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Limitless (2011)

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With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access one hundred 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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1,464 ( 346)
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Eddie Morra
... Carl Van Loon
... Lindy
... Gennady
... Melissa
... Vernon
... Man in Tan Coat
... Pierce
... Kevin Doyle
... Morris Brandt
... Valerie
... Hank Atwood
... Mrs. Atwood
... Marla Sutton
... 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:

What if a pill could make you rich and powerful? 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

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

18 March 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dark Fields  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,907,302, 20 March 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$79,249,455

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$161,849,455
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper appeared in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Hustle (2013), and Joy (2015). See more »

Goofs

Shortly after Eddie borrows 100k from the Russian, he makes millions playing the stock market. Why didn't he pay the Russian back? 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 Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.8 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Cicada
Written by Richard Baluyut, Fontaine Toups and Edward Baluyut
Performed by Versus
Courtesy of Merge Records
By Arrangement with Bank Robber Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Limitless in intrigue and excitement at breakneck pacing

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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