It s the razor-sharp smash that critics are calling brilliant (San Francisco Chronicle), blisteringly funny (USA Today) and "One of the best films of the year... a little piece of heaven (Chicago Tribune). Peter Capaldi st... more »ars as a foul-mouthed British government spokesman who must act quickly when a mid-level minister (Tom Hollander of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN) tells an interviewer that U.S. war in the Middle East is unforeseeable . But when they are both summoned to Washington D.C., the hapless politico quickly becomes a pawn of bureaucrats, spin doctors and military advisors, including a hardnosed General (James Gandolfini, in a performance Rolling Stone hails as slyly hilarious ). Gina McKee (WONDERLAND), Anna Chlumsky (MY GIRL) and Steve Coogan (TROPIC THUNDER) co-star in this hilarious satire from director/co-writer Armando Iannucci, the award-winning creator of the classic BBC sitcoms I M ALAN PARTRIDGE and THE THICK OF IT.« less
George K. from COLCHESTER, CT Reviewed on 4/1/2017...
A very funny movie for our time.
Imagine Basil Fawlty with no limitations on his language.
And imagine the true background of Bush's Iraq war, right down to Curve Ball, the prime source for misinformation about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.
Now imagine the Trump administration's paranoid disorganization.
Swirl them together with a remarkably competent cast and you've got this movie.
Funny only because it's a movie. Terrifying because it's true to life.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
"The Office" goes to war - a very clever and dark satire on
Nathan Andersen | Florida | 07/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""In the Loop" is a sharp and witty and funny and depressing take on the office politics of politics. Simon Foster is the ambitious but largely clueless and weak-willed British "minister for international development." When he makes the mistake of suggesting, contrary to the official British position, that an imminent war was "unforeseeable" on a BBC radio interview, he is colorfully and harshly reprimanded by the British press secretary who seems incapable of putting three words together without a creative interjection of expletives. Simon suddenly finds himself in the midst of a power struggle between hawks and doves (both UK and US) and interns and career politicians, some who care about whether the war (ostensibly the war in Iraq, which is never actually mentioned) proceeds and, mostly, others who care more about their own future in politics. The point is that even when it comes to matters of greatest urgency, the petty and small are never far off. It's a clever and very funny take on bureaucracy and international politics, that would be even funnier if it weren't so awfully scary. Shot in the kinetic documentary style made popular on the BBC's Office and its American remake - it may make you dizzy while the wordplay has your head spinning. Definitely worth watching."
Brilliant satire, very very funny.
Oscar's Wilde | England | 11/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you liked The Office, Spinal Tap and Dr. Strangelove and you also don't mind the very frequent but highly effective use of swearing then this is a must-see movie.
To paraphrase one of the many rants from the British spin doctor, if you don't watch this movie "I'm going to tear out your shinbone, split it in two and stab you to f*****g death with it!""
If you've decided to start a war in the Middle East, better
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 08/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a flight of far-fetched imagination, of course, but In the Loop imagines that for some reason the United States and Britain, a kind of tail-wagging Britain along for the petting it expects to get, are determined to invade a Middle-eastern country. As in real life, perhaps, In the Loop never gets around to explaining why.
It doesn't need to. When the moist ideologues, the ambitious bureaucrats, the supple young staff members, the high media governmental power-houses, the cautious generals, the well-intentioned stumblers and the cover-your-rear time-servers are through, we not only have a war no one can explain, we have a glorious two hours of startlingly funny profanity, articulate and quick dialogue, festering verbal maneuvers to get the upper-hand and the kind of political wit that seems to come naturally to some British writers. There are no heroes here, just a collection of elected and non-elected public servants, British and American, who are far more concerned with finding advantages in the emergencies of the minute and how they might effect careers than any such concepts as the public good. If war is simply the extension of diplomacy, In the Loop gives us war (with that Middle-eastern country) that is an extension of self-serving jockeying to stay in the loop. In the Loop, let me add quickly again, is a very, very funny movie.
When Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) Britain's bumbling Minister for International Development, says "war is unforeseeable" during a public interview, it appears to some that he has strayed off the government's message of the day. The prime minister's foul-mouthed and powerful press spokesman, Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) takes action. After stripping off some hide, Tucker sends poor Simon to Washington on a "fact-finding mission" to keep him out of the way. Simon, as usual, just makes things worse. Before long we're seeing how Washington really works, with all those committees, how 10 Downing Street really works, with how the United Nations really works. No one in this movie escapes, even the young, who are as eager to bed each other as they are to climb over each other's bodies to advance their bosses' needs and their own careers.
To match the fast, fast dialogue, In the Loop is blessed with a superb assortment of actors who could step into most real political roles right now. Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker strides through the movie throwing off vivid obscenities. It would be virtually impossible to repeat any of his sentences in front of your mum. Tom Hollander is, as usual, first-rate. He's an excellent actor who manages to gain our sympathy even while bumbling through crises. Just a few of the other great performances come from Gina McKee as Simon Foster's prime aide; Mimi Kennedy as Karen Clarke, a senior State Department official who wants the war talk to slow down and who is just as determined to come out on top; and David Rasche as Linton Barwick, another State Department top official who knows how to organize a secret war committee, how to jovially rewrite minutes to his view and how to actually start a war. When these two share screen time in committee meetings, the self-serving maneuvering is delicious and unnerving. There's not a dud role or a dud actor in the movie.
If you enjoy acerbic political wit at the expense of politicians and public servants who are absolutely sure they know what they're doing (and who we let get away with it), In the Loop is not to be missed. Sure, it's political, but it's funny, with a brittle and corrosive screenplay and some extraordinary actors, most of whom you've probably never heard of. Peter Capaldi is a lead character actor in Britain who also writes and directs. Americans might remember him as the frightened Vera Reynolds in Prime Suspect 3 and as a helpful friend in Smilla's Sense of Snow. Tom Hollander can seemingly play just about anything. I especially liked his flamboyant and drunken Guy Burgess in Cambridge Spies and his quiet, shrewd role as Tom Jericho's boss and protector in Enigma."
Satire on steroids
Daniel B. Clendenin | www.journeywithjesus.net | 08/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you like British humor of the Monty Python sort, and are cynical about politics, this caustic, over-the-top satire may be your ticket. It comes at a price, though, with unrelenting vulgarity from start to finish, much of which, I must say, is hilarious. When I watched the movie, people in the theater were laughing aloud; so was I. Amidst international fears about the possibility of an unspecified war, Britain's minister for International Development Simon Foster lets slip an ambiguous affirmation that "war is unforeseeable." His communication chief, Malcolm Tucker, goes ballistic. The crisis requires extensive negotiations with fellow buffoons, spinners, and careerist diplomats in Washington, including teenage-looking interns, minutes of meetings that must be "corrected," and talk of a "war committee." All of this, mind you, without any regard at all for citizens who'll suffer the consequences of their vanity and folly. The message of the film is that, regardless of parties or administrations in both Britain and the US, government is badly broken and deeply dysfunctional."