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The Limits of Control
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The Limits of Control

2009
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 56m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 46.7% from 852 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(851)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 27 Jan 2010
72
63rd
007 on xanax.
Rated 21 Jul 2009
50
48th
In my theatre, someone asked, "Did we just watch some black guy fucking walk around & change clothes every so often?" to which his friend replied, "Titties." Sad thing is, that isn't so reductive as one would hope. Gorgeously filmed by Chris Doyle, but its focus on how our perception is colored and manipulated -- by commerce, by science, by art and, of course, film -- doesn't really pay any dividends. Interested in power dynamics and agency, but time could be better spent reading some sociology.
Rated 20 May 2009
90
93rd
Fuck all y'all, this is fantastic.
Rated 14 Feb 2010
74
40th
The film is slow, repetitive and somewhat lifeless, but it still has a sense of meditation that makes it intriguing. In fact, it's the little lively pieces that stand out of the film's conscious rut that were most jarring. The film references Jarmusch can't help making, the multitude of curious but quickly disposed characters, and a climax that serves little purpose. The dissonance between the film's visual style, its character design, and general tone keep each aspect from being fully effective
Rated 11 Mar 2010
90
92nd
This is my favorite Jarmusch since Dead Man. Sure, the dialogue will strike some as pretentious; everyone is a philosopher--one references Tarkovsky's Stalker, while another considers the usage of the word "bohemian." Anyhow, it's a pleasure to watch and hear (Boris!), cool, minimalistic, a bit Lynchian. It's like movie meditation: hypnotic, repetitive, droning, aimlessly transcending. The Lone Man fills himself with all he sees, understands the limits of control; the limits of language.
Rated 14 Feb 2010
5
44th
All of Jarmusch's past films have had great dialogue. This one, not so much. There are some great moments to be found here though, as expected. My favorite brief encounter was obviously Paz de la Huerta. Tilda Swinton was the worst. It looks stunning but it became too repetitive for its own good, almost like he had to fill 2 hours so the same lines and motions were gone through. I still liked some of it but this is my least favorite from Jarmusch. Disappointing cause I love the guy.
Rated 24 Oct 2011
25
2nd
I've read that this is supposed to be "an action movie with no action", a zen koan, or a Rivette-style puzzle. All of those are apt descriptions. So is "boring as fuck". The meditative quality that the film strives for is not present. Just because nothing happens doesn't make it meditative. Jarmusch is merely making a stylistic choice, an empty gesture. The film references LADY OF SHANGHAI, STALKER and LA VIE DE BOHEME. Go see any of those, they're all far better than this navel-gazing nonsense.
Rated 11 May 2010
40
25th
Jarmusch has been close to pretentious before. Now he finally goes overboard.
Rated 21 May 2010
61
17th
It's a strange facade of a great movie that is completely hollow. I found myself scratching my head at the end of this wondering what the heck it was about, and after an hour had passed I had completely forgotten everything about it except for Paz de la Huerta's nipples.
Rated 19 Nov 2009
80
59th
"La vida no vale nada."
Rated 09 Apr 2010
44
16th
perfect boredom
Rated 25 Dec 2009
85
85th
I don't even know why and how it works. Maybe it's the espresso or his immaculate suits.
Rated 15 Jun 2009
70
24th
would have been so so great without letting the actors actresses speak the whole film through. but they do. and it's horribly written. nothing but silly, brutally forced "let me just explain the world/universe/life"-monologs. but, as said, the rest is fantastic. jarmusch in colour is a pleasure.
Rated 23 Mar 2010
50
28th
Beautifully filmed, but took me 2 sessions to view because I fell asleep halfway through :/
Rated 08 Sep 2013
43
39th
If Jarmusch intended this as a parody of what non-cinephile types imagine "pretentious European art films" to be like, he sure had me fooled. It does look beautiful, but Chris Doyle's time could be better spent elsewhere (like with Wong Kar-wai *ahem*). I have to give Jarmusch credit for cashing in all his "art film" credit on something as willfully ponderous as this, but at the same time he's always struck me as a bit of an art school poseur and this film simply reaffirms my suspicions.
