Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Limits of Control is the story of a mysterious loner, a stranger, whose activities remain meticulously outside the law. He is in the process of completing a job, yet he trusts no one, and his objectives are not initially divulged. His journey, paradoxically both intently focused and dreamlike, takes him not only across Spain but also through his own consciousness. [Focus Features] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 22
  2. Negative: 8 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    A little like guided meditation with suggestions floated, waiting, left untethered. It's up to you to distill meaning -- which will leave some convinced the director is merely self-indulgent, and others deeply satisfied.
  2. Almost absurdly quiet and observant, The Limits of Control is about the space between the action, the steps along the way.
  3. A nondramatic work best appreciated as a pure image-and-sound event.
  4. The Limits of Control, even with its flow of star cameos (Tilda Swinton, Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal, a frenetic Bill Murray), is a listless long pause that rarely refreshes.
  5. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Worst of all, it just feels tired and recycled.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    It might be that Jarmusch (Broken Flowers) is experimenting with creating a pastiche of dreamlike sequences that audiences can interpret as they wish. Or it may be merely pretension and hubris that fuels such a stylized and insubstantial story.
  7. Jim Jarmusch's Dada meander, shot by Christopher Doyle, is empty and excruciating -- that's really all you need to know.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. JamesJ.
    Jul 17, 2009
    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! Expand
  2. JohnJS
    May 10, 2009
    A brilliant film. An extremely rare movie that makes the ordinary seem extraordinary. Don't go if you prefer to leave your brain at the box-office. Collapse
  3. TedL
    May 3, 2009
    Jim Jarmusch comes through again with his trademark Zen pacing, philosophical musings and sharp visual sense. He's a thinking man's filmmaker, in the grand tradition of Godard and Antonioni. It's not for everyone, but the rewards can be bountiful for those interested in more than a mindless date movie. ' Expand
  4. DH
    May 13, 2009
    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. Expand
  5. MichaelB
    Oct 3, 2009
    Yes, how did he get the backers for this empty nonsense, he obviously didn't show them the rushes.