In the Loop (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
IFC

Cast

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
Zach Woods
as Chad
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
Lucinda Raikes
as Reporter
Reid Sasser
as Airport Security Official
Del Pentecost
as White House Tourist
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for In the Loop

All Critics (168) | Top Critics (38)

No excerpt available.

November 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

November 16, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 6, 2010
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | October 20, 2009
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Painfully funny satire of British and American bureaucrats in the days leading up to the Iraq War.

August 21, 2009
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

The film, while often very funny, is so relentlessly savage it could destroy whatever shred of respect you may still retain for politicians and that flogged horse called democracy.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for In the Loop

½

A funny political satire with a witty dialogue and that deliciously British sense of humor that is not for everyone, and Peter Capaldi is especially priceless, hilarious and stealing the show every time he appears swearing insanely and shouting the f-word to everyone.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

With a great cast of both Brits and Americans, and a stalwart approach to satirical humor, director Armando Ianucci delivers a great politically motivated comedy. Delving into the oft-mined political sphere, as of late, "In the Loop" follows the bungling of an interview by Simon Forster (Holland) and the subsequent worldwide chatter between the US and UK. It also speaks on the subterfuge of being a political animal, and the hand holding that goes into bills, policy, and wartime paranoia. Everyone in this is so hilarious, and over-the-top in the best of ways. Peter Capaldi steals the entire show as Malcolm Tucker, a lewd, cussing, inflammatory politician who strives to keep his career while double crossing everyone in the process. His longwinded rants on the state of politics, and his own role in its demise are both funny and sadly close to reality. James Gandolfini, Anna Chlumsky, Steve Coogan, and Mimi Kennedy also give outstanding performances as players in an intrigue filled game, whether they know it or not.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

The Americans fancy another war, so backroom spin doctor Peter Capaldi sets about making sure that his British ministers tow the party line and take it up the ass in the name of our "special relationship". In The Loop is basically a big screen version of British political satire The Thick Of It, but incredibly it manages to keep the essence of the show no doubt at the cost of any semblance of box office receipts. Incredibly dark and witty, Armando Iannucci and Capaldi have managed to create a character that will become the stuff of comedy legend. His foul mouthed tirades against his quaking subordinates are as hilarious as they are excruciating and uses the kind of creative obscenities that we haven't seen the like of since Withnail & I. It also has the blend of political nightmare combined with absurdity that made it feel like the Dr. Strangelove of our times and has the kind of sharp wit and sophisticated dialogue of Thank You For Smoking. James Gandolfini is also the perfect casting choice as the US general who gives as good as he gets and the cast as a whole are pretty much flawless. The fact that the entire story is told in words rather than explosions and car chases means that 90% of its potential audience will no doubt switch off straight away, but anyone with two braincells to rub together simply must see this. The one drawback is that once the credits roll and the laughter dies away, you get the hollowing feeling that this really IS how wars begin. F-star-star-star-ing genius.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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