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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.

Directors:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
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Popularity
1,511 ( 117)

A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

Dude, let's go bowling

Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 27 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
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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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Quémese después de leerse See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,128,001, 14 September 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$60,355,347, 25 December 2008

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$163,720,069, 25 December 2008
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Harry (George Clooney)'s wife is on the Seattle show, the show's host interrupts her, saying that "Dermot Mulroney" is coming on after the commercial break. Dermot Mulroney is the actor that plays "Star of 'Coming Up Daisy'" in the actual film. See more »

Goofs

When Chad Feldheimer enters Coxes house the basement door is different between the outside view (door and side window) and inside view (no side window). See more »

Quotes

Chad Feldheimer: Uh, O-Osbourne Cox?
Osbourne Cox: Yes! Yes, it's - Hello! It's Osbourne Cox! Who the fuck are you? What documents are you talking about?
See more »

Crazy Credits

As usual, the Coen Brothers edited this film under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.72 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

When The Saints Go Marhcing In
Traditional
Performed by Columbia Ballroom Orchestra
Courtesy of Savoy Label Group, LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Movie which is like Math
13 September 2010 | by acg_PangeaSee all my reviews

There is a idea that great movies come from Hollywood once in a blue moon. If it's true, Burn After Reading is definitely one of them. It makes you scare, it makes you thrill moreover - this might be awkward- it makes you also laugh. All these are mixed in a scenario which I haven't seen so creative for awhile. It's like a math problem. And just like it, your mind working through the movie. Keeping guess that who's dealing who. I recommend this movie especially for crime movie lovers. They will find unique tastes from it but even if you are not a fan of genre, it doesn't matter because either way, you'll watch a movie which has been dished up

masterly.


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