Film Review 8: Limitless


‘Limitless’ is a 2011 American thriller film. It is directed by Neil Burger. The film is based on the 2001 novel ‘The Dark Fields’, written by Alan Glynn and in 2011 was changed to be called ‘Limitless’ to coincide with the film. The film stars Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro.




The Trailer


The Plot

‘Limitless’ is about Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), the depressed aspiring writer, who is ironically suffering from serve writers block, who gets dumped my his girlfriend. Whilst he is moping around he runs into his former brother-in-law Vernon. Vernon gives him an experimental drug called NZT, which allows a user to have limitless access to the brains capabilities.


The Narrative Structure

‘Limitless’ follows the circular narrative structure, as it starts off with Eddie on the balcony of a high rise apartment building and then cuts to an earlier point in the narrative. The audience are then taken through the narrative until they reach the point where Eddie is back on the balcony, where the film started.


Director and Actors

Director- The director of this film is Neil Burger. neil-burger

Here are some other films he has directed:

  • The Illusionist
  • Divergent
  • The Lucky Ones
  • Interview with the Assassin

The genre of his films vary, ranging from comedies to documentaries. Although limitless is a very good thriller film, I will not be researching any further into Burger films as this seems to be his only one in the genre of thriller.

Actors- As you can see, this film has a star-studded line-up with Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro. All three performed very well, even though the role of Robert De Niro wasn’t far from all the other characters he has ever played. Bradley Cooper was excellent at showing the contrast between a depressed ‘average-Joe’ who can only use 20% of their brain capacity, and a sharp, savvy white collar who can use the brains full potential. Abbie Cornish played a believable role of a confused and scared woman due to an immense change in her partner.


My Opinion

No matter how many times I watch this film, I seem to be so focused on what is happening. This is due to the terrific narrative of the film, it makes the viewer want to stay locked into the story. Another factor I liked was the editing that was done regarding filters to mark the difference from when Eddie was on NZT and when he was off it. When he was on it, everything was bright and full of colour, whereas when he was of it the picture was dull and colours weren’t as vibrant.

My criticism of this film would be there were are few mise-en-scene errors. This regarding what Eddie is able to do with limitless ability in his brain. This is because if humans can currently only use 20% of ones brain, that would mean someone on NZT would five times smarter that every man on the planet, wouldn’t you be more than a stock broker or a mayor? Also, I found it puzzling how the only outlaws after the most powerful banned substance in the world was not the cartel, not the mob, not ISIS, yet one Russian loan shark.


Would I Rate It?

I would give this film a strong 8/10



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