2007 Drama

Prolific music-video helmer and award-winning photographer Anton Corbijn makes his feature directorial debut with this biographical drama concerning the late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis. Based on the book Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis & Joy Division by the enigmatic singer's wife Deborah Curtis, Control documents the life of a legend who changed the face of modern music but never lived to witness the remarkable impact of his life's work. The time was the late 1970s, and the post-punk explosion was just gaining momentum in England. At the forefront of this movement was a band named Joy Division. Formed in 1976 and first calling themselves Warsaw, Joy Division favored mood and expression over the aggressive stance that had come to define punk rock. The band was championed by Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, and collaborated with producer Martin Hannett on the album that would become their undisputed masterpiece -- 1979's Unknown Pleasures. But despite the band's rising popularity, lead singer Curtis was not in good mental or physical health due a debilitating battle with epilepsy and an extramarital affair, and hanged himself in his Macclesfield home on the eve of the band's first U.S. tour. Newcomer Sam Riley stars opposite Samantha Morton in the film that sets out to tell the definitive story of a true rock & roll legend. more..

Director: Anton Corbijn

Starring: Sam Riley,Samantha Morton, Alexandra Maria Lara,Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson


  • One of the most perceptive of rock music biopics.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    26 April 2013

  • It's Corbijn, shooting with a poet's eye in a harshly stunning black-and-white, who cuts to the soul of Ian's life and music. You don't watch this movie, you live it.

    Peter Travers - Rolling Stone

    26 April 2013

  • Control goes past the clichés of punk rock-god gloom to offer a snapshot of alienation that's shockingly humane.

    Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly

    26 April 2013

  • The result is both a surprisingly lucid portrayal of clinical depression and dramatically a bit stiff.

    Ty Burr - The Boston Globe

    26 April 2013

  • The cast is excellent, particularly Riley and Morton and, as Joy Division's brash manager, Toby Kebbell. He's a great character, bitter and hostile and a scoundrel: a born manager of talent destined to tear itself apart.

    Michael Phillips - The Chicago Tribune

    26 April 2013


  • Matt Greenhalgh

    BAFTA Awards (2008)

  • Best Non-American Film (Bedste ikke-amerikanske film)

    Bodil Awards (2009)

  • Sam Riley

    Bratislava International Film Festival (2007)

  • Best British Independent Film

    British Independent Film Awards (2007)

  • Martin Ruhe

    Camerimage (2007)