Burn After Reading
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At the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Arlington, Va., analyst Osborne Cox arrives for a top-secret meeting. Unfortunately for Cox, the secret is soon out: he is being ousted. Cox does not take the news particularly well and returns to his Georgetown home to work on his memoirs and his drinking, not necessarily in that order. His wife Katie is dismayed, though not particularly surprised; she is already well into an illicit affair with Harry Pfarrer, a married federal marshal, and sets about making plans to leave Cox for Harry. Elsewhere in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"These are functioning morons, they walk and work among us. And they are brilliant and funny and in spite of the screwball-comedy nature of the story, they are completely believable."
‑ Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies
"For fans of the Coens... it suggests, especially on the heels of No Country for Old Men, that they have rediscovered their cinematic vision after several lean years."
‑ Christopher Orr, The New Republic
"Seldom has a comedy about such thoroughly dumb individuals been so engaging, or so insightful."
‑ David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org
"A month from now you'll have forgotten all about it."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Gratuitous stuff, flat and desperate"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
", Frances McDormand might get nominated for an Academy Award in a supporting role. She was great."
‑ Ben Lyons, At the Movies
"On screen, delusional schmoes are more fun than smart people, and in the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, the imperious former spook played by John Malkovich accuses his blackmailers...of heading a league of morons."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"A comedy so stupid, it doesn't realise it's a comedy. If intelligence is relative, then ignorance is bliss."
‑ Ali Gray, TheShiznit.co.uk
"Coen fans will also enjoy their distinct brand of whip-cracking dialogue, which is almost musical in its rhythms."
‑ Stella Papamichael, Digital Spy
"It's a just-for-funsies caper, and the Coen brothers seem to revel in it, helped along by an impressive cast that gleefully follows their lead."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"The Coens are loopy stylists, and it's often amusing to watch this comedy of errors unfold. But after a masterpiece like No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading is classified as disposable."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Burn After Reading is a piffle, but it's a savagely amusing one."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"A quirky tale of lust, greed, vanity, idiocy and ineptitude that spreads its giggly ripples through the bureaucratic buildings and leafy suburbs of Washington, D.C."
‑ Neil Pond, American Profile
"Sure Burn After Reading is disjointed, fragmented and frustrated. But that's the point."
‑ Mike Edwards, What Culture
"Fails to live up to the high expectations involuntarily set by such reputable talent."
‑ Anders Wotzke, Moviedex
More reviews for Burn After Reading on Rotten Tomatoes

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