Director Armando Iannucci, co-writing with Jesse Armstong, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche, expands their BBC series The Thick of It into the most pitch-perfect, pitch-black movie comedy to come along in many years. In the Loop is satire of such stinging perception and linguistic precision that it’s almost enchanting enough to neutralize the all-too-familiar horrors it depicts. The fast and furious plot is predicated on accelerating failures of intelligence and communication between the U.S. and the U.K. during a run-up to war in the Middle East: It’s a mad scramble of wonks and wankers, grimly lit, fitfully photographed and impetuously articulated through a vitriolic stream of quotably filthy one-liners. It’s also a great big shiny mirror for the absurd, atrocious bloodsport that is modern politics. Perfect casting includes Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Mimi Kennedy and David Rasche. This may sound like a tough sell at first, but so did the invasion of Iraq.