Limitless - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Limitless Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 21, 2011
Retooling Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of better living through chemistry ("The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde"), this nothing-but-a-star-vehicle is a cheerful enough time passer despite being an all out hollywood style endorsement and glamorization of drug use (i don't understand how it even got made!) and despite terribly underusing Robert friggen De Niro ("Bobby's on the set ... let's NOT use him, okay!")!?!?! Some interesting camera effects spice up a piece whose underlying message ("use drugs ... it's cool!") is nonetheless disturbing, if redeemable due to the fact that the work, with little to achieve with its premise other than a pleasant buzzing sensation, is very forgettable.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2011
An entertaining movie that you easily forget after seeing. The intriguing premise runs out of steam too quickly but this is at least compensated by a charming and charismatic Bradley Cooper who keeps you interested long after you had stopped caring about the story.
Super Reviewer
½ July 29, 2015
Yeah so, kinda fun. A man takes an experimental pill that enhances his natural abilities and makes him super efficient - at cleaning his apartment, at writing the next great American novel, at remembering pointless trivia to impress saucy co-eds, and at day trading with ferocious international businessmen. Naturally. The pacing is hip and bracing, and the introduction of the side effects with Anna Friel's made-under performance is piteous and daunting.

The end (or beginning, depending on how you look at it) is, of course, rather absurd with the vampirism thing and Eddie not having to face the "Flowers for Algernon" consequences of attempting to rise above his station. His meteoric climb to the top makes good use of Bradley Cooper's natural fast-talking cockiness, but even I'm a little over that trick.
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2011
An interesting concept about a guy taking a drug that enables him to use 100% of his brain at all times. Nice idea which isn't really brought across fully in my opinion as the film just seems to lack a kick. The story seems to wander across a few sub plots which don't really get explained too well and I found myself asking how did that happen? when did that happen? where did he get that? and why did he do that? Too many little moments like that happen throughout.

Of course the whole idea about humans not using 100% of their brains is complete nonsense. Over the course of a day we apparently use virtually all of our brain power, not all at once of course but spread out, as one section fires up another cools down like any machine. So this fantasy is just that...a nice fantasy but a cool one.

Yes the whole plot is quite neat but made in an unoriginal way. The guy starts off as a nobody but after taking the drug he is able to cheat life and get lots of money, girls, material things and a certain amount of power. Its a basic concept that has been done before, not entirely in this way of course but its a simple rags to riches tale really, very predictable. The acting from the main cast is stellar as you would expect which in turn really makes you believe what's going down, its definitely a thrilling ride. As the film progresses it does get quite tense as Cooper runs out of drugs, he has the mob after him for more whilst De Niro wants his big money deal sorted. It does get your palms sweaty for sure, you feel the tension.

There is some interesting camera work showing the effect of the drug, from a virtually dull black and white existence before to an almost bluray sharp pixel perfect colour burst once the drug is taken. A glorious visual feast that gives you an explosive sense of being high or alive for the first time. You can feel the characters sense of invigoration and liberation upon taking the drug, when it hits. What I didn't like was as the film progresses the people that take the drug go from being sort of super intelligent to also being a little super human too. When the effects start to weaken or they need the drug in a dangerous situation they just pop a pill and bingo! they're kinda super human again. They seem to be able to fight, run, leap, practically anything really which kinda spoils to idea, it goes overboard a bit.

