Focus Features | Release Date: September 12, 2008
6.6
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 369 Ratings
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Positive:
231
Mixed:
76
Negative:
62
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5
imthenoobNov 10, 2016
The acting was great and there were a few funny moments through out but my whole issue is that the plot went no where. And they ended it in such a disappointing and typical way too that was really unsatisfying. This movie is neither good norThe acting was great and there were a few funny moments through out but my whole issue is that the plot went no where. And they ended it in such a disappointing and typical way too that was really unsatisfying. This movie is neither good nor bad, It simply is. Expand
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8
MovieGuysMay 30, 2016
Burn After Reading has the old Coen Brothers feel to it immediately, and it's a fun ride from there. The movie is short and over before you know it, but it is a nice little dark comedy with interesting characters and a ridiculously funny plot.
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5
MovieMasterEddyApr 3, 2016
Coens Ask the C.I.A. for a License to Laugh.

Heart isn’t usually part of the discussion when we talk about movies, partly, I imagine, because it sounds too corny. And fuzzy. After all, what does it mean to say this or that director or film
Coens Ask the C.I.A. for a License to Laugh.

Heart isn’t usually part of the discussion when we talk about movies, partly, I imagine, because it sounds too corny. And fuzzy. After all, what does it mean to say this or that director or film shows a lot of heart or too little? I ask only because “Burn After Reading,” the clubby, predictably self-amused comedy from Joel and Ethan Coen, has a tricky plot, visual style, er, to burn, but so little heart as to warrant a Jarvik 8.

Not that you probably won’t choke up a couple of ho-ho’s in between a few hee-hee’s whenever Big Daddy Brad Pitt, as a nitwit gym rat with a Pepe Le Pew two-tone hair-stack, twitches across the screen or the camera nuzzles one of the other goofy gargoyles so beloved by the Coens. Mr. Pitt’s Chad is the overripe second banana to Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand, Joel Coen’s wife), who has some vague job at the gym where the two sort of work. Chad’s a buffoon (the hard body as soft brain), and Mr. Pitt has been charged with delivering a caricature rather than a character, but because the actor loves playing sidemen and conveys such natural, irrepressible (irresistible) sweetness, he’s also one of the film’s saving graces.

It could use a few more. Like most of the Coens’ comedies, “Burn After Reading” is something of a shaggy sendup of an established genre and conventions, in this case the espionage flick. The film opens and closes with a Google Maps view of the Earth that has already become a cinematic cliché, a godly perspective that rapidly narrows in on the headquarters for the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va. There, an analyst named Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) soon receives a demotion for boozing, the first knot in an increasingly and intentionally tangled thicket of contrivances and coincidences mostly involving three favorite American (and Hollywood) preoccupations: money, sex and self.

With its complexly interwoven stories, political backdrop and the central presence of a bearded George Clooney, the film comes across a bit like “Syriana for Dummies,” though given the original this seems somewhat redundant. Here Mr. Clooney, recycling the tic-y head bobs and weaves from his “ER” days, plays Harry Pfarrer, a federal marshal who is two-timing his wife, Sandy (Elizabeth Marvel), with Osborne’s scarier better half, Katie (Tilda Swinton). A serial adulterer who totes his own wedge-shaped bolster to his assignations, Harry hooks up with Linda through the Internet, an improbability only slightly less preposterous than the computer disk of C.I.A. secrets that ends up floating around Linda and Chad’s gym and leading them in a world of trouble. As Donald H. Rumsfeld once said, “Stuff happens.”

Professional wisenheimers, the Coens like squeezing laughs out of potentially hazardous material, whether they’re dumping a paraplegic out of a wheelchair for a chuckle, as they do in their finest film, “The Big Lebowski” (a comedy about the drama of friendship), or violently disposing of bit players, as they do in their most recent , “No Country for Old Men” (a drama about the comedy of death). They have a gift for the absurd and a penchant for cruelty, tendencies that, without the tempering quality of a recognizably human presence — Jeff Bridges’s glorious performance in “Lebowski,” Ms. McDormand’s emotionally nuanced one in “Fargo” — can make the Coens come across as insufferably superior and bullying. Comedy needs fools with funny faces, but comedy without gentleness is often just sadism.

It isn’t that sadism can’t be a laugh riot; it’s just a question of modulation, of balancing the loud yuks and cruel jabs with some delicate feeling, mixing a real face in with the cartoons. Though “Burn After Reading” isn’t as uniformly flat as “The Hudsucker Proxy” (the Coens’ leaden bid for Preston Sturges’s dizziness), there’s a crushing sameness to the characters and their predicaments. With the exceptions of the hard-working supporting cast — notably J. K. Simmons as a C.I.A. bigwig and the equally reliable and welcome Richard Jenkins as a lovelorn gym manager — the characters have been conceived as variations on self-deluded boobishness. Some (like Katie) appear sharper than others, others dumber (Linda), but they’re all punch lines in an overly extended joke.

The Coens in turn have made their careers with impeccable technique and an exaggerated visual style — they sure love their low-angle shots and traveling cameras — but it’s a wonder they keep making films about a subject for which they often evince so little regard, namely other people.
