Feature

'In the Loop': Satire and the Iraq War

Is this new comedy starring James Gandolfini the next 'Dr. Strangelove'?

Armando Iannucci's debut film In the Loop "reminds us that loose lips don't just sink ships—they also launch them," said Melissa Anderson in The Village Voice. This "thinly veiled spoof of Anglo-American diplomatic blundering and maneuvering in the lead-up to the second Iraq war" starring Steve Coogan and James Gandolfini is "an acidly funny satire about politics and pomposity." It's also somewhat of a "horror" movie, "reminding us of the all-too-real consequences of distorted, manipulated, and vitiated language." (watch the trailer for In the Loop)

In the Loop is a "slick and merciless political satire" that could be considered a "Dr. Strangelove for the Iraq War," said Peter Keough in The Boston Phoenix. "It blows away the recent satiric competition with its sharp, sardonic screenplay and uncompromising cynicism." But the "snark percolates non-stop," which "can get a little cloying," and it's too bad this movie wasn't released six years ago, when it "might have drawn more blood."

"For the makers of In the Loop," said Anthony Lane in The New Yorker, "everyone in politics is either a beast or a dithering dolt—there is no basis for public service other than the foaming rage for power." And the film's "itchy camerawork"—which may have worked well for the BBC series The Thick of It, from which this movie was expanded—is "migraine"-inducing.

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