limits of Control
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The Limits of Control (2009) More at IMDbPro »

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The Limits of Control -- Acclaimed filmmaker Jim Jarmusch delivers a sexy thriller about a mysterious loner who arrives in Spain with instructions to meet various strangers, each one a part of his dangerous mission.
The Limits of Control -- The story of a mysterious loner (De Bankolé), a stranger, whose activities remain meticulously outside the law. He is in the process of completing a job, yet he trusts no one, and his objectives are not initially divulged.
The Limits of Control -- Clip: I used my imagination
The Limits of Control -- The story of a mysterious loner (De Bankolé), a stranger, whose activities remain meticulously outside the law. He is in the process of completing a job, yet he trusts no one, and his objectives are not initially divulged.
The Limits of Control -- Clip: Blonde


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Jim Jarmusch (written by)
View company contact information for The Limits of Control on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 May 2009 (Germany) See more »
For every way in, there is another way out.
The story of a mysterious loner, a stranger in the process of completing a criminal job. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A film lover's dream See more (111 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Jim Jarmusch 
Writing credits
Jim Jarmusch (written by)

Produced by
Jon Kilik .... executive producer
Carter Logan .... associate producer: PointBlank Films
Gretchen McGowan .... producer
Stacey E. Smith .... producer
Carlos Balsera .... junior assistant producer (uncredited)
Yukie Kito .... executive producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Christopher Doyle (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jay Rabinowitz 
Casting by
Ellen Lewis 
Production Design by
Eugenio Caballero 
Set Decoration by
Pilar Revuelta 
Costume Design by
Bina Daigeler 
Makeup Department
Ainhoa Eskisabel .... makeup artist (as Ainhoa Esquisabel)
Manolo García .... hair designer (as Manuel García)
Ana Lozano .... makeup designer
Eva Quilez .... body makeup artist
Production Management
Susan Lazarus .... post-production supervisor
Patricia Nieto .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cristina Amengual Watson .... trainee assistant director
Richard Diment .... second assistant director
Christopher Downs .... additional third assistant director
Adrian Grunberg .... first assistant director
Catalina Parra .... third assistant director
Ferran Rial .... second second assistant director
Andrea Vázquez .... third assistant director
Art Department
Juan José Alcalde .... carpenter
Francisco Artero .... carpenter
León Bigiu .... carpenter (as Leon Bigiu)
Savin Borgovan .... carpenter
Clara Cardona .... art department trainee
Carlos Compadre .... carpenter
Fernando Contreras .... construction manager
Danut Corci .... carpenter
Federico del Cerro .... prop buyer
Emil Dragota .... plasterer
Rafael Esposito .... painter
Daniel García .... plasterer
Verónica García .... assistant scenic artist
José Alberto Guerrero .... painter
Mikel Izaguirre .... swing gang (as Miguel Ángel 'Mikel' Izaguirre)
Amos Jurado .... carpenter
Gabriel Liste .... set designer
Juan López .... plasterer
Rafael López .... painter
Ariel Margolis .... property master
Rudy Mercado .... scenic artist
Paula González Molinero .... art department assistant (as Paula González)
Raúl Monge .... concept artist
Rosa Pariente .... buyer
Leon Pop .... plasterer
Roi Prada .... props
Arturo Revuelta .... swing gang
Roberto Torralba .... swing gang
Juan Antonio Torrijos .... stand-by props (as Juan Antonio 'Torri' Torrijos)
Tomás Gómez .... props makers: artefacto crew (uncredited)
Sound Department
Flo Ankah .... adr voice (Flight Attendant)
Laurent Boudaud .... sound re-recording mixer
Brian Bowles .... adr editor
Ryan Collison .... foley engineer
Robert Hein .... supervising sound editor
Mike Howells .... adr recordist
Bobby Johanson .... adr mixer
Drew Kunin .... sound mixer
Peter Murphy .... boom operator
Glenfield Payne .... sound effects editor
Jay Peck .... foley artist
Steve F.B. Smith .... sound consultant: Dolby
Dominick Tavella .... sound re-recording mixer
David Wahnon .... dialogue editor
Paul Yurt .... sound mix engineer
Special Effects by
Pau Costa .... special effects
Javier H. Moneo .... special effects technician
Esteban Roma .... special effects technician
