The Limits of Control

Metascore
41

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 22
  2. Negative: 8 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. A nondramatic work best appreciated as a pure image-and-sound event.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew Male
    60
    Cool, handsome, self-assured... but, as the existentialists might say, what’s the bloody point?
  3. 58
    Too much of The Limits Of Control feels canned and airless, so stifled by Jarmusch's obsessions that it loses all sense of surprise.
  4. Unfortunately, the whole seldom adds up to the sum of its illustrious parts, and Jarmusch's trademark deadpan quirks seem to have gotten lost in the translation.
  5. 50
    As it is, the movie's lethal climax, with its vague protest against corporate control--and hence in favor of art, music, drugs, or whatever--feels like a poor theft from a more conventional film.
  6. 50
    While The Limits of Control offers some picturesque photography and grist for thought, it is ultimately too much like The Emperor's New Clothes to warrant anything approaching enthusiasm. The message is banal and the means by which it is presented reeks of artifice and pretention.
  7. 50
    Even the great ones hit snags. With The Limits of Control, Jim Jarmsuch gets tangled up in his own deadpan.
  8. Only a few events happen in this minimalist film, and most of them keep getting repeated through most of its running time.
  9. The Limits of Control, even with its flow of star cameos (Tilda Swinton, Gael García Bernal, a frenetic Bill Murray), is a listless long pause that rarely refreshes.
  10. 42
    It's exactly the film Jarmusch wanted to make, but it's also smug, excruciating, borderline pointless. You could call it a deliberate effort to invert the conventions of the thriller; you could also call it, more rightly, a self-deluded disaster.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    Worst of all, it just feels tired and recycled.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. MichaelB
    Oct 3, 2009
    0
    Yes, how did he get the backers for this empty nonsense, he obviously didn't show them the rushes.
  2. JamesJ.
    Jul 17, 2009
    10
    I do not agree with the negativity of the critics. Hardly ever does a movie delve so deeply into the depth of the cinematic universe. This I do not agree with the negativity of the critics. Hardly ever does a movie delve so deeply into the depth of the cinematic universe. This film distills the art and history of cinema into a picturesque haiku. Bravo, JJ! Full Review »
  3. DH
    May 13, 2009
    9
    This is a pretty fantastic movie -- while I wouldn't expect popular audiences to embrace this film, I'm kind of stunned it's This is a pretty fantastic movie -- while I wouldn't expect popular audiences to embrace this film, I'm kind of stunned it's getting such negative attention from critics. Full Review »