Burn After Reading

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Released 2008

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7.6
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Movie Summary

Director:
Joel Coen , Ethan Coen
Released:
2008
Rating:
R

Burn After Reading is a comedy crime drama that was directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen in 2008. The movie was produced by Studio Canal and revolves around the story of Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) who has recently been fired by the CIA. He decides to dedicate his spare time to writing a memoir about his life. From then on, we meet an assortment of characters who each add to the comedic aspect of this movie. There is Cox's wife (Tilda Swinton) who wants to leave him, her lover Harry (George Clooney) who works at the State Department, Linda (Frances McDormand) who wishes to have elective surgery, and Chad (Brad Pitt). Linda and Chad randomly find a disk at a fitness center and wish to make some money out of it. Their quest leads them all the way to the Russian embassy and eventually to Cox's house. What secrets will they unravel in their pursuit and what will become of everyone when they are revealed?

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    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.

  • 50

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    The clubby, predictably self-amused comedy from Joel and Ethan Coen, has a tricky plot, visual style, er, to burn, but so little heart as to warrant a Jarvik 8.

  • 50

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    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 t...

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    More Info About This Movie

    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Crime