7.0/10
309,353
642 user 342 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
1,575 ( 312)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 8 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

A high stakes love life and Jewel CIA shelter. 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

When Linda (Frances McDormand) and Harry (George Clooney) go to the theater to watch "Coming Up Daisy," the board displaying showtimes lists "Hail Caeser" as one of the films showing at the theater. This is a reference to "Hail, Caesar! (2016)," the 2016 Coen Brothers (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen) film of the same name, which would not be produced for eight more years. See more »

Goofs

After Osborne has quit the agency, he is on a sailboat motoring on the water. This changes to a closeup with his father and the sailboat is suddenly not moving through the water. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Chad Feldheimer: [excited] Oh, my God!
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Crazy Credits

A female attorney handled 'Serious Matters' See more »

Connections

Featured in Meet the Mormons (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Getting Hotter
Written by Tim Love Lee (as T. Lee), John Andrew Spence (as A. Spence)
Performed by Tim Love Lee
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User Reviews

 
Do people not get the humor in this?
30 August 2020 | by johnhudsonvc15See all my reviews

This is one of the funniest movies to date. It moves quickly, it's witty, and funny, and nothing is more entertaining than Brad Pitt acting like an adolescent egging on an ex CIA member. This goes up there with Big Lebowski and Fargo for me. Quirky excellence.


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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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