Limitless parents guide

Limitless Parent Guide

The lack of consequences presented to this protagonist give this movie "Limitless" potential to imply to susceptible audiences that drugs are an easy answer to life's tough questions.

Overall D+

What if you had Limitless powers? After a struggling writer (Bradley Cooper) is offered a new, top-secret medication, he suddenly develops unimaginable abilities. But like all things that seem too good to be true, the cost of his newfound capacities comes at a high price.

Release date March 18, 2011

Violence D
Sexual Content C-
Profanity C
Substance Use D

Why is Limitless rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Limitless PG-13 for thematic material involving a drug, violence including disturbing images, sexuality and language.

Run Time: 105 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Every now and again you get one of those days when you feel truly on top of your game. You make all the green lights, you astound your coworkers, and you present new ideas in a manner that makes it impossible for anyone to say no.

Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is desperately in need of one of those days. Amazingly, the depressed and creatively challenged writer has a book deal, yet he hasn’t written a single word—and his first submission is due. That’s when he bumps into his ex-wife’s brother Vern (Johnny Whitworth), a guy who says he’s retired from drug dealing but then pulls a little pill out of his pocket. Vern claims it will fix all of Eddie’s problems and allow him to use 100% of his brainpower (as opposed to the 10% myth). He also says it’s FDA approved.

Instantly confirming his lack of mental capacity, Eddie downs the mysterious medicine. Minutes later he sees the world in a completely different way. His writer’s block is gone, he becomes adept at trading stocks and his intellectual prowess allows him to bed a bevy of less intelligent women. Still, being smart and possessing wisdom are two very different things. This newly hatched genius demonstrates this fact when he borrows $100,000 of investment capital from a loan shark.

The money turns him into a much sought after financial expert and a new job with a prominent business tycoon (Robert De Niro). However, things begin taking unexpected turns when Eddie discovers his brother-in-law is murdered and the pills are anything but FDA approved. Worse yet, when his loan provider gets hold of one of the tablets, he wants a guaranteed supply as well. Then Eddie learns of the drug’s inevitable side affect: Serious illness usually leading to death.

Limitless presents an intriguing premise, but Eddie’s reliance on what amounts to a potentially dangerous street drug is disturbing—especially considering the movie’s all-too-easy conclusion. The moment he runs out of pills he scrambles to find more, even after discovering the long-term results of its use. Other content concerns are just as worrisome. Copious amounts of blood stain this film during frequent violent altercations. More disturbing moments depict innocent people being shot and stabbed (one with implied comedic benefit), and a man teetering at the top of a building considering suicide.

Eddie’s promiscuous sexual habits are another issue, with scenes showing him confidently seducing various women. Only language is marginally better (and possibly what saved this film from an R-rating) with scatological, religious and other profanities infrequently heard.

While the drug depicted in this film is purely fictitious, there are certainly many pills on the streets of reality with promises just as grandiose as this one. The tremendous benefits the protagonist of this film acquires and the lack of consequences presented give this movie limitless potential to imply to susceptible audiences that drugs are an easy answer to life’s tough questions.

Directed by Neil Burger . Starring Bradley Cooper, Anna Friel, Abbie Cornish. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release March 18, 2011. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Limitless rated PG-13? Limitless is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic material involving a drug, violence including disturbing images, sexuality and language.

Violence: Frequent violent altercations occur in this film with fists, guns, knives and other weapons. Many of these result in injury and death. Innocent people are blithely murdered, including a man who is shot with a slightly humorous implication. Blood effects are numerous, including a scene showing a man lying dead in a pool of the red liquid—then another man is shown drinking the blood. A character stands at the top of a building contemplating suicide in two different scenes. A death is attributed to unseen assailants that killed a man while searching for drugs. A violent car accident occurs. A character vomits from drug related symptoms. A man becomes a very adept fighter after taking a drug. A character discusses detailed ways of torturing and killing people. 

Sexual Content: A man uses drug induced intellectual powers to seduce three different women (one of them is married to his landlord) in scenes that depicts them beginning to have sex—one of these encounters also includes some sounds. A man is seen without a shirt.

Language: Infrequent profanities, scatological terms, religious exclamations and other mild words are used.

Drugs and Alcohol: A fictitious street drug is at the core of this movie’s story. It provides users with enhanced intellect and skills that include (among many other benefits) the ability to drive very fast without any danger, gamble and consistently win, invest in stocks and multiply the capital many times over, and be able to connive women into having sex. While some negative consequences are portrayed, the end of the film presents an unrealistic and positive conclusion.

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Limitless Parents' Guide

In this movie a man feels far more confident after taking a drug. Do you think his confidence stems from the drug itself or because he is accomplishing things in his life? How can facing our challenges and overcoming procrastination help us to gain greater self-assurance?

How might a doctor have diagnosed Eddie’s despondent condition? If Eddie was clinically depressed what approved medical methods might be available to him?

A character tells Eddie, "You have not earned those powers," meaning Eddie may be smart but he hasn’t lived through decades of experiences. What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?

Do we really only use a small portion of our brains? Find out more about this myth:

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Limitless movie is July 19, 2011. Here are some details…

Limitless releases to home video on July 19, 2011: The DVD version features:

- Unrated Extended Cut of the movie

- A Man Without Limits

-Taking it to the Limit: The Making of Limitless

- Alternate Ending

Limitless on Blu-ray also includes:

- Digital Copy “How to”

- Digital Copy

Related home video titles:

Other characters with unusual abilities are depicted in The Time Traveler’s Wife (where a rare genetic disorder causes a man to travel through time) and Jumper (a drama about a a young man that can teleport himself around the world).