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Burn After Reading (2008)

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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.

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ted
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Sandy Pfarrer
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CIA Superior (as JK Simmons)
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Alan
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J.R. Horne ...
Divorce Lawyer (as JR Horne)
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Peck
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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 only their job. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

12 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Quémese después de leerse  »

Box Office

Budget:

$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,128,001 (USA) (14 September 2008)

Gross:

$60,355,347 (USA) (25 December 2008)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frances McDormand's seventh film under the direction of the Coen brothers following Blood Simple. (1984), Raising Arizona (1987), Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), Fargo (1996) and The Man Who Wasn't There (2001). McDormand is Joel Coen's wife. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene with Linda, in which she's being picked up by the CIA, an agent pulls alongside her on the right. In the second shot depicting him, the car is in the same spot, in a traffic lane (not parked), but the shifter is in the Park position. See more »

Quotes

CIA Superior: The Russians?
CIA Officer: Mmm-hmm.
CIA Superior: The Russians?
CIA Officer: Mmm-hmm, Russian Embassy.
CIA Superior: Are you sure?
CIA Officer: Hey, the guy was not hard to follow, as you know.
CIA Superior: Why the fuck would they go to the Russians? Why the fuck?
See more »

Crazy Credits

As usual, the Coen Brothers edited this film under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes See more »


Soundtracks

CIA Man
(1965)
Written by Tuli Kupferberg
Performed by The Fugs
Courtesy of Edward Sanders / Heavy Metal Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Bright American Farce
13 September 2008 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See 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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