In the Loop


In the Loop

Critics Consensus

In the Loop is an uncommonly funny political satire that blends Dr. Strangelove with Spinal Tap for the Iraq war era.



Total Count: 172


Audience Score

User Ratings: 226,994
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In the Loop Photos

Movie Info

The run-up to war makes for curious rivalries and uneasy alliances in this political satire from director and co-screenwriter Armando Iannucci. Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) is a minor minister of international development with the British government who, in the midst of a radio interview, casually tells a reporter "war is unforeseeable." However, the prime minister is being pressured to commit British troops to support American forces in the Middle East, and communications director Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) goes into a tirade when the press turns Foster's passing comment into a major news story. Foster becomes an unwitting media figure, and he and his personal communications director, Judy (Gina McKee), are joined by political damage control expert Toby (Chris Addison) as they're sent to Washington, D.C., to meet with American political and military leaders. Despite Judy's and Toby's help, Foster displays a stubborn inability to say what he's supposed to, and he finds himself caught in the middle between pro-war factions -- including diplomat Karen Clarke (Mimi Kennedy) and State Department official Linton Barwick (David Rasche) -- and those who oppose the conflict, including Pentagon attachà (C) General Miller (James Gandolfini) and activist Liza (Anna Chlumsky). As if matters weren't already complicated enough, Liza used to date Toby when they were college students, and Gen. Miller was once involved with Clarke, adding bitter romantic history to an already rocky playing field. In the Loop received its North American premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Tom Hollander
as Simon Foster
Peter Capaldi
as Malcolm Tucker
James Gandolfini
as General Miller
Gina McKee
as Judy Molloy
Anna Chlumsky
as Liza Weld
David Rasche
as Linton Barwick
Steve Coogan
as Paul Michaelson
Mimi Kennedy
as Karen Clark
Harry Hadden-Paton
as Civil Servant
Samantha Harrington
as Malcolm's Secretary
James Smith
as Michael Rodgers
Enzo Cilenti
as Bob Adriano
James Doherty
as Reporter
Chipo Chung
as Annabelle Hsin
Joanna Brookes
as Mrs. McDiarmid
Rita May
as Mrs. Michaelson
Paul Higgins
as Jamie MacDonald
Alex MacQueen
as Sir Jonathan Tutt
Eve Matheson
as New Minister
Will Smith (III)
as New Advisor
Reid Sasser
as Airport Security Official
Del Pentecost
as White House Tourist
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News & Interviews for In the Loop

Critic Reviews for In the Loop

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (46)

  • You probably wouldn't want to spend three hours listening to Alan Partridge's drive-time radio broadcast, but this idiotic DJ delivers a solid 90 minutes of cinematic entertainment.

    Oct 24, 2018 | Full Review…

    Alonso Duralde

    Top Critic
  • This alleged satire, which received four-star treatment from other critics, left me with a ho-hum and sorry feeling that I had wasted an evening seeing it.

    Jan 17, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • Shot in fly-on-the-wall style, In The Loop is as expertly and continuously funny as any comedy in years.

    Jan 21, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • If you only watch a scene or two on the internet, it's hilarious. Watch it all and it's a little tiresome and unconvincing.

    Jan 21, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It's fantastic stuff, so over-the-top, so scabrous, so bitterly brilliant that you have to assume that, on some level, it rings true.

    Oct 21, 2009 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Painfully funny satire of British and American bureaucrats in the days leading up to the Iraq War.

    Aug 21, 2009

Audience Reviews for In the Loop

  • May 21, 2017
    Peter Capaldi makes this film Just as he did in the series! It's very British and I love it! Funny, entertaining and enjoyable!
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2016
    Incredible and hilarious political comedy film. The cast is grand and full of wonderful actors who give everything to the roles. The camera flips around around with a sitcom and fly on the wall approach. The film deserves a wider audience.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 05, 2014
    The big-screen companion piece to the brilliant The Thick Of It, In The loop follows the same fuck-up miscommunications of the TV series to international waters, between a supposed soon to happen war. What follows is an f bomb ridden ride that gets absolutly nuts on it's complications, becoming virtually indecipherable and it makes sense belonging on this world of politics, scheming, alliances and whatnot. Consistently funny, this is a great way to get into the TV series, whilst mantaining a very strong individuality of it's own.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 12, 2013
    However juvenile it may sound, most of my laughter during "In the Loop" was caused by Peter Capaldi and his profane vocabulary. Granted, the rest of the cast is quite funny and the satire in the script is so sharp and so socially, stingingly relevant that it'll send you reeling back in your chair or whatever else you might be sitting in, but it's Capaldi who really steals the show.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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