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Limitless (2011)

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With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Cindy Katz ...
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Detective (as Brian A. Wilson)
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Storyline

An action-thriller about a writer who takes an experimental drug that allows him to use 100 percent of his mind. As one man evolves into the perfect version of himself, forces more corrupt than he can imagine mark him for assassination. Out-of-work writer Eddie Morra's (Cooper) rejection by girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) confirms his belief that he has zero future. That all vanishes the day an old friend introduces Eddie to NZT, a designer pharmaceutical that makes him laser focused and more confident than any man alive. Now on an NZT-fueled odyssey, everything Eddie's read, heard or seen is instantly organized and available to him. As the former nobody rises to the top of the financial world, he draws the attention of business mogul Carl Van Loon (De Niro), who sees this enhanced version of Eddie as the tool to make billions. But brutal side effects jeopardize his meteoric ascent. With a dwindling stash and hit men who will eliminate him to get the NZT, Eddie must stay wired long ... Written by Relativity Media

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything is possible when you open your mind See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving a drug, violence including disturbing images, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

18 March 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dark Fields  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,907,302 (USA) (18 March 2011)

Gross:

$79,235,468 (USA) (1 July 2011)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bradley Cooper's father was ill with terminal cancer during the filming of this movie, and Cooper was accordingly relieved that the movie was shot in his hometown of Philadelphia and he could check on his father every day. See more »

Goofs

After the fight in the subway, the bruises on Eddie's knuckles appear and disappear between scenes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Eddie Morra: Obviously I miscalculated a few things.
Man: [banging door] Eddie! I know you're in there.
Eddie Morra: Why is it that the moment your life exceeds your wildest dreams, the knife appears at your back? Well, I'll tell you one thing... I will never let them touch me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.150 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Howlin' for You
Written by Dan Auerbach and Patrick J. Carney (as Patrick Carney)
Performed by The Black Keys
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Limitless in intrigue and excitement at breakneck pacing
19 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, or at least that's what authors tell us. Well motion picture directors would want you to not judge their films by the trailers or posters. Limitless is one of the few recent films to deny the misconceptions from its efficient marketing.

It's sold as Bradley Cooper gets smart drug fix from Robert De Niro then must defeat him through a series of cat and mouse games. In actuality Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is a struggling writer/slob who acquires a drug called NZT-48, a pill that allows him to recall everything from the briefest of encounters. In minutes he is transformed from a guy no one could believe has a book deal to a man no one can do without. Doors open, too many doors really. Eddie's problem solving solutions end up fanning the flames of questions around him, and before long it seems that everyone in the city is after him. The intricate dynamics that weave this trail of lies is the best since Match Point (2005).

Cooper's performance totally shocked me. He's able to go from panicked addict to conversationalist genius and back without losing the support of the audience. With no key player for Eddie to confide in or take along for the journey, the supporting performances are little more than plot points. Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro don't have nearly as much range to showcase in this screenplay. However with a little change, Anna Friel's one scene could have been expanded into something with more drama and likely give Limitless the emotional impact needed for some to take it seriously.

Enough cannot be said for how amazingly brisk and refreshing the production comes across. Nearly every scene has at least some artistic appeal. This is one of the more attractive films I've seen using the Red digital cameras and I have to give the colorist some praise for the warm palette used to show the influence of NZT-48. Thanks to the mind-altering plot, Limitless is one of the few movies where extravagant transitions make sense.

Limitless is indicative of a minor subgenre that sprang up around the dawn of the current millennium; I call this the genre of self-discovery. Examples of these films include Fight Club and The Beach and more examples can be found in Asian cinema (where I also believe Limitless drew inspiration for art direction). The primary goal of these metaphysical pictures is to delve into what makes us tick. Limitless asks the viewer to exam what's holding each of us back from being the perfect versions of ourselves, and by stories end this viewer certainly felt inspired.

I can see room to complain when it comes to the way Limitless approaches relationships. Remember, I'm seeing this as a specialty film about inner exploration and as such I'm allowing for some leeway in how director Neil Burger is able to keep the pace going while focusing almost exclusively on Eddie. Still, I would have appreciated one scene showing how his limitless knowledge afforded him relationship-handling tact.

Limitless has such a breathtaking pace that you aren't going to find the time needed to nitpick. Some of the action at movie's end is resolved with little plausibility, but it's too much fun to attack. At least the title of Limitless offers some truth in advertising.


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