SCI-FI THRILLER; 1hr 45min

STARRING: Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Robert De Niro

Mean business: from left, De Niro and Cooper

Believe it or not, Bradley C is a convincing loser through the opening minutes of propulsive crowd pleaser Limitless, in which a going-nowhere New York writer with unfairly terrible hair (Cooper as Eddie) stumbles across wonder pills that fire up his idling brain and endow him with extra-charged abilities. “Enhanced Eddie” is now capable of pretty well anything, starting with a dashed-off, outstanding novel and a modelising makeover.


The financially and socially mobile skies are the limit from there, except — and isn’t there always one? — the pills are untested and of dubious provenance. So even as Eddie’s fortunes soar on the stock floor, where De Niro barely registers as his hard-nosed boss and his newly enticed ex-girlfriend (a blah Cornish) takes him back, there’s trouble brewing in pharma-crazed paradise.


Cooper braves the hurly-burly with urgent authority as Eddie fights his flameout to vampiric breaking point. He’s never less than 100 per cent present, which is arguably more than the situation warrants but does help save the day when the going gets loco.