Burn After Reading Review

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Review spoiler warning: minor plot spoilers

After finding a disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent, Chad Feldeimer (Pitt) and Linda Litzke (McDormand) begin this quirky quest to return the disk in search of a non-existent cash reward, but not after leaving a trail of destruction behind them. In their funniest farce since the “Big Lebowski,” the Coen brothers grace us with a combination of their masterful screenwriting, film work, and editing with an unforgettable all-star cast.

The Coens’ sense of humor is very unique. They take the darkest of human nature and develop some sick twist around it to fit their nothing but cruel sense of humor. They have a way with shocking humor as well as subtle dark humor that only they have mastered. It is the type of thing that had you witnessed in real life, you would be telling your new shrink about it for years to come. It is without a doubt an acquired taste of humor; witch would explain the recent mixed reviews. “Burn After Reading,” is a screwball comedy, but one tailored for the darkest and cruel sense of humors, making it unlike any screwball comedy in recent times.

“Burn After Reading,” sets itself up with a list of characters that are so simple minded, that the events become nothing but believable. Brad Pitt’s role as Chad Feldeimer has the innocence of a child, and it becomes easy to think, “well, how can you blame him, he didn’t know any better.” This is a trend that is safe to say with any of the characters, from the paranoid misogynist that Clooney plays, to the in-way-over-her-head Linda Litzke as played by Frances McDormand. With the ruined life of John Makovich’s character Osbourne Cox, whose simplicity comes with the single line he repeats for the majority of the film. Finally with the no named CIA superior of J.K. Simmons who is just utterly clueless.

The tagline for this flick sums it up nicely, “intelligence is relative,” in this cruel, dark, hilarious new comedy by the unstoppable director duo the Coen brothers. How the Coen brothers consistently bring such good product to the industry is beyond me, I just hope they continue their momentum.

9/10 Stars

Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence

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