Raúl Romanillos .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Daniel Abramovich .... digital compositor
Glenn Allen .... visual effects producer: Brainstorm Digital
Justin Ball .... digital artist: senior systems engineer: Brainstorm Digital
Ella Boliver .... digital compositor
Benjamin Bratt .... digital artist
Nicholas Cerniglia .... digital artist
Aaron Chiesa .... digital artist
Matthew Conner .... matte painter/compositor
Molle DeBartolo .... digital intermediate coordinator
Richard Friedlander .... visual effects producer: Brainstorm Digital
Manuel Rey Gonzalez .... digital compositor
Chris MacKenzie .... smoke artist
John Mangia .... digital compositor: Brainstorm Digital
Indah Maretha .... digital artist
Anthony Meschi .... digital artist
Eric J. Robertson .... visual effects supervisor: Brainstorm digital
Chris 'Pinkus' Wesselman .... digital compositor: Brainstorm Digital
Jun Zhang .... digital compositor
Ignacio Carreño .... stunt coordinator
Diego Herberg .... stunts
Eduardo Moratilla .... stunt performer
Juan José Rodríguez .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Águeda Balogh .... additional photography
Víctor Benavides .... trainee camera (as Victor Benavides)
José Luis Bernal .... focus puller: second unit
Eduardo Cabrera .... electrician
Miguel Ángel Cárdenas .... gaffer
Sergio Delgado .... first assistant camera
Pipo Fernández .... still photographer
Alberto González .... assistant camera
Falkwyn Goyeneche .... video assistant
Teresa Isasi .... still photographer
Francisco Izaguirre .... best boy lighting
Rain Li .... director of photography: second unit (as Kathy Li)
Rodrigo López .... second assistant camera
Casting Department
Beatriz Bartolomé .... casting assistant: Spain
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting
Ashley Jade Parkes .... extras casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Laia Lipp .... wardrobe trainee
Carlos Javier Martín .... tailor (as Carlos Martín)
Karin Quijada .... wardrobe: stand-by
Eva Salas .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Pete Conlin .... post-production
Mitchell Ferm .... digital intermediate producer
Elsa Fernández .... assistant editor
Joe Gawler .... digital intermediate colorist
Jonathan Hoffman .... post-production
Jack Lewars .... assistant digital intermediate colorist
Cam McLauchlin .... telecine operator
Miguel P. Gilaberte .... color timer: dailies
Perri Pivovar .... associate editor
John Potter .... video mastering
Mike Selemon .... assistant editor
Brian Boyd .... digital preview colorist (uncredited)
Andrew Gori .... post-production assistant (uncredited)
Music Department
Carter Logan .... composer: additional music
Jay Rabinowitz .... music editor
Other crew
Ana Belén Abella .... production office assistant
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer
Maralyn Causley .... script supervisor
J. John Corbett .... title designer
Stéphanye Dussud .... adr voice
John Eccleston .... financial controller
Duck Grossberg .... data manager
Rubén Gómez .... assistant to location manager
Samson Jacobson .... office intern
Antonia Juanes .... production secretary
Ignacio Lozano .... assistant location manager
Gabriella Ludlow .... production legal
Liz Modena .... assistant accountant
Isabelle Neron .... production office assistant
David Ocaña .... production assistant: additional
Ana Palacios .... production coordinator
Alberto Poveda .... location manager
Léa Rinaldi .... behind the scenes director
Yan Ming Shi .... Tai Chi Master
Abi Sila .... production accountant
Hayley Stahl .... intern
Teddy Villalba .... assistant to location manager
Colin Walker .... office intern
William Welsh .... production assistant
Ryan Young .... office intern
Pedro Almodóvar .... personal thanks
Olatz Arroyo .... thanks
Elena Calvo .... thanks
Sandro Kopp .... thanks
Marisa Paredes .... personal thanks
Margrit Polak .... thanks
Sandy Wilson .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"No Limits No Control" - USA (closing credits title)
See more »
Rated R for graphic nudity and some language
116 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Canada:PG (British Columbia) | Canada:14A (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-11 | Germany:12 | Hong Kong:IIB | Japan:PG12 | Mexico:B15 | Netherlands:9 | New Zealand:M | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:15 | Switzerland:10 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:10 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | USA:R

Did You Know?

