The Coen Brothers' Burn After Reading , which is set to open in many theaters at midnight tonight, is drawing some hot early reviews. "Because it is a comedy, the Coens' new film ... is something of a palate cleanser for the brothers after the rigors of the Academy Award-winning No Country for Old Men ," Kenneth Turan writes in the Los Angeles Times. "But because it's a Coen brothers film before it's anything else, this is about as dark and nihilistic as comedies are allowed to get before the laughter dies bitterly on your lips." In the Orlando Sentinel , Roger Moore writes that the Coens have "left behind the lyrical, literary and epic qualities of N o Country for Old Men for an old school Coen-style farce, a comedy peopled with idiots and spattered with bloodstains, a film with profanely witty dialogue and so much plot, you almost need to take notes in the dark." Rafer Guzmán in Newsday writes that the film falls short of the Coens' best. "This sprawling, fitfully hilarious mess of miscommunication and murder doesn't stand up to Fargo or Blood Simple (still the Coens' most perfect film), but it's a chance to watch some top-notch actors jump their rails and head into terra bizarro," he writes. Chris Garcia in the Austin American Statesman describes the film as "a frequently funny and weirdly endearing taxonomy of stupid human behavior that only the Coens can pull off with such control and panache." And Clint O'Connor in the Cleveland Plain Dealer sums up "Here's what you need to know about Burn . It's funny, very funny. And it features a hilarious performance by Brad Pitt.

11/09/2008