Last Call

The one sci-fi movie you need to watch before it leaves Netflix this week

You'll be kicking yourself if you don't watch this one while you can.

Movies come and go from Netflix all the time, and you can't be expected to keep track of each film that's leaving the streaming service in a given month. That's where Inverse comes in, and this week, there's only one movie you really need to watch on Netflix before it leaves on Friday, May 15.

Here's why Limitless is your required viewing for the week, and what you need to know about this Bradley Cooper sci-fi cult classic before settling in for a thrilling movie night.

Released in 2011, Limitless seemed to have everything going for it. Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in the starring roles? Check. A trippy premise? Check. A promising director in The Illusionist's Neil Burger? Check. Innovative special effects? Check.

Limitless takes all these parts and combines them into something that's a lot of fun but not totally satisfying. In the words of Roger Ebert, it's "not terrifically good, but the premise is intriguing." The movie currently sits at 69% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I'm here to say that despite that dangerously low score, it's still worth watching.

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Ebert had one thing right, the premise of Limitless is undeniably enticing. Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a slacker and failing writer whose life turns around when he runs into an old friend who offers him access to a brain-enhancing drug called NZT-48.

At first, NZT works like a charm. Eddie finishes his book and then promptly abandons writing for something much more lucrative: stock trading. He makes a buttload of money and a bunch of new friends, but Limitless takes a turn when the longterm effects of NZT start to kick in. Eddie's addiction continues to spiral as he's dragged into shady mob dealings and not-so-friendly competition with big-wig mogul Carl Van Loon (De Niro).

I won't spoil the ending if you haven't seen it before, but it actually holds up pretty well. If anything, the issue with Limitless boils down to some of the director's creative decisions used to portray Eddie's drug use. Sometimes it works: like when we watch multiple Bradley Coopers clean his apartment or golden words rain down on him as he finishes his novel. Other times, it's a little less impressive, especially when these special effects run up against the movie's budget, making the entire thing look a little too low-budget for a film that stars Robert De Niro.

But that doesn't mean Limitless isn't worth watching. At the end of the day, it's a pretty rewatchable movie with some great acting, a fun concept, and some creative filmmaking that doesn't always work. Just make sure you watch it before May 15. After that, your only option on Netflix will be the much worse Limitless TV show, which scored a 57% on Rotten Tomatoes and got canceled after Season 1. I guess even the best sci-fi concepts have their limit.

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