2009 in Film

The West Wing was a show that dared to imagine a world where the behind the scenes people who help run our government were good-natured, eminently qualified and genuinely concerned about making the lives of their constituents better. In the Loop is The West Wing‘s evil twin. The officials and staffers inhabiting the world of this movie are supremely cynical, grotesquely self-serving and woefully incompetent.

And completely hysterical. In the Loop is bar none one of the funniest films released in years, and certainly one of the most quotable. The character of Malcolm Tucker, a very angry Brit who’s always trying to head off one crisis or another, might just be the single most foul mouthed dude ever to appear on the big screen. And whether it’s his cutting, graphic one liners or the bureaucratic buffoonery of small people in big positions, In the Loop never stalls; from beginning to end it’s flat out brilliant.

One caveat: you can not be an idiot and enjoy this film. Which isn’t to say you’re an idiot if you don’t enjoy it, but it’s just so dense and moves so quickly and the lines fly around so fast that you’ve got to have some intellectual heft about you in order to appreciate it. And if you do, and you’re at all politically inclined, you will very likely love it. The sobering reality is that government and politics is much more In the Loop than The West Wing, but when played as such skillfull satire ʽsoberʼ is the last word you’d use to describe it.

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