In the Loop: Armando Iannucci’s Social Satire, Starring Tom Hollander and Peter Capaldi

Writer-director Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop is a smart, funny, and timely social satire, sharply observed and well-acted.  It’s the kind of film that we don’t see much anymore.

A bumbling British government minister (Tom Hollander) makes a verbal snafu during a TV interview, inadvertently backing a U.S. war in the Middle East. The Prime Minister’s venomous communications chief (Peter Capaldi) attempts damage control as tensions quickly escalate on both sides of the pond.
Soon the Brits are in Washington, where a U.S. General (James Gandolfini) thinks war is a crazy idea and the beleaguered U.S. Assistant Secretary for Diplomacy (Mimi Kennedy) scrambles to infiltrate the elusive and very hawkish War Committee.
Meanwhile, the hapless minister responsible for the mess fuels more flames by attempting to gatecrash various corridors of power while his well-connected young spin doctor (Chris Addison) sleeps his way into diplomatic high jinks with a sexy young intern (Anna Chlumsky), culminating in a feverish United National Security Council vote that makes war seem as “unforseeable” as the slip of the tongue that ignites this crackling, fast-talking political satire showcasing some of the most rollicking wordplay since the heyday of screwball comedy.
Armando Iannucci is known for “The Day Today,” “Knowing Me,” “Knowing You with Alan Partridge.” The team of Iannucci, Capaldi, Addison, producer Adam Tandy and other cast and crew of “In the Loop” previously collaborated on the award-winning BBC television series “The Thick of It,” which ran for six half-hour episodes and two specials from 2005 to 2007.