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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars stylish and something different-so beware
Im just glad that I wasnt told anything hinting towards what this film was about before watching-that would've spoilt the film completely for me (amazon doesnt help with its 'man on a dangerous mission' description). Many in the press no doubt were, which arguably to some extent wouldnt have helped their conflicting or mediocre reviews (its either a great 'arty' film with...
Published on 22 Jun 2011 by Scott

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars METAPHOR FOR LIFE
The movie is slow with very little action, and dialogue which repeats itself with every new matchbox. A quiet unnamed man meets with two guys, at an airport, who give him very little instructions. They send him to Spain to meet people in order to get information which he must piece together. Our loner (De Bankole) carries along a simple carry-on bag but has 3 changes of...
Published 14 months ago by The Movie Guy


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars METAPHOR FOR LIFE, 4 Oct 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The movie is slow with very little action, and dialogue which repeats itself with every new matchbox. A quiet unnamed man meets with two guys, at an airport, who give him very little instructions. They send him to Spain to meet people in order to get information which he must piece together. Our loner (De Bankole) carries along a simple carry-on bag but has 3 changes of suits that are never wrinkled. He wears a different colored suit in each city. He drinks espresso with two cups, making him easy to identify to his contacts. He does Tao-Chi at night, most likely to relax from all that caffeine. The airport is symbolic of the gateway where souls pass.

The contact code phrase is "You don't speak Spanish, right?" spoken in Spanish. The counter phrase is "No." Once contact has been established, the contact talks about life and uses a phrase from the original airport conversation. At this point they swap matchboxes. Our loner then opens the box and pulls out a small piece of paper with numbers and letters on it, some sort of code. From what I gather he quickly deciphers the code mentally, afterward he eats it. Symbolic for man getting hints or clues from God, but not knowing what they are. Early on he meets a woman (the one in glasses on the back of the box) who is naked in his hotel room. Her clothes allergy remains for several days as our loner refrains from sex. Symbolic of birth, or maybe the teen years.

The characters he meets get older and give him different advice, eventually he gets a quiet ride (symbolic of the hearse) after a cemetery and dirt speech. Here his death is symbolized in a large building with the furniture covered. He then has his final confrontation (PLOT SPOILER) where he uses his "imagination" to pop into a guarded fortress and kill the "controller" a symbol for God, played by Bill Murray. Or perhaps we are symbolically killing Bill Murray for all the stinker movies he has been in as late.

Our loner returns to the airport where he puts away his bag with 3 suits, exits and steps into the light, most likely symbolic of reincarnation.

There is no real action. There is full frontal nudity, but no sex. Tlda Swinton, one of the more interesting characters talks about movies. This should open up the life metaphor. Later you see her escorted by two men in black suits with sun glasses (they represent grim reapers). God watches over us through a black helicopter.

If this movie isn't a metaphor for life, then it is just a lousy film.
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1.0 out of 5 stars It may well be a an arty film with beautiful cinematography, great actors and the usual underlying metaphors ..., 11 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Limits of Control (DVD)
This film was neither dramatic nor thrilling. It is, in fact 116 minutes of pretentious nonsense. There is very little plot or action throughout, so if you think things are going to get more interesting or less repetitive after the first 30 minutes or so, I assure you they aren't. It may well be a an arty film with beautiful cinematography, great actors and the usual underlying metaphors for life/death, but if you like you films with a bit more 'meat', pace and substance, then this isn't for you. I persevered until the end but wish I hadn't bothered. I like films that make you think, but with this I couldn't even be bothered to try and figure out the underlying themes and messages, having been virtually bored to tears by the end. If you read reviews before renting, then I urge you to take heed and choose something more exciting and plot driven. The 1 star is for cinematography and the acting/delivery of the few lines that there were throughout.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not what i expected to find, 24 Aug 2010
By 
A.D.M. (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
This has to be the most stylish and impeccably shot film I have had the pleasure of watching, so much care and attention has been lavished on every scene. It feels like a classic movie from another generation in this sense. However, Jarmusch the artist has triumphed over Jarmusch the story teller, which is a shame. Jarmusch has proven in the past that he can tell a wonderful story, but here, the abstract nature takes over. There are threads that tie together, but it is left to the viewer to do all the work, and I am not entirely sure if it is worth it. The visual and aural style lead to a dream like world, and this is hinted at a few times through the film, things do not apppear rooted in reality. Overall, this is a stunning bit of film making, but it is perhaps not the film I was hoping to see.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 2 Aug 2014
I thought Buster was the worse film I would ever see but I was wrong. This is terrible.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars stylish and something different-so beware, 22 Jun 2011
Im just glad that I wasnt told anything hinting towards what this film was about before watching-that would've spoilt the film completely for me (amazon doesnt help with its 'man on a dangerous mission' description). Many in the press no doubt were, which arguably to some extent wouldnt have helped their conflicting or mediocre reviews (its either a great 'arty' film with its own individual style, or a slow pointless journey, especially if you have little patience). Both of these comments are arguably true, but personally I didnt find this film slow, despite its 2 hour duration. You should eventually be able to understand its pace and overall mood. What some may argue about however is with the films finale - the movie retains the same style, as it should, but its storyline relating to individual characters does not become much more descriptive, so many may still walk out after watching this thinking "what was that about?", or "who was xxxx". Arguably the movie may have benefited by either doing so, or by speeding up/increasing a great deal in suspense before its final end, but even without this, it still stands out as something different. Many will no doubt argue on the opposite side saying all these unanswered questions leave you with a movie with far more depth. Worth a watch, but because its one of those minimalistic art films that not everyone will enjoy, perhaps not a purchase for the majority, especially not if you are expecting all out action after reading the description, but it still stands out as a result-especially when comparing to alot of the drivel that comes out of the cinema today ;)
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12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enigmas of desire, 17 May 2010
By 
Alan Fair (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The clues are there right from the get go, before the film begins we are told that this is a film brought to us by `Pointblank' films. Jarmusch sets us up for a movie about movies or at least a certain type of movie, can I use the word "cool"? Like Boorman's revenge thriller we have the tonic mohair suit, sharp as a razor, shiny like the smile of a killer. What we don't get is the corkscrew time structure and frenetic pacing `cause in the end this is a film that, as usual with Jarmusch, relies on the episodic ballad structure, like a long Bob Dylan song or a "woke up this mornin'" blues.

