131 of 146 people found the following review helpful
A blocked writer (played by Bradley Cooper) with average intelligence and a very low drive for success comes into possession of an unreleased drug that makes him a super genius. The movie's premise is that we only use a very small percentage of our brains, and the drug gets the body to use 100% of the brain.
In the movie, the writer only has a limited supply of the drug with no way to get more. The plot thickens since the drug has side effects and others are after his supply.
If I could give half stars, I'd give this movie a 4 1/2. It was very good, and definitely worth seeing, but there have been some movies more deserving of the full 5 stars. Still, this movie has a lot going for it. Here what's good:
1. The premise of this movie is unique. It's a great fantasy. Who wouldn't want that level of smarts. He's able to protect himself, make a killing on Wall Street and even impress women by ordering dinner speaking Italian. Just pop a pill and you're able to pretty much conquer the world. Great concept.
2. I like movies with smart heroes. This movie has that - well sometimes. The trouble with our hero is that without the drug he's an average guy who's sincere but not all that interesting, smart or even very likable. And when he's on the drug he's almost all about making money and having fun.
In the characters favor, he does sincerely love a woman, and he honestly wants to be the better man she needs and deserves. Or at least to appear that way.
Regardless of his flaws, the movie pulls you in, and you'll care about Bradley's character. This is usually essential for a movie to be good, and this movie succeeds in that. Cooper does an excellent job portraying the character in all his states.
3. This is not a special effects movie, but the cinematography and special effects were really well done. They were a major part of moving the story along, helping you understand what was happening to Bradley Cooper's character, and helping you get inside his head.
4. There was some suspense, action and danger that made the story exciting. The fact that the drug was going to run out and had dangerous side effects worked similar to a ticking bomb, always in the back of your mind. The movie kept to a good pace. It was almost always interesting and sometimes exciting. There were interesting plot twists. You don't always know what's coming next.
Here's what's not quite as good:
1. I wanted to like the lead character even more. I didn't quite identify with him personally. However others might.
2. I would have liked the love story to have been more developed. I think it would resulted in pulling the audience into the story in a more intense way.
3. Of course De Niro is an amazing actor, however his role was kind of small and not particularly high impact. I don't think the role was a great fit for him.
Regardless, I'd definitely recommend this movie. It's exciting and interesting, and I'd watch it again. Anyone who likes sci-fi, thrillers and suspense will want to check this movie out.
217 of 245 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2011
I was taken in by the opening credits as an outline of a brain turns into a city. I am a big sucker for that microcosm/ macrocosm stuff.
Edward has writer's block. He has a book contract for some reason, yet hasn't written a word. His girlfriend, who was his meal ticket leaves him. Bummed out he decides to go live on a bunk bed at Dad's place in New Jersey, but then bumps into his ex-brother-in-law, who is a drug dealer. He offers Edward a pill that increases a person's use of their brain. They can recall everything they have seen or read and can correlate it to increase intelligence. The smarter a person is to begin with, the more data they have to work with. Edward is a smart guy to begin with, so he is able to start his book. The downside is that the pill wears off. Not only does one lose the abilities, but they get a little ADD, and throw up like a heroin addict. Too much of the pill causes a Mr. Hyde type of character including blackouts. Edward's supplier is murdered and Edward finds his stash of pills and a wad of cash.
Edward uses his ability to make money on Wall Street. He catches the attention of big time corporations as well as the Russian mafia. He quickly finds out people who take the smart pill eventually die from either taking too much or running out. Edward must try to balance his life.
I loved the concept. I loved how they did the drug effect with simple but effective camera tricks. Anyone who has come down off of cocaine, LSD, or heroin knows how Edward feels and he portrays a man coming off drugs very well.
I even liked the ending, although the last few minutes should have been stretched out. No nudity.
75 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2011
When we watched the preview we were drawn in by the action and with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro we figured it had to be good. We really liked the storyline and how Bradley Cooper uses being limitless to maximize his potential and with De Niro as the bad guy it just clicks, especially with the chemistry these guys have. This movie is filled with twists and turns over a pill that lets Cooper use 100% of his brain and of course what will happen when the pills run out? This movie definitely delivered on our expectations and if you like action movies it should exceed yours as well......
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2011
Mostly, films go in one side of my head and right out the other. If I can remember a film I saw Friday, on Monday, that's unusual.
It's been a couple weeks since I saw this. It's still there in my memory.
I think there are several reasons, not necessarily in order of importance:
1) The opening credits are worth the price of admission on their own. Whatever you were thinking when you sat down in the theater, you're transported immediately to somewhere else... wherever that will turn out to be. Amazing and outstanding!
2) The overall plot is Hitchcock-esque. You don't know what's going to happen, and cliches are out the window. As the story builds, the suspense is palpable.
3) The visuals... This isn't on the scale of an AVATAR, but parts of it approach The Matrix. This movie is really a trip-and-a-half.
4) The performances, and dramatic direction, are excellent, as are many other production factors, including music, that don't smack you in the face but which are indispensible to the experience.
5) The ending is entirely non-cliche and unpredictable. Hitchcock would be proud to have directed it.
So, although it isn't populated with super-star actors and actresses (yet), this is a blockbuster, destined for cult fame and longevity.