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6
FilmQueenNov 28, 2015
I can't say this film is not funny, it has some quite entertaining parts. It's not a bad film at all, but it's kind of messy, the plot just jumps from one character to another and nothing gets resolved. Plus a lot of characters are extremelyI can't say this film is not funny, it has some quite entertaining parts. It's not a bad film at all, but it's kind of messy, the plot just jumps from one character to another and nothing gets resolved. Plus a lot of characters are extremely stupid, annoyingly so. The part that John Malkovich played is an exception, his character is kind of a jerk, but the only person with a brain. Brad Pitt's character is extremely idiotic, but he is also an exception, because Pitt managed to make him hilarious. Expand
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8
TokyochuchuApr 24, 2015
Burn After Reading is another great Cohen brothers movie. It has a slow burn feel to it, with a lot of the fun coming in after repeat viewings. The devil is in the small random details that truly bring on the chuckles. George Clooney'sBurn After Reading is another great Cohen brothers movie. It has a slow burn feel to it, with a lot of the fun coming in after repeat viewings. The devil is in the small random details that truly bring on the chuckles. George Clooney's obsession with peoples wood flooring, the way that Mr. Crapokin is always referred to as Mr. Crapkin or the repeated use of the words Tuckman-Marsh certainly stick in the mind. Burn After Reading is just great stuff all round. Expand
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8
beingryanjudeAug 27, 2014
Don't look over this one, it's actually the Coens Brothers strongest comedy to date. Burn After Reading is quick-witted and smart. You'll have as much fun as Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand and George Clooney are having.
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8
SpangleJul 26, 2014
I am usually not a huge fan of the Coen Brothers, but this one was really good. First off, the comedy is on point as this one, in particular Brad Pitt's character, is entirely hilarious. Typically, I do not love their brand of comedy, as II am usually not a huge fan of the Coen Brothers, but this one was really good. First off, the comedy is on point as this one, in particular Brad Pitt's character, is entirely hilarious. Typically, I do not love their brand of comedy, as I thought Raising Arizona and O, Brother Where Art Thou were ok to pretty good films, but not very funny and I did not enjoy The Big Lebowski. However, this one is totally different and takes the best of their past films (in particular, this one feels similar to Fargo, though funnier) and puts it together with some great laughs. As is typical, the writing is great and the direction here is very good. the acting is also good, especially from Pitt, Frances McDormand, and George Clooney. Malkovich and Tilda Swinton are also solid. In addition, the plot is really fun. It is crazy and hectic, but is a ton of fun to watch unfold and really makes for an enjoyable viewing experience. Overall, this one may not be the Coen Brothers' most acclaimed films, but it is certainly a very good film with a ton of laughs and is a worthy entry into their filmography. Expand
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8
heeldavidJul 23, 2014
Burn After Reading is one of the Coen Brothers' most underrated work, who better to gives us a great deadpan/dark comedy than the Coens. The film has very funny jokes in a very specific way. The Cast Is Just Great
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7
chwJul 18, 2014
Burn After Reading was disappointing because it's a film by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, and every film of theirs was good, but this one was just weird and I would say it ended too quickly.
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7
RayzorMooseDec 31, 2013
Burn after reading blazes....
The plot is crafted with immense precision surrounded by amusing characters and incredible acting performances, a great film from the Cohen brothers.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
FilipanOtinanDec 24, 2013
The Dynamics Of The Average Human Motivation Are Revealed and the construction of suburbia is the space of such motors. The social carpet unfolds black and popish resembling a report for those that watch from the sky
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9
LaMagiadeVirueAug 1, 2013
Me reí mucho con esta película; una dirección magnifica de los hermanos que siempre lo dejan boqui-abierto con sus producciones. Altamente recomendada.
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4
ExKingJul 28, 2013
you know how when a normal movie ends and you're like "ok, that was ok" while nodding your head.
and when a great movie ends you're like HOLY waw, that was fantastic
but when burn after reading ends, i'm like "WHAT, THAT'S IT 1:35 MINUTES,
you know how when a normal movie ends and you're like "ok, that was ok" while nodding your head.
and when a great movie ends you're like HOLY waw, that was fantastic
but when burn after reading ends, i'm like "WHAT, THAT'S IT 1:35 MINUTES, did i download the full movie or something went wrong?"
so yeah 1 hour 35 minutes are too short to figure out these 5 characters, and yeah the performances were great,
but one does not simply enjoy an unfinished movie with terrible ending.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
StevenFFeb 4, 2013
It's deadpan comedy at its best, and who better to deliver it than Joel and Ethan Cohen, along with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand and the fantastic John Malkovich.
When a disc containing some of the CIAs most revealing secrets
It's deadpan comedy at its best, and who better to deliver it than Joel and Ethan Cohen, along with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand and the fantastic John Malkovich.
When a disc containing some of the CIAs most revealing secrets goes missing, it ends up in the gym of the most bumbling, simple minded individuals, who attempt blackmail but get in too far over their heads.
Its an approach at showing just how overreacting individuals can be, but also just how bland or too seriously many Hollywood movies take themselves surrounding this incident, basically a parody.
Its a very well written dark comedy with brilliant performances, particularly Brad Pitt as an extremely camp gym worker, and retied CIA analyst John Malkovich.
It has this large ensemble cast that go to extreme length to mock and amaze through sheer stupidity, all for our amusement, and they certainly do not fail.
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2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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9
axelkochSep 11, 2012
Again a masterpiece by the Coen brothers. More bizarre than ever before and starring fantastic actors (every single one of them plays great!) and has a brilliant screenplay. A comedy film like it was meant to be. Everything's really goodAgain a masterpiece by the Coen brothers. More bizarre than ever before and starring fantastic actors (every single one of them plays great!) and has a brilliant screenplay. A comedy film like it was meant to be. Everything's really good here, except some over-acting by McDormand and Pitt here and there. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
adoubleJul 30, 2012
Not quite at the level of films like Big Lebowski in terms on Coen Brothers comedies, but still a really fun movie with some really good actors acting like true idiots and having a blast in the process. Brad Pitt is a high point, but the showNot quite at the level of films like Big Lebowski in terms on Coen Brothers comedies, but still a really fun movie with some really good actors acting like true idiots and having a blast in the process. Brad Pitt is a high point, but the show stealer for me was JK Simmons as the perpetually befuddled CIA superior attempting to follow all the ridiculousness. Expand
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10
john24Jun 25, 2012
Awesome movie .
