It is not auteur cinema nor is it high art- but Limitless is a worthy thriller – incredibly engaging narrative pacing (albeit a sophomoric premise— “we only use 10% of our brain”) and worthy lead performance by burgeoning star Bradley Cooper
Cooper’s over-bearing voice over is a weakness—they aren’t giving the audience much credit for being intelligence
A poor man’s Pi in some ways with the paranoia, pacing, premise
Neil Burger’s decision to use color/light-scaling to show the difference between Cooper on and off the drug is an inspired visual choice
There are flaws all over the place with the improbability of the narrative— you could name 10 of them but how about him taking off his jacket with all of his pills in it and handing it to someone? Wouldn’t happen.
Love the use of the Black Keys in the music
Robert De Niro may be the greatest actor of all-time (he has my vote) but he is miscast here and a weakness in the film. Kevin Spacey, Michael Douglas, Al Pacino and Ed Harris to name a few would all be much better.
Recommend – and a fringe one at that. There are 30 better films in 2011 but I’d be interested in revisiting this in a few years