Burn After Reading

I’m calling my stylist and getting my money back!

The Coen Brothers have got a large number of comedies in their arsenal. They have their goofball comedies (Raising Arizona), they have their dark comedies (Fargo), they have their period comedies (O Brother Where Art Thou), they have their stoner comedies (The Big Lebowski) and a few films that just aren’t very good comedies at all (No Country For Old Men). Okay…maybe not ALL of their films are comedies. But you get the idea. They are into comedy, even if it is their drama from last year that got them an Oscar or two. With “Burn After Reading”, they decided to take a break from such heavy-handed topics such as life’s meaning and growing old and move back into the realm of…well…I’m not exactly sure WHAT kind of comedy this is.

Truth be told, this movie is nothing but a series of mishaps and the people who are involved with them. It’s basically an extortion comedy with goofball characters and ridiculous situations. And you can just go along for the ride. Let me be perfectly clear here…this movie is a mindless romp that never takes itself too seriously, even when there are deaths and violence involved. And that’s what makes this such a good addition to the Coen films.

Starring mainstays George Clooney and Francis McDormand with Brad Pitt & John Malcovich (who steal the movie), Tilda Swinton and J.K. Simmons. Who is J.K. Simmons? He’s the guy who plays Peter Parker’s boss at the Daily Bugle in the Spiderman flicks. And his role in this movie is really the best reason to see this film. I’m not gonna give anything away…but as limited as his role is, he is extremely important.

So this film is a great Friday night of entertainment. Nothing that you will need to see twice, but you might find yourself WANTING to see it again. It’s like sugar. It’s not necessarily good for you, but you crave it and want more. With this movie, I didn’t want more…I felt completely satisfied.

Oveall Rating: B+

2 thoughts on “Burn After Reading

  1. “Because it is a comedy, the Coens’ new film … is something of a palate cleanser for the brothers after the rigors of the Academy Award-winning No Country for Old Men,” Kenneth Turan writes in the Los Angeles Times. “But because it’s a Coen brothers film before it’s anything else, this is about as dark and nihilistic as comedies are allowed to get before the laughter dies bitterly on your lips.”

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