Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading

Hot on the heels of their Oscar-winning No Country For Old Men, the illustrious Coen brothers head back into the black comedy/caper territory.

Ozzie Cox (John Malkovich) is a former CIA agent whose ex-wife (Tilda Swinton) steals a disc containing his volatile memoirs and accidentally leaves it at the gym where it is found by two trainers (a knuckleheaded Brad Pitt and Coen regular Frances McDormand) who believe they can use the info to blackmail Cox. George Clooney plays a needy ex-U.S. Marshall who gets tangled up in the mess - he's dating both Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton.

This is the first Coen Brothers film not photographed by Roger Deakins since Barton Fink (1991). Emmanuel Lubezki (Children of Men, The New World) takes over.

2008Rating: R16, Violence, Offensive Language & Sex Scenes97 minsUSA
ComedyCrimeThriller
Director:
Joel Coen ('No Country For Old Men', 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?', 'Fargo', 'The Big Lebowski', 'Barton Fink')Ethan Coen
Writer:
Joel CoenEthan Coen
Cast:
Brad PittFrances McDormandGeorge ClooneyTilda SwintonJohn MalkovichJ.K. Simmons
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Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

Nothing about the project's execution inspires the feeling that this was ever intended as anything more than a lark, which would be fine if it were a good one. As it is, audience teeth-grinding sets in early and never lets up.

0
Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

press

It would be no country for movie lovers without the Coens. They still manage to run unmuzzled while the rest of Hollywood runs scared.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

The characters are zany, the plot coils upon itself with dizzy zeal, and the roles seem like a perfect fit for the actors -- yes, even Brad Pitt, as Chad, a gum-chewing, fuzzy-headed physical fitness instructor. I've always thought of him as a fine actor, but here he reveals a dimension that, shall I say, we haven't seen before.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

Black comedy's farce elements are overwhelmed by the absence of a single likeable character.

3.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Because it's a Coen brothers film before it's anything else, this is about as dark and nihilistic as comedies are allowed to get before the laughter dies bitterly on your lips.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Joel and Ethan Coen clearly are in a prankish mood, knocking out a minor piece of silliness with all the trappings of an A-list studio movie.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

If "No Country For Old Men" was vintage port, Burn After Reading is a shot of tequila: eye watering and hard to swallow, but the after-effect is terrific.

4.0
0

It got 5 stars from me just for one terrific 1second long scene that really marked the second half of the movie. The movie really gets going about then but fails to maintain momentum before petering off towards the end. But then that may be essential to the theme of the movie: something ultimately unimportant becomes everyone's focus without anyone knowing...

5.0
0

Malkovich, McDormand, Pitt and Cloney are great in those very unusual roles, all the more frustrating since there is not much of a script really. Nothing new to be excited about. Apart from a few individual sparks I was bored watching it. The Big Lebowski was fantastic, O Brother Where Art Thou? was different (which is always good) but Burn After Reading......

1.0
0

Great film. Fast paced, fantastic acting, and easy to understand and well written dialogue. OK not a life changing experiance, but well worth the price of admission and a great way to spend a couple of hours. I went with a group and we all loved it. Brad Pitt is excellent in a minor role.

4.0
0

We expected so much more.. Clearly you either have to be in the right mood or need a certain taste in humour when you watch this movie. This one failed to get me going, or my three friends, should've taken our 100 bux to the bar. Painful.

1.0
0

I would have given this no stars WORST MOVIE THIS YEAR

1.0
0

Both Brad Pitt's & George Clonney's characterS are hillarious- A chance to see them as never before! Great supporting cast. Kept the whole cinema laughing!

5.0
0

I'd like to express my disgust at local film reviews, in regards to this film (with the exception of Flicks). Every damn reviewer says the same thing - that Burn After Reading isn't good because of unlikeable characters. What a lazy point of view for a film critic!? Haven't these people heard of villains? Why is it necessary to LIKE characters anyway? I...

5.0
0

idiot in this film. Brad Pitt is the same. Saw it with my dad, who's 77, and we both laughed out loud. He said it is as good but obviously funnier than Fargo. This is a perfectly poised American comedy: short, sharp and clear.

