In the Loop

2008 Comedy

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 attaché 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. more..

Director: Armando Iannucci

Starring: Tom Hollander,Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Gina McKee, Anna Chlumsky


  • The language is brilliant, and the laugh lines come so quickly that you'd probably have to watch the movie twice to get them all.

    Mick LaSalle - The San Francisco Chronicle

    19 January 2013

  • The chattering smarty-pants who ran the U.S. government on "The West Wing" are slow talkers compared with the motormouthed and hilariously imperfect power elite in the brainy British comedy In the Loop.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly

    19 January 2013

  • A sharply written, fast-talking, almost dementedly articulate satire on modern statecraft.

    A.O. Scott - The New York Times

    19 January 2013

  • Tremendous fun at times, especially in its vicious power plays and betrayals. But it has no redeeming value beyond entertainment.

    Philip Kennicott - The Washington Post

    19 January 2013

  • Laugh you will, loud and often. In the Loop deserves to be a sleeper hit. The whole cast is stellar. And it proves that smart and funny can exist in the same movie, even in summer.

    Peter Travers - Rolling Stone

    19 January 2013


  • Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay

    Academy Awards (2010)

  • Best Screenplay - Adapted

    BAFTA Awards (2010)

  • Best Directing in Film or Television

    BAFTA Awards, Scotland (2009)

  • Best Comedy Film

    British Comedy Awards (2009)

  • Best Screenplay

    British Independent Film Awards (2009)