Under the Radar?: “In the Loop”


“In the Loop” is a British comedy, revolving around bureaucracy, communication, idiocy and war, not necessarily in that order.

After a dim witted, mid level cabinet minister misspeaks on a tv show, saying, “War is unforeseeable”, the British and American governments both begin to prep themselves for war. War hawks and Peaceniks both mobilize, hold committee meetings, push position papers, and square off face to face.

It’s very much like a political version of “The Office”, except with a War looming.

And lots and lots of swearing.

When the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster, fumbles his words and unintentionally implies that there might be a war imminent, he finds himself being brought in and used as a pawn in the behind the scenes maneuvering between those who do want and those who don’t want war. The Prime Minister’s chief spin-doctor, Malcolm Tucker, attempts to reign in the situation in a foul mouthed, heavy handed fashion.

This character uses the type profanity than you can’t conceive of. And I’m not opposed to cursing whatsoever, in spite of the fact I try to keep it to a minimum here. Im actually quite fond of profanity! But Tucker uses artistic, original, creative profanity… combining curse words and everyday adjectives in ways that are astonishing. A true artist at work. I guarantee that after watching this one you can pick up some new phrases you never even thought of!

Need proof? I went to IMDb quotes for an example and it took me under five seconds to find “Fuckety-bye-bye then!” “Fuckety-bye-bye then!”


They cross the pond to Washington, where mechanisms are in motion to mobilize for war. Or at the very least, in motion to make a motion to mobilize for war. James Gandolfini is an American General who doesn’t want the war to happen, and when he finally squares off against Tucker, it’s an exchange to see.

“In the Loop” is reminiscent of a British, political, foul mouthed, Christopher Guest movie. The characters in this movie debate and discuss in a completely useless, ineffectual fashion. They spin their wheels and rely on political mumbo jumbo and catchphrases and jargon. They talk a mile a minute, yet say absolutely nothing. The movie paints government as a total farce, a circus of dancing idiots.


“In the Loop” is on Netflix watch instantly now, boys and girls, where it’s currently rocking the five star rating.

18 thoughts on “Under the Radar?: “In the Loop”

  1. Great film, unbelievably creative swearing! It’s a film version of a British TV show called ‘The Thick of It’ which is set in the office of a government department. Worth checking out, it’s got a lot of the same characters from the film including Tucker.

    • You know, I saw that somewhere on my way to writing this up – probably on IMDb – that this was based on a tv show.

      There’s no way the Tucker character can swear like that on TV is there? LOL… Unless it’s like British HBO or something, right?

      • I’m not sure what HBO is but it’s on BBC. But yeah he swears just as enthusiastically on the tv show, they get away with it as long as it’s on after a certain time! I’ve got a few quotes from it on my ‘great one-liners’ section. Such a quotable film.

      • Wow. 😀

        HBO = Home Box Office. It’s the largest “Premium Channel” here in the states. Surprised it’s not global, actually.

        Anyways, you have to subscribe in order to get it, thus they can run whatever content they wish with no censorship… Unlike broadcast TV, which has to answer to the Federal Communications Commission in terms of content.

  2. Watched this some time this year after a friend was badgering me to see it. It’s a very British film. Very British. Lots of laughs, but found myself getting a little lost on a couple of occasions.

      • It’s all the political talk that got me lost! I never watched In the Thick of It, even though I was told to.

        I love it when British films make a point of being British and don’t pander to international audiences. Worrying that they won’t be understood. In The Loop is one of those.

  3. to compound matters i.e. the english language– Peter Capaldi(tucker) is scottish. Subtitles anyone? Hi Daniel. I’m lovin the site.

    • Good to hear! Poke around, do some catching up! Feel free to comment on any thread, even if they’re not recent…

      Meanwhile. How did I know you’d have seen this one? The term “Anglophile” comes to mind 😀

      • I think one of the best lines of the film is when Gandolfini goes on a huge abusive rant at Tucker, throwing all kinds of insults at him. Just when you’re waiting for Tucker to explode back at him he replies with “don’t ever call me english again….”

        Biggest laugh of the film in the Edinburgh cinema where i watched it.

      • Yeah, help me with that one. I thought it was funny because it wasn’t what you expect, just like you said… But is it supposed to be British, is that it? Is calling someone English incorrect or offensive or something? I did wonder that…

  4. Well Tucker’s Scottish, and if you’ve seen Braveheart you’ll know that there’s a bit of history between England and Scotland, and still a healthy (usually, at times it’s ugly) rivalry today. So the joke is that he views being called ‘English’ a lot more offensive than all the other vulgar insults he gets thrown at him, he doesn’t even notice those ones. I did wander if that joke would travel well.
    I don’t know i guess the equivalent might be a canadian getting called american, but i don’t know if that works or not.

    • HA!!!

      I’m not Canadian, but I’m sure that analogy works VERY well!

      What went over my head was that he was Scottish. I must have missed that, I probably would have picked it up if I hadn’t. Not a keen enough ear on the accents, either.

  5. This is still sitting somewhere on my shelf and I need to really check it out because that Oscar nominee thingy is what really makes me wanna check it out. Also, I love Office-style comedies as well. Nice review Dan!

    • Yeah, this is a good one Dan. Funny. You’ll laugh…

      I hadn’t even realized the film had gotten an “Oscar Nominee Thingies” 😀 I may have to look it up and get my learning level up.

  6. Saw this in the Theaters when it came out. Laughed so hard the whole way through that I almost passed out from lack of air.Great political comedy.

  7. If you like in the Loop, get some “The Thick of it” on DVD, Malcom Tucker is a Bad MotherFu**er or as they say in the TV version of Repo Man a Bad Melonfarmer!
    Must watch again

    • I’ll put that on my radar.

      And I think Melon Farmer has made other appearances as well, LOL. Though I can’t cite any right now.

      The only “Tv edits” I’ve committed to memory were from Scarface.

      How’m I gonna getta scar like this from eatin’ pineapple? LOL

      This town is like one great big chicken, waitin’ to get plucked.

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