Burn After Reading

Rated 3.0

Joel and Ethan Coen seem to space out their modern masterpieces and their weird slapstick duds in equal margin. In typical perplexing fashion, they have followed up the brilliant, award-winning western noir No Country for Old Men with this aimless spy farce. Burn After Reading follows a half-dozen horny D.C. residents too knuckleheaded to comprehend the international espionage and treason they’re mixed up in. It’s not that the movie is bad—Burn After Reading is entertaining in the Coens’ usual stylized manner, and Brad Pitt, playing a health-club nitwit, gets laughs whenever he’s onscreen—it’s just soulless and pointless. George Clooney once again displays a sledgehammer touch with comedy that should void any comparisons to Cary Grant.