Burn After Reading
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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Burn After Reading can be found here.

The screenplay for Burn After Reading was written by directors and producers Joel and Ethan Coen. However, the Coens have novelized their screenplay, released as a 128-page paperback in September, 2008. For details, see here.

Possibly. When Chad (Brad Pitt) and Linda (Frances McDormand) call Osborne (John Malkovich) on the phone, they read him something from his memoirs that they claim they found on the disc to prove that they have his info. There is also the possibility that Katie (Tilda Swinton) copied over a mishmash of financial information from his computer. Or both. At any rate, when the Russians search the disc, they conclude that it's all drivel, which could mean that it's simply unworthy intelligence. When the CIA superior (J.K. Simmons) asks what clearance level Osborne is, he isn't at all worried when he hears that his access is "level 3". It is possible that the disc contained his memoirs, but that said memoirs were not as explosive as Osbourne (who has a vast superiority complex) or Linda and Chad (who aren't exactly the brightest bulbs in the socket) think they may be. By drivel, the Russians may mean that the information, while undoubtedly there, is simply unimportant.

"Grounds For Divorce" by Elbow from the album The Seldom Seen Kid (2008).

"I Got a Line On You" by Spirit from the album The Family That Plays Together (1968).


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