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Burn After Reading (2008)

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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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1,802 ( 291)
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)
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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 only their job. 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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Release Date:

12 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Quémese después de leerse  »

Box Office

Budget:

$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,128,001 (USA) (14 September 2008)

Gross:

$60,355,347 (USA) (25 December 2008)
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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

The film was mostly shot in and around New York because the Coen brothers wanted to stay near their families and because George Clooney was working on another project in the area. See more »

Goofs

When Osbourne is getting demoted, he is behind a chair from one camera angle and in front of the chair from another angle. See more »

Quotes

Krapotkin: This is Mr Krapotkin from the Russian embassy.
Linda Litzke: Mr Crapkin... Is this a secure line?
Krapotkin: Are you joking?
See more »

Crazy Credits

A female attorney handled 'Serious Matters' See more »

Connections

References Seinfeld (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

All You Need
Written by Paul Adelstein
Performed by Doris
Courtesy of Kick-Off Rally Songs Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An Intelligent. Quirky, Surreal Delight
17 October 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film will not be to everyones taste, and I wholly understand the polarised responses.A star studded cast enjoy a knowing, wordy script, where dialogue counts, a Coen brothers trademark.However not very much happens, and the narrative is disjointed, so the pace of the story is very staccato.But once again the result is something very wide of the Hollywood mainstream and is all the more satisfying for it.

A 95 minute running time,, and several separate but interwoven plots, mean that screen time for individual actors is limited. Consequently each shines in their given roles, relishing the word play and eking the maximum out of each situation.No scene is dwelled upon, and the occasional bloody outburst of violence, or titillating appearance of a Sybian machine , is shown then moved on from before you have time to work out exactly what is going on.

The script is littered with double entendres, "running gags (pun intended)and lines aimed straight at the audience from the screen. No-one knows what is going on, or what has gone on, or what is going to happen, and is all the better for it.A mini-masterpiece.


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