The more I think about it, the more I like it.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2011
My wife and I saw this in the theater when it first opened. We saw the trailer on TV and knew we would not be able to wait until it came on satellite. We were not disappointed. One thing that makes this movie really great is that it is easy to buy into the premise right away. A pill that lets you access 100% of your brain. That is where 99% of the fiction starts and stops - most everything else in the movie is very believable. The pill doesn't make you fly, or levitate things, or read minds, it just lets you use 100% of your brain. Imagine how smart you would be if you simply never forgot anything - even the stuff you didn't know you knew at all! This movie lets you peek into that world. It also shows how stupid you can be when you are so smart - the trouble the main character gets into could very easily be avoided (but then the movie would not be much to watch!).
The only disappointment was the "Extended Cut" - I didn't see much besides about 10 seconds of footage that added nothing to the movie. The trailer shows things that are never said in the movie - why not include those scenes in the extneded cut or at least on a deleted scenes reel. The alternate ending is not much of an alternate. Excellent movie, disappointing extras on the DVD.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
The character (Bradley) eventually overcomes the side effects and finally put it to good use. The drug works only if you're already smart. It doesn't work on uneducated thugs or single-minded tycoons. It works on ordinary average people who puts their education to good use. Another thing I liked about the character is that he didn't try to con everyone. He just made an honest money although going through the loan shark was a dumb idea. I liked De Niro's role and he really shines at being a bull-headed businessman. I also liked the ending where the character tweaked the bugs out of the drug and improved it so it becomes permanent. He could've been an FBI profiler solving tough cases or a doctor finding cures for deadly disease instead of a Senator but of course, that's just me.
PS - he reminds me of a TV show 'Chuck' where he fought a bunch of losers by remembering what he saw from an old Bruce Lee movie.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2011
I really enjoyed LIMITLESS with Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro and Abbey Cornish.
This is a very sharp & smartly done modern morality tale which raises the question...
If you were just an average Joe Blow, who was barely just getting by, living your life in a haze
of less than spectacular stimuli, opportunities, and results...or as a great person once said,
"In quiet desperation"...and the circumstances came along where you gained access to a magical drug
which could make you super sharp, more aware, intelligent, well-versed and worldly...WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Would you go the cliche' route of the FOOL'S PARADISE??---Doing as much mindless partying, sleeping
with the most beautiful people you could encounter, scamming to get as much money as you could, only to rip
through it in no time flat, only to scheme to get some more?---Or would you practice moderation and use your
new found gifts with benevolence, and for the betterment of not only yourself, but others?
The combinations and scenarios of what we MIGHT DO if we could have access to these powers are endless!
Bradley Cooper's character is living just such a marginal mediocre exsistence at first...
Until fate brings him into a world of amazing highs and privilege, but also mind-numbing lows and consequences,
which will test the metal of his very soul, and all who lay in his wake.
This movie is filled with thrills, intrigue, face-paced dialogue, plot twists, and plenty of action throughout.
Of course, there are always negative effects to anything that we do.
That whole yen v.s. yang thing...but ultimately, it's all about balance in life, right?
I watched this all the way through twice, back to back, and I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone.
Robert De Niro plays an old lion, who made his bones the old-fashioned way...
He had to reach through the flames to get it. He's a grizzled New York high level player
whose nobody's fool, and is not one to cross. He sees this new, seemingly-so-together, young lion,
(Cooper) as someone who could be a possible strong ally, as well as a possible threat to all he has built up.
The relationship between the two is one of mutual admiration, and mutual distrust at the same time.
The last scene between them is KILLER!
I will be buying this UNRATED EXTENDED VERSION within the week... ** 5 Stars ***
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2013
As far as the movie is concerned I thought it was great! We're big Bradley Cooper fans and this was an exciting drama that kept you guessing throughout the film. Quick synopsis for you without giving away too much... Bradly Cooper is a struggling writer with a lack of drive and focus who is floundering through life. There is a new drug in development that he is introduced to by way of his ex-brother-in-law which unlocks the other 90% of the brain which is not used. With this increased awareness the user can live without limits as they become hyper aware and able to access all information that they have previously been exposed to. Unfortunately, there are some terrible and debilitating side-effects and no shortage of people who would kill to get their hands on this drug for themselves.
As this is presently under $10 (think I picked it up on super sale for $4), I think it's worth adding to your movie collection. As someone who is working to move my movies into the cloud, I also picked this version up because it comes with a DigitalCopy code. While I generally like both iTunes (we have AppleTV's) and UltraViolet (works via our BluRay streaming) codes, for whatever reason the Limitless code is what I can only describe as a handicapped digital version.
The reason being you redeem it via iTunes, but the code does NOT entitle you to download or stream the movie through iTunes. There is also no digital backup available to you to re-download direct from iTunes should you have an issue with the computer you redeem the code on. Of the 50+ movies I have redeemed via iTunes, this is the ONLY MOVIE that is limited in this regard. I reached out to iTunes thinking it was bugged, but they referred me back to the publisher as they control the rights to the movie. As it stands, the only way to get this to a portable device is to direct sync it with iTunes and there is NO streaming possible via AppleTV. I know, first world problems... but still, it is extremely annoying if you want to have your digital content be as portable as possible.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2011
I had somewhat mediocre expectations going into the theatre so I was very pleasantly surprised. This was a good movie. Probably 4.5 stars. Fairly intersting story, but I also really enjoyed the camera work. I guess that is something I seem to notice now, anyway, it is pretty good. Also, I felt good after the movie, I wanted to go study and learn something :-)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2013
This is one of the two best movies (in my opinion) to come out in 2012! I love movies that keep me guessing and keep me engaged, never being an 'obvious' storyline that can quickly lead to boredom or repetition, and this movie certainly delivers! If you're an individual who loves watching challenging movies and not someone who simply watches movies to 'be entertained', this is the movie for YOU!