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Burn After Reading 2008

A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it...

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Solar rating: 7.7


Imdb rating: 7

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Good beginning - Pretty aright throughout - Terrible ending
encountering pathetically moronic people apparently stupefies the so called 'intelligence community'.. brad pitt and george clooney are good at subdued humor.
nowdownload wants $$$.. bait & switch.
It really is a dark spy comedy. Pitt plays a cooky gym trainer which is very funny and the plot and performances are exceptional. I say go see it its worth your while.
So your first question when reading this is... what is this movie worth?

Must See?
It looks perrty funny
Prolific filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona, Blood Simple), fresh off their Oscar-winning adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel, No Country for Old Men, are back less than a year later with Burn After Reading, a black/comedy spy farce. With their reputations restored after the success of No Country for Old Men (Lady Killers and Intolerable Cruelty were critical and commercial misfires), the Coen Brothers deliver an absurdist, Seinfeldian comedy of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and mistaken identity. Burn After Reading may not reach the Olympian heights of the Coen Brothers' previous forays into farce (The Big Lebowski and Raising Arizona got there first), but it comes close.

Burn After Reading focuses on a minor constellation of self-obsessed characters, ranging from Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney), a Treasury agent and serial adulterer who brags about never firing his gun in 20 years as an agent, the married lover angling for a long-term commitment, Katie (Tilda Swinton), her ex-CIA analyst husband with a drinking problem and a penchant for profanity, Osborne Cox (John Malkovich), Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand), a forty-something gym employee eager to embark on a flurry of self-improvement through cosmetic surgery, her manager, Ted Treffon (Richard Jenkins), who longs for Linda to return his romantic interest, and Linda's friend and fellow gym employee, Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt), a strutting, preening, pretty boy who's as deep as the shallow end of a swimming pool.

Everyone wants something from everyone else and that something, a MacGuffin (an object of desire and plot device of little relevance and marginal importance) if there ever was one, centers on a CD containing a partial manuscript of Osborn's tell-all memoirs. An employee at the Hardbodies Fitness Center finds the CD, turns it over to Chad. After deciphering the CD's contents, Chad and Linda see money in their future: contact Osborne and offer the CD in exchange for a "Good Samaritan" tax. Osborne refuses to go along to get along, which in turn convinces Chad and Linda to look for a buyer; their first stop: the Russian embassy and a cultural attach
I sat bored out of my mind for however the hell long that turd of a movie was. The only times I ever chuckled were during the conversations between the CIA director and his staff. The rest of the movie is pretty much atrocious. None of the characters are likable, and the only two who were approaching it were shot in the face and hacked to death with a hatchet, respectively. Save your money, wait till it hits Redbox - or better yet, spend the buck on a soda. Thank you Coen Brothers for another steaming pile of ...

My thoughts exactly....

The film comes in tact with an all star cast including George Clooney, Pitt, McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Malkovich, and JK Simmons. It's clear they brought their A game because each one of them shines when their turn comes. The best of the bunch would have to be Pitt, in perhaps his funniest role yet. The guy is just stupid here, plain old dumb. But he does stupid well, very well. Pitt's Chad may well be the only likeable character in the entire movie and just seems to be a caring, kindhearted guy even if he is a little slow. JK Simmons did an amazing job in his small role as a CIA employee who is just as flabbergasted at the events occuring as the audience is. It's great when Simmons keeps rehashing the crazy cirumstances and basically asking "What the hell is going on?" He's pretty much speaking for the audience, but we don't care why it's happening because it's a hell of a riot.
If you liked No Country For Old Men, well, it doesn't matter because "Burn After Reading" is a DIFFERENT film altogether.

"What the fuck!?" is what the tagline should be for this movie. John Malkovich's character uses it extensively, and the audiences across the nation have probably said it too while watching this.

The story starts off simple enough: a CIA analyst gets demoted but doesn't take it too well, and quits instead. He decides to start writing some memoirs that include details about his secret work with the CIA. His wife, in an attempt to get his financial records on a disc, accidentally copies his memoirs along with them. Her lawyer's secretary drops her copy in Hardbody's Gym and it lands in the hands of the awesomely, flaky, bleached-blonde-haired Chad Feldheimer played every little bit by Brad Pitt. He believes he has his hands on some classified intelligence "shit". He believes he can get money for it by blackmailing the owner, Osbourne Cox played by Malkovich, and Chad's co-worker wants in on the action so she can pay for her cosmetic surgery(s).

A tangled fucking web starts to get weaved including unfaithful wives and husbands, and one confused as hell CIA superior played perfectly by J.K. Simmons (most would know him as J. Jonah Jameson, or Juno's daddy).

I was super-pumped to go see this movie. One reason being the Coens, and the other being Brad Pitt. I say Brad Pitt because the dude is fucking amazing in everything I've seen him in since Fight Club, not because I'm gay (I'd fuck him).

Brad Pitt definitely lived up to my expectations and beyond, as always with him. We are so used to seeing him being the cool guy, but then you get him as this who works in a gym and just does NOT have a clue and it is brilliant.

John Malkovich was pure madness and pushed the anger and drinking problems to just the right level, not too over the top.

Frances McDormand's character was just as dumb as Pitt's, and they were an amazing team. Watching her character's actions was a treat. The whole time you are thinking to yourself, "Is she really doing/saying that?"

Tilda Swinton played an awesome bitch. Yeah, she was a bitch and it was perfect.

Let's not forget Mr. George Clooney. I don't think I've ever seen him in a role like this. With the combination of Brad Pitt AND George Clooney playing someone other than their cool guy characters, it was amazing. It was refreshing to not recognize Clooney as Clooney, and instead as this guy with some serious issues.

What amazes me most about this movie is the writing. This is one of the best stories, writing-wise, that I've ever seen. This is some hardcore and reverse-engineered "shit". I say reverse-engineered because there's no way the Coens' could write this in a linear fashion. They had to have started at the end and wrote this backwards to follow it themselves. I give them HUGE credit for this.

Best comedy/thriller/spy-crime/drama/noir/"What the fuck!?" film of the year.

Burn After Reading

8 out of 10
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