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
pkgadersonsJun 10, 2012
I loved the castI loved the cast . Expand
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9
bram29Apr 21, 2012
i thought the film was very intelligent. the jokes are very smart, in a way hard to explain. the characters feel really natural. it is a movie that shows skill on the filmmakers' behalf. if it feels naturally good, it's a good film.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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4
sammydeedgeMar 18, 2012
Frances McDormand and George Clooney lead this somewhat confusing and at times startlingly violent film about what happens when two people that put money (or possible larger breasts) over their safety. When two gym workers find a CDFrances McDormand and George Clooney lead this somewhat confusing and at times startlingly violent film about what happens when two people that put money (or possible larger breasts) over their safety. When two gym workers find a CD containing sensitive CIA information, they embark on a dangerous quest to receive their reward for being 'good samaritans'. Despite the label comedy, it is not a terribly funny movie, as the jokes are few and far between. It isn't worth the hype, however, if you like crime drama kinda stuff, you should at least try it. Expand
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5
avatar16Feb 7, 2012
Il était presque difficile de croire que les frères Coen nous livre une comédie après le sublime No Country For Old Men. Encore plus étonnant, que ce nouveau film n'ait pas leIl était presque difficile de croire que les frères Coen nous livre une comédie après le sublime No Country For Old Men. Encore plus étonnant, que ce nouveau film n'ait pas le caractère mordant propre aux réalisateurs. Enfin, si... si l'on décortique à fond cette comédie. Mais il faut bien l'avouer : ce qui ne sont pas habitués à ce genre d'univers ne peuvent pas entièrement accrocher à ce genre d'humour, prenant l'ensemble pour un simple film quelque peu monotone. Mais il faut bien reconnaître que la plupart des quiproquos se montrent jouissifs et que les comédiens se laissent aller (Brad Pitt, exceptionnel!). Bref, une sympathique farce noir qui manque tout de même de mordant. Expand
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0
ALFSep 25, 2011
A film that is proof positive that if film critics like it, it has to be bad. This film goes back to the time when US comedy did not travel. Actually from brain to mouth is usually to far for most alleged comedy. Frances McDormand greatA film that is proof positive that if film critics like it, it has to be bad. This film goes back to the time when US comedy did not travel. Actually from brain to mouth is usually to far for most alleged comedy. Frances McDormand great actress but in this I could have quite cheerfully beaten her to death as I found her incredibly irritating all the way through. Brad Pitt. Terrible. As to George Clooney. This actor has only made two decent films that I can recall, The Peacemaker and One Fine Day. He was so so in Three Kings, appalling in the dismal US version of Solaris and this was not much better. If you want to see a good spy spoof then watch the infinitely better "Red" with Bruce Willis. This film should be renamed Burn Before Viewing. But as I said it should be thanked for proving how abysmal the film critics are. To those that liked it, I presume they were doing another sale at Lobotomies 'R us! Expand
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5
shamusolarrySep 7, 2011
This is the epitome of mediocre movies. After watching it I seriously could not decide if I liked it or not. The acting is great. It has some funny moments. There are some small twists that I seriously did not see coming. But the story isThis is the epitome of mediocre movies. After watching it I seriously could not decide if I liked it or not. The acting is great. It has some funny moments. There are some small twists that I seriously did not see coming. But the story is lackluster, as are most of the characters. While the plot is resolved at the end, you're kind of left feeling like the entire movie was a waste of time. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
Mewtwo465Jul 1, 2011
Oh the Coen Brothers. They never fail to amaze me. With every single film they release they capture something that lures you into the type of film. In No Country For Old Men what the Coen Brothers captured in that film was Anton's behaviourOh the Coen Brothers. They never fail to amaze me. With every single film they release they capture something that lures you into the type of film. In No Country For Old Men what the Coen Brothers captured in that film was Anton's behaviour and generated it into something only they can do. Same with Fargo but it wasn't the villain who was blessed by the Coens. It was the protagonist. In this film it's the whole entire cast. And that's why so many people don't understand this film. Most of you probably think this film is just about stupid people who do stupid things. Well you're all right about that but this film is much more than that. It's about the whole world. It's about how the whole world is going to become stupid as time goes by and how very small things nowadays can lead to ginormous catastrophes. There's always the news as an example. People going to war and killing each other. Then there's things you don't hear on the news but things you experience in every day life. Like modern high schools for example. The students are becoming dumber and dumber and deliberately not paying any attention to the teachers whatsoever just to act hard and cool in front of their mates. So where I'm coming from? So that's all I really need to explain. Now here are my opinions on the movie. It has a good and solid cast. Brad Pitt and George Clooney were amazing. The others were good too. And I also like the way this film is a Black Comedy. I love Black Comedies. The humour in them is unusual. And that's what I like about them. The story was good too but it was challenging during some parts. I don't really have any criticisms for this movie so I'm just going to give it a 8/10 for it's good humour and it's memorable characters. The bad thing is that it's a little bit too long but it doesn't over do it. I hope you liked my review! Expand
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7
Palino007May 2, 2011
Initially, you're trying to guess "What's going on here", but as the film progresses, you will start to get the point, and from that moment, you'll be smiling till the end.
