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Burn After Reading (2008)

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1:20 | Featurette

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ON DISC
A disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous and daft gym employees who attempt to sell it.

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1,396 ( 280)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
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Ted
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Sandy Pfarrer
...
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CIA Superior (as JK Simmons)
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Alan
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J.R. Horne ...
Divorce Lawyer (as JR Horne)
...
Peck
...
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Storyline

Osbourne Cox, a Balkan expert, resigned from the CIA because of a drinking problem, so he begins a memoir. His wife wants a divorce and expects her lover, Harry, a philandering State Department marshal, to leave his wife. A CD-ROM falls out of a gym bag at a Georgetown fitness center. Two employees there try to turn it into cash: Linda, who wants money for cosmetic surgery, and Chad, an amiable goof. Information on the disc leads them to Osbourne who rejects their sales pitch; then they visit the Russian embassy. To sweeten the pot, they decide they need more of Osbourne's secrets. Meanwhile, Linda's boss likes her, and Harry's wife leaves for a book tour. All roads lead to Osbourne's house. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Intelligence is relative. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

12 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Quémese después de leerse  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,128,001, 14 September 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$60,355,347, 25 December 2008

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$163,720,069, 25 December 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Palmer's office there are some pictures on the wall behind Palmer on the right side. One of the pictures is a photo of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State. Kissinger and The CIA acknowledged having played a key role in the coup led by General Pinochet that toppled the Marxist government of Salvador Allende in 1973, the democratically elected president of Chile at the time. See more »

Goofs

The apparent time of year keeps changing, some scenes have "turned leaves" on the street, with colorful trees. Others scenes look to be in mid summer, with clear streets and sidewalks See more »

Quotes

Harry Pfarrer: Ya wanna come downstairs? Ya like surprises?
Linda Litzke: [cheerful] Well, I'm always open to new experiences.
Harry Pfarrer: [walking downstairs] Yeah, I tell ya. I saw an ad for this in a gentlemen's magazine. Twelve hundred bucks. I'm lookin' at this thing and I think, 'You gotta be kiddin' me.' I'm a hobbyist. Thing's basically nothing but speed rails. I figure I'd go down to Home Depot and whip this up myself for... a hundred bucks.
Linda Litzke: What is it?
Harry Pfarrer: What is it?
[pats the seat of the mechanism]
Harry Pfarrer: You sit down there, make ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Cort Hessler's name appears twice. He was a Stunt Driver on the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Tosh.0: Ben's Video Resume (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

On The Floor
(2008)
Written by Taryn Murphy and Chris Landon
Performed by Taryn Murphy
Courtesy of Getty Images
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Another Hit from the genius of the Coens.
4 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

There's a point in this movie that George Clooney's character, Harry Pfarrer shows Frances McDormand's character Linda Litzke something that we've seen him working on for about half the movie. It was so surprising when I first saw it, that at first, I didn't even know what it was.

Once again, the Coens have created wonderful characters, including Clooney, who is a womanizer and paranoid that people are following him, and McDormand, who just wants plastic surgery in order to look better. Also, there's John Malkovich as Osbourne Cox, who "doesn't have a drinking problem," and maybe the best in the movie, Brad Pitt as Chad, a clueless gym employee who is pushed along by McDormand.

The only character that isn't up to par with the rest is Tilda Swinton's character of Katie Cox, Osbourne's wife. She doesn't get as many laughs as the rest, and it seems like the Coens just needed her as a plot device rather than an actual character. However, she may not be funny, but she does play the character well.

The writing is brilliant and the Coens weave the story in such a way that it reminds me of their previous movie, The Big Lebowski. In the end, as J.K. Simmons character sums it up himself, nothing really happens, but while watching it all unfold, you can't help but laugh at the absurdity.


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