There are moments in Jim Jamursch’s 2009 film, The Limits of Control (out in the UK on DVD today) which hynoptise and others which haunt; this is Jarmusch at his best – offering us something unique and insightful, conveying much with an almost effortless ease.

The Limits of Control continues Jarmusch’s oblique and intriguing body of work, and with the help of some stunning cinematography and an impressive central performance it is a rewarding watch. With a dreamlike, almost surreal landscape in which we are travelling to an unknown destination, this is the antithesis of the numerous cliche strewn crime thrillers which pollute the late night TV schedules.

Isaach De Bankolé is a mysterious presence as our mercurial protagonist (Lone Man is his name as given in the credits) and, though he is given little dialogue, Jarmusch’s camera is an unmoving eye watching his leading man go about his obscure business conveying all emotion through his actions.

Ostensibly a hitman on a mission drama, Jarmusch has described The Limits of Control as ‘an action film without any action’, and this description is both accurate and misleading; The Bourne Psychology this is not, but this slow existential meditation is held together by De Bankolé’s magnetic presence and Jarmusch’s enigmatic script.

Like Woody Allen, Jarmusch is a filmmaker who draws talent towards him, and Bill Murray, Gael Garcia Bernal, John Hurt and  Tilda Swinton are among the Lone Man’s companions on this journey, each meeting him only once and though the familiar initial line of their dialogue (‘You don’t speak Spanish, right?) is the same it is the subsequent dialogue which mixes the philosophical and elliptical to create a bizarre sense of momentum which carries the film from scene to scene.

The sparse script leaves plenty of time for Jarmusch to have his Lone Man stalk the streets of Madrid and Seville between his morning bouts of tai chi, his mysterious meetings with the other players in this unspoken conspiracy and his passing the nights staring up into space. There is a reluctance to explain the motives and the machinations of this man and the wider plot which may lose some people on the way, but it is a calm, bewitching experience which explores the generic hitman character and chooses a road less travelled by on the path to the necessary conclusion.

Amidst a sea of directed-by-numbers thrillers it is a refreshing change to see The Limits of Control enter the arena and Jarmusch continues his study of the emotional, existential leading men, this film reminded me of Ghost Dog and Broken Flowers, with a powerful central performance and a deliberate pacing and fixed gaze of Christopher Doyle’s cinematography (until the last second of the film, which is as perfect and light a touch as I’ve seen in a long time) and the result is mesmeric.

The Limits of Control is a haunting piece, which may lose some of its audience on the way, and you really need to be in the right frame of mind to engage with this one – it will not suffer a passive viewing – but it is unlike any film I’ve seen in many years and offers rich rewards if you are meet it with an open, uncluttered mind.