IMDb > The Limits of Control (2009)
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)
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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 of mystery and silence 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?

The Finnish film Guitar refers to is La Vie de Bohème (1992) by director Aki Kaurismäki, a friend of Jim Jarmusch.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 Mystery Train (1989)See more »
El Que Se Tenga Por GrandeSee more »


Is "The Limits of Control" based on a novel?
See more »
95 out of 155 people found the following review useful.
A film of mystery and silence, 7 June 2009
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

It has been said that God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose perimeter is nowhere. In the beautiful and enigmatic The Limits of Control, director Jim Jarmusch puts it this way, "The universe has no center and no edges" and, "everything is subjective", or "reality is arbitrary". Based on a script of only twenty five pages, The Limits of Control is about an immaculately dressed but emotionally frozen hit man (Isaach de Bankolé) who goes from place to place awaiting further instructions. He has no overview of the entire game plan but waits for his next move whenever he meets the next contact.

Set in Madrid and Seville as well as some isolated villages in the South of Spain, the cinematography by Christopher Doyle, who has worked extensively with Wong Kar-wai, is filled with elegantly-composed images of dark streets, barren landscapes, city skylines, and world class paintings. Getting his instructions at the airport before leaving for Madrid from Creole, played by the French actor Alex Descas, de Bankolé is told simply to go to a café and look for the violin. Further instructions come from various people he meets along the way in the form of a greeting "you don't speak Spanish, right?" and the exchange of matchboxes, one of which contains a curious code which the hit man simply eats. De Bankolé hardly ever speaks other than to say "yes" or "no." We learn little about him other than he prefers two cups of espresso served in separate cups and that he practices Tai Chi. We also discover that he likes women because we can see that he is tempted by the naked beauty Paz de la Huerta who suddenly appears in his hotel room. Although he openly admires her backside, he tells her that he never engages in sex while he is working (though I've never seen anyone who is working do such little work). As de Bankolé goes from location to location, each scene becomes a variation of the one that came before. Included are some provocative sequences such as repeated visits to an art gallery in Madrid, and a scene inside a bar in which de Bankolé watches a rehearsal of an exquisite flamenco dance in which the singer delivers dialogue from the first scene of the film warning us like some spiritual guru about the limits of ego.

"Those who think they are important", he sings, "wind up in a cemetery – a handful of dust". Along the way, we are introduced to some of recognizable stars. Tilda Swinton in a platinum wig, white cowboy hat, and boots talks about film noir, saying how she admires characters that never speak. Luis Tosar talks about musical instruments. Youki Kudoh speaks about molecular reconfiguration and the things that are possible in science. John Hurt tells us about the origins of the word "bohemian". Gael Garcia Bernal talks about how consciousness can be altered by psychoactive drugs like Peyote. Finally, Bill Murray as the ugly American corporatist says that our minds have become polluted by all of the subjects that have been previously discussed.

Supported by a soundtrack of electronic music by the trio Boris, The Limits of Control is a film of mystery and silence and unexpected twists that is about the power of imagination and poetry to operate without arbitrarily imposed limits. Sensing that we are in a period of change, Jarmusch says, "I almost feel like we're really on the cusp of an apocalypse of thought because all of these old models that they tell us are reality are all crumbling." What the "apocalypse of thought" will look like is uncertain but the film has a hypnotic, dreamlike quality that challenges the distinction between what is real and what is a product of the mind. In the film's final sequence, de Bankolé surveys a compound guarded by masked security officers with guns. The next minute, we see him inside the compound confronting the object of his search. When asked how he got in, he simply replies, "I used my imagination." If you want to know how that occurs, I would echo the film's message and say – use your imagination. That's all that there is anyway.

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Just because you don't get it... superbartje
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Symbolism...please add, correct, help marligotx
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Limits of Control vs Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen cubicledweller
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