Rated 07 Jun 2014
6
83rd
repetitious, self-referential and utterly deadpan, this is another jim jarmusch film which i think i like but ultimately have no idea what to think about. rewatch september 2017: i like it.
Rated 26 Oct 2010
76
61st
A highly structured, repetitive flow of a film. Jarmusch draws it out, matching the pacing perfectly to the Boris score , enough that the later flamenco feels out of place. The cameos (except de la Huerta's) don't quite gel with this rhythm, but it suits the more solitary sections. The real power here lies in the image, Bankolé's statuesque, color shifting form against the graceful curvatures through the frame. In many ways it nearly seems to be more Christopher Doyle's movie than Jarmusch's.
Rated 28 Mar 2010
65
40th
The quality of this movie depends on your ability to overinterpret. I'm obviously not very good at it, because even though I found a relatively logical interpretation of what I saw, I couldn't enjoy the movie very much.
Rated 21 May 2010
55
32nd
So hard to rate, since it exists on the fine line between 'interesting' and 'pretentious nonsense'. While the repetitive nature gets annoying, the cinematography is wonderful. While the dialogue seems little more than some philospophical ramblings, that one chick was naked the whole time. Gah, so many conflicting emotions!
Rated 30 Nov 2012
20
2nd
This beautifully shot and painstakingly constructed film is a self-indulgent bucket of hogwash.
Rated 01 Sep 2010
1
8th
This wasn't interesting at all. Nice camera work which is all the praise I can give it. Incredibly boring. Such a wanky film in all aspects. Philosophical my balls.
Rated 24 Dec 2010
70
63rd
Isach De Bankolé has one of those great "film faces". Absurdist in tone and full of references to other films (many of which i surely missed other than "Le Samourai" ofc). Chris Doyle's cinematography is great, as is to be expected.
Rated 26 Apr 2024
50
26th
Mysterious but not very interesting, even if the ingredients for a much better film are definitely there. I'm generally a big fan of Jarmusch's movies--his laid-back approach tends to make for a fascinating and relaxing viewing experience, but in this instance it made for a pretty infuriating one. Might need to revisit.
Rated 04 Dec 2010
72
44th
I guess I'll try using my "imagination" next time I try to break into a heavily-guarded compound.
Rated 30 Dec 2010
50
30th
Never have a movie been so beautifully shot and had so horrendous dialogue. A shame.
Rated 16 Jan 2010
76
75th
Stunning cinematography and marv scenes. All actors did they part very nice and I adored the mood of this mystic story and it's multitude details, though it did not build up anything remarkable in the end. Paz in black, vintage framed glasses was hot, but comic Bill Murray not.
Rated 19 Aug 2014
54
73rd
Would not be very surprised if this is the highest I ever rank a film by Jim Jarmusch.
Rated 16 May 2012
95
88th
I actually think this is an extremely interesting movie about 'the limits of control' (shockingly enough), both on an individual level as well as on an international level. The ideas in the movie as well as the amazing cinematography more than justify some of the pretence.
Rated 15 Jan 2010
77
79th
An untold story, giving so many thoughts. And really great pictures.
Rated 16 Feb 2012
55
17th
Nice to look at, painful to watch.
Rated 22 Oct 2016
79
52nd
How the hell he got to make this with not telling financiers what it's "about" is beyond me. Good that he did though. Surrealist journey with no apparent point, masterfully executed.
Rated 07 Mar 2012
75
18th
An allegory for Jarmusch S-ing his own D...
Rated 07 Sep 2016
75
82nd
Dude why did you spoil The Lady from Shanghai for me?!
Rated 14 Jun 2012
70
19th
I get the feeling there's some crazy stuff here, but I can't tell you what that stuff is, to be honest. Of all of Jarmusch's films, this one is the most challenging. Questions abound throughout the whole thing. I mean, is this guy's life supposed to be so damn cyclical? Luckily, Jarmusch alleviates it with appearances from people like Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray, which at least keeps things fresh.
Rated 30 Dec 2011
85
88th
I used my imagination.
