Burn After Reading
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Joel and Ethan Coen's jet-black comedy Burn After Reading begins with CIA agent Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) losing his job. This prompts his long-suffering, unfaithful wife (Tilda Swinton) to consult a lawyer about divorcing him. Osborne decides to write a book about his exploits, but an early draft of his work ends up lost at a gym where it's found by the dim-witted Chad (Brad Pitt, and the plastic-surgery obsessed Linda (Frances McDormand). They decide to blackmail Osborne in order to help Linda pay for the numerous procedures she wants to undergo. Things grow even more complicated… 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
"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
", 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 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
"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 month from now you'll have forgotten all about it."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Gratuitous stuff, flat and desperate"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"a quirky, delicious comedy with an A-list cast clearly enjoying every moment of their screen time"
‑ Simon Weaving, Screenwize
More reviews for Burn After Reading on Rotten Tomatoes

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