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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
1,887 ( 7)
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:

Intelligence is only their job. 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

It was George Clooney's idea that his character wear a gold chain, thinking it would make him look ordinary and a bit old-fashioned. See more »

Goofs

The check that Osborne Cox wrote was returned NSF to him, when in reality it would be returned to the payee. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Harry Pfarrer: Well, hello!
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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 The Orange British Academy Film Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Pictures At An Exhibition Promenade
(1874)
Written by Modest Mussorgsky
Performed by Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra
Courtesy of Naxos Of America
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User Reviews

 
Burn After Reading — What if you believed you were in a spy movie?
2 June 2013 | by AvidClimberSee all my reviews

Burn After Reading is a weird movie. It takes everything that makes a good spy flick and turn it on its head. You can't help but incredulously laugh at what happens. This is all about oddballs.

The good. Excellent acting. Totally off the wall characters, actions and situations, yet completely logical. Story with twists within twists. Well paced scenario. Solid dialogs. Nice action.

The actors. George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, and John Malkovich play disturbingly crazy roles stuffed with delusion and heavily dosed with stupidity. While Richard Jenkins, David Rasche, and J.K. Simmons seem almost out of place as the standard bearers of reason.

The bad. Since it's so bizarre, it won't please everyone.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. Offbeat and cooky comedy. Don't think you'll see your run of the mill kind of film and you'll have fun.


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Details

Official Sites:

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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
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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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