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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.

Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Writer:

Jim Jarmusch
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Isaach De Bankolé ... The Lone Man
Alex Descas ... The Creole
Jean-François Stévenin Jean-François Stévenin ... The Frenchman
Óscar Jaenada ... The Waiter
Luis Tosar ... Man with Violin
Paz de la Huerta ... The Nude Woman
Tilda Swinton ... The Blonde
Yûki Kudô ... Molecules
John Hurt ... Man with Guitar
Gael García Bernal ... The Mexican
Hiam Abbass ... The Driver
Bill Murray ... The American
Héctor Colomé ... Second American
María Isasi María Isasi ... Flamenco Club Waitress
Norma Yessenia Paladines 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English | Spanish | Arabic | French | Japanese

Release Date:

19 September 2009 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

No Limits No Control See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,820, 3 May 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$425,025, 28 June 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Óscar Jaenada crossed paths with Jim Jarmusch when the director was scouting Madrid for locations, and was such a fan of his work that couldn't help but to asked him for a role once he knew he was shooting a movie in Spain. 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

"NO LIMITS NO CONTROL" at the end of the closing credits See more »

Connections

References La Vie de Bohème (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

""
Written & Performed by Boris
Courtesy of Boris
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Impressively photographed, slow but involving and never a bore
15 July 2009 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

Someone needs to tell Jarmusch and like-minded directors and writers that monotone conversations about the nature/meaning/origin of so-and-so are to art films what sweaty men walking away from explosions in slow motion are to big-budget post-Bruckheimer action flicks. For all of Jarmusch's talk in his interview with Gavin Smith in Film Comment about avoiding clichés he seemed to fall into that trap pretty easily. Much of the dialogue in the film is really quite horrible, shallow, miserable artsy nonsense. Then you have some conversations, particularly in the latter half of the film, which are absolutely wonderful. You also have to look at the fact that the 'horrible' dialogue in the previous conversations ultimately worked as they were necessary for the thematic aspects of the film to make sense in the beautifully confusing way they do. Glad to say I was wrong about Jarmusch being the emperor's new clothes and that "The Limits of Control" is a spectacular aesthetic achievement thanks to both Jarmusch and DP Chris Doyle's work. It's absolutely wonderful overall, leading up to an absolutely fantastic final thirty minutes. It has its flaws and certainly could've done without people approaching and leaving in slow motion which just seemed really cheesy but overall this is just a top-notch film, and the comparisons made to Rivette films like "Pont du nord", "Paris nous appartient", and "Out 1" in the aforementioned Film Comment interview by Gavin Smith and Jarmusch himself not only make sense, but are well-deserved. A cinematic enigma, and nothing is more attractive to me than that.


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