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The Death of Stalin (2017)

The Death of Stalin (2017)

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When tyrannical dictator Josef Stalin dies in 1953, his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to become the next Soviet leader. Among the contenders are the dweebish Georgy Malenkov, the wily Nikita Khrushchev and Lavrenti Beria, the sadistic secret police chief.

IMDb Rating 7 1,147 votes


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(150) comments

  • Chris GDecember 26, 2018Reply

    A hilarious and well made film. A loosely insightful view in the times and chaos in the USSR after Stalin. I can easily see why this movie was banned in Russia and the surrounding areas. Great acting by the whole cast.

  • Ed MDecember 28, 2018Reply

    A comedy about Stalin’s death? Yes and it’s really funny.

  • Jack SDecember 30, 2018Reply

    It was ok- not as good as the reviews but worth watching. Somewhat historical so can learn a thing or two about history

  • AnonymousDecember 30, 2018Reply

    A little hard to follow at times with the complicated plot. Great acting from everyone though.

  • AnonymousDecember 31, 2018Reply

    Very good . Forgot to grade this one

  • Frances HDecember 31, 2018Reply

    Excellent black comedy that is as funny as hell, that is, if you weren’t one of the people involved or related to them. A great cast giving outstanding performances make this a film that is more than worth your time.

  • Leo KJanuary 3, 2019Reply

    Other than Russia banning this movie, I wasn’t sure what to think when going in. The trailer looked mildly entertaining at best… but not something one would care about much.

    It’s really the historical elements that tie you over (especially if you have a deep interest in Russian history).

    This felt historically accurate, because the era of Stalin was one of the darkest, most psychotic/psychopathic periods in Russian history.

    Further deep research into the events revealed that these events actually did take place, in one way or another.

    Which is why this movie is a “dark” comedy.

    But was it funny? Not really.


  • AnonymousJanuary 6, 2019Reply

    I don’t think I laughed once. I’ll watch Veep all day though.

  • Nick SJanuary 6, 2019Reply

    Good, but not Iannucci’s best work.

  • Felipe FJanuary 8, 2019Reply

    Armando Iannucci’s trademark sharp and satirical dialogues along hilarious situations in which its characters are put on make The Death of Stalin a fine film, even if the audience have to put up with liberal ideology disguised as wit.

  • Michelle HJanuary 11, 2019Reply

    Odd and Uncomfortable and not in the good way. This movie was hard to watch. Some people had British accents, some had English. Critics are calling this a black comedy. It was not funny, interesting or well done whatsoever. A big waste of time.

  • Lydia DJanuary 19, 2019Reply

    Laugh out loud funny farce… although believable.

  • Adrian DJanuary 19, 2019Reply

    This movies succeeds where it shouldn’t – with someone like me who knows the actual history well. The liberties taken with the facts just don’t matter, because this film is simply a truly brilliant and effective political satire. It does exactlywhat sich afilm should do. It amuses and shocks, and brings us face to face and up close with the horrible realities, and gives us pause, even discomfort with our amusement. There is comedic genius at work. I havenot watched a single episode of Veep to date. This film has caused me to add it to my list of things to watch. If Iannucci is only occasionally as brilliant in all those episodes as he was in this film, that will be enough to keep me watching.

  • Dave GJanuary 26, 2019Reply

    As you would expect from Iannucci, The Death of Stalin is an intricately staged political satire and ensemble piece populated with despicable characters spouting hilarious and quotable lines. The 1950s Soviet setting means the black humour is blacker than ever, but the tone is expertly balanced; the farcical bits are very funny, and the darker elements have real gravity.

  • XX XFebruary 1, 2019Reply

    Do not watch this garbage under any circumstances! (I can’t even call it “movie”)
    I can not believe that Steve Buscemi, such a great actor, actually stepped into this big stinky pile of a horse shit.
    This miscarriage, boring and dumb thing, wasted 20 minutes of my life and about 150MB of my internet traffic.
    Stay away from this kind of garbage… things… (still can’t call it a movie…)

  • Dan MFebruary 3, 2019Reply

    This almost felt like a Cohen Bros. film with it’s quirky feel and oddly written characters. I’m not sure how much of this was actually based on true historical facts, but I’m going to guess it’s a 50/50 shot. The humor is dry mostly and I wasn’t really into this so much. Consider this a ‘meh’.

  • Millo TFebruary 6, 2019Reply

    The film shows in a comical way events that were tragic. Only from that point of view you can understand and justificate historical fails (for example, recording of the initial concert was much more demential in the real story). Anyway, although is not a marvelous satyrical movie, you can watch it without great damage to your soul.