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6
D-SliceDec 26, 2010
I enjoyed Burn After Reading for it's unconventional plot and hilarious performance from Brad Pitt. So many stupid people played by a cast of awesomeness. But this movie was missing quite a few things. It didn't really have a great impact andI enjoyed Burn After Reading for it's unconventional plot and hilarious performance from Brad Pitt. So many stupid people played by a cast of awesomeness. But this movie was missing quite a few things. It didn't really have a great impact and I think I know why. The Coens found great success with their Best Picture winner No Country For Old Men and tried to re-create that success, and who wouldn't? They created some form of success, but this movie fell short of being memorable. The performances of the stupid people in Washington felt a bit overplayed at times and some of the jokes we admit are funny, but not very. Still, Pitt's acting shines in this one, so I'll say that this movie is okay in my book. Expand
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9
MovieJayDec 15, 2010
I find metacritic users to be so fickle in their tastes. This movie is so enjoyable, and it has tons of repeat value. The cast is in top form, particularly Brad Pitt. So much better than the lackluster rating it's got on here.
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6
ERG1008Aug 24, 2010
Man loses job at the CIA, writes memoirs, wife is having an affair then wants a divorce, couple of dimwits find the memoirs on a disc, try to sell it to the Russians as Top Secret intelligence.
Coen brothers do farce. Cast are fine & there
Man loses job at the CIA, writes memoirs, wife is having an affair then wants a divorce, couple of dimwits find the memoirs on a disc, try to sell it to the Russians as Top Secret intelligence.
Coen brothers do farce. Cast are fine & there are some clever bits in it but took a while to get going.
Ending does seem a bit rushed too.
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8
nboley08Aug 16, 2010
"Burn After Reading" is all about stupidity and pointlessness, as we find out near the end of the film. Its characters are all idiots and rather stupid, and their moronic ways cross each other into violence, sex, and mishappenings throughout"Burn After Reading" is all about stupidity and pointlessness, as we find out near the end of the film. Its characters are all idiots and rather stupid, and their moronic ways cross each other into violence, sex, and mishappenings throughout this strange **** that the Coen brothers. I will say that it never ceases to be funny or interesting, and that Malkovich is hilarious as the CIA operative with a wild temper and a very dirty mouth. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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0
jaquemiorfAug 29, 2009
The funniest thing about this is the idiots who think THEY'RE the smart ones cos they understand a movie that doesn't make sense. "o look, there's a bird over there. I'll pretend it's a purple elephant and laugh at The funniest thing about this is the idiots who think THEY'RE the smart ones cos they understand a movie that doesn't make sense. "o look, there's a bird over there. I'll pretend it's a purple elephant and laugh at other people and call them stupid when they say it's a bird". john E is a d*ckhead. Expand
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0
MikeHAug 29, 2009
people giving "burn after reading" any score above zero are reading too much into the movie. you could give them a blank piece of paper and it would keep them entertained for hours, as they would find some 'hidden meaning' within people giving "burn after reading" any score above zero are reading too much into the movie. you could give them a blank piece of paper and it would keep them entertained for hours, as they would find some 'hidden meaning' within it. they probably saw movie critics' ratings for "no country for old men" and thought that by giving a high rating to the coen brothers' next nonsensical movie they would appear 'smart' in movie critics' eyes. i watched this entire movie, constantly expecting something interesting to happen. it didn't. dreadful! Expand
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2
ArtG.Aug 18, 2009
If you saw the trailer and thought it looked like a really funny movie like I did be warned it's not. Disturbing is the kindest way to discribe it. In the future if its by the Coens I ain't goin'.
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9
AlanGAug 4, 2009
Absolutely hysterical. Saw it on the movie channel. I'd never even heard of the movie before. My wife and I were howling throughout the movie. The cast was superb. Frances McDormand plays screwball better than anyone. Malkovich, Absolutely hysterical. Saw it on the movie channel. I'd never even heard of the movie before. My wife and I were howling throughout the movie. The cast was superb. Frances McDormand plays screwball better than anyone. Malkovich, Clooney, Pitt and the rest of the cast hit their marks ever time.Satire, black humour, screwball comedy. The writing was crisp and very very funny. Though my wife disagrees, I liked it better than Fargo. Expand
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10
ChristianVMay 8, 2009
Love it! Gets funnier with each viewing!
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4
AnnG.Mar 12, 2009
'Some great actors in a less than great movie. Brad Pitt was the most amusing and I am not a Pitt fan. I wish there were better scripts for such talented actors.
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10
ShannonH.Mar 6, 2009
Awesome dark comedy.
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7
FranciscoP.Mar 4, 2009
The Coen's usually characterize their films using dramatic breakups to their stories. In this film that breakup is more than ever unexpected: simple characters transforming into witnesses of their own mistakes... the story becomes more The Coen's usually characterize their films using dramatic breakups to their stories. In this film that breakup is more than ever unexpected: simple characters transforming into witnesses of their own mistakes... the story becomes more dense nevertheless always more atractive. In this zoo of characters, some reality between too much freakness may be necessary... That's an issue that the Coen's definetely got to improve in ther stories... obviously instead of No country for old man. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
CraigR.Mar 2, 2009
Truly dismal. A fim about nothing. It's like they got 3/4 of the way through and gave up any hopes of a story.
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1
NicholasC.Feb 27, 2009
The biggest load of rubbish I've seen in years. It may have elicited a vague empathetic twitch at the corner of my mouth occasionally, but I think the weather forecast would have been more humorous by a country mile!
