YMMV: Limitless

  • Ass Pull: At the end of the movie Eddie got off the drugs offscreen, but retained all the capabilities. Why? Because he came up with Phlebotinum offscreen.
    • It's possible that he hasn't retained all of his capabilities, but has managed to hold on to some of them while turning his life around unmedicated. It's also possible that he actually *was* still on NZT, and that final dialogue was really just a huge gamble to buy him time and get Van Loon off his back.
    • The alternate ending of the movie has him acting a lot more hostile and less composedly to van Loon, indicating that he is in fact lying.
    • He actually states that he realized the weaknesses of NZT, so he just made it so the effects became permanent.
    • After everything that Eddie did on NZT, it is completely believable that while on it, he identified and corrected the weakness, or even made its effects permanent.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Eddie vs. the Russian Mafia thugs.
  • Escapist Character: Eddie is a failure, up until a wonder drug gives him Super Intelligence. Though he's a very intelligent failure, after all he did get Abbie Cornish.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The film uses some common scientific myths, such as Vernon's statement of 90% of Your Brain and when Eddie mentions his Improbably High IQ of four digits. Vernon is a drug dealer with no scientific credentials at all, and was simply explaining things in a simple, if inaccurate, manner. Eddie never took any IQ tests, and just pulled some random number out of his ass.
  • Fridge Logic: Why didn't the police search Eddie at the murder scene? If he was a prime suspect, which he would be having found the body, they would have cuffed and searched him before taking him to the police department to make a statement and therefore have found the NZT pills he shoved into the small of his back.
    • Usually the person that calls the cops in the first place to report a dead body isn't treated as the prime suspect.
    • Eddie described his ex-wife Melissa as the smartest woman he knew who dumped him immediately. High intelligence and impulsive behavior. Those sound like indications that she was already on NZT when he met her.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Another secondary effect of NZT is to let the user ignore the Moral Event Horizon:
    • When Lindy takes NZT to escape from an assassin, she uses a little girl as an Improvised Weapon. When she is free of the effects, she doesn't want anything to do with NZT or Eddie.
    • Any other user hooked on NZT is willingly enough to torture or kill for another dose.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Johnny Whitworth as the delightfully sleazy Vernon Gant, the man who introduces Eddie to NZT. He is killed fifteen minutes into the movie. Also, Eddie's bodyguards who also last only two scenes.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Instead of curing cancer or ending world hunger, most users apply their new smarts for money, political power, or just making their lives better. Justified with varying levels of With Great Power Comes Great Insanity as users like Eddie still make impulsive decisions which can be increased by the drugs giving feelings of invincibility. He does also figure out a way to keep NZT's properties without needing the drug, and even enhance them.
    • Eddie at least plans to subvert this. But most of the movie's plot centers around him trying to raise the insane amount of money he decides he will need to put his plan into motion and it's never revealed what that plan actually is beyond that (presumably running for Senate is one of the next steps).
    • There are various treatment methods for cancer and food became incredibly cheap over the past few decades thanks to technology. At the same time, many patients can't afford treatment and many people are starving. Both are a result of political decisions. It's quite possible you really need NZT-48 to understand that more technology and better treatment methods won't cure cancer or end starvation.
    • Eddie also describes an effect of NZT as basically not being allowed to stop pushing for a more immediate form of self-challenging self-expression. This arguably means it would take a rare personality to stick to curing cancer or ending world hunger on NZT long enough to get results unless given reason to. In other words, Reed Richards might not be Useless if he wasn't his own boss.
  • Squick: Not just the aforementioned Eye Scream but what comes shortly before that, to which everyone in the audience went "Oh, EWWW!"