W A R N I N G -- May Contain Spoilers!!

Burn After Reading is a comedy written and directed by the Coen brothers. It was released September 12th, 2008, and came out on DVD on December 21st, 2008.


Osbourne Cox (played by John Malkovich) is a CIA analyst who is fired for having a drinking problem. His wife (played by Tilda Swinton) is cheating on him with an ex-bodyguard named Harry (played by George Clooney), Harry is also sleeping around with an employee of a Georgetown gym, Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand). Osbourne's wife hires a divorce lawyer to investigate his finances, and he gets a copy of his memoirs and financial information. The lawyer's secretary loses the disk while working out at the gym. Linda and her friend, amiable goofball Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) find the disk and believe it to contain secret intelligence documents.

Linda and Chad manage to figure out who made the files, and then they try to blackmail Osbourne into paying to get the disk back. He refuses to pay, so they try to sell the disk to the Russian embassy. Meanwhile, both Osbourne's and Harry's wives have hired private investigators as part of divorce proceedings, Linda is desperate to get cosmetic surgery, Osbourne is drinking harder than ever, and when Chad breaks in to Osbourne's house in an attempt to get more intelligence, the real cluster-fuck begins.

Major Cast:

George Clooney -- Harry Pfarrer
Frances McDormand -- Linda Litzke
John Malkovich -- Osbourne Cox
Tilda Swinton -- Katie Cox
Brad Pitt -- Chad Feldheimer
Richard Jenkins -- Ted Treffon
Elizabeth Marvel -- Sandy Pfarrer
David Rasche -- CIA Officer
J.K. Simmons -- CIA Superior
Olek Krupa -- Krapotkin
Michael Countryman -- Alan

Written and Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
Metacritic Rating: 63/100

My review:

From the mixed reviews it appears that either you will love this movie, or hate it. I have to say that I am in the latter group. I expected better from a film starring Clooney and Pitt, was hoping for some great laughs, along with a good story, like I got from Ocean's 11. Instead what I got was a movie where the greatest highlight must have been Clooney in various states of undress. Pitt stayed in character well, but the role was a complete waste of his talent. In short, I believe this movie was 96 minutes that I will never get back.

Thanks go to Pfft for a minor correction.

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