The Limits of Control | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 2009

In this tenth feature by Jim Jarmusch, the vague outlines of an international thriller serve mostly to contain an assortment of two-person rap sessions, like those in his black-and-white anthology film Coffee and Cigarettes (2003). The magnetic Isaach de Bankole stars as a stylish cool cat traveling across Spain and staging various rendezvous at which he exchanges matchboxes filled with diamonds (presumably blood diamonds) for slips of paper with coded messages. Jarmusch makes some effort to deliver on the promise of suspense near the end, with de Bankole stalking despicable businessman Bill Murray at his fortresslike compound in the hills. But the movie's main pleasure lies in the early scenes, which mix the filmmaker's familiar deadpan humor with an Antonioni-like sense of arid emptiness and conundrum. With Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, and Paz de la Huerta. R, 116 min.
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Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Producer: Stacey Smith and Gretchen McGowan
Cast: Isaach de Bankole, Alex Descas, Jean-François Stévenin, Luis Tosar, Paz De La Huerta, Tilda Swinton, Youki Kudoh, John Hurt, Gael García Bernal and Hiam Abbass

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