User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 331 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 59 out of 331
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  1. ALF
    Sep 25, 2011
    0
    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 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 toA 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
  2. BM.
    Oct 5, 2008
    3
    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.
  3. BrockJ.
    Oct 18, 2008
    2
    A few funny moments intertwined with a lot of cheaters. Brad Pitt was fantastic, but unfortunately the same cannot be said about this plot.
  4. DanielaN.
    Dec 30, 2008
    1
    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.
  5. StephanieE.
    Oct 3, 2008
    1
    This movie was absolutely a waste of $16. The only parts of the movie that moved that audience at all were Brad Pitt's idiotic humor and when he was shot in the face. The character Linda was a joke. Not to mention Clooney fit the role of a psycho but that's about it. Don't even get me started on the ending. They briefly explain to you who got shot and who died while This movie was absolutely a waste of $16. The only parts of the movie that moved that audience at all were Brad Pitt's idiotic humor and when he was shot in the face. The character Linda was a joke. Not to mention Clooney fit the role of a psycho but that's about it. Don't even get me started on the ending. They briefly explain to you who got shot and who died while stumbling over words. I'm sorry but I highly doubt a person in such a position (the character who fired Malcovich) would studder while speaking to his superior. This movie was absolutely horrible and I'm pissed that I wasted my money. Expand
  6. LucaS.
    Sep 24, 2008
    3
    One of the most boring and useless film in this 2008. Stay away from it. it's a waste of money,time and patience.
  7. LinL.
    Jan 4, 2009
    2
    Despite the fantastic cast, this was extraordinarily boring and bereft of laughs. I kept waiting for it to get funny, clever, entertaining . . . never happened.
  8. CraigR.
    Mar 2, 2009
    3
    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.
  9. MikeH
    Aug 29, 2009
    0
    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 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
  10. AnonymousMC
    Nov 10, 2008
    0
    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 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 othersThis 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
  11. WhitfordSt.H.
    Dec 27, 2008
    2
    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.
  12. BrandonS.
    Sep 15, 2008
    0
    No Country made me want to kill the Coen brothers. Burn After Reading makes me want to kill them, revive them, and kill them again. I'm done with these idiots.
  13. KimA
    Jan 22, 2009
    3
    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!
  14. kendraS
    Jan 27, 2009
    3
    At the end it left me puzzled...what just happened?
  15. CraigS.
    Oct 19, 2008
    2
    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, 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
  16. AlexO
    Dec 21, 2008
    1
    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.
  17. LuisV
    Dec 28, 2008
    3
    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.
  18. JohnO.
    Oct 4, 2008
    0
    Do you have a rating lower than 0 - if not I'll be generous and give it a well deserved 0 . I loved the Robert L. comment - all copies of the film should have been burned before showing.
  19. MirandaS.
    Oct 4, 2008
    0
    I have never before in my life walked out of a movie in a movie theater. But I lasted about 1 hour before I had to leave the theater before shooting myself. I feel that the Cohn Brothers owe me my money back!!!
  20. LaurenE.
    Sep 12, 2008
    0
    Stupid movie, about stupid people.
  21. BernieB.
    Sep 14, 2008
    2
    A big disappointment. Save your money.
  22. DoomedtoFail
    Sep 15, 2008
    0
    This has to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. Hollywood's version of entertainment has left me in the past and the whole movie tries to sell on star power. But it is garbage. Brad Pitt plays a moron & George Clooney plays a "player" extreme (what he thinks he is). The movie has ZERO likable characters and nothing positive to offer. If this is the future of This has to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. Hollywood's version of entertainment has left me in the past and the whole movie tries to sell on star power. But it is garbage. Brad Pitt plays a moron & George Clooney plays a "player" extreme (what he thinks he is). The movie has ZERO likable characters and nothing positive to offer. If this is the future of entertainment - we are in serious trouble! Expand
  23. JA.
    Sep 16, 2008
    3
    Don't waste your money. This was a disappointment, and the only reason it got such great reviews was because of the hype and directors. I didn't go in with high expectations, which is a good thing because even those weren't met.
