Box Office - 04/30/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "In his uproariously funny motion picture debut, director Armando Iannucci takes both a pairing knife and a wrecking ball to the corridors of UK and US power....It builds a relentless head of comic steam that never subsides."
Rolling Stone - 07/09/2009 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The whole cast is stellar. And it proves that smart and funny can exist in the same movie..."
Film Comment - 07/01/2009
"In direct contrast to the sober realism of Ken Loach's political films, say, it's a bluntly confrontational approach, but it does have the desired effect of exposing the ugly truths lurking behind the satire."
USA Today - 07/24/2009
"[A] biting political satire about politicians and their operatives involved in a campaign to promote a war....The film features some witty performances..."
Los Angeles Times - 07/24/2009
"Violently verbose and startlingly impolite, with shovelfuls of obscenities, IN THE LOOP is the most savage, biting political satire on the big screen in years."
Wall Street Journal - 07/24/2009
"[I]t's the hilarious tumble of words -- the sly cultural references, astonishingly creative invective, the veritable arias of profanity -- that gives the film an unexpected heft."
Rolling Stone - 07/16/2009 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[T]his ink-black comedy of war and how to stop worrying and love the spin is devilishly clever....[Iannucci] keeps the dialogue coming fast and furiously funny."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/15/2009
"James Gandolfini is aces as a red-meat U.S. general..." -- Grade: A-
A.V. Club - 01/13/2010
"It's a cavalcade of wit and verbal virtuosity, highlighted by some of the most inspired use of profanity this side of David Mamet..."
IN THE LOOP is a fast-paced, lancet-witted ensemble comedy from first-time film director Armando Iannucci, based on his satirical BBC sitcom, THE THICK OF IT. The film tracks the lies, misunderstandings, good and bad intel, and PR blunders that escalate into a full-blown (fictional) crisis in the Middle East over the course of a few days, in a few conversations and meetings, in a few corridors of British and American power. Though played for laughs, the movie demonstrates how the most incidental factors (leaked papers, hastily spoken soundbites) and players (aides, interns, and low-level government officials) can influence the course of history.
The pitch-perfect cast does a great job with Iannucci's script, improvising just enough to maintain the pseudo-documentary feel of the TV show. Even when the action gets loose and rollicking, the tone is tightly controlled satire, and the humor emerges organically from the situations and relationships at hand. Peter Capaldi, reprising his TV role, is hilarious as a foulmouthed, perpetually het-up Director of Communications for the British Prime Minister. Mimi Kennedy gives a droll but heartfelt performance as an antiwar U.S. diplomat and shares some touching and funny scenes with a more subdued than usual James Gandolfini as a U.S. general with surprising views on war. And Tom Hollander quietly steals the show as the hapless British Secretary of State for International Development whose careless remark in an interview sets off the events that catapult him into deeper waters than he has ever been in.
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