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Limitless: Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


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Limitless, based on a novel by Alan Glynn, stars Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra, a down-on-his-luck writer who is given a revolutionary new drug that allows Eddie to access 100 percent of his brain capacity. (This is reminiscent of Harvard University lecturer in psychology Dr. Timothy Leary’s claims about LSD that swept first the Ivy League and then other college campuses in the 1960s, before LSD was criminalized in 1966.) As others come after Eddie’s newfound success, he quickly learns that being “limitless” has its price.

Months behind on his rent and weeks past his book deadline, Eddie is on the verge of losing his girlfriend, his home and his career. When a chance encounter with his former brother-in-law takes place, Eddie gets his hands on a groundbreaking pharmaceutical called NZT, a pill that opens a human being’s mind 100 percent. Fueled by NZT, Eddie quickly finishes his novel, learns new languages and gets his life back on track.

However, Eddie’s life is not completely smooth sailing. With time, as well as his supply of NZT, running out, Eddie must use all his inexhaustible intellect to get out alive. (Go to for the full story! - Spoiler alert)

Limitless has an excellent idea behind the story – a hard-luck failure gets an opportunity to access endless intellect – yet the plot does not fully deliver on this imaginative idea. As sheer popcorn fodder, the movie is good, but not tremendous. Bradley Cooper is very good. He captures Eddie’s full character arc with both charm and intensity. The third act, however, takes a dark, violent turn that takes away from the movie’s popcorn appeal. The final resolution is satisfying, but the violence and immorality ultimately overshadow the outcome.

The movie contains a mostly mixed, pagan worldview with a lot of violence, especially some graphic bloodletting in the final act. It also has some foul language, gratuitous sensuality and a lot of miscellaneous immorality such as lying, blackmail, theft, greed and bribery as well as an overall storyline centered on drug use, the NZT pharmaceutical.

Older, more mature media-wise audiences may enjoy the basic storyline of Limitless, but the movie’s negative content will definitely limit its overall appeal. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution. Please see our content section for more details regarding the movie’s content.

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About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become