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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

Isaach De Bankolé exchanges matchboxes throughout the film with "Le Boxeur" (The Boxer) written on them, the name of his character in 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

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

Connections

Edited into The Rotten Tomatoes Show: Watchmen/Shuttle/12 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Saeta
Performed by La Macarena, vocal
Recorded in Seville, Spain, Early 1950's
Courtesy of The Alan Lomax Archive
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Jim, next time you get a midlife crisis, buy a Harley like the rest of us
1 September 2009 | by lefaikoneSee all my reviews

I think I can somehow imagine what Jarmusch was trying to deliver with this - some sort of an existentialistic feeling of being abandoned in this world, and how arts and music etc. reflect our world-view and life in general. May have worked in theory, but definitely not in practice. To me, Jim Jarmusches works are all about cutting the technical nonsense to the minimum, and replacing it with powerful inner depth, such as interesting and multileveled characters - this one seemed to be the other way around.

The whole thing smelt like new wave and Godard ten miles away, with the whole style, and all the references to it (for example the Spanish girl holding the gun to Bankolé's face was almost exact reference to Godard's Made in U.S.A.) - and I didn't like the scent of it one bit. It was superficial, and didn't evoke any feelings in me. It was like Jarmusch was trying to speak with a language that wasn't his own. And the whole anti-capitalist "black James Bond" theme came as just naive to me.

About the only things that left me a good taste in my mouth, was the feeling of loneliness and emptiness that it delivered, plus John Hurt's short appearance with his monologue with the Kaurismäki- reference. That's about it, and even the mood was almost ruined by the two-pence Neil Young that kept on howling on the back.

Never would have believed to say this about a Jarmusch movie, but it was a huge disappointment.


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