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10
johnE.Feb 19, 2009
loved every second of it. If you didn't like it its probably because you are too dumb to get it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
TroelsS.Feb 8, 2009
I do not understand how soe people can get completely lost in this story. It's quite simple actually, but in a complicated way. It's an intriguing movie about how the smallest things can affect some of the largest things. It's I do not understand how soe people can get completely lost in this story. It's quite simple actually, but in a complicated way. It's an intriguing movie about how the smallest things can affect some of the largest things. It's crazy, it's hectic, it's insane and it's genius! Once again the Coen brothers manage to make a movie, where you have to sit for a while and just stare. Brilliant! Expand
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10
FranceL.Feb 3, 2009
Satire has never been more fun, and Pitt never better than in this zany comic thriller. Bumbling CIA bureaucrats, DC officials full of themselves, divorce attorneys, the institution of marriage, online dating services, cosmetic surgeons, Satire has never been more fun, and Pitt never better than in this zany comic thriller. Bumbling CIA bureaucrats, DC officials full of themselves, divorce attorneys, the institution of marriage, online dating services, cosmetic surgeons, HMO's, a pediatrician from hell...nothing is spared in this very clever and very entertaining movie. A good time was had by all, including this viewer. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
TonyB.Jan 27, 2009
The Coen brothers, far too overrated for far too long, hit rock bottom with this tripe. The only positive component here is a fine performance by Brad Pitt. George Clooney is a bore, John Malkovich is playing vintage John Malkovich, and The Coen brothers, far too overrated for far too long, hit rock bottom with this tripe. The only positive component here is a fine performance by Brad Pitt. George Clooney is a bore, John Malkovich is playing vintage John Malkovich, and Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton have seen better days. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
kendraSJan 27, 2009
At the end it left me puzzled...what just happened?
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JaneAJan 25, 2009
The product of a brilliant and well-respected cast and a pair of ingenius directors. This movie was filled with a mature, dark humor that still invoked a laugh-out-loud response and is one of the few movies I deem worthy of also purchasing The product of a brilliant and well-respected cast and a pair of ingenius directors. This movie was filled with a mature, dark humor that still invoked a laugh-out-loud response and is one of the few movies I deem worthy of also purchasing when out on DVD. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
RexC.Jan 24, 2009
I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to get or laugh with it. I can't imagine a worse movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
KimAJan 22, 2009
This movie was a big disappointment. If it had not been for Brad Pitt the movie would have been a total bomb. He was the only funny part of the movie. Figured from the previews and the cast it would be great, but no. A real disappointment!
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7
MattAJan 18, 2009
Deliciously dark, and entertaining. Great performances by all of the leads and supporting characters. Burn After Reading, is not your typical movie. As complex as the story may seem, it really... really isn't. The only thing that makes Deliciously dark, and entertaining. Great performances by all of the leads and supporting characters. Burn After Reading, is not your typical movie. As complex as the story may seem, it really... really isn't. The only thing that makes it complicated is the fact that a bunch of egomaniac idiots can't seem to grasp the big picture. The only one who seems to be level headed is the chief of the CIA. The movie is funny, not on the rolling on the floor kind of way, but in the "oh my god, what the hell were they thinking. They're idiots" sort of way. I can easily see how this is not right for everyone. But to me, i enjoyed myself. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
jeremyashlynJan 17, 2009
A punchy little pulp film. funny and cute.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
TinaRJan 12, 2009
With such a great cast, I thought this movie couldn't be bad, but BOY IT WAS BAD. I can only give it a 4 because Brad Pitt did a very good job and it was the only good thing about this movie. Despite that, It was very boring.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
EmmaS.Jan 10, 2009
Haha are you kidding me that movie was hilarious!
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9
Mr.L.Jan 9, 2009
This movie is hilarious. If you enjoyed The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona and Fargo, you will love this movie. As a sidebar... although I didn't keep count, I'm pretty sure John Malkovich's character says "fuck" more times This movie is hilarious. If you enjoyed The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona and Fargo, you will love this movie. As a sidebar... although I didn't keep count, I'm pretty sure John Malkovich's character says "fuck" more times than any character in Hollywood history. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JohnL.Jan 7, 2009
It's an empty and shocking mess with characters that are almost impossible to like - and I loved every minute of it. The critics who panned this movie simply didn't get the core joke: real people have lives that really are this It's an empty and shocking mess with characters that are almost impossible to like - and I loved every minute of it. The critics who panned this movie simply didn't get the core joke: real people have lives that really are this pointless and mundane. As the final scene of the movie cleverly points out - "What did we learn from all of this? Never to do it again!" Bravo, Coen brothers. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
jimiJan 5, 2009
Confirms what we've known all along: just about everyone in Washington is a lot dumber than they think they are...if only the real ones would get the poetic justice these clowns do!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
LinL.Jan 4, 2009
Despite the fantastic cast, this was extraordinarily boring and bereft of laughs. I kept waiting for it to get funny, clever, entertaining . . . never happened.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
MajorM.Jan 3, 2009
It is a overall good film with 3 roles that really make the film. Brad Pitt,George Clooney,John Malkovich are the 3 roles that make this movie good. you really forget how good Pitt is until you watch his movies. it was good and worth the It is a overall good film with 3 roles that really make the film. Brad Pitt,George Clooney,John Malkovich are the 3 roles that make this movie good. you really forget how good Pitt is until you watch his movies. it was good and worth the time to watch. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
christianp.Jan 2, 2009
