Burn After Reading (2008)

Intelligence is relative.

Blu-ray, 1h 36min
Rating: 7
Votes: 315061
Languages: English
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen


A disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous and daft gym employees who attempt to sell it. - anonymous

Osbourne Cox, a Balkan expert, resigned from the CIA because of a drinking problem, so he begins a memoir. His wife wants a divorce and expects her lover, Harry, a philandering State Department marshal, to leave his wife. A CD-ROM falls out of a gym bag at a Georgetown fitness center. Two employees there try to turn it into cash: Linda, who wants money for cosmetic surgery, and Chad, an amiable goof. Information on the disc leads them to Osbourne who rejects their sales pitch; then they visit the Russian embassy. To sweeten the pot, they decide they need more of Osbourne's secrets. Meanwhile, Linda's boss likes her, and Harry's wife leaves for a book tour. All roads lead to Osbourne's house.

Rather than accept a demotion due to alcoholism (which he vehemently denies he has, despite it being the truth), mid level CIA analyst Osborne Cox, whose latest assignment was the Balkans desk, decides to quit. With all his free time, he decides he's going to write an explosive memoir of his CIA life to get back at his former employers. He may or may not be aware that his work is not the only problematic issue in his life as his pediatrician wife Katie Cox is having an affair with Harry Pfarrer, a marshal with the US Treasury. Harry and his children's book author wife Sandy Pfarrer are so called friends with Ozzy and Katie, who each individually bitch about the other couple behind their backs. Harry and Katie have stated to each other that they are committed to each other and would be married if it wasn't for their spouses. Little does Katie know that Harry is being unfaithful not only with her but a plethora of other women, most of who he meets on the Internet. In addition, paranoid Harry can't help feel that he's being followed. Meanwhile, the talk among the staff at Hardbodies Gym is Linda Litzke, one of their own. Middle aged Linda is determined to reinvent herself, including having a multitude of cosmetic procedures, all in an effort to make herself feel better about herself and attract a man into her life. Her primary approach to meet men is online dating sites, she in the process being oblivious to the fact that her boss, Ted Treffon, the gym's owner, is in love with her. A further problem for Linda is that the gym's extended health benefits program does not cover what would otherwise be these very expensive cosmetic procedures. The already complicated lives of these two groups of people intersect and become even more complicated when a CD containing what looks to be classified government information is found in the women's change room of the gym. Linda and her best friend at the gym, the slightly dim Chad Feldheimer, one of the trainers, learn that the information "belongs" to Ozzy (it being his memoirs). They believe the CD is a good opportunity to earn a little money - for Linda, for her much wanted cosmetic surgeries - if not from Ozzy, than from anyone who will pay for it, including other governments such as the Russians. - Huggo