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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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1,309 ( 269)
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Morris Brandt
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Valerie
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Hank Atwood
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Mrs. Atwood
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Marla Sutton
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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:

| | | |

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

Shia LaBeouf was cast as Eddie, but had to drop out after badly injuring his left hand in a car accident in July 2008. 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

Referenced in Pastor Mike Online: Episode #1.110 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Way It Was
Written and Performed by Daniel May
Courtesy of MasterSource Music Catalog
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Witty, uncontrollable and imaginative
1 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

An aspiring writer struggling with his love life, an apartment in shambles, a wasteful lifestyle and a writer's block, is left hopeless after being dumped for his ineptitude. He then stumbles upon a past acquaintance who introduces him to an experimental drug that could change his life forever. The intriguing proposition of the story centers around this pharmaceutical experiment that optimizes brain usage to 100% from the meager 20% that we normally use. The problem, that we soon discover, is that supply is limited..... and restricted.

Eddie (Bradley Cooper)'s attempts to write a novel go in vain and his inability to push himself to seek refinement is evident with his apartment, his relationship with his otherwise focused girlfriend and his dependent finances. At such a juncture, he stumbles upon his ex- brother-in-law who introduces an experimental designer drug that enhances brain functionality to harness all its potential. As he is then confronted by his landlord's wife who yaks at him for the pending rent, Eddie chooses an intelligent escape by taking one of the pills and then, whatever he has seen, heard, read or experienced in his life, is available to him as reference. Knowledge acquisition is rapid and so is its retention. Eddie soon discovers that he can achieve the impossible like Bruce Almighty and as greed takes over, he seeks to exploit the financial markets to make some astronomical gains. Overnight success draws inquisitive eyes of the ambitious and Eddie would need to maintain a low profile if he doesn't want to expose his secret to his phenomenal analytical abilities. Veteran investor Carl Loon (Robert De Niro) employs Eddie and gives him the incredible opportunity to make it to the big league in a very short time. Just when it all seems to be going his way, Eddie realizes that the pills have an adverse effect on his health and without a regular intake, he would almost lose his life. To add to that, he is pursued by a goon who now knows the secret to his supreme abilities and demands more pills for himself.

There is always some danger lurking around the corner in Limitless. Even though, the idea of an intelligence enhancing medication seems like the ultimate strength, one always feels restless and is aware of some form of imminent threat. It just seems too good to be true and that is primarily what grips you through this well paced screenplay.

The film looks great with the camera speeding through the streets and the stunning views of New York city. The mood resembles that of Neil Burger's previous film, 'The Illusionist' and this one is equally intriguing, if not more. The background score is well suited to the film's pulsating situations.

The beautiful Abbie Cornish plays the tense situations quite well and in confrontational scenes with Cooper, she emerges strong. Robert De Niro gets a Michael Douglas type role where he seems to enjoy throwing his power around. Good to see him threatening people around him because that is what he does best..... Bradley Cooper took complete advantage of the opportunity where he can play a definitive lead and he is quite convincing both as the struggling author and the coolest man in town with higher intelligence.

Director Neil Burger keeps the momentum going while keeping us glued with suspense, action and twists. A novel idea is simplified in his execution and he makes it easy to absorb it as a reality right from the beginning. He does avoid superficial scenarios and unnecessary drama and chooses to portray the hardships that Eddie encounters while he possesses such power. Limitless entertains with the possibilities and the consequences of uncontrollable powers. However, in the end, it is no 'Inception' in story telling or concept and if you're in with unreal expectations, it will surely disappoint but due credit must be given to Neil Burger for a good execution of the concept that even in the end, doesn't fall flat on its face.

  • 8.081 on a scale of 1-10.


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