Limitless is a 2011 American science fiction mystery thriller film.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access one hundred percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Eddie Morra is a struggling author with writer's block. His girlfriend Lindy, frustrated with his lack of progress, breaks up with him. Later, Eddie bumps into Vernon, the forgotten brother of his ex-wife, Melissa. Vernon gives Eddie a sample of a new nootropic (smart drug), NZT-48. Returning to his apartment, Eddie takes the drug and discovers he now has perfect recall and the ability to cross-correlate information quickly. He cleans his apartment obsessively in a few hours, and finishes writing his new book.
The next day, the effects having worn off, he brings the pages he wrote to his publisher, who praises them. Eddie seeks out Vernon in an attempt to get more, but while he is running errands for him, Vernon is murdered. Eddie discovers Vernon's NZT-48 supply and begins ingesting the drug daily. With the help of the drug's effects, Eddie spends a few weeks cleaning up his life.
Testing his analytical skills on the stock market with Vernon's stash of money, Eddie quickly makes large returns on small investments. He borrows $100,000 from a reluctant Russian loan shark, Gennady (Andrew Howard), and is hired at a brokerage firm, where he quickly parlays this capital into over two million dollars just in a couple weeks. Eddie's success leads to a meeting with finance tycoon Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro), he tests Eddie by seeking advice on a merger with Hank Atwood's (Richard Bekins) company. After the big meeting in downtown Manhattan, Eddie starts experiencing hallucinations and the sense of time skipping forward. As this effect recurs over the course of the day and night he finds himself in several disparate places, after which 18 hours have passed which he cannot remember.
Eddie goes through Vernon's ledger and discovers that everyone taking NZT-48 is either in the hospital or dead. A man in a trench coat (Tomas Arana) is revealed to have been following him. Eddie meets with Melissa, who informs him that she too had been on NZT-48, and that when she attempted to stop taking it she had experienced a severe mental rebound effect, as well as a limp like Eddie. Gennady later catches Eddie going home and demands the money be paid back with interest immediately. He then discovers the prized drug and starts using Eddie as his source for NZT-48.
Eddie experiments with NZT-48 and learns to control his dosage, sleep schedule, and food intake to prevent side effects. He hires a laboratory in an attempt to reverse engineer NZT-48, an attorney (Ned Eisenberg) to keep the police from investigating Vernon's death, and two bodyguards to protect him from Gennady, who is threatening him to obtain more NZT-48.
On the day of the merger, Atwood's wife informs Van Loon that Atwood has fallen into a coma. Eddie recognizes Atwood's driver as the man in the trench coat and realizes Atwood is on NZT-48. While Eddie participates in a police lineup, his attorney steals Eddie's whole supply of NZT-48 from his jacket. Soon afterward, Eddie enters withdrawal, and hurries home when Van Loon questions him about Atwood's coma. Gennady breaks into Eddie's apartment, demanding more NZT-48, but Eddie kills him and his henchmen and escapes. He meets with the man in the trench coat, surmising that Atwood employed the man to locate more NZT-48. However, when Atwood dies, they recover Eddie's stash from the attorney.
A year later, Eddie has retained his wealth, published a book, and is running for the United States Senate with plans to run for the United States Presidency. Van Loon visits him and reveals that he has absorbed the company that produced NZT-48 and shut down Eddie's laboratory - he offers Eddie a continued supply of the drug in exchange for becoming his personal lobbyist in the government. However, Eddie implies that he's already perfected the drug and successfully weaned himself off of it, retaining his abilities with none of the side effects. He leaves and meets Lindy at a Chinese restaurant for lunch.