Rated 27 Mar 2011
69
43rd
In this "modes of transport and several languages with bad accents" movie you can find everything that makes Jarmusch movies interesting, great cinematography, great score and interesting moments. But the flaws of Jarmusch movies are more abundant in this one compared to others , thus it is not my favourite. It came together nicely towards the end, but that still depends on far-fetched interpretation. Besides, the main guy should have eaten that last map too, for the sake of consistency.
Rated 06 Dec 2010
0
1st
I haver never in my life been so bored. Jarmusch tries to be self-referential in a funny way and fails miserably! even Gael couldn't save this movie....I really hated it.
Rated 06 Jun 2017
73
78th
(Viewed 05/12/11): An arthouse joke or a legitimate entry? Regardless, T.L.O.C is suffused with a cockeyed assurance in its own wayward vision. It plays like a quasi-parodic amplification of Jarmusch's trademark style: a mysterious, borderline mute, protagonist, a languid pace, cryptic dialogue and stoner philosophizing. Bankole is strangely compelling, and Doyle's photography makes the most of his angular features and the beautiful landscapes he travels through. The Limits of Tolerance.
Rated 03 Dec 2014
80
79th
"The best films are like dreams you're never sure you've really had. Sometimes I like it in films when people just sit there, not saying anything"
Rated 08 Apr 2020
90
97th
The Limits of Control is profoundly elusive, but it's been a long time since I've seen such a captivating movie. It's kaleidoscopic if you let it. It might not be easy for everyone to ride the crest of this movie's wave. Unlike most movies, it doesn't tell you how it's supposed to be watched. It exists in its details, which is why it's so frustratingly difficult to write a review on. If you're willing to drown in these details, it might just be the movie for you.
Rated 11 Jan 2021
60
60th
The film has a very distinct and for the most part consistent style and atmosphere. Cinematography, camera movements, colours, tropes, music, grounded performances - it all more or less works well to create a slight atmosphere of contained intrigue and wonder, moving at a steady pace to what feels like an unfulfilling ending. Alas the film, albeit its great ensemble cast (Gael García naturally stole the show) and tight execution, leaves the sour taste of a "style over substance" flick.
Rated 13 Dec 2009
70
15th
Highly experimentally. This film leaves most of the story to the viewers imagination. In the beginning its intruiging, but after a while this film just bored me.
Rated 08 Jul 2009
93
89th
Limits of Control isn't the typical Jarmusch. All his former movies lived by lively conversations between the protagonists ( coffee & cigarettes might be the best example ).Now you have to "fight" yourself through many monologues, cause the loner's only listening. Despite the fact that nothing really happens ( at a first glance ) Jarmusch made everything right in my mind with many beautiful shots and the right hand for atmosphere and details. Great Movie
Rated 20 Jul 2011
70
72nd
It's only pretentious if you don't get it! Stop using that word to describe films that are simply difficult! Think first about this man's ritual existence, his fierce adherence to rigidity, and his thundering silence in the face of art and beauty. Then think for a few minutes about what purpose that might serve in a film such as this. What is Jarmusch attempting to convey? I swear to you it's not all pointless.
Rated 12 Aug 2015
50
18th
It's like there's a good movie embedded underneath lackluster elements. If I sound like an asshole by writing that, it's because I am. But also because I felt like this as I was watching it.
Rated 27 Jan 2011
65
39th
one of the most gorgeous films i have seen.. with one of the worst storylines ever. what a shame. badass drone soundtrack though.
Rated 22 Aug 2015
80
70th
A little long for a hazy metaphor for the power of art, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Rated 31 Jan 2011
1
17th
De Bankolé has a really interesting face, de la Huerta looks good naked, but the dialogues and plot are too calculatedly nonsensical to be tolerable.
Rated 07 Feb 2013
43
15th
Boring and interesting in about equal measure.
Rated 15 Nov 2011
75
71st
Jarmusch favourite Isaach Bankoulé as a hitman traveling through Spain, running into cryptic contacts who give him hints on where to go next, all of which basically add up to "make it up as you go along". Everyone makes sure he doesn't speak Spanish, then offers him vital clues (not to the plot, but to the reading of it) in untranslated Spanish. Every single shot here could be put in a museum, and your typical slow-moving Jarmusch story which is more about impressions and ideas than actual plot.