  • AnonymousFebruary 8, 2019Reply

    Very clever film with some outstanding performances most notably that of Steve Buscemi. It even had me confused whether or not to take it seriously.

  • AnonymousFebruary 9, 2019Reply

    Death of Stalin is a spoof on political history that is largely unsuccessful.

  • Michael MFebruary 11, 2019Reply

    Was excited to see this based on the ratings. Thought is was badly miscast. You never get the sense that these men could have won WWII and were feared enough during the Purges. Disappointing, as I like Buscemi, Issacs, etc.

  • Jana KFebruary 15, 2019Reply

    This movie makes me want to have kids so I can show it to them, when they get to modern history at school. The total regime itself is absurd and jokes about it are dark, dark, dark.

  • Joel HFebruary 17, 2019Reply

    The Death of Stalin is a comedy for historians. I applaud this movie for the satirical take on a serious subject, but I have to admit that a lot of the humor went over my head. The jokes are so dry that, at times, it feels like you’re watching a straightforward drama. If you’re interested in the history of Soviet politics, you’ll probably enjoy this spin on it.

  • Andrew JFebruary 19, 2019Reply

    This film is funny and surprisingly historically accurate (although condensed) it all works very well.

  • David MFebruary 24, 2019Reply

    How soon is too soon? Are there such things as subjects about which jokes should never be made?

    These are the questions that echo unavoidably in the mind long after the credits of The Death Of Stalin roll. Directed and written by Armando Iannucci, the British mind behind some of the best television satire over the last few years (most notably The Thick Of It and Veep), this film sees him bringing his observational, fly on the wall style of film-making to historical events as we observe the merciless behind the scenes jockeying for power in the wake of Satlin’s death. The cast is a vast array of comic talent, and they’re at their very best; Iannucci’s style demands a lot of his actors, and they all rise to the challenge admirably. They wring every last moment of physical and verbal humour out of the script – make no mistake, you will laugh a lot during this film.

    But the appropriateness questions won’t go away, These are events around which a lot of people died; and these are people who didn’t care who suffered in the rush to power. Iannucci’s thinking is in the deepest original satirical traditions – mock the devil, and he has no power left. It’s also true that most of the darkness that is in the film is played straight; a counterpoint to the absurdity of surrounding events.

    It would be too simplistic, though, to suggest that this film doesn’t have serious things to say, Most intelligent comedy has a lot to say – and Iannucci is nothing if not intelligent. The moment that’s portrayed as leading to Stalin’s death from a stroke is his mocking shock at a note smuggled to him, from the relative of a victim of one of his purges, promising revenge and ‘praying for his death’. Iannucci wants to be on the side of the angels here, showing the suffering as getting some measure of justice.

    My own inclination has always been to say that there’s nothing about which, in theory at least, a joke can’t or shouldn’t be made. What matters is context, content and intention. Here Iannucci seems to be satirising the amoral political power-grabs of people who care little for the consequences – a truth which is unavoidable in many a Westernised democracy in these days, the same Western democracies which have often been so quick to take the moral high ground over the Russian systems. For me this is a clever, funny, skilful film that only suffers slightly from a running time on the generous side. It put in me mind of writers like Aaron Sorkin, who slip moments of physical and wordplay comedy in to serious political situations; life is rarely all tragic or all comic. I told jokes in my eulogy at my father’s funeral; the very best funerals in my professional experience of taking many of them, allow time for laughter as well as tears. But Iannucci’s comedy is an acquired taste, and some won’t be able to or want to stomach it. And that’s fine; but if your tastes in comedy run a bit darker, then you’ll find much to enjoy in this skilful and deft film.

  • James MFebruary 27, 2019Reply

    Perfect for film lovers who have a more sophisticated sense of humour. Director does a great job of using black comedy which is very unusal in todays films. A funny, enjoyful watch.

  • Austin RMarch 3, 2019Reply

    It’s a particularly strange time to be a political satirist and nowhere is that more evident than in Armando Iannucci’s latest project. The Veep creator still finds unique ways to expound upon his quintessential manifesto; those who desperately scrabble for power do so out of their own inadequacies and the smallness of their own hearts. Oh, and they’re all actually inept as fuck.

