The Limits of Control


Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

IMDb Rating 6.3 10 18,600


Downloaded times
December 26, 2019



Bill Murray as Frank Detorre
John Hurt as The Doctor
Paz de la Huerta as Beatrice
Tilda Swinton as Julia
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.01 GB
23.976 fps
116 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.82 GB
23.976 fps
116 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by javier-bernad 2 / 10 / 10

A boring piece that ends up enraging the viewer

Jim, this is probably the most boring film I have seen in ages, and I am a fan of Eric Rohmer so I do not mind slow movies. Each scene is a copy of the one preceding it and the signs you throw at us are meaningless, double cups of coffee and eating little pieces of paper included. After the third paper eating session I started to get angry. I take it you suffered from: a) an overdose of cocido madrileno while you were shooting in Madrid, or b) a Hemingway-style infatuation with everything Spanish which took you to the streets of Madrid and Sevilla. In this last case, a documentary would have likely been a better option. I bought this DVD because I loved Down by Law. Please go back to your roots.

Reviewed by Lemmywinks616 10 / 10 / 10

A Zen Masterpiece!

Sit back, open your mind, watch the magical pictures genius cinematographer Chris Doyle paints and let Jarmusch take you to a new world. This movie is an instant classic, uncompromisingly inviting the viewer to fill in the blanks while being enchanted and entertained. When the lights came up at the end of the screening, I wanted it to go on for hours more. Of course it can be hard work staying with such a quiet, obscure plot, but anyone who walks into a Jarmusch expecting Crank 2 is bound to be disappointed. Comparisons with Dead Man are inescapable, but possibly have been overemphasized... The Limits are a very different animal: Visually, the potent use of color alone, sets it far apart (Theories on the use of dark orange, anyone?) and -despite appearances- I think Limits is a far darker vision. The repetition of the "La vida no vale nada"-poem is a reminder of a deep angst and deliberate struggle with meaninglessness at the heart of the story. Isaach De Bankole's stunning features serve as an anchor throughout, although I found his carefully one-note, almost robotic performance a bit too much in some scenes. This would be my only real criticism. -The fact that the Lone man takes himself so seriously had me longing for a moment of humanity, self-deprecation or exhaustion every now and then, just to keep the audience with him and stop his extreme of cool from sliding off into seeming arch. He presents a superego without an id or an ego- Romance or passion are foreign to him, physical needs don't go beyond caffeine and tai-chi. He doesn't even sleep. Seemingly representing the cinema-goer entering the film, the protagonist enters the foreign world of Spain. Observing, receiving information, never responding, never engaging- except to destroy a cell phone. (Nice hint, Mr Jarmusch!) He is presented with philosophical ideas from every person he meets, but never replies. Just like an audience can only engage with any film it sees internally. The final act -and only real action- of the film could be read as the conscious choice to not submit to the controlling, disillusioned machine of "Hollywood cinema", but to limit it's control and remain true to the potentially illusionary values presented by his matchbox-giving guides. To deliberately choose a subjective path less traveled by. Every conversation -or rather monologue- is left hanging in the air and begs to be continued in the viewers mind. Tilda Swinton, looking futuristically sexy yet classical in her role as a sort of incarnation of cinema, tears open the meta-reality especially far when she lightly observes how much she likes people sitting silently in films. Followed by a spell of the characters sitting silently on screen. Notably, she is the only one who gives Lone Man more than just a note. Her matchbox contains diamonds as well, as if Jarmusch wants to say: "Science, music, sex etc all give me something, but film is where I am given the most precious thing." As his surroundings change from modernist Madrid, to Gothic Seville, to the bare bones of the Andalusian desert it is as if the Lone Man is traveling backwards in time, absorbing, with every encounter, one of the trappings of an artistic/ bohemian life that stands in the against the idea of societal control: Concepts of music, films, sex, hallucinogens are each absorbed with the ingestion of the papers in the matchboxes. His final encounter with the Bill Murray character erases the personification of control itself, in the form of a corporate/political caricature of the ultimate freudian father figure, leaving the Lone Man at a point of rebirth as he finally takes off his silk suit and fades into the embracing mass of humanity... His final matchbox note is blank. -No more control. The poetic sensitivity, originality and sheer ambitiousness of this movie make me want to get down on my knees and thank Mr Jarmusch and Focus Features for making it. We need more films like this!

Reviewed by howard.schumann 10 / 10 / 10

A film of mystery and silence

It has been said that God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose perimeter is nowhere. In the beautiful and enigmatic The Limits of Control, director Jim Jarmusch puts it this way, "The universe has no center and no edges" and, "everything is subjective", or "reality is arbitrary". Based on a script of only twenty five pages, The Limits of Control is about an immaculately dressed but emotionally frozen hit man (Isaach de Bankolé) who goes from place to place awaiting further instructions. He has no overview of the entire game plan but waits for his next move whenever he meets the next contact. Set in Madrid and Seville as well as some isolated villages in the South of Spain, the cinematography by Christopher Doyle, who has worked extensively with Wong Kar-wai, is filled with elegantly-composed images of dark streets, barren landscapes, city skylines, and world class paintings. Getting his instructions at the airport before leaving for Madrid from Creole, played by the French actor Alex Descas, de Bankolé is told simply to go to a café and look for the violin. Further instructions come from various people he meets along the way in the form of a greeting "you don't speak Spanish, right?" and the exchange of matchboxes, one of which contains a curious code which the hit man simply eats. De Bankolé hardly ever speaks other than to say "yes" or "no." We learn little about him other than he prefers two cups of espresso served in separate cups and that he practices Tai Chi. We also discover that he likes women because we can see that he is tempted by the naked beauty Paz de la Huerta who suddenly appears in his hotel room. Although he openly admires her backside, he tells her that he never engages in sex while he is working (though I've never seen anyone who is working do such little work). As de Bankolé goes from location to location, each scene becomes a variation of the one that came before. Included are some provocative sequences such as repeated visits to an art gallery in Madrid, and a scene inside a bar in which de Bankolé watches a rehearsal of an exquisite flamenco dance in which the singer delivers dialogue from the first scene of the film warning us like some spiritual guru about the limits of ego. "Those who think they are important", he sings, "wind up in a cemetery – a handful of dust". Along the way, we are introduced to some of recognizable stars. Tilda Swinton in a platinum wig, white cowboy hat, and boots talks about film noir, saying how she admires characters that never speak. Luis Tosar talks about musical instruments. Youki Kudoh speaks about molecular reconfiguration and the things that are possible in science. John Hurt tells us about the origins of the word "bohemian". Gael Garcia Bernal talks about how consciousness can be altered by psychoactive drugs like Peyote. Finally, Bill Murray as the ugly American corporatist says that our minds have become polluted by all of the subjects that have been previously discussed. Supported by a soundtrack of electronic music by the trio Boris, The Limits of Control is a film of mystery and silence and unexpected twists that is about the power of imagination and poetry to operate without arbitrarily imposed limits. Sensing that we are in a period of change, Jarmusch says, "I almost feel like we're really on the cusp of an apocalypse of thought because all of these old models that they tell us are reality are all crumbling." What the "apocalypse of thought" will look like is uncertain but the film has a hypnotic, dreamlike quality that challenges the distinction between what is real and what is a product of the mind. In the film's final sequence, de Bankolé surveys a compound guarded by masked security officers with guns. The next minute, we see him inside the compound confronting the object of his search. When asked how he got in, he simply replies, "I used my imagination." If you want to know how that occurs, I would echo the film's message and say – use your imagination. That's all that there is anyway.

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