Burn After Reading

Watch Burn After Reading

"Intelligence is relative."
  • R
  • 2008
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 7.0  (353,236)
  • 63

Burn After Reading is a quirky, black comedy film directed by the Coen brothers that was released in 2008. The film stars an ensemble cast of well-known actors including Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, and Richard Jenkins. The film follows the story of Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) who is a recently fired CIA agent. After deciding to write a memoir of his experiences at the agency, he leaves a disc with his sensitive files at a gym locker. An employee of the gym named Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) and her coworker Chad (Brad Pitt) find the disc and believe it to be valuable and try to make a profit out of it.

Linda is a lonely woman who is obsessed with getting cosmetic surgery in order to improve her chances of finding love on online dating sites. She enlists the help of her coworker Chad, who is an energetic and enthusiastic man that is eager to help her out. When they come across the disc with Cox's files, they believe that it contains sensitive and classified information about the CIA and try to use their findings to blackmail the agency.

Meanwhile, Cox is dealing with his own personal drama. His wife Katie (Tilda Swinton) is having an affair with Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney), a federal marshal who is also married. Harry is juggling his infidelity with Katie alongside an affair with Linda, who he thinks is a Russian spy.

The events of the film are set in motion when Linda and Chad approach Cox with their find, demanding a ransom in exchange for the disc. Cox, who is annoyed by their ignorance, refuses and sets out to get the disc back. As the different characters in the movie start to overlap with each other, things quickly spiral out of control, and the comedy of errors deepens.

The film's pace is fast, and the dialogue is sharp and witty. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Burn After Reading is watching the talented cast of actors shine in their roles. Brad Pitt in particular stands out in his role as Chad. He fully embraces the character's goofiness and energy, making him a standout performer.

The gloomy and ominous score, composed by Carter Burwell, adds to the film's sarcastic and cynical tone. The filmmakers do an excellent job of satirizing the intelligence community, poking fun at institutional paranoia and red tape. The film's dark humor will certainly appeal to fans of the Coen brothers' previous works, such as Fargo and The Big Lebowski.

Overall, Burn After Reading is a sharp and witty black comedy that features a talented ensemble cast at the top of their game. The Coen brothers deliver another memorable film that is sure to entertain fans of their previous work.

Burn After Reading is a 2008 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 63.

Burn After Reading
Where to Watch Burn After Reading
Burn After Reading is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Burn After Reading for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (353,236)
  • Metascore