    What makes this film different that Iannucci’s other projects however is how tar-black dark the subject matter is that it juxtaposes. Set during the end of Stalin’s regime in the 1950s the film does not shy away from the violence of that era, nor does it make it any qualms about marrying it to outright absurdist comedy that veers into slapstick territory. Although jarring it does work more often than not, mainly thanks to uniformly excellent writing and performances across the board. And yes, the mostly British and American cast here play real-life Russians but to Iannucci’s credit he doesn’t even have them attempt any accents. Again, it’s jarring until it becomes hilarious.

    As with all things political this will certainly not be for everyone and may even outright offend many, especially given the obvious modern parallels to Putin’s Russia and its relationship with the United States. However, if you’re in the mood for some intense black comedy to get you through the horror show that is our current geo-political climate then you certainly came to the right place. And if you haven’t watched Veep yet go treat yourself dammit!

  • AnonymousMarch 4, 2019Reply

    Comedy? It was good to watch. Sometime funny, sometimes too brutal

  • Chuck CMarch 8, 2019Reply

    Had no idea this movie existed until I stumbled across it on one of the streaming platforms. Thought it was a doc at first. Pleasantly surprised at what it was instead. As a history buff I loved it and my wife who knew nothing about most of the characters also loved it. Very funny.

  • Russell MMarch 10, 2019Reply

    Interesting take on history

  • AnonymousMarch 16, 2019Reply

    Riotous and ridiculous, but serious when it needs to be.

  • Mason FMarch 24, 2019Reply

    Awesome cast, superbly written, with a little history obliquely integrated. You have to go into it knowing that it’s not pure slapstick. The more you watch it (seen it on cable multiple times), the funnier it gets.

  • Kyle PMarch 25, 2019Reply

    Dark, sophisticated, and with enough subtle humor to down an African elephant, ĂŻÂż 1/2~The Death of StalinĂŻÂż 1/2(TM) is one of the best films of 2018. While not for everyone, the writing and delivery by this amazing cast of actors and actresses is second to none. Given itĂŻÂż 1/2(TM)s historical source material, ĂŻÂż 1/2~The Death of StalinĂŻÂż 1/2(TM) challenges the viewer to put aside their emotional instincts for the sake of humor. The ending provides a dark connection back to the real history in which the movie was based. For a split second, the viewer is left questioning all the laughs they had along the way.

  • Avant SMarch 28, 2019Reply

    As humorous as political humor goes. A great watch.

  • Myles HMarch 30, 2019Reply

    I thought Jason Isaacs stole the show a little, amongst a cast who were all playing out their skins. His Zhukov was almost like Captain Flashheart in Blackadder!

  • G P BApril 3, 2019Reply

    Dark and devistatingly funny

  • Nelson CApril 10, 2019Reply

    Great film! Did a great job of lampooning communist Russia & its evil ideology.

  • AnonymousMay 15, 2019Reply

    An amazing movie. Best movie of this screwed up decade.

  • bobert JMay 17, 2019Reply

    While the film is a good time and definitely worth a watch, Creating a massacre is just bad form.

  • Air BMay 28, 2019Reply

    This is so sad. Stalin was my favorite soviet dictator and when he got killed off in the final of season three it was truly heartbreaking. I loved the way he never gave the poor people food and the arc where he learned to master the gulag will still be my favorite anime arcs of all time.

  • Sarah DJune 7, 2019Reply

    Good dark comedy with historical characters. You feel bad for laughing. Definitely gives you a sense of the tenseness of the Terrors and how everyone hates and fears an authoritarian dictator, even his friends. Some of the characters seemed to change priorities without any real explanation which was confusing.

  • Chris HJune 20, 2019Reply

    A fantastic concept! The idea of the story is great and it certainly has its moments of hilarity. It just drags in places and is unable to get over the hump to be a truly great comedy.

  • Dan JJuly 14, 2019Reply

    Excellent, hard hitting, dark, political satire! Uncommon in modern cinema.

  • Frank HJuly 16, 2019Reply

    Brilliant in every way. Learn the true history, and you’ll appreciate it that much more. Beautifully filmed, hilarious, and so sharp.

  • Mayank AAugust 22, 2019Reply

    The movie is a satirical black-comedy loosely inspired on the political power struggle after Stalin’s death. Totalitarianism and evil deeds are shown in a fun and humorous way. The cast and their performances are good. On digging deeper, found most of the events, even the absurd ones are inspired on real-life events, cinematic freedom was taken in compressing the timeline and on toning down the atrocity to make it look funny.

  • Aaron EAugust 24, 2019Reply

    Fitting perfectly in the pantheon of Ianucci’s works before it (In the Loop, Veep), Stalin is a hilarious satire on the Soviet Central commitee of the Post-Stalin era, but also a poignant absurdist look at the cost of power grabbing on a society.