I'm completely baffled at some of the comments here. One person who gave this movie a score of THREE out of TEN (!?!?!?!) wrote, "I love Coen Brothers movies. This one is a dud...Weird people acting stupid and killing each other...Very, I'm completely baffled at some of the comments here. One person who gave this movie a score of THREE out of TEN (!?!?!?!) wrote, "I love Coen Brothers movies. This one is a dud...Weird people acting stupid and killing each other...Very, very disappointed." I'm sorry, but if you truly love the films of the Coen brothers, you'd come to expect (and look forward to) "Weird people acting stupid and killing each other." Am I wrong?! This film was funny, clever, well written, dark, startling, quirky, odd, and everything else we expect from these filmmakers. Why isn't this rated much much higher?!?!!? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
StevePJan 2, 2009
I heard one reviewer say that this film is a
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
JohnHJan 1, 2009
Starts off ok but just gets stupid. I can't recommend this one.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
CamilleJan 1, 2009
I was surprised this movie got all the attention and praise that it did. For a movie advertised as a dark and sophisticated comedy, it failed to deliver. The pointless, meandering plot did nothing to hold it together and I think I laughed I was surprised this movie got all the attention and praise that it did. For a movie advertised as a dark and sophisticated comedy, it failed to deliver. The pointless, meandering plot did nothing to hold it together and I think I laughed once during the entire film. I can see where they were *trying* to go with it, but all in all it was poorly executed, and when the movie was over, I was annoyed and disappointed. I was told it was 'funnier' the second time watching it, but I can't think of any reason why I would sit through it again. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
SMDec 31, 2008
Unfortunately most people haven't got the point. Coen brothers and all these amazing actors got together to show us how ridiculously, not only our country, but the whole world is approaching a catastrophe. The more stupid one is, the Unfortunately most people haven't got the point. Coen brothers and all these amazing actors got together to show us how ridiculously, not only our country, but the whole world is approaching a catastrophe. The more stupid one is, the higher the rank s/he can get in the government/intelligence. Then Idiots make policies and decisions and everyone gets screwed up. Just think about the point of this movie again. Coens, Malkovich, Clooney, Pitt, Swinton, .... are all smart people and their time is very expensive, so they spend it on something that is worth watching and thinking about. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
DanielaN.Dec 30, 2008
A few funny lines, other than that, thoughtless, pointless, the violence was senseless, the amount of cursing made it seem like the writers were in 7th grade and had just discovered the words shit and fuck. After seeing this, I spent about A few funny lines, other than that, thoughtless, pointless, the violence was senseless, the amount of cursing made it seem like the writers were in 7th grade and had just discovered the words shit and fuck. After seeing this, I spent about 40 minutes talking about how bad it was. I felt robbed of my time, and cheated. It was simply AWFUL. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
KathyS.Dec 30, 2008
Ho hum. The best part was seeing Brad Pitt smacked in the face.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
EricC.Dec 28, 2008
Normally I'm a big defender of the Coen brother's black comedies, but this time... I don't know. Maybe the formula has grown old. How many times can you watch a bunch of wacky characters destroy each other through desperation Normally I'm a big defender of the Coen brother's black comedies, but this time... I don't know. Maybe the formula has grown old. How many times can you watch a bunch of wacky characters destroy each other through desperation and coincidence? They've made this movie before, and so have multiple others. The actors dedicate little to the movie. Only Brad Pitt seems to put in effort, but he's only resurrecting previous characters. I wasn't bored while watching, but was disheartened by cheap jokes and cheap thrills. The Coen brothers reached greatness last year, now they sit lazily in meniocrity. It just isn't very good at all. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
LuisVDec 28, 2008
Some how directors believe that if they do some good movie what follows will also be good just like that, this movie seams to be the case.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
MichaelKisielewskiDec 27, 2008
What really bothered me here is Malkovich's character and the inane and contuous barking at the screen. While I could have been all for a loopy comedy in the vein of "The Big Lebowski," this fell so short of the potential that wasWhat really bothered me here is Malkovich's character and the inane and contuous barking at the screen. While I could have been all for a loopy comedy in the vein of "The Big Lebowski," this fell so short of the potential that was there. Brad Pitt was the sole savior of this film that should have been funnier with the dynamite comdeic cast that they had here. I have come to realize that I am not a Coen Brother's fan, and that is okay. I will love Lebowski for every "Dude"ist moment, and pack my bags and choose an Aronowski film every time. Collapse
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
WhitfordSt.H.Dec 27, 2008
This is one of the lowlights in the Coen canon; not funny (and desperately trying to be), not suspensful in any measure and laborious to endure. A waste of a first class cast and an uncharacteristic misfire in every respect.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
sazziesazzieDec 26, 2008
I enjoyed this because it was blackly funny and unpredictable, and because cloony's character was hilarious. I can't believe every critic seemed to like Brad though ---he was really overacting and his character was flat; I was glad I enjoyed this because it was blackly funny and unpredictable, and because cloony's character was hilarious. I can't believe every critic seemed to like Brad though ---he was really overacting and his character was flat; I was glad that he wasn't in the whole film. The two CIA guys were superb, especially the closing scene. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
DQSlotkinsDec 25, 2008
I don't even know who these people calling themselves the "Coen Brothers" are. They have lost all ability to do dark comedy. This is no Fargo. This is a mess.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JimL.Dec 23, 2008
Very enjoyable, if you like the Coen brothers' zany view of reality, and their dark sense of humor.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
MaccaNotDisclosedDec 23, 2008
Complete trash. I can't believe the good rating this has. The characters were stupid and unconvincing and the script was just utterly weird, and left you feeling out of place and disappointed at the end of it. Ten minutes into the film Complete trash. I can't believe the good rating this has. The characters were stupid and unconvincing and the script was just utterly weird, and left you feeling out of place and disappointed at the end of it. Ten minutes into the film you realised how bad it was, and it maintained that throughout the film. The worst of the Coen brothers' films. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
JeromeHDec 22, 2008
Terribly odd movie, characters are even stranger than life. Loosely connected story line that failed to hold my interest.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