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 »
Factual errors: 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 »
[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!
See more »
Movie Connections:
References In a Lonely Place (1950)See more »
You on the RunSee more »


Is "The Limits of Control" based on a novel?
See more »
85 out of 129 people found the following review useful.
A film lover's dream, 19 June 2009
Author: Daniel Saner ( from Switzerland

This is a tough picture to review, although I can really only come to one conclusion: you have to watch it for yourself. Jim Jarmusch based it on the idea of making an "action movie without action", and I think that's pretty accurate. The film follows a mysterious man around Spain, where he meets with even more mysterious contacts and exchanges secret messages. Clearly he is on a mission, a dangerous and illegal one. But what is his job? Who does he work for? These questions will keep you on the edge of your seat. All the ingredients of a frantic crime thriller are there, yet the film keeps a slow pace. What exactly is going on here?

Never has it been so thrilling, beautiful, and entertaining to watch a man walk around. The audience never knows what to expect, everything could be significant. In contrast, the mysterious man never hesitates, everything he does is carefully planned and executed, according to plan. Clearly, someone is pulling the strings. Someone, somewhere, is "in control". The camera, however, focuses on this man, one cogwheel in a large machinery. You're always aware that you only see part of the picture, that everything would make sense if you could just zoom out and know a little more.

"The Limits of Control" plays with a lot of established film clichés, and it teases you with your expectations. You are familiar with the form Hollywood movies have converged to over the past decades, how they are put together and what they have in common. Mainstream productions carefully avoid surprising their audience because after all, some of them could be disappointed or irritated. You think you know what you're up against, because you've seen it before. But "The Limits of Control" will fool you. It does not care about conventions, it tells the story it wants to.

However, this means that the film actually expects you to have been spoiled by the countless movies you've seen. It helps to know a few things about film genres and eras, but it is downright essential to have seen a number of common spy movies, action flicks, mystery thrillers. If you're not familiar with the narrative conventions used in movies, you will most likely not get the point. This made me wonder whether it is acceptable to recommend a movie if it cannot be thoroughly enjoyed without having that kind of film experience beforehand. But in the end, movies are always about one thing: whether you will have a good time watching it. And I think it must have been years since I last left a theater so delighted.

The thing is that this wouldn't be the movie you show your friend who is only just starting to develop an interest in films. For those who have been devouring movies for some time, who know a thing or two about their strengths and weaknesses, and the way they tell stories, this film is an incredible piece of art. In any case, it does however require an open mind because it might initially be hard to "keep up" with the slowness of the movie. But if you can cope with anything more sophisticated than a Michael Bay movie, you should do fine. Just don't expect to have the story and all the explanations shoved down your throat. Half of the movie takes place in your head, because you are trying to make sense of what is happening.

In more technical aspects, De Bankolé gives a breathtaking performance. At first it might not seem like he's doing much, but then you realize how perfectly every move, every look, every word, spoken or unspoken, fits the scene. The film's mystery is built on his presence, and it must have been a terrible pressure to carry so much responsibility for the atmosphere of the movie. The result is a lead character that is several times cooler than any babbling wiseacre (à la Pulp Fiction) could ever be. I was also amazed by the appearances of Tilda Swinton and John Hurt. Not only their characters, but also their lines which are symbolic for the level this movie works on.

You know how movie reviewers sometimes have to look for that perfect moment for a screen capture? A frame that is beautiful to look at and, without any motion or dialog, is able to give readers an idea of the movie's style? It must be a hell of a task for this film, because you could take such a frame from almost any of the scenes. It is in this consistently high quality, in any area, that the experience of Jarmusch as a filmmaker really shows. Every moment, every scene is carefully set up, perfectly composed and just beautiful to look at, like a picture in itself. Every word spoken is deeply meaningful, almost every sentence is a one-line word of wisdom or food for thought. Sounds are carefully used, as are the minimal musical snippets. Often, there is just a very poignant silence.

I suppose that if you are trying to decide whether you are going to watch this movie, having heard what people say about it, you wonder whether you will be disappointed in the end, whether it will just be a succession of pointless scenes. This was also my concern, but I promise that you won't feel cheated in the end. I don't care for posh movies that try to be as "artsy" as possible just for the heck of it; "The Limits of Control" is genuinely entertaining, and it is as much a part of traditional cinema as it is a reflection upon it. It is a minimal thriller, a mystery feature in the true sense of the word. You will think, you will theorize, and you will simply enjoy taking in the sights and sounds. The dream-like feel, the questions, the thoughts will accompany you for a long time after you have left the theater.

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Just because you don't get it... superbartje
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Symbolism...please add, correct, help marligotx
At the end I got what it's all about..! patrick-kicken
Tell me why I should appreciate this film. babyxfirefly
Limits of Control vs Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen cubicledweller
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