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Limitless Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Bradley of the Dolls Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Blood-lickingly good Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Limitless should be so much smarter than it is.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Briskly paced, suspenseful thriller.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In Limitless, a potently fanciful and fun thriller about a drug that turns you into a genius, Cooper proves a cock-of-the-walk movie star.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Story centered on drug abuse sends very iffy messages.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi thriller based on a novel by Alan Glynn stars The Hangover's Bradley Cooper as a man who becomes addicted to a (fictional) drug that enhances users' mental powers, using it to further his own power and wealth. He becomes involved with gangsters and loan sharks, which leads to plenty of violence, including shooting, stabbing, and blood. He also sleeps with many women, and there's language (including one "f--k" and a few "s--t"s) and frequent drinking. Although the movie is rated PG-13, the message -- that drugs can help you overcome problems related to confidence and motivation -- and the lack of consequences for most of the main character's drug-fueled decisions and actions make Limitless a very iffy choice for teens.

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays drug use. What are the consequences? Does that seem realistic? If a drug like NZT was real, what do you think would happen to people who took it?
  • How can people find confidence and motivation without the use of illegal substances?
  • Is the movie's violence scary or threatening? How is the violence affected by the idea that the main character is in control of everything that happens?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The main character becomes addicted to a drug that enhances his mental powers and makes him capable of solving any problem (and thus overcoming his lack of confidence and motivation). While on the drug, he accomplishes many things, but most of them are self-serving and based on greed and lust. He engages in destructive behavior with few or no consequences. At one point, his girlfriend argues that he hasn't actually accomplished anything on his own. The ending doesn't solve this problem.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main character isn't a positive role model. He becomes addicted to a drug that enhances his mental powers and begins to lust for power and money. He's selfish, willing to step on anyone who gets in his way.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Violence increasingly enters the main character's life as a result of the drug. He deals with gangsters and loan sharks, and there's some shooting and stabbing, dead bodies, and lots of blood (including one particularly gruesome moment in which the main character drinks blood). He makes a suicide attempt but backs off. In one scene, a man is blinded with a hypodermic needle. In another scene, a good character fights off a bad one by picking up a little girl wearing ice skates, flinging her feet in the villain's face, and using the blades on her feet to cut his face open.

  • sex false3

    Sex: The main character sleeps with many women during the course of the story, sometimes while he's in a relationship with his girlfriend. Viewers see kissing, fondling, and suggestions of sex.

  • language false3

    Language: Language isn't frequent but includes one "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t," plus "ass," "crap," "prick," "bitch," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drugs are the main issue here -- NZT is fictitious, but it drives the movie's entire plot. The main character is clearly physically addicted to the pills and gets to the point at which he could die if he stopped taking them. The movie shows the excitement of the high as well as the horror of the crash, the sickness, the side-effects, etc. The movie even has different lighting schemes for the two states: bright and colorful for the high, and gray and drab for the crash. In addition to NZT, there's plenty of drinking.