  • David BAugust 30, 2019Reply

    Eeh by gum, it’s worth it for the idiosyncratic flippin’ accents in’t film alone.

  • James HSeptember 2, 2019Reply

    Easily the best comedy of the year, possibly even the best comedy of the decade. Intelligent, ballsy and gut-bustingly funny. An entertaining and oddly accurate view of the Soviet Union in the early ’50s. Well acted, well directed and did I mention it’s hilarious? 10/10. Superb and definitely rewatchable!

  • Michael DSeptember 11, 2019Reply

    This is a very good, sometimes satirical depiction of the events after Stalin’s death. The acting is superb. Historically it is mostly accurate, other than condensing the events that took about a year into a week and a half’s time for the ease of the viewer. The only reason I did not give this a full five stars is that the scenes with Stalin’s children were mostly unnecessary as they did not advance the plot in any way.

  • Joe SSeptember 17, 2019Reply

    Superb Black Comedy with an excellent cast and great direction. A movie to see again and again to catch all its clever lines and business.

  • William LSeptember 22, 2019Reply

    This was so much fun. Quirky and absurd – yet sinister and horrible. One wonders how much was comic writing and how much was actual historical fact. Much like other great movies such as “Downfall” or “Gettysburg” it humanizes historical figures who otherwise seem like remote gods or monsters.
    Anyway, it was good to see Donnie (Steve Buscemi) in his element of horrible funny guy (like in Fargo). Especially loved the performances of Jason Isaacs as Zhukov and Rupert Friend as Vasily. Be forwarned, language and violence throughout (it was the Soviet Union after all).

  • Lidziya TSeptember 27, 2019Reply

    What has stricken me most about this film is that at some point I found myself thinking that it was created by someone with Slavic identity, being Slavic I must admit that such keen understanding is absolutely fantastic. I haven’t noticed any (much berated by some) disregard or disrespect to the history or any people. Director, the whole team is teetering on the edge between absurd and ingenuity with just right amount of each, with laughter through tears. It is also surprisingly precise about historical facts, actors only remotely resemble real people, especially Zhukov, but it definitely wasn’t the main focus. The film is more than worth watching.

  • Patrick DSeptember 29, 2019Reply

    It didnt feel like a comedy nor was the humor black. The humor felt forced and not once did I laugh and I love black humor.

  • Thomas COctober 2, 2019Reply


  • Matthew TOctober 11, 2019Reply

    I thought this movie trivialised these murderers. I could not laugh. All very clever I’m sure but – no I don’t think so. What next Arnando, a hilarious romp around the Khmer Rouge’s killing fields?

  • Elisabeth SNovember 1, 2019Reply

    I lived it my friend hated it. It does help to have a bit if knowledge of the history behind it. Having said that my friend had a lot of knowledge about it and still hated it.

  • Surajit KNovember 3, 2019Reply

    If you know the history, it’s entertaining and if you don’t know the history then it’s even better.

  • Scott RNovember 5, 2019Reply

    Genius. A plug at the simplicity of leadership and the USSR’s handling of the death of Stalin. I really enjoyed it.

  • Robbie VNovember 14, 2019Reply

    Has it’s moments, maybe I need to watch it again….

  • Douglass PNovember 24, 2019Reply

    Sorry, but this was loathsome. The hilarity is undercut by the menace, the menace by the hilarity. Both work perfectly, only not together. Must avoid.

  • Brendan NNovember 24, 2019Reply

    Incredible film. I’m a little annoyed I delayed watching the film, but better late then never. The cast is spot on and they have so much depth and a strong filmmaker to support them. The film is a strong political satire, much like In the Loop. If you haven’t seen this film, I suggest you get out there and check it out. This is how satire films should be made. It has a clear goal and strong actors without the unnecessary Hollywood gloss. I hope the filmmaker returns with another hit and pushes the boundaries further. Stalin was an odd person and the deaths were insane, something like 40 million people. Strong film and easily one of the best of its year. 24/11/2019

  • Kevin MNovember 30, 2019Reply

    Eclectic comedy/drama about the aftermath of Stalin’s death. The actor who plays Field Marshal Zhukov is a total hoot. Steve Buscemi is almost unrecognizable as Nikita Khrushchev.

