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
1,356 ( 274)
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 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 film cast includes five Oscar winners (George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Brad Pitt, and J.K. Simmons) and two Oscar nominees (Richard Jenkins and John Malkovich). See more »

Goofs

Mr. Krapotkin asks, about the CD, "PC or Mac"? Most data CD formats are readable by either type of computer. However, Krapotkin could be asking in case the data is in a format readable only on one type of machine, e.g. a word processor package that exists only for the Mac. See more »

Quotes

Palmer DeBakey Smith, CIA Officer: [first lines - greeting his arrival] Ozzie, come on in.
Osbourne Cox: Palmer, what's up?
Palmer DeBakey Smith, CIA Officer: Uh, you know, uh, Peck and Olson?
Osbourne Cox: Peck yes, hi ya...
Palmer DeBakey Smith, CIA Officer: Olson by reputation.
Osbourne Cox: [to Olson] I'm Osbourne Cox.
Olson: Yeah, I, mmm...
Osbourne Cox: Aren't you with...
Palmer DeBakey Smith, CIA Officer: Ya, that's right. Have a seat.
Palmer DeBakey Smith, CIA Officer: Look Oz, look, there's no easy way to say this: We're taking you off the Balkans Desk.
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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 Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.72 (2012) 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

 
A Bright American Farce
13 September 2008 | by katiemeyer1979See all my reviews

Nobody is quite there in this new bright farce by the Coen brothers. The plot is a smart excuse for a movie about nothing but appearing to be about a lot of things. Going backwards and forwards at the same time. Talk about "The Russians?" or planning to write a memoir. Brad Pitt is priceless and the innocence of his character is so believable that I wondered how many more surprises this actor has up his sleeve. He is a joy. George Clooney is also terrific and the Coens move through their crossed purposes with speed and elegance. I was totally immerse in their universe even if I didn't quite care what was going on. John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins and the unnerving Tilda Swinton complete the package of this movie that feels as if it was made for the sheer pleasure of it.


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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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