5.0
0

Yes, it's black. Yes, the characters have no moral compass (except perhaps one . . . whose double-entendres are priceless!). That's what makes this film. I don't like them - I love to hate them! I would say this film is all about the twisting-turning, always-keeps-you-guessing plot. Then I remember the off-the-wall characters and how Frances McDormand,...

5.0
0

Holy crap this was good, the funniest movie I have seen in a long time! It was a high impact movie in action and comedy, and kept me giggling or laughing out loud the whole way through. "Osbourne Cox: You're a Mormon! Compared to you we all have a drinking problem! " Genius movie.

5.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Nothing about the project's execution inspires the feeling that this was ever intended as anything more than a lark, which would be fine if it were a good one. As it is, audience teeth-grinding sets in early and never lets up.

0
Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

press

It would be no country for movie lovers without the Coens. They still manage to run unmuzzled while the rest of Hollywood runs scared.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

The characters are zany, the plot coils upon itself with dizzy zeal, and the roles seem like a perfect fit for the actors -- yes, even Brad Pitt, as Chad, a gum-chewing, fuzzy-headed physical fitness instructor. I've always thought of him as a fine actor, but here he reveals a dimension that, shall I say, we haven't seen before.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

Black comedy's farce elements are overwhelmed by the absence of a single likeable character.

3.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Because it's a Coen brothers film before it's anything else, this is about as dark and nihilistic as comedies are allowed to get before the laughter dies bitterly on your lips.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Joel and Ethan Coen clearly are in a prankish mood, knocking out a minor piece of silliness with all the trappings of an A-list studio movie.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

If "No Country For Old Men" was vintage port, Burn After Reading is a shot of tequila: eye watering and hard to swallow, but the after-effect is terrific.

4.0
0

It got 5 stars from me just for one terrific 1second long scene that really marked the second half of the movie. The movie really gets going about then but fails to maintain momentum before petering off towards the end. But then that may be essential to the theme of the movie: something ultimately unimportant becomes everyone's focus without anyone...

5.0
0

Malkovich, McDormand, Pitt and Cloney are great in those very unusual roles, all the more frustrating since there is not much of a script really. Nothing new to be excited about. Apart from a few individual sparks I was bored watching it. The Big Lebowski was fantastic, O Brother Where Art Thou? was different (which is always good) but Burn After...

1.0
0

Great film. Fast paced, fantastic acting, and easy to understand and well written dialogue. OK not a life changing experiance, but well worth the price of admission and a great way to spend a couple of hours. I went with a group and we all loved it. Brad Pitt is excellent in a minor role.

4.0
0

We expected so much more.. Clearly you either have to be in the right mood or need a certain taste in humour when you watch this movie. This one failed to get me going, or my three friends, should've taken our 100 bux to the bar. Painful.

1.0
0

I would have given this no stars WORST MOVIE THIS YEAR

1.0
0

Both Brad Pitt's & George Clonney's characterS are hillarious- A chance to see them as never before! Great supporting cast. Kept the whole cinema laughing!

5.0
0

I'd like to express my disgust at local film reviews, in regards to this film (with the exception of Flicks). Every damn reviewer says the same thing - that Burn After Reading isn't good because of unlikeable characters. What a lazy point of view for a film critic!? Haven't these people heard of villains? Why is it necessary to LIKE characters anyway? I...

5.0
0

idiot in this film. Brad Pitt is the same. Saw it with my dad, who's 77, and we both laughed out loud. He said it is as good but obviously funnier than Fargo. This is a perfectly poised American comedy: short, sharp and clear.

5.0
0

Yes, it's black. Yes, the characters have no moral compass (except perhaps one . . . whose double-entendres are priceless!). That's what makes this film. I don't like them - I love to hate them! I would say this film is all about the twisting-turning, always-keeps-you-guessing plot. Then I remember the off-the-wall characters and how Frances McDormand,...

5.0
0

Holy crap this was good, the funniest movie I have seen in a long time! It was a high impact movie in action and comedy, and kept me giggling or laughing out loud the whole way through. "Osbourne Cox: You're a Mormon! Compared to you we all have a drinking problem! " Genius movie.

5.0
0