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In the Loop (2009)

Comedy Rated NR

Could it really have been as petty and misguided as this? In the Loop dramatizes the lead-up to the Iraq War, following the back-door machinations between the British and American governments in the days and hours before the decision was made to engage in that costly conflict. Rather than a grave meeting of measured minds, however, British writer-director Armando Iannucci paints a portrait of Dr. Strangelove-style dimwits whose first priority is their own personal power. Every scene is an instance of political one-upmanship – what these politicians are battling over almost seems beside the point. If you don’t let all of this depress you, it’s very, very funny, like a “West Wing” episode directed by Robert Altman. With smart, expletive-laden turns by the likes of James Gandolfini, Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander and Mimi Kennedy.