AlexODec 21, 2008
This Movie was god awful. The BIG Liebowski was the Cohen brothers last good movie. I will never pay to watch another of their films. The Characters were cartoon parodies of humanity. The level of stupidity and ignorance was astounding and This Movie was god awful. The BIG Liebowski was the Cohen brothers last good movie. I will never pay to watch another of their films. The Characters were cartoon parodies of humanity. The level of stupidity and ignorance was astounding and the point of this film, why it exists at all remains a mystery. After watching this movie I felt empty and terrible. Evil Ugly stupid film. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
PaulTDec 21, 2008
I dont understand why people didnt like this. In terms of entertainment value, I thought it was way better than No Country for old men. What can I say, I Loved it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
gschmidtDec 17, 2008
Has a bit of everything, always keeps you guessing, and even manages to make a statement about some of our values as a society.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
JayH.Dec 12, 2008
Very entertaining crime comedy with stand out performances from Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand. Funny, very well written and never a boring moment. Excellent.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
TonyO.Dec 8, 2008
Stimulating and very different, and from the look of these reviews, fairly widely misunderstood. To my mind, this was a rather better movie that "No Country for Old Men". It was beautifully acted by the entire ensemble (special kudos for Stimulating and very different, and from the look of these reviews, fairly widely misunderstood. To my mind, this was a rather better movie that "No Country for Old Men". It was beautifully acted by the entire ensemble (special kudos for Brad, who was hysterically funny), immaculately scripted, and deftly directed. Lots of things that could be commented on, but the most interesting thing for me was the total lack of likeable characters. It is a brave movie that doesn't seek the empathy vote. The lack of any redeeming qualities in the female characters was especially challenging. When was the last time we had a non-sexist movie about women who don't nurture, who are insanely selfish, and who are manipulative to the nth degree? And the men are nearly as bad. Not a spy movie, not a caper movie, not a sit com. Watching basically makes you uncomfortable while you simultaneously laugh, and that is why it is worth the effort. Not every movie should be a feel good experience. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
GendolynH.Nov 29, 2008
The film had a few laughs but it was flat overall. I was really amazed this came from the Coen brothers, whose work I generally like quite a lot, but this was way below their standards of excellence like Fargo.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AngeR.Nov 18, 2008
A dark and brilliant pleasure.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
LureeNov 13, 2008
Tight editing, plot twists, sudden violence, funny, cool ending. Loved it - walked out of the theater feeling like I'd really seen a good movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JonasN.Nov 13, 2008
I laughed throughout the last 30 minutes of this film. The plot, or lack of same, was hilarious.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
MarvinS.Nov 11, 2008
I love Coen Brothers movies. This one is a dud. I did not care about the characters nor could I invest in the plot. Weird people acting stupid and killing each other is not comedy, dark or otherwise. Very, very disappointed.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
AnonymousMCNov 10, 2008
This script should've been burnt after reading. I've never been this close to leaving the cinemas. I didn't hear one good word about it from other people who were watching the movie. During the break I couldn't help butThis script should've been burnt after reading. I've never been this close to leaving the cinemas. I didn't hear one good word about it from other people who were watching the movie. During the break I couldn't help but speaking out loud what kind of $#!% I thought it was, and I didn't get else but confirmation from other people. I came here to expect that others somewhat shared the same opinion and I'm very surprised that it's currently rated at 6.3 / 6.5. I guess I'm more of an all rounder when it comes to watching movies. I think this movie only appeals to a specific group (hence the great differences in user ratings). I didn't see the trailer before I watched the movie, but upon watching it now I would think its a fair movie. I think the trailer is pretty misleading. Better wait for 007. Even if you have to wait 2 weeks before you can make a reservation. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
GemmaD.Nov 9, 2008
I find the mixed reviews interesting. The friend I watched this movie with didn't like it at all, I loved it. Unlike myself she didn't think it was funny and argued that there was a lack of likeable characters. Indeed, all I find the mixed reviews interesting. The friend I watched this movie with didn't like it at all, I loved it. Unlike myself she didn't think it was funny and argued that there was a lack of likeable characters. Indeed, all characters seem to suffer from a mid-life crisis and are completely egotistic in how they deal with life and especially each other, but in this case I thought this added to the movies strength, humour and point. Fargo meets Lebowski, as far as I'm concerned. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
EoghanM.Oct 26, 2008
One of the best films this year and tat s saying something!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
MartinS.Oct 26, 2008
Easily the funiest movie I've seen all year.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
AnonymousMCOct 26, 2008
I feel this movie clicked for some and clanged for others, in a half-and-half arrangement. I was one of the ones whom it did click for. I liked it alot, because it was very off-beat, disastrous, and I found myself laughing to myself theI feel this movie clicked for some and clanged for others, in a half-and-half arrangement. I was one of the ones whom it did click for. I liked it alot, because it was very off-beat, disastrous, and I found myself laughing to myself the whole way through, just because I thought the complete lack of synchronicity between the characters, and their inability to actually see the big picture, was very humourous. Subtlety isn't exactly this film's forte in this regard, but it still works at getting people laughing. I especially thought the abrupt ending worked as well; it reaffirmed that 'Burn After Reading' is just completely ludicrous, no-harm fun. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
MikeB.Oct 24, 2008
The Coens often defy traditional story structure, such as in The Big Lebowski, where the main character undergoes no change. In this movie, nothing happens, and the traditional story arch (conflict, rising action, climax, resolution) is The Coens often defy traditional story structure, such as in The Big Lebowski, where the main character undergoes no change. In this movie, nothing happens, and the traditional story arch (conflict, rising action, climax, resolution) is essentially thrown out. Personally, that makes me think that this film is brilliant, but I can understand why others who are looking for a more traditional format (given the star appeal of the movie, quite a lot of folks) are disappointed. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
