Burn After Reading is a Coen Brothers comedy about the intersection of several story lines.
This hilarious farce gets a strong 8.
John Malkovich is outstanding as a CIA analyst who has been demoted and chooses to quit instead. His character is full of righteous outrage. Malkovich plays it to the hilt. He is quirky and all over the place. Malkovich is a delight to watch. Malkovich’s character is fairly goofy, partly explaining why his wife, Tilda Swinton, is having an affair with George Clooney. Swinton is also outstanding as a hard, demanding, bitch of a wife. Her character is cold and calculating – a delightful bit of acting. Clooney’s character is also a bit of a goof, but kind of endearing as well. He really gets into the character. It always seems that someone is following him when he goes for a run. Are they? Brad Pitt seems right at home playing a doofus gym trainer. He is crazy and all over the place. He finds a disc of CIA information at the gym and tries to sell it back to John Malkovich. His partner in crime is another trainer, Frances McDormand. She was also delightful in her role. She is obsessed with getting some plastic surgeries and internet dating. It was an outstanding cast, and all of the actors played their roles well. It was truly enjoyable watching them interact and strut their stuff.
The plot can be summed up by the movie’s tagline, “Intelligence is relative.” Few of the characters have many redeeming qualities and deserve the bad things that happen to them. And things do go round and round. I almost want to use the word “zany” to describe the plot. It twists and turns, intersecting everyone in the most bizarre or hilarious twists. I laughed quite a bit during the movie. The Coen Brothers have a real knack for putting together great casts with great scripts that are executed well.