Burn After Reading - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Burn After Reading Reviews

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September 9, 2008
[O]ne gets the impression that with just a few cuts, the film could be a gut-busting laugh riot or a taut bit of suspense. What actually wound up on screen, however, feels like all and none of the above at the same time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
September 12, 2008
On screen, delusional schmoes are more fun than smart people, and in the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, the imperious former spook played by John Malkovich accuses his blackmailers...of heading a league of morons.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
September 12, 2008
Burn After Reading could just as well have been called Forget After Seeing.
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
August 15, 2011
A month from now you'll have forgotten all about it.
Rossiter Drake
San Francisco Examiner
September 11, 2008
Here, the brothers weave an elaborate, misanthropic web of desperation and betrayal around a group of characters so jaded they take no real pleasure from their artless deceptions and sordid affairs. Imagine how we feel.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Fernando F. Croce
August 26, 2009
Gratuitous stuff, flat and desperate
Tony Macklin
Fayetteville Free Weekly
February 1, 2009
Please send Get Well cards to the Coen Brothers. After last year's No Country for Old Men, for which they won the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year, Joel and Ethan Coen have had a relapse. Their new offering Burn After Reading is reminiscen
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine
September 12, 2008
The script chases its tail for an hour and a half and then conks out, tired and strangely satisfied with its catch.
Full Review | Original Score: 39/100
Michael Dance
The Cinema Source
January 6, 2009
Unlikable characters who do stupid things.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
September 11, 2008
It has its moments, but is all too easy to erase from your memory.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
August 28, 2008
Everything here has been dialed up to an almost grotesquely exaggerated extent, making for a film that feels misjudged from the opening scene and thereafter only occasionally hits the right note.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
September 12, 2008
Burn After Reading, the clubby, predictably self-amused comedy from Joel and Ethan Coen, has a tricky plot, visual style, er, to burn, but little heart.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Bruce Bennett
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
September 27, 2008
The fact is the talented ensemble cast overshadows the bland, blackmail comedy noir, even though the film's trailer promises quirky fun.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
September 12, 2008
Most audiences will find it a head-scratcher with a dismaying act of violence and a haphazard plot that fizzles out without any of the main characters on-screen.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
October 17, 2008
But wait. Didn't screwball farce go out 70 years ago? Around the time of Harry Cohn? Aren't we watching necromancy in action? Yes, yes and yes.
Sukhdev Sandhu
Daily Telegraph (UK)
October 17, 2008
Glib, unfunny, patronising: take your pick.
Matthew De Abaitua
Times (UK)
October 17, 2008
Halfway between a good Coen brothers movie and a terrible Coen brothers movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Emily S. Mendel
September 30, 2008
While the end of Burn After Reading dribbles away, we realize that we don't care very much about the characters and their futures.
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
November 12, 2008
Burn After Reading is part spy spoof and part rumination of middle-aged loneliness, which goes a long way to explain why its elements never cohere.
Full Review| Original Score: 2/4
Nick Rogers
October 9, 2008
The Coen Brothers should stop collaborating on comedies with George Clooney. None has worked, and none less so than this leaden spy game. At least Brad Pitt is the loosest he's cut in years, emerging as a potential go-to guy for future Coen comedies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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