  • December 1, 2019Reply

    brilliant in every way

  • William HDecember 5, 2019Reply

    What subject matter should be deemed too awful, even for black comedy? A ‘comedy’ about the atrocities of Stalin and his henchmen was just too near the bone to raise a laugh from this viewer. It is no more suitable a black comedy than one about, say, Hitler and the Final Solution or Pol Pot and the Killing Fields. Sometimes, the sheer horror of events outweigh any absurdity value. Had the mockery been restricted to the evildoers, it might have worked, but the innocent victims too seemed to be fair game for a laugh. The film is dark, depressing and disturbing.

  • Nick BDecember 23, 2019Reply

    A stone-cold satire elevated by acid wit. Death of Stalin proves that heavy political material can be accessible and digestible for all audiences, and that Iannucci can turn almost anything into a fun, thoroughly engaging and utterly hilarious cinematic experience.
    Iroh’s grade: B+

  • Ethan BDecember 23, 2019Reply

    The film doesn’t take itself seriously when not needed, but really does when it has to.

  • Mario PDecember 29, 2019Reply

    This is a must-see film, a great satire that shows the madness after Stalin’s death and a wicked political game that is impossible not to love.

  • Charlie SJanuary 1, 2020Reply

    A fantastic film that starts and continues as a comedy and ends extremely seriously with one of the worse men (other than stalin) dying from the soviet union. Everyone should watch this film if they know the history and if not they should watch it for steve buscemi

  • Giorgio PJanuary 11, 2020Reply

    A good movie in order to understand better the too often unknown situation and history of the Soviet Union regime after the death of Stalin. Everything is told in a funny and semi-comedic way that feels genius and out of place at the same time.

  • Melek MJanuary 13, 2020Reply

    Packed with hilarious dialogue and brutally sharp wit, Death of Stalin is a delirious treat and a new standard for historical drama. Black comedy has never been so delicious. A faultless masterpiece.

  • Michael BJanuary 13, 2020Reply

    Though historically inaccurate, I enjoyed this film more than I expected. Lots of clever humor seen from the British perception of the USSR.

    4/5. 1 star off for historical inaccuracies. Overall, great movie.

  • Ola GJanuary 13, 2020Reply

    In the USSR in 1953, Chairman of the Council of Ministers Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) is listening to a concert on the radio and orders that a recording of it be delivered to him. The concert has to be hurriedly repeated and recorded, but the pianist, Maria Yudina (Olga Kurylenko), hides a note to Stalin in the sleeve of the record, saying he has ruined the country. As Stalin reads the note in his dacha, he suffers a cerebral hemorrhage and becomes paralysed. The members of the Central Committee are alerted. The first to arrive are Interior Ministry (NKVD) head Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale), who discovers Yudina’s note, and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor). As Malenkov panics, Beria encourages him to take the leadership, hoping to use him as a puppet. Moscow Party Head Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi) arrives with the rest of the Committee, except Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (Michael Palin), whom Stalin had added to one of his lists of enemies the previous night. Beria closes off Moscow, has the NKVD take over city security duties from the Soviet Army, and replaces Stalin’s enemy lists with his own, reprieving Molotov. Khrushchev and Beria struggle for symbolic victories, including control over Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana, and his unstable son, Vasily. Stalin dies, and the Committee members rush back to Moscow as the NKVD loot Stalin’s dacha and execute witnesses…

    Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads, “The Death of Stalin finds director/co-writer Armando Iannucci in riotous form, bringing his scabrous political humor to bear on a chapter in history with painfully timely parallels.” Donald Clarke, writing for The Irish Times, wrote that the film “starts in a state of mortal panic and continues in that mode towards its inevitably ghastly conclusion”. In The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw wrote that “fear rises like gas from a corpse in Armando Iannucci’s brilliant horror-satire” and that it “is superbly cast, and acted with icy and ruthless force by an A-list lineup. There are no weak links. Each has a plum role; each squeezes every gorgeous horrible drop.” Raphael Abraham, writing for Financial Times, wrote, “As this coven of vampiric apparatchiks feasts on the remains of Stalinism, the unremitting blackness of the situation at times threatens a full comedy eclipse. But the discomfiting balancing act of humour and horror is precisely Iannucci’s game—and only he could pull it off with such skill.”

    “The Death of Stalin” is simply not my cup of tea and not my type of humour. There´s nothing funny in this uneven messy stale dry strange pseudo comedy based on real persons and real historical events presented in a Monty Python sort of way, but not when they were on top of their comedy. Then again what is historically true and what is not? Nevertheless, I really disliked “The Death of Stalin”.

  • Joshua BJanuary 16, 2020Reply

    Pretty engaging movie. It has distinctly silly moments and other intense moments.

  • David WJanuary 18, 2020Reply

    Well made, highly educational, and often humorous, but slow at times.

