The Limits of Control (2009)

The Limits of Control is Jim Jarmusch‘s newest movie, starring Isaach de Bankolé, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Gael García Bernal and Bill Murray.

The story follows a man (Isaac de Bankolé) doing a job, which doesn’t seem to be entirely legal. As he meets informant after informant to get yet another bit of information to complete his task, you get long almost-monologues by the informants and a mysterious naked woman (Paz de la Huerta) in the man’s bed.

It’s been way too long since Jim Jarmusch made a movie. But as long as the rare ones keep on coming and keep on being this good, I almost don’t mind.
The Limits of Control is definitely one of Jarmusch’s stranger movies. It doesn’t seem totally settled in this reality (though nothing magical/supernatural happens). The performances are – as was to be expected – exquisit, the dia-/monologues great and the story actually rather unimportant (though I was still very curious to know what happens). If you like slow and weird movies, this one’s for you.


I have yet to encounter a movie by Jarmusch that I don’t love. There are those that I love and then there those that I love with a passion that borders on the unhealthy. The Limits of Control definitely falls into the later category.

The monologues are full with interesting thoughts and things I never thought of before. They are delivered by  a perfect cast with great performances. I especially liked Tilda Swinton and John Hurt. But it’s Isaach de Bankolé who pulls off the biggest feat: He has hardly any lines at all and hardly seems to have any emotions – he remains a mystery until the last minute – but he’s still the perfect person to lead through this movie that is more dream than reality.


The ultimate climax didn’t surprise me and I don’t think it was supposed to. Yet the story itself didn’t make much sense, especially confusing was the appearance of the nude woman. Not that it actually mattered. The story was pretty unimportant and more a vehicle to be able to deliver the monologues.

And Jim Jarmusch… look, I’ll make this short: gush gush gush LOVE gush gush gush GENIUS gushgushgush.

Actually, that’s a pretty good summary for the movie itself.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.