The ending spoils the film too as Morra (Cooper) ingests the drug in a rather stupid and unrealistic way by lapping infected blood up off the floor from a recently dispatched baddie. That really seems like a rather dodgy thing to do surely, you could pick up anything young man! Plus there are more odd questionable moments along the way with a weak finale that again leaves you thinking wut?!
What does spring to mind is if this drug is so good and controllable, why doesn't everyone, mainly Van Loon (De Niro) just take the drugs themselves instead of relying on Morra for results. Too many questions for me.
Super Reviewer
½ August 28, 2014
For what's basically an "airport novel" story line without any surprising twists, there's enough action to keep the audience interested. Decent action and professionally made, earning this film a rating just slightly above average. It's worth the time if you're just looking for diversionary entertainment.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2011
A down at heel writer is offered a brain-enhancing drug after a chance encounter which seems to be the answer to all his problems, but soon he begins to encounter some adverse side effects that threaten his new life. I must admit, it's very refreshing to see a thriller that touts brain power rather than fire power as a solution to life's problems, and this stylish little indie-thriller initially intrigues with its fairly unique concept. Bradley Cooper convinces as both the directionless loser and suave sophisticate and Robert DeNiro provides some weighty support. It's a shame that when the real drama seems to appear (namely the worrying side effects to the drug and dilemma of financial success versus personal fulfilment) it's so quickly and easily glossed over in favour of a couple of action scenes and a generic twist. Thanks to the watchable performances and pacey direction it's always engaging however, and makes for an entertaining thriller that unlike Bradley, doesn't quite fulfil its promise.
Super Reviewer
½ January 12, 2011
Outstanding delivery of a pretty neat idea. Would you take a pill that could help you use 100% of your brain power, even if it made you an addict? The excellent camera work and editing raise this premise high above average, even though the story does not always have the momentum it'd need. However, the ending is satisfying and refreshingly amoral.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2011
A mesmerizing, stylish and totally addictive adrenaline-rush. A smart, fresh, bold and tremendously original film. It`s a sharp, wickedly funny, slick and dynamic edge of your seat thriller. A dazzling experiment that works with mad genius. Bradley Cooper gives a brilliant and incredible performance, he dominates the screen with his charisma, charm, humor and extraordinary talent. A movie star making performance. Robert De Niro is terrific. It`s Director, Neil Burger`s triumph. A well-crafted, well-acted and dazzlingly entertaining film. It delivers the perfect amount of edge and wit. It shatters the senses and pushes you to new and exciting limits.
Super Reviewer
November 26, 2012
Neil Burger does a superb job directing this vastly unique script. Led by a enthusiastic lead actor in Bradley Cooper and a more-than-different plot, Limitless opens your mind visually and mentally. 4/5
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2011
Visually beautiful and well acted, this is an interesting futuristic look at drugs which hasn't been seen for a while. If only a mind drug like that existed without the side affects!
Tired of Previews
Super Reviewer
½ September 28, 2011
Directed by Neil Burger, Relativity Media, 2011. Starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish and Anna Friel.

Genre: Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Question: If there was a pill that would make you smarter than anyone on the planet, would you take it? I am pretty sure I don't need to hear your response because I know mine and think we might feel the same. My hand is up in the air like Horshack with an absolute, "Ooh, ooh, ooh, YES!" That's what Bradley Cooper's character in Limitless chooses and what an entertaining story it was to watch.

Bradley Cooper plays a writer stuck with writer's block and a possible life block. He just can't get motivated, focus or stop wasting time to finish (or even start) his book. Fate steps in to give him that boosts he requires and BAM! Everything that seemed out of reach was suddenly the easiest thing to accomplish. However, when something comes too easily....well, you know the rest. (For some reason Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit' is playing in my head right now.)

I will stop there on the details of the story but I will discuss the actors in this tale. Limitless starred Bradley Cooper, of course, and Robert De Niro (the acting god). There were a few others in this movie but those two are the only I'm mentioning right now.

Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, who goes from a stagnant position to ramming speed with his intellect when he takes one of those clear pills. He started off playing defeated, lost and widely unattractive very well; however, when he is on the medication he portrays the overly confident, highly (understatement) intelligent, blue-eyed hunk even better. I believe it is very difficult, for an actor, to have to change the personality you are portraying from low to high to low and back again. Bradley Cooper does a fantastic job playing both sides of the coin.

Robert De Niro isn't in the movie all that much and I will admit I was a little surprised to discover that. I really thought he was going to be in it more. Nonetheless, whether it is five minutes, twenty-five minutes or longer, is it always a pleasure to watch that man work. When Cooper's character is in the same room as De Niro's character, he is usually on the medication and flaunting his intelligence. However, De Niro's character stands up to the intellect and holds his ground well. And you are pretty certain De Niro's character is not on the same drug. It sort of reminded me of acting....just try out "acting" De Niro. It just can't be done (or can it?). So those scenes were doubly fun to watch.