  • Travis CJanuary 20, 2020Reply

    Funny satire of the back stabbing, blood sucking Bolsheviks and their game of thrones immediately following Stalin’s death. Its filled to the brim with funny one-liners. It’s a great little satire. Definitely worth a watch. It really does capture the ridiculousness of the Soviet union under Stalin. Some great casting choices too by the way. All in all, it’s a thumbs up from me.

    Marshall Zukov: “I fu**ed Germany, I think I can handle a fu*king fat lump of flesh in a waist coat”

  • josh mJanuary 22, 2020Reply

    Such a smart funny movie, I laughed more at this movie than anything in a longtime.

  • Jacob BJanuary 23, 2020Reply

    While not really a movie that’ll had me pissing myself laughing and clearly not meant to be regarded as historically accurate (this movie was based off of a French comic), The Death of Stalin still benefits from actors who bring their A-game, despite not even bothering with accents, and a script that’s full of juicy political satire that might even have you learning something new.

  • Paolo CFebruary 1, 2020Reply

    The humour that ran across the entire movie helped making the horrific side of the Soviet Union depicted in the movie even more chilling.

  • Alberto MFebruary 4, 2020Reply

    A movie with a unique and hardly ever seen level of subtle comedy, definitely a case to study.

  • Cameron RFebruary 4, 2020Reply

    One of the funniest films I have seen in a long time. It successfully utilises all the cliches of Stalinist Russia to create an irony rich comedy. It is the 2010s Blackadder Goes Fourth, taking a serious historic topic and turning it into an amazing comedy.

  • Konstantinos PFebruary 4, 2020Reply

    One of the best black comedies out there. Cutting edge dialogues, amazing performances from a unique cast and a theatrical direction combine a masterpiece in which the lunacy of a true totalitarian state that successfully adapted the horrors of the communist ideology gave to the writers the best platform to work on.

  • Sean SFebruary 6, 2020Reply

    A gentle and quiet masterpiece. Biting satire and political commentary reimagined with some of the finest British and American comedy actors and directed with an easy eye, a temperate but tight pace and set within some blinding sets and under some lush photography. The fear, the fear, it seems, when written this way, is absolutely hilarious. The absurdity is palpable and toe curling. It’s history re-lensed.

  • Xenia BFebruary 10, 2020Reply

    I love dark comedies. This is not a dark comedy. This is a parody of events painted in a grotesque and insensitive manner without humor. I don’t understand how this was so highly rated. Except perhaps due to the actors which for some reason agreed to participate in this horrible film. What is the point of this film? To rip on Russians? To rip on socialism? Cool. Could have been done better.

  • Zach SFebruary 13, 2020Reply

    This is completely predicated on personal preference but I found this movie a bit tedious to get through. As a political science AND history major in college, I still found the humor either too on-the-nose or not very funny at all. I think the acting was wonderful and it’s always great to see Steve Buscemi get some well-deserved screentime, but the film as a whole failed to entertain me. When I watch a well-crafted political satire, like ‘Dr. Strangelove,’ I have a few expectations that just weren’t met in The Death of Stalin. There were times and scenes where I found myself engrossed in the story, but those were few and far between. The story lacked the magnetic energy that’s required for a political satire, which detracts heavily from the positive elements of the film. Overall, the film was passable but I suppose the ‘high-brow’ humor is too much for the non-Russian history buff.

  • Armando PFebruary 17, 2020Reply

    actually pretty genius

  • Jimmy CMarch 2, 2020Reply

    Has the world gone mad? How did this movie get so many good reviews and get listed on multiple websites as the Funniest movie of the year? There wasn’t one humorous scene and I was eager to see an aging Buscemi playing a Russian politican. Steve, over here, remember when you put lipstick on in Billy Maddison and crossed Billy’s name off your list? (CLASSIC!!!!! Go back to that kind of comedy) This Movie is fodder for elite socialite parties where Muffy and Brad boast how delightful a flick “Death of Stalin” was as well to do people “in the know” quip “pip pip, old chap” and the onlookers giggle with delight into their Tom Collins… Oh I can hear them now, “you just don’t get it, it’s too over your head, the comedy is too smart for you” huh? what? I actually laughed more watching Legends of the Fall then this travesty. Do not waste your time on this unfunny Russian themed bog wash. If the Shawshank Redemption is on your top Comedies list then you will really enjoy this fun romp! Muffy just take your top off. Ugh…. bye.

  • atilio CMarch 4, 2020Reply

    Hilarious and educational. Laughed out loud numerous times.

