It is fair to say, at this point, that a Coen movie will have the Coen Tm in at least a few ways. It's even more fair saying that having such a style in a project made to satirize a whole genre, with its own clichés and "habits" is note-worthy. Couple that with hilarious writing (duh), clever directing and a surprising Brad Pitt, and you've got yourself a ride. It does lack substance, but not without a good surface.
This is one of the most purely pleasurable films the Coen Brothers have ever done. It's a darkly comedic farce that gets funnier and funnier as it progresses, as well as showcasing the careful screenwriting skills of the Coens. The cast is all-around fantastic and hilarious, with Pitt and Jenkins being particular stand-outs. It may not be as deeply layered as other Coens films, but it is a lot of fun.
9.5/10. BURN AFTER READING could be perhaps be described as a nihilistic farce--and savagely funny and meaningless it all is. With terrific performances from its stellar cast (Malkovich, Pitt and Simmons are particular standouts), BURN AFTER READING is eminently rewatchable and never ceases to make me laugh.
It's unsurprising where the Coen's fall on post-9/11 paranoia, assured that no plotting could coherently connect the dimwits interspersed through the country. Crafting a class hierarchy of manic ego's, 'Burn' should feel nastier than it does, yet its slightness prevents me taking it too seriously. Perhaps its just the joy of some of our finest actors doing exaggerated conspiracy, watched over by two technical pro's.