Rated 19 Feb 2016
18
96th
Star Rating: ★★★★★
Rated 04 Jul 2010
75
64th
Brilliant but for the dialogue, which was by turns facile, stilted, and altogether distracting when written by Jarmusch. With lines like, "Reality is arbitrary," and "Everything is subjective," the interconnected themes of devil-may-care relativism and creative free play collapse into nothing short of nihilism, which is to say, realism of the most unimaginative sort. Leaves one wishing Jarmusch would devote himself to silent filmmaking.
Rated 21 Jul 2010
84
76th
Suave.
Rated 07 Dec 2009
83
33rd
slow, repetitious, minimalistic..... yet strangely intriguing. too bad the ending failed to deliver a much needed crescendo.
Rated 14 Dec 2012
34
4th
I saw this while visiting a girl friend who was teaching in rural France. So boring and unbearable. It's almost like a parody of an art film.
Rated 21 Jun 2010
87
83rd
A visual and auditive experience. It's one of these movies where you can lose yourself into, just following the course of actions, not judging the way it unfolds, but just embracing it as a reality. The soundtrack is flawless. Spain provides an hypnotic landscape, which paired with the droning music, it displays its true colors. The dialogue reminds me a bit of Tarantino's trademark, seemingly unimportant until it arrives to the focal plot device: flux of information and experiences.
Rated 24 Apr 2012
70
73rd
new challenge to mainstream esthetics.
Rated 31 Dec 2012
40
11th
I guess there is such a thing as a limit to Jarmusch's hypnotic silence, because this is unquestionably his worst, most pointless film. All the ingredients are there for his usual success, but all of it felt completely hollow. Christopher Doyle's camera work is nothing short of amazing, and it's just wasted on the the most insulting series of scenes rife with cryptic nonsense so insultingly stupid that you'd think you were watching an avant garde student film. A thorough disappointment.
Rated 16 Dec 2011
59
12th
I usually like Jim Jarmusch's work but I was disappointed in this film. I could forgive the movie for being slow if there was a better payoff at the end. A good cast is wasted in this film.
Rated 27 Mar 2010
39
17th
Way too arty.
Rated 19 Nov 2010
15
21st
"Folly of the most pretentious order, The Limits of Control is a meaningless stylistic immersion from the typically on-point and perceptive Jim Jarmusch." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 15 May 2011
75
47th
Tomei contacto com este filme principalmente por causa da banda sonora (Boris, Earth, Sunn 0))), entre outros). O filme é interessante, passado em Espanha. Tem o seu próprio ritmo (lento) e é muito críptico em termos de argumento, deixando muita da interpretação da sua história ao espectador. Isaac de Bankolé, que apenas conhecia da minha série preferida 24, dá corpo a um homem sem nome, em que salvo erro, aparece em todas as cenas do filme, embora com pouquíssimas falas. Gostei.
Rated 27 Jul 2011
45
21st
Paz de la Huerta hatrina.
Rated 12 Nov 2009
1
4th
Every five minutes or so, I had to pause this movie to pry my eyelids open with a crowbar -- and then jam a fork into an outlet. You couldn't even classify it as 'arthouse'. It's an infuriatingly passive and mind-numbing watch as you follow some guy as he sits at cafes, orders his drink, and talks to Tilda Swinton (in one of the dumbest conversations ever put on film, by the way).
Rated 24 Dec 2010
1
0th
Jim Jarmsuch has been responsible for many of the dullest hours ever spent at the movies. His new The Limits of Control is no different.
Rated 02 Jun 2014
8
38th
Easily the hardest Jarmusch film to get through. A bit too slow for me, but there is something here. It would be nice to watch this movie with those who enjoy[ed] it and reflect on what they thought.
Rated 01 Apr 2016
68
19th
Well filmed, very minimalistic, a bit boring.
Rated 11 Jan 2010
74
54th
I'm not even pretending to understand it, although I have a good hunch. It looks quite good and is somewhat interesting in all it's boredom.

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