Burn After Reading
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Stills from Burn After Reading (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
THE LACK OF A PLOT WAS PART OF THE POINT!
THE POINT OF THE MOVIE WAS HOW TRULY POINTLESS MOST THINGS ARE!
In their brilliance, the coens were MAKING A POINT BY MAKING A MOVIE WITH NO POINT!
This film is true genius and one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Clooney was a perverted mess and Pitt was genius as a mindless but fun good samaritan. If you know anything about comedy, you will love this film.
The movie is directed by the Coen brothers and stars Clooney, Pitt, McDormand, Malkovich and Swinton. What's not to like?
I'm hard to please when it comes to humor, but several Coen brothers films hit the spot. It's clever dialogue rather than slapstick physical humor, and some of it is unpredictable. I can't laugh when I see a joke coming from a mile away wearing a T-shirt with "This is funny, laugh now" written on it. I like to be surprised.
So what is surprising about Burn After Reading?
Harry Pfarrer (Clooney) has no redeeming features. He's married, but sees other women at every opportunity. He's having an affair with Katie Cox (Swinton). Harry is shallow, paranoid and somewhat stupid and Clooney plays the character with his usual charm and good humor.
If there is anyone dumber than Harry, it has to be Chad Feldheimer (Pitt), who works in a gym. Chad is a complete idiot in every way. His friend at the gym is Linda Litzke (McDormand), who is obsessed with undergoing cosmetic surgery to improve her appearance.
Osborne Cox (Malkovich) is married to Katie and works as an analyst for the CIA. Most of his sentences include at least one profanity and he's borderline alcoholic. The story begins with a meeting in which Osborne is told that he will be demoted, but instead of accepting the situation, he quits. Katie is not pleased, even though she's on the verge of leaving him for Harry.
There's not much of a plot.Read more ›
This film is actually quite intelligent in its own right, the characters seem well defined and are played superbly. The characters were specifically written for the actor playing them and it really shows.
John Malkovich portrays the agent lost of all hope well, you become quite intimidated by both his intelligence and temper.
George Clooney as the paranoid individual who's having more affairs than you can wave a stick at doesn't falter. He's jumpy, but hey who wouldn't be if you were sleeping with three different women. This eratic behaviour becomes a bit tragic and leads to the death of one of the characters in the film.
Brad Pitt as the loveable and wannabe cunning idiot is fantastic, the facial expressions and general stereotypical dexterity of what we would expect a personal trainer to be really works. This becomes especially amusing when he enters into the bribing game with Malkovich and starts to enter into the character of cunning spy. It has to be seen to be believed.Read more ›
I repeatedly find in Coen comedies characters who are not only entertainly dumb, but (as happens so often in real life, doesn't it?) unaware of their stupidity. (Think back to "The Big Lebowski" and "O, Brother, Where Art Thou?") In "Burn After Reading" the Coens have assembled both performers and characters who are able to rip through a script that would be part hilarious and part ridiculous - ridiculous, that is, if it were not a Coen Brothers movie.
Brad Pitt appears prominently in the film's ad campaign (and he is sublime as an airheaded fitness trainer), but it would be difficult to say he is the "star", as a half dozen characters share as much screen time. John Malkovich brings an edgy profanity to his not-as-smart-as-he-thinks-he-is CIA analyst, who quits rather than take a demotion when his bosses confront him about his drinking problem. Tilda Swinton is superbly cast as his icy wife, not only reprising her White Witch character from "Narnia", but also her cold-blooded lawyer from "Michael Clayton". Swinton plays a pediatrician - the kind that makes children cry and doesn't care.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not the best Cohn brothers, more cynical, colder even then usual. A good send-up of the obsession of the CIA etc. with secrecy.Published 7 days ago by Henry Hitz
Good cast, good script, and an "out there" plot. Makes you wonder about how close this is to how our govt. really works.Published 11 days ago by MOTU
Well acted and directed but not as many laughs as I would have expected from a Cohen brothers film. Having said that, I still believe it was worth watching once.Published 14 days ago by CRT
I was moved to write a review of Burn After Reading after not being able to find a similar interpretation of the movie to mine in all the reviews I've seen. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brendan L.
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