What happens if we can access even half of our brain’s computing capacity? This is a question that Hollywood filmmakers have tended to posit more and more in recent years. With giant leaps in CGI and filmmaking technology, we’ve started to be able to realize what we imagine humans with such power will be capable of on the big screen. This concept is as captivating as it is exciting, and that is why we have created a list of 12 incredible movies like Limitless.
This Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro film is one that can fit snugly into the superhero genre due to the abilities unlocked by this drug, but just like superheroes, there are bound to be witnesses, and Edward’s weakness is the increasing dependence on the drug, an addiction. Few concepts are as interesting as that which is covered in Edward Morra’s story, and if you enjoyed it, then here are 12 movies like Limitless for you to watch next.
List of Movies like Limitless
1. Lucy (2014)
Lucy might well have just been labeled the female version of Limitless. The plot is quite similar to movies like Limitless, as it follows Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy who is forcefully involved in a drug deal, as she is implanted with a drug package which leaks into her system, giving her superhuman abilities.
This movie is an entertaining and suspenseful thrill ride, one that still finds some space in it to include Morgan Freeman, as the usual voice of reason and exposition giver. The movie is boosted by its Asian backdrop and generous use of visual effects that help it showcase a huge scale rarely seen in movies of this type.
2. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Will Hunting doesn’t have access to all of his brain’s capacity as seen in movies like Limitless, however, he is a genius with and exceptional IQ, who upon solving a difficult math problem, gets discovered and mentored by Stellan Skarsgard’s Professor Gerald Lambeau, who aims to help him unlock his hidden potential.
When he runs into trouble with the law, Will is let go with a slap on the hand and an order to attend therapy sessions with Robin Williams’ Sean Williams. Good Will Hunting was a commercial success at the box office, and praised for Matt Damon’s portrayal of a “boy who is cursed with genius”.
3. Bruce Almighty (2003)
Jim Carrey is Bruce Nolan in this movie about a malcontent TV anchorman, who complains to God, blaming him for ruining his life. God, played by Morgan Freeman, decides to show him how difficult controlling the whole universe is, by giving him access to all of his powers.
Bruce is tasked with taking over his duties as God, but as predicted, he soon begins to use these powers for selfish reasons, ignoring what he was told to do. This movie explores themes ranging from religion to power to selfishness, and is a light hearted take on the all-powerful human we see in movies like Limitless.
4. Looper (2012)
Looper is another action-thriller film similar to movies like Limitless. The plot is centered on a group of contract killers known as ‘loopers’. The story is set in the year 2044, a time where enemies of the crime syndicate in the near future are sent to be killed, as it is possible for bodies to be disposed of in this same near future.
Looper is a thrilling and thought-provoking mix of the sci-fi and action genres, and debuted to pretty much universal acclaim. It’s been praised in particular for Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performances as opposite sides of the same coin.
Fan of Time-Travel? Also Read: Movies like Predestination
5. Source Code (2011)
We have another fast-paced action thriller similar to movies like Limitless in Source Code. This movie , directed by Duncan Jones, centers on Jake Gyllenhaal’s Captain Colter Stevens, who is sent to a short recreation of a train explosion which took place in real life, with the aim of discovering the identity of the bomber.
The movie showcases a very human story wrapped in a bombastic action sci-fi package, and has been compared to other time-loop movies like Groundhog Day and Déjà vu, as well as other movies set on trains like Murder on the Orient Express. All in all it’s a thriller of a story and a good movie for you to follow up Limitless with.
6. Transcendence (2014)
Johnny Depp plays Dr. Will Caster, a scientist who aims to create the first truly sentient artificial intelligence. He aims to push the limits of what is possible in ways similar to movies like Limitless. It’s his prediction that such a sentient computer will result in something known as Transcendence.
Transcendence is an expansive visual masterpiece, exploring a very real concept of AI, although the events of the movie might still prove ultimately impossible or at best decades or centuries away. If you love movies that explore interesting concepts and actually have the budget to showcase it on film, then Transcendence is the one for you.
7. iBoy (2017)
In iBoy, we have another story of a human thrust with unimaginable power as seen in movies like Limitless. The plot centers on a poor 16-year old Tom Harvey. He gets shot in the head after trying to catch his friend’s rapists. At the hospital he is told that shrapnel from his new phone Is embedded in his head.
This seems like ultimately inconsequential information until Tom realizes that he can hear phone transmissions and is basically a human computer. His powers keep growing as the movie progresses, and makes for a good bunch of exciting action scenes to keep your eyes busy should you decide to watch it.
8. Jumper (2008)
Jumper is a sci-fi action thriller based on Steven Gould’s novel of the same name. It features Hayden Christensen as David Rice, a man who discovers during his high school years that he has the ability to teleport, in this universe, known as ‘jumping’. He can however only teleport to places that he has seen and can remember.
Things are all fine until he starts getting hunted by a group known as the Paladins, headed by Samuel L. Jackson’s Roland, who believe that Jumpers are abominations and have made it their lives’ mission to have all of them eliminated. Just as in movies like Limitless, we see that sometimes having all this power courts even more danger than usual.
9. Anon (2018)
Anon is a sci-fi thriller similar to movies like Limitless, set in a futuristic world where privacy is impossible to come by due the government’s ‘transparency system’. The plot is centered on Clive Owen’s Sal Frieland, a detective who encounters a woman simply known as Anon, who has managed to evade the government’s surveillance system.
This movie has been praised for its ambitious concept, as well as its exciting and thrilling action set pieces, although things can be a little hard to keep up with at times. But it’s full of interesting ideas that will be great for inquisitive viewers.
10. The Butterfly Effect (2004)
The Butterfly Effect gives us a deep look into the human psyche and a protagonist who discovers an unimaginable power, just as in movies like Limitless. The plot is centered on college student Evan Treborn, played by Ashton Kutcher, who suffers from a series of painful headaches that make him pass out from time to time.
He discovers that whenever he is unconscious, he is able to travel back into the past, and makes use of this power to alter some horrible events from the past, a decision which doesn’t have completely positive benefits, as he discovers changing the past can lead to some unforeseen consequences in the present.
11. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Edge of Tomorrow is a sci-fi action thriller in the vein of movies like Limitless. The plot centers on Major William Cage, played by Tom Cruise, a Public Relations officer who is thrust into unfamiliar territory when he is assigned to the frontlines to join the soldiers in battle against an alien race threatening to wipe out humanity completely. Already seen this one? Also Read: Movies like Edge of Tomorrow
The movie is full of huge action scenes and expansive battles, brought to life by high quality visual effects and CGI. Edge of Tomorrow has also garnered praise for Tom Cruise’s and Emily Blunt’s acting performances, as well as their great chemistry which further elevates the movie from others in the sci-fi genre.
12. Inception (2010)
Inception directed by Christopher Nolan, is a masterpiece of cinema, and follows the story of Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a thief who specializes in implanting ideas and extracting information from the minds of his unsuspecting victims. He is given a chance at a new lease of life, only and only if he completes one final job.
Inception is a mind-bending rollercoaster ride similar to movies like Limitless, and still finds space in its frantic story for some truly heartwarming moments, testament’s to Nolan’s expertise when it comes to producing high quality, high stakes, big budget movies.
Also Read: Movies like Shutter Island
Here are a list of movies like Limitless that didn’t make it, which you can also check out:
- The Adjustment Bureau