CraigS.Oct 19, 2008
Its a horrible feeling to be embarrassed for your heroes, but after watching this absolute mess, it looks like 'No Country For Old Men' was just a fluke show of their old form in the career nose-dive of the Coen brothers, one good Its a horrible feeling to be embarrassed for your heroes, but after watching this absolute mess, it looks like 'No Country For Old Men' was just a fluke show of their old form in the career nose-dive of the Coen brothers, one good film out of their last four is not a good sign. They really need to dump Clooney as soon as possible and get some of the old crowd (Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, John Goodman..) back before mainstream Hollywood strips all that was special from their films permanently. Credit to John Malkovich though for putting in the effort and making the best of a bad situation.. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
GinaO.Oct 18, 2008
Creative, idiotic and funny, I recommend it. I loved the characters and the plot. It
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
BrockJ.Oct 18, 2008
A few funny moments intertwined with a lot of cheaters. Brad Pitt was fantastic, but unfortunately the same cannot be said about this plot.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
MarkB.Oct 16, 2008
Comparing and contrasting the careers of the last two Lifetime Achievement--er, Best Director Oscar winners: Martin Scorsese's lifetime output represents the work of someone who has seen a lot of movies and lived a lot of life. The Coen Comparing and contrasting the careers of the last two Lifetime Achievement--er, Best Director Oscar winners: Martin Scorsese's lifetime output represents the work of someone who has seen a lot of movies and lived a lot of life. The Coen Brothers' lifetime output represents that of someone who has seen a lot of movies. Oh, don't get me wrong--their studiously composed clones-with-attitude of yesteryear's finest ,such as the unjustly underrated retro-noir The Man Who Wasn't There, can certainly yield many of their own rewards (and it should be no surprise whatsoever that the biggest laughs in their remake of The Ladykillers were lifted directly from the 1955 Alec Guinness original), but too much of their recent work--No Country For Old Men being an atypical blip on the radar, and therefore predictably the big winner of the Academy Award jackpot--emerges as heartless, soulless, and, especially given how often the word "quirky" is applied to these guys, oddly mechanical. Earlier comedies such as Raising Arizona and Fargo partially countermanded this with such a palpable underlying core of sweetness, especially in thdeir depictions of the central characters' marriages, that any fleeting suspicion that Joel and Ethan were treating their principals with the slightest whiff of condescension could be easily and happily dismissed. Not so with their espionage farce Burn After Reading, a farce as irriatingly tangled as a store selling Christmas tree lights in the aftermath of a firebombing and as distastefully acrid as a carton of milk left sitting on the radiator since Saddam shuffled off this mortal coil. If I wanted to watch one-joke comedies about nothing more than how selfish and stupid people are (with no compensating or justifying point of view as can at least be found in Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or Altman's The Player), I'd sit at home with reruns of Married...With Children and America's Funniest Home Videos; at least those offerings wouldn't profoundly depress me with all-dressed-up-and-nowhere-to-go comic turns by a very lively Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, J.K. Simmons and Mrs. Coen herself. The rubber-faced Frances McDormand, whose brilliant but compassionate cop Marge Gunderson from Fargo will live past all vocal comparisons to a certain notorious political figure to remain one of ther most endearing movie characters in history, is especially poorly used as a moronic and (deservedly) unlucky-in-love health club employee. Admittedly, the fact that the Coens assembled such an elaborate , seemingly unending (though it's only slightly over 90 minutes) paean to utter obtuseness (with the one somewhat likable and reasonably intelligent character meeting a gory, disgusting fate) IS superficially impressive in the way that someone constructing a model of the Sistine Chapel entirely out of cheese might be, but in both instances the novelty wears off VERY quickly and the results turn putrid even more rapidly. Or, as Juno's dad asks at picture's end, what have we learned? Not a damned thing. Oh, brother, you said it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
CodyF.Oct 14, 2008
The Coen brothers have lived up to their reputation again. A phenomenally dry humor that kept me laughing from start to finish. The Malcovich/Clooney/Pitt combination worked amazingly and you could tell there was lots of chemistry on the The Coen brothers have lived up to their reputation again. A phenomenally dry humor that kept me laughing from start to finish. The Malcovich/Clooney/Pitt combination worked amazingly and you could tell there was lots of chemistry on the set. But the best part of the movie was the score. The music kept you "on edge" in a comedy and the order of events was spectacular. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
[Anonymous]Oct 12, 2008
One of the funniest films I've ever seen, and one of the best of the year.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
SoumenS.Oct 11, 2008
On the level of Jeepers Creepers and Wicker Man. Don't even see this one for free. If the Coens Brothers come up with another original idea, I won't be seeing it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
BobWOct 9, 2008
Lots of F words and a couple of surprisingly jarring violent scenes seemed out of synch with the humor and caper qualities of the film. A creative plot but not a movie I would recommend.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AaronOct 8, 2008
Wickedly dark humor with the Coen Brothers sick sense of humor. Outstanding cast doing satire. If you are looking for realism don't bother. But the end of the movie makes a farce of everything we know is screwed up. What a refreshing change.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
JPS.Oct 6, 2008
Curious plot drew me deeper and deeper into the humor of the movie. Characters seemed shallow at first, but in the end viewers have no doubt that it is written and directed by the Cohen Bothers.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
AndrewP.Oct 5, 2008
Expertly Crafted story, with shocking twists. The humor is great, and the Cohen brothers have done it again!
1 of 1 users found this helpful
3
BM.Oct 5, 2008
Horrible waste of money. was mildly amusing at best. story could've been made into something neat but instead was a wash of nothing. You know those types of movies that just don't have any meaning or resolution. Boring, pointless Horrible waste of money. was mildly amusing at best. story could've been made into something neat but instead was a wash of nothing. You know those types of movies that just don't have any meaning or resolution. Boring, pointless waste of time and money. Do not see this movie. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful