Movie Review: Burn After Reading (2008)

We all last saw George Clooney and Brad Pitt together in Ocean's 13, where they played the slick Danny Ocean and cool Rusty Ryan respectively. In Burn After Reading, both played characters that are neither slick nor cool.

Directed by the talented Coen Brothers, Burn After reading is a movie about exaggeration, over-reaction and paranoia. The story is sparked when an ex-CIA analyst and drunkard Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) recorded his personal memoirs and this disc unexpectedly falls into the hands of gym instructors Chad (Brad Pitt) and Linda (Frances McDormand). Both thought they've found gold and tried use the disc to blackmail the hapless Osbourne. George Clooney comes into the picture as a Treasury agent who gets entangled with Osbourne's uptight wife (Tilda Swinson) and Linda. All of the characters are drawn up nicely and you'll know why they are motivated to do whatever they did.

The movie may well be regarded as the "Anti-Spy Movie" since there are no global conspiracies, the Russians are friends with the United States and no suave characters-- everyone just wants something. The movie drags a bit on some parts in the middle, but a lot of things do happen in the final act.

Burn After Reading is a film that's made well, but in the end, I was a bit confused and dissatisfied. Was it the ending? I don't know... see for yourself.

Rating: 3.5/5

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