Compared to No Country For Old Men, the Coens’ Burn After Reading might be a less ambitious movie but there is a bright spark to it. There’s also great ensemble playing and, as Critic After Dark Noel Vera notes, a surprise turn from Brad Pitt, of all people.

Joel and Ethan Coen’s Burn After Reading (2008) is their first feature film after last year’s No Country For Old Men, and by most standards it’s a diminishment. Less ambitious, less grave (where No Country dealt with inevitable mortality, in Burn mortality acts more like a caffeinated jack-in-the-box), less demanding of its audiences, it seems to resemble in tone and level of cynicism the kind of dry, dark comedies the Coens have made through the years.

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