  24. CarlosR.
    Sep 21, 2008
    2
    This movie combines a pathetic excuse for a storyline with terrible characters. With the exception of Pitt and Malkovich, everyone seems out of place and awkward, as does the movie as a whole. The film just spills on to the screen, leaving the audience with little time to appreciate the moments worth watching. As much as I appreciate cerebral conversation, a movie this stupid need to be This movie combines a pathetic excuse for a storyline with terrible characters. With the exception of Pitt and Malkovich, everyone seems out of place and awkward, as does the movie as a whole. The film just spills on to the screen, leaving the audience with little time to appreciate the moments worth watching. As much as I appreciate cerebral conversation, a movie this stupid need to be given a good review just because it requires tons of psychoanalysis. Expand
  25. JonathanC
    Sep 21, 2008
    3
    I gave this movie a mark for every scene that made me laugh. One for the two scenes of the director of the CIA's bewilderment at the events of the film, and one more for Brad Pitt's attempt at trying to out-spy John Malkovitch. This movie is billed as a comedy. It fails simply because the audience hardly ever laughed. It doesn't even qualify as a black comedy, simply I gave this movie a mark for every scene that made me laugh. One for the two scenes of the director of the CIA's bewilderment at the events of the film, and one more for Brad Pitt's attempt at trying to out-spy John Malkovitch. This movie is billed as a comedy. It fails simply because the audience hardly ever laughed. It doesn't even qualify as a black comedy, simply because it's not black enough. There may very well be big messages in here, but they are not well expressed. If there is a message, it is purely expository, something like "Middle-aged America is in a crisis, where the only meanings to be found are shallow, all relationships are broken and nobody knows what is going on." But there is no analysis of this idea, or any attempt at a meaningful solution. So as a drama, there is nothing here; there is no lesson to be learned. This movie is not funny, and it is not particularly dramatic. Regardless of what you're looking for, you should probably see something else. Expand
  26. HannahR.
    Sep 28, 2008
    3
    Cohen Brothers should change their names to InCOHEreNt Brothers: 1.Unnecessarily foul languaged: I give credit for humor for its content, not relying on foul language. Abuse of swear is cheap. 2.The plot was so incoherent being under
  27. RobertL.
    Sep 28, 2008
    1
    Burn After Reading should have had all the copies of the film Burned Before Showing. Aside from one funny line in the film - it was one of the worst movies we have ever seen!
  28. Camille
    Jan 1, 2009
    3
    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 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
  29. RexC.
    Jan 24, 2009
    0
    I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to get or laugh with it. I can't imagine a worse movie.
  30. TonyB.
    Jan 27, 2009
    2
    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.
  31. NicholasC.
    Feb 27, 2009
    1
    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!
  32. jaquemiorf
    Aug 29, 2009
    0
    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.
  33. MarvinS.
    Nov 11, 2008
    3
    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.
  34. SoumenS.
    Oct 11, 2008
    0
    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.
  35. JeromeH
    Dec 22, 2008
    0
    Terribly odd movie, characters are even stranger than life. Loosely connected story line that failed to hold my interest.
  36. SteveP
    Sep 13, 2008
    3
    Waste of time. Made no sense. Couldn't wait for it to end.
  37. SammyQ.
    Sep 18, 2008
    0
    This is a movie just to go see because of Pitt and Clooney are in. The comedy of the year is Tropic Thunder. Burn after reading is just a waste of money.
  38. DrewP.
    Sep 21, 2008
    3
    Ummm I'm still trying to get my money back for this movie. What the hell is the point its nonsense.
  39. ArtG.
    Aug 18, 2009
    2
    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'.
  40. GendolynH.
    Nov 29, 2008
    3
    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.
  41. MaccaNotDisclosed
    Dec 23, 2008
    1
    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.
  42. MichaelKisielewski
    Dec 27, 2008
    1
    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 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 realizeWhat 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
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Joel and Ethan Coen clearly are in a prankish mood, knocking out a minor piece of silliness with all the trappings of an A-list studio movie.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    Nothing about the project's execution inspires the feeling that this was ever intended as anything more than a lark, which would be fine if it were a good one. As it is, audience teeth-grinding sets in early and never lets up.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    30
    Either the Coens failed, or I didn't figure out what they're attempting. I must be like Harry or Osborne, pretending to a sophistication I lack. Burn After Reading is a movie about stupidity that left me feeling stupid.