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"What if a pill could make you rich and powerful?"

Limitless is a simple story with a a clear premise: What happens when a man is able to fully realize his own potential. It is easy to see yourself in Edward "Eddie" Morra, an average man with average problems. He is lazy, self-destructive without a shred of self-confidence, in other words just another New York City author struggling with writer's block. With a deadline looming, he finally realizes his own position when he is dumped by his girlfriend Lindy. A pretty harsh, but completely relate-able scenario.

This happens just in time for Eddie to meet his miracle when a magic little pill, NZT-48, is delivered by the very-shady Vernon, brother of his ex-wife Melissa Grant. Vernon claims the drug will give Eddie access to 100% of his brain's capacity instead of the "usual" 20%. Eddie accepts the pill, takes one dose and is soon the man he always could've been.

Limitless then takes a marked turn in tone and becomes the energetic thrill ride worthy of its title. Although the same man he had always been, Eddie now has the power to shape the world around him and do do everything he always been capable of doing. This includes easily befriending (or manipulating) the most powerful man in New York City. With only a pill a day, all of his dreams are suddenly within reach.

Yet, as success and ambition grow, Eddie is never free from the fact that with this new life comes a dangerous price. Greed, jealousy and addiction inevitably come up. During his journey, the audience finds themselves one with Eddie by constantly asking themselves the ultimate question, "What am I really capable of?"

Limitless is unexpectedly funny with an intriguing plot. It has clever visuals and cinematography further reinforcing the clear differences between the average man and a "Limitless" one. Limitless is not afraid to go far out of the playing field with world-bending images and sharp color on its edges. The camera is Eddie's eye showing a dual world of grunge attitude or crystal-clear energy and seductive dynamics. The world responds to the character's shift in personality, showing a range of emotions that are as enticing as it is beautiful.

With an exceptional and charismatic cast the movie is eerily reflective of real life. As a film, Limitless is a clear reminder that modern cinema can still offer substance while simultaneously being able to delight.

| 2011 | 1 hr 45 min | 7.4/10
Neil Burger
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