Burn After Reading (2008) – 4.5/5

A really good, intricately plotted film. People who aren’t familiar with the Coen Bros’ particular style of story-telling or weren’t big fans of their previous efforts probably won’t like it, particularly the latter, which is a shame because it’s quite brilliant.

Reviews and trailers had me thinking this was going to be a hyper-wacky, super-zany type film, but it wasn’t that way at all. It starts off rather slow and serious actually and slowly builds up to something sharp, violent, and, at times, insanely hilarious. Not everything is explained, not every character’s back story is revealed, and it all ends in a rather non-traditional manner. And I loved the way some important elements of the story don’t even appear onscreen and are only mentioned in passing. You don’t see too many films do that, strangely enough. Perhaps they should? Would certainly save filmmakers money.

Anyway, I liked it. Very funny and entertaining, and very well acted, especially by John Malkovich and Brad Pitt. Watch it!

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