Burn After Reading Synopsis
An ousted CIA official’s memoir accidentally falls into the wrong hands.
Read Full Synopsis

Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
It would be no country for movie lovers without the Coens. They still manage to run unmuzzled while the rest of Hollywood runs scared.
Full Review

San Francisco Chronicle

By Walter Addiego
Doesn't add up to much, but it's fast and funny and lets a bunch of top-drawer actors exercise their comic muscles.
Full Review

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
A goofy screwball romp that affords a gaggle of A-listers the chance to hambone around in antic style.
Full Review

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
It's consistently funny -- with witty dialogue and offbeat banter that stays in your head for days.
Full Review

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The characters are zany, the plot coils upon itself with dizzy zeal, and the roles seem like a perfect fit for the actors -- yes, even Brad...
Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
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...
Full Review

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
Shallow and proud of it, an antic cartoon that lacks the comic inspiration to go the distance.
Full Review

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
It's a cheerful trifle tossed off by the Coen brothers in their self-enchanted mode, an approach to comedy that shrugs off comedy's...
Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
The movie is overplowed, even if Brad Pitt's debut as a Coen comedy player is eye-catching.
Full Review

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
Hopped up like a Bugs Bunny cartoon on mescaline and as chatty and uppity as a 5-year-old, Burn After Reading could be seen as the Coen...
Full Review

Lower your expectations

By RandytheMovieFan
A dark quirky comedy, not nearly as quirky funny as Raising Arizona or as dark as Fargo, but the performances stood out, with Brad Pitt unexpectedly being the standout for me. I found myself...

Wait. Hold On. What?

By robbiewf
I can't yet decide whether I was more delighted by the overall scrumptious weirdness of the plot or by the brilliantly balanced weirdness of the characters. As a whole, an entirely smartly...

Five Word Review

By redyeah
This is comedy done right!...

Burn After Reading

By pignalberi
This was a thoroughly entertaining and very enjoyable, funny movie. In the black humor of the Coen Brothers. The super star cast was terrific! Each actor (Pitt, Clooney, Malkovich, McDormand, etc.)...

Would rather watch paint dry!!!

By KyBlue
I would not watch this movie again if I was paid to. I went with teenagers and my husband. We left 30 minutes into it. Crude sexual content. It tops my list of the most stupid movie ever made. I set...

Burn After Reading

By bmuniz
A stellar cast with terrific acting. I came to appreciate Brad Pitt's ability to play a "doofus" and a great comedic character in an entirely new light. I rate this movie highly, it easily compares...


By thedarKnight
the best way to describe this movie would be to call it bizarre. you think you know the coen brothers and then they add another twist. real huge twist with pitt in this movie. the acting was...


By I_Love_America2008
Really enjoyed this one. Once you get used to the randomness of the story and undestand how well satire is being used, it is freakin hilarious. I really loved the scenes with J.K. Simmons--he...


By randomo
Film wasn't too bad - I enjoy dark, dry humor - but I really expected more laughs in this one. Brad Pitt displayed excellent comedic timing in Mr. and Mrs. Smith and I hoped for the same in this...

Misleading Movie Trailers; Crappy Movie

By lorna072001
I have never written a review on fandango before, but after watching this movie, I felt so passionate to let everyone know how terrible it is, that I just went ahead and signed up for an account. I...

More Info

Rated R | For pervasive language, some sexual content and violence
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Quirky, violent Coen comedy isn't meant for kids.
Read the Common Sense Media Review