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Arbogast1960's Movie Reviews (50)

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Burn After Reading 
"You're part of a league of morons."
3/4 stars

A decidedly second-shelf Coens effort (along the lines of The Hudsucker Proxy and Intolerable Cruelty). But second-shelf Coens is still a hell of a fun ride. Superbly acted and written film, with wonderful performances all around. Brad Pitt is remarkably good as the moronic personal trainer who stumbles across what he believes to be "top secret shit"--so good, I wished that there had been more of him after all is said and done. And John Malkovich is hilarious as the disgraced CIA agent who seems incapable of communication not involving forcefully screamed expletives. The plot (such as it is, coiling in upon itself) really isn't worth describing, as it's entirely unimportant--like North by Northwest, but populated with imbeciles as opposed to sophisticates, everything that happens is one big McGuffin, an excuse to see excellent actors enjoying excellent dialogue. And J.K. Simmons steals the show as a top-level CIA man who disposes of things, er, pragmatically. Not a masterpiece, by any means, but a diversion well worth taking.


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