7.0/10
304,993
634 user 340 critic

Burn After Reading (2008)

Trailer
1:47 | Trailer
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.

Directors:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Reviews
Popularity
1,423 ( 22)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 8 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Clooney ... Harry Pfarrer
Frances McDormand ... Linda Litzke
Brad Pitt ... Chad Feldheimer
John Malkovich ... Osborne Cox
Tilda Swinton ... Katie Cox
Richard Jenkins ... Ted
Elizabeth Marvel ... Sandy Pfarrer
David Rasche ... CIA Officer Palmer DeBakey Smith
J.K. Simmons ... CIA Superior (as JK Simmons)
Olek Krupa ... Krapotkin
Michael Countryman ... Alan
Kevin Sussman ... Tuchman Marsh Man
J.R. Horne J.R. Horne ... Divorce Lawyer (as JR Horne)
Hamilton Clancy ... Peck
Armand Schultz ... Olson
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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 »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first Coen Brothers (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen) film not photographed by Roger Deakins since Miller's Crossing (1990). He was unavailable, having committed to shoot Revolutionary Road (2008). See more »

Goofs

When Linda and Chad are at the Russian Embassy, the video surveillance shot shows that it is May 1st, later it shows Harry looking at his cell phone with the date being 17/9/2008, September 17th, obviously 5 months later. See more »

Quotes

Chad Feldheimer: Manolo, you DIDN'T find this.
Manolo: I found it on the floor there.
Chad Feldheimer: Yeah, I know. But...
Manolo: Right there on the floor there. Just lying there.
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Crazy Credits

A female attorney handled 'Serious Matters' See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Serious Man (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Getting Hotter
Written by Tim Love Lee (as T. Lee), John Andrew Spence (as A. Spence)
Performed by Tim Love Lee
See more »

User Reviews

 
Maintained a dark comedy feel even through the darkest parts
22 August 2019 | by jackgdemossSee all my reviews

Burn After Reading is my first run in with the Coen brothers, so I am completely unfamiliar with their style. What they seemed to have on their side from the get go was a rockstar cast filling all lead and character roles. Even some of the unknowns gave fiery performances. This film felt most similar to Requiem for a Dream both in theme and story-telling. I look forward to catching up on more Coen films in the future.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Burn After Reading See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,128,001, 14 September 2008

Gross USA:

$60,355,347

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$163,728,902
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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