`The Limits of Control' is a film about the poetics of space and Jarmusch seems to insist that the cinema itself is marked by this tendency or at least the films he is interested in watching and making. By train, (the favourite form of movie transport, an inbuilt metaphor) and by plane our sartorially elegant, monosyllabic protagonist shifts across the interior of Spain in a movement without end, in defiance of Hollywood road movie conventions there is no telos. Encounters that promise sex end in solitary reverie, encounters that promise information end in similar modes. This is a film of the `drift', there are clear salutes to Guy Debord and maybe even Walter Benjamin(?) All we can be certain about is movies; Godard's `Le Mepris', Ray's "In A Lonely Place', Wells' `Lady From Shanghai', Hitchcock's `Suspicion' all are name checked or alluded to.

In the end what is on show here is Jarmusch's ease with the medium, he drifts, in the best possible way (echoes of Guy Debord or even Benjamin?) through the landscape of the inconsequential stopping only to admire paintings, (can a painting be a non-sequitur?) the texture of bricks, of fabric. There are moments of brilliance, watch the tango sequence for a master class in editing and lighting (the great Christopher Doyle lenses by the way.) If this reminds me of anything it is Guerin's equally contemplative `In The City Of Sylvia'. The difference is of course that in Jarmusch's world desire's arrow aims at a target that is much more difficult to presume. The central character, a typical Jarmusch hero, leads us, without guile, through the calle of Sevilla, towards an inconclusive moment, the screen goes dark, but there is no end, Jarmuch's cinema is just pausing, waiting for the next verse.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
very good dvd.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hmm, 20 Aug 2010
By 
Mr. Sp Gedney "Simon The Sorcerer" (Greater London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't know what I was expecting but for me this film didn't quite deliver it. However, it is one of those films that kind of sucks you into its world.
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stretched MY Limit of Control ! Truly AWFUL !, 22 Jan 2012
I won't bore you with a tedious, pretentious, essay-like monologue regarding this dreadful waste of time.
In short, if given the choice between watching The Limits of Control, or watching putty harden. CHOOSE THE PUTTY !
Even the Positive reviewers on here allude to the boredom of this trash. Yet, they STILL manage to rate it 3, 4, and even 5 stars !
Unbelievable ! This puerile nonsense does NOT even merit one star !
If you like your movies to be "Arty", "Visually stunning" as well as having a decent plot/storyline, then I recommend, Tree of Life & Melancholia. Both these gems blow "Limits" out of the water ! Actually, virtually ANY film could achieve the same water-related feat . . . . .
AVOID !!!!!!
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mind Bendingly Boring..., 18 July 2010
Just awful. Really.

But wait!! This movie has Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray and John Hurt in it! What could there possibly be not to like??

It oscillates between a quasi-surrealist fantasy, an attempt to portray irrelevant character traits in meticulous detail and an ultimately disrespectful hat-tip to the minimalism that only French cinema has ever really managed to pull off. In other words, it comes across as a badly paced exercise in cartoon anality. Terrible.
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This product

The Limits of Control - DVD - The Limits of Control Thriller from 2009 by Jim Jarmusch with Isaach De Bankole and Bill Murray .
The Limits of Control - DVD - The Limits of Control Thriller from 2009 by Jim Jarmusch with Isaach De Bankole and Bill Murray . by Isaach The Bankole Bill Murray John Hurt Gael Garcia Bernal Paz de la Huerta Tilda Swinton Hiam Abbass Youki Kudoh Luis Tosar Floanne Ankah (DVD)
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