Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) understands that humans use only about 20% of their brain cells, until he runs into his former brother-in-law (Johnny Whitworth). A little pill from the brother-in-law makes him Limitless.
The chemicals in NZT 48 quickly allow him to reference a book from his college years with only a slight look at the corner of a page, beyond that his writing is enhanced as letters appear to fall from the ceiling into his mind and he produces more overnight than he has in the past ten year. Director Neil Burger uses a device similar to Darrien Ardnofsky's style in Requiem For A Dream, as the new force enter his body, Eddie's eyes change and expand their view as a symbol of a new power entering Eddie's being.
He perceives the world through a wide angle lens and his mind is filled with big ideas particularly for investing and making money. But his new brilliance doesn't make him smart, he moves to borrow money from a street loan shark who he probably can pay back but doesn't want in his new world of power, money and writing ability. More words suddenly appear and he deals with Carl Van Loon (Robert DeNiro) the big money man in the country and pulls off deals with him. He even remembers Bruce Lee moves from a film and defeats street fighters who attack him.
Death follows him and we learn others have at least knowledge of the pills and he must continue to use the drug or lose his life as others named in the little black book have. While he attempts to juggle his girlfriend and all the problems he finds himself acting like a vampire to stay alive.
He learns not to trust a lawyer or take big a dose and his bright eyes return, but in this science fiction or psychological drama the Requiem For A Dream might fall on the World as Eddie enters politics.