Limitless was a fun tale with a unique twist and a surprise ending. That does not happen often so catch this trifecta of a winner. You won't be disappointed.


My favorite part: If you know what I like - you should know it.

My least favorite part: There was one part that I didn't like. Let's just say I felt a little sick to my stomach watching it.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 105 minutes

Review: 7 out of 10
Super Reviewer
½ November 15, 2011
"Limitless"... the premise has limitless possibilities but takes very uninteresting turns. Little to no character development; when there's a hint of it about to pop up, the movie smothers it with its ridiculous solutions that no longer become about the character but about a substance. The script was lacking. One second, it leaves viewers out in the dark with its "elaborate" dialogue that consists of financial business but the next second, it becomes very elementary and downright cheesy. Bradley Cooper has talent - I'll give him that but the rest of the cast (except for the once again poorly casted, Robert De Niro) was not convincing at all. Hated the beginning, hated the ending, and just when it seems like "Limitless" has hope, it never manages to grow.
Super Reviewer
½ March 8, 2012
Limitless is the kind of film that asks you, what would you do in this far fetched but entertaining situation? Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a struggling writer that has been procrastinating for months. He stumbles across his ex-brother-in-law and is eventually offered a new kind of drug. This drug allows you to access every last part of your brain, allowing you to recall things you saw years ago, and just having the drive to succeed. You only have to hear things once for you to remember it. Of course it isn't all fun and games. Morra soon finds he is skipping large parts of his day, with no idea of what happened, and when he tries to lay off the drugs he becomes immensely sick. This is a story about trying to find an easy fix to lifes problems. Morra could easily finish his book if he just encouraged himself to do so. His antics spin wildly out of control, and as others latch on to his secret he becomes wrapped up in a world of money, deception, sex and even murder. Limitless really wants you to think about its premise which it does so effectively. I also enjoyed the fact it didn't try and weigh itself down with scientific "facts". It just gives you the idea and you can except it or not. There did seem to be a push at the end to really make this more action packed than it needed to be, but this is the kind of clever science fiction that I like. Part Twilight Zone, and part real life.
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2011
A good film with an interesting if far fetched plot. It has a decent cast and a few good twist and turns. Not as much action as I thought more of a thriller towards the end. However still enjoyable overall.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2012
This real life story of a man who gets hold of a drug that enables one to work to their full potential is watchable enough, but nothing that would make me want it go on limitless. While the director does a fair job with the storytelling, and changing names and maintaining the anonymity of the characters involved, that's not quite enough to fulfill my doze of entertainment. The director gotta take one pill, I guess.
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2011
Great concept for a movie. The premise is we only use 20% of our brain and imagine what we could achieve if we accessed more of our brain power? Eddie is an aspiring writer with writer's block. He bumps into his ex brother-in-law who gives him an untested drug which enables him to write his book in just four days, learn to play the piano and learn to speak various languages. But there are side effects to the drugs and many people are after him for this new drug.
Super Reviewer
½ July 21, 2011
A creative vision of a film exploring the realms of potential of the human body, this film pushes the full capabilities of the brain and the physical form toward into a highly sought after addiction.

Very much a 'what if?' type of film, that is both thought provoking and entertaining. Cooper plays a good role, but De Niro's presence in the film sadly insignificant, taking a backseat place.
Super Reviewer
½ December 1, 2011
This is an unintelligent vision of a sci-fi writer becoming a drug-addicted genius: It is disappointing in everything it attempts, and it finishes off with a huge cop-out.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2011
I was looking for an easy action movie and that's what I got. It actually started out ok, but there was a lot more potential. It's almost as if the writers or producers weren't really feeling it anymore in the last 20 minutes and rushed through it.
The acting didn't leave an impression whatsoever.
And this Bradley Cooper was voted sexiest man alive? Palease. To quote a fan of Ryan Gosling: "his left arm alone makes him the Sexiest Man Alive." True that!! :p
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