Burn After Reading

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Burn After Reading is a 2008 dark comedy film about the misadventures of an ex-intelligence analyst, a treasury agent and a woman who is trying to "re-invent" herself.

Directed by and written by Joel and Ethan Coen.
Intelligence is relative. (taglines)

Osbourne Cox[edit]

  • What the fuck is this?
  • I have a drinking problem? Fuck you, Peck! You're a Mormon! Next to you, we all have a drinking problem!
  • I know who you are, fucker!
  • [on the phone] I'm sorry, I don't know the number to, uh, my savings account because, believe it or not, I don't spend my entire day sitting around trying to memorize the fucking numbers to my fucking bank accounts! MORON!

Harry Pfarrer[edit]

  • [panicking, after having reflexively shot Chad in the head] Oh, my fuck! I shot a fucking spook! Who the fuck are you, you fucker?!

CIA Supervisor[edit]

  • Report back to me... when it makes sense.


Palmer: In fact, we're moving you out of Sigint entirely.
Osbourne: Just no discussion? Just, you're out?
Palmer: Well, we're having the discussion now. Look, um, Oz. This doesn't have to be unpleasant. Uh...
Osbourne: Palmer, with all due respect. What the fuck are you talking about? [looks at Olsen] And why is Olsen here?
Palmer: Uh, look, Ozzie, look...
Osbourne: What the fuck is this?! I know it's not my work.
Palmer: Ozzie...
Osbourne: I'm a great fucking analyst.
Palmer: Okay, Ozzie...
Osbourne: Is - is it my...
Palmer: Ozzie, things have not been going well, as you know.
Peck: You have a drinking problem.
[Osbourne looks at Peck. Short pause]
Osbourne: I have a drinking problem?

Osbourne: This is an assault. I have a drinking problem? Fuck you, Peck. You're a Mormon!
Peck: Ozzie...
Osbourne: Next to you, we all have a drinking problem! What the fuck is this! Whose ass didn't I kiss! Huh?! Let's be honest!
Palmer: Okay, uh...
Osbourne: I mean, let us be fucking honest. This is a crucifixion! This is political! And don't tell me it's not! [opens the door] "I have a drinking problem." [leaves]

Osbourne: What did Kathleen say?
Katie: What?
Osbourne: When you left the message.
Katie: That she would give you the message!

Harry: Is this goat cheese?
Osbourne: Chevre, yes, that is a goat cheese.
Harry: Because I have lactose reflux. I can—
Osbourne: You're lactose intolerant? Or you have acid reflux? They're two different things.
Harry: I know what they are.
Osbourne: Then you misspoke.
Harry: [sarcastic] Well thank you for correcting me.
Katie: [walking up] Try the chevre, Harry, it's very good.
Harry: Oh, yeah, I can eat goat cheese.

Chad: Throw it out?!
Linda: You can't do that! You should put a note up in the ladies' locker room.
Chad: Put a note up? "Highly classified shit found, Signals Intelligence shit, CIA shit? Hello? Did you lose your secret CIA shit?" I don't think so.

Osbourne: [sleepily] Hello?
Chad: Uhhh... Osbourne?... Osbourne Cox?
Osbourne: Yes?... Uh... Who is this?
Chad: Ummm... This ummm... Is this Osbourne Cox?
Osbourne: [still sleepy] Who is this?.. What time is it?.. Who is?
Chad: Um... I'm a Good Samaritan... I'm sorry I'm calling at such an hour... But I thought you might be worried...
Osbourne: Worried?
Chad: About the security...... Of your shit.

Katie: What is going on?
Osbourne: Some clown—a couple of clowns got ahold of my memoirs.
Katie: Your what?
Osbourne: Stole it or... I have no idea how they—
Katie: Your what?
Osbourne: My memoirs... the book I'm writing.
Katie: Why in God's name would they think that's worth anything?!

Harry: [Leading Linda downstairs] Yeah, I tell ya. I saw an ad for this in a gentlemen's magazine. Twelve hundred bucks, TWELVE HUNDRED BUCKS. I'm lookin' at this thing and I think, "You gotta be kiddin' me." I'm a hobbyist. Thing's basically nothing but speed rails. I figure I'd go down to Home Depot and whip this up myself for... a hundred bucks. [Pulls the tarp off the machine]
Linda: ...What is it?
Harry: What is it?? [Points to the chair] You sit down there, make yourself comfortable, put your feet in the stirrups, and...
[Harry pushes the chair back, and when it comes forward, a dildo pushes up through a hole in the seat of the chair. The chair continues to rock back and forth, with the dildo going up and down]
Linda: Oh my God!...[Hushed voice] THAT'S FANTASTIC.
Harry: Something, isn't it? Hundred bucks, all in; not counting the labor and...the cost of the dildo; those things aren't cheap. See, I like to...I'm not set up to mold hard rubber.

Linda: Where's the money?
Chad: He hit me.
Linda: Where's the money?!
Chad: [Pause] He didn't give it to me.

CIA Supervisor: Jesus Fucking Christ.
Palmer: Yeah.
CIA Supervisor: What did we learn, Palmer?
Palmer: I don't know, sir.
CIA Supervisor: I don't fucking know either. I guess we learned not to do it again.
Palmer: Yes, sir.
CIA Supervisor: I'm fucked if I know what we did.
Palmer: Yes, sir. It's, uh ... hard to say.


  • Intelligence is relative.
  • A high stakes love life and Jewel CIA shelter.
  • Intelligence is only their job.


External links[edit]

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