  • AnonymousMarch 7, 2020Reply

    So hilariously good.

  • Jonah SMarch 11, 2020Reply

    The Death of Stalin is both well constructed and very funny, boasting an involved and often complex plot that ultimately helps us understand what happens when leaders wrestle for power rather than people.

  • AnonymousMarch 23, 2020Reply

    The most unfunny comedy I’ve ever seen. Horrible in every way. The plot is convoluted which makes it extremely confusing and none of the jokes landed. It was boring! Extremely boring. I didn’t even finish it. Halfway through, I stopped this film because I was confused, bored, and tired of watching it. I usually do not stop movies because I want to give an honest review after watching the whole thing, but I just couldn’t get through it. Way too boring and confusing. Only good thing I noticed was the cinematography. That’s about it. Horrible. Do not recommend it at all.

  • Kailey LApril 5, 2020Reply

    The film is a dark comedy, but I found myself laughing at Steve Buscemi’s portrayal of Nikita. As a history buff I also found myself pointing out facts and explaining the historical importance to my significant other. Absolutely love this film, I’ve seen it at least four times and every time I re-watch it, it’s as if I am seeing it for the first time. A must see movie.

  • Pavel FApril 10, 2020Reply

    Superb film. Excellent Cast. Accurate historically, save for a couple of details. Highly recommend it

  • Freeson WApril 10, 2020Reply

    A funny satire, with great performances. Cynical behind the laughter, left me with a feeling of darkness.

  • Trenton RApril 12, 2020Reply

    The Death of Stalin proves political satire can still be done well, presented a hilarious and dark exploration of the Soviet Union’s struggle for leadership after the death of the infamous dictator Joseph Stalin.

  • William LApril 12, 2020Reply

    Simply put, one of the best comedies I’ve ever seen. Putting together one of the most brutal authoritarian regimes of the last century as a setting with delightfully awkward social cues and power politics, the script is fantastic and the cast is perfect. (5/5)

  • Andrew BApril 18, 2020Reply

    I mostly try to avoid politics, as it is a slippery stinky shit, but I am glad to watched the following. The Death of Stalin is a surprisingly good movie, loved the dark British satire, that seems to capture the insanity surrounding “Stalin’s cult of personality” in a condensed way.

    Somehow this very lively European movie slightly resembles the gruesomeness of “tiger king” and the pace of the movie is fast so the attention never wonders off

  • Andrew NApril 19, 2020Reply

    HIstorical movies are hard to get right. We know what happened in real life, which removes the suspense of the resulting action, and we have a good idea of when & where the climax happens.

    Historical movies about the 1950s/1960s are very hard to get right, since most movies since WWII are still similar enough to the modern age, and since the success of Saving Private Ryan, WWII & Cold War Era movies are Hollywood cash cows.
    Historical movies about Soviet Russia are impossible to get right, No one knows what actually happened, because sometimes what did happen was crazier than anything imaginable. Let’s not forget Reagan did in fact try to weaponize lasers before CDs were mainstream.

    “Death of Stalin” gets all of it right by doing it as wrong as possible. No cares given, and yet it still kind of feels just right, and is kind of not wrong.
    Accent’s don’t matter, accurate language doesn’t matter, actual roles of the characters in real life don’t matter, but all of it does matter.

    It’s the cinematic equivalent of walking into your doctoral thesis defence, having cheated through your undergraduate degree & masters degree, and were semi-lucid during your PhD studies. It’s not right, but it’s still somehow accurate, and very much entertaining.

  • Chiagozie OApril 19, 2020Reply

    Not as funny as people make it out to be. Entertaining in a way that gets you through the film, but was well short on laughs to me.

  • James MApril 19, 2020Reply

    Steve Buscemi is the star of the film. Hilariously dark and comically serious. A very well written movie.

  • Julian UApril 19, 2020Reply

    Not as funny as I had hoped for and a bit linear in plot.

  • Arvis MApril 20, 2020Reply

    I loved loved loved it. I haven’t laughed so hard at a film ever.

  • Paul SApril 21, 2020Reply

    I can tell this is a somewhat decent movie, but it just wasn’t exactly my “cup of tea.” I’m not exactly sure what about it didn’t feel right. It had something to do with the subject matter and the way it was mixed with humor. I’m sure there are many who will like it though. I was intrigued and entertained by parts, but at times it didn’t hold my attention very well. It was worth seeing once, but I doubt I’ll ever watch it again.

  • Jona IApril 21, 2020Reply

    Clunky, over-cerebral comedy. Has its moments, but misses its mark. A comedy that takes itself too seriously.

  • Georgan GApril 21, 2020Reply

    Gruesome, intelligent and very funny. Great acting.

  • Jeff TApril 21, 2020Reply

    This movie is absolutely fantastic. Hilariously dark but sometimes deeply disturbing.

  • Andrea HApril 24, 2020Reply

    Satire extraordinaire. (I hope. Truth underlies the best satire, so …)

  • Matthew PApril 26, 2020Reply

    “Death of Stalin” could have easily been a failed tale centered around squabbling so petty that the audience finds nothing to care about. Instead, director Armando Ianucci expertly executes a perfectly paced near-slapstick comedy that more that surpasses expectations. When I first heard about this film, I thought “Steve Buscemi as Nikita Kruschev… I can’t imagine, but I HAVE to see this.” The script is so sharp but the cast just runs with it and makes it so naturally tight, in that you can’t imagine this film being made with anyone but these actors. This whole production is downright Shakespearean. I came away from this movie thinking “that was great, I’ll probably watch this again sometime.” As the days pass I keep thinking more and more about how I can’t wait to see this again.

  • Sahil GApril 26, 2020Reply

    If you get some of the history references, this movie is fantastically funny. If you don’t, its still hilarious! Must watch comedy.

  • Gregory GApril 30, 2020Reply

    The Marx Brothers would likely approve of this uproarious farce depicting the power struggle following the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) in 1953. Co-written and directed by Armando Iannucci, based on a French graphic novel, the terrific ensemble includes Steve Buscemi as Nikita Krushchev; Simon Russell Beale as Lavrentiy Beria; Michael Palin as Vyacheslav Molotov; and Jeffrey Tambor as Georgy Malenkov. Stalin is briefly shown as a fan of Mozart and American westerns, but a leader who rules with fear. The gulag is shown though most of the violence occurs offscreen. Iannucci depicts the petty squabbles of Stalin’s subordinates as sycophants, who are all maneuvering to gain power. For Iannucci to take on Stalinism as a subject for black comedy is a bold achievement. In the midst of the horror, Iannucci is able to generate laughs out of the absurd. At times the comedy becomes surreal, so that as a political satire it suggests a mixture of “Monty Python” and “Dr. Strangelove.” Among the cast, Buscemi and Beale are the standouts. This movie was banned in Russia. Co-written by Iannucci, David Schneider, and Kevin Loader. With Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Olga Kurylenko, and Andrea Riseborough.

  • Connor FMay 2, 2020Reply

    The Death Of Stalin is a remarkable dark comedy filled with the soviet’s rich and greedy personnel. With the personnel, the casting was the perfect choice for some of the generals and commanders of the leading story. While some may not find it funny, the dark comedy in it’s story is at point and the theme being how we can’t come to conclusions too quickly is well portrayed. That not being the only theme, this one really hits the satire it is trying to hit!

  • Samuel RMay 4, 2020Reply

    Very funny and contains true historic events to some extent

  • Owen MMay 5, 2020Reply

    This was awesome! Entertaining, hilarious, dark, worth re-watching.

  • Greg SMay 6, 2020Reply

    The Death of Stalin is one of the funniest films I have seen from the last few years. The film wouldn’t be the same without it’s terrific cast, who bounce off one another terrifically. The humour is dark but clever, with an element of bizarreness that takes advantage of the simplicity of the film. Everyone has an absurd evil intention in some way, so the unpredictability of their actions makes it all the more hilarious. It can go from witty banter to murderous intentions in a heartbeat, even funnier when the actors are not even Russian and all have their funny little accents and intricacies.

  • Curtis HMay 12, 2020Reply

    This movie moves fast, is funny, is witty, and is pretty accurate for a comedy. Truly enjoyable.

  • Mark CMay 17, 2020Reply

    A fun jaunt through a caricature version of the USSR. Wonderfully done and enjoyable throughout.

  • Eric WMay 21, 2020Reply

    DEATH OF STALIN is a good satirical look at leadership. The strange, colorful aristocracy of Russia works as a good venue to show the contradictions within a ruling class of people.
    The actors jump into their characters, using strong personalities to show the different personalities in leadership. Starting with an attempt at conformity amongst the leaders left after Stalin’s death, the story quickly turns to chaos and then they take sides and act to acquire leadership for themselves all before Stalin is buried.

  • Micah LMay 24, 2020Reply

    At times, laugh out loud funny, and in a few instances, simply stunning to behold.

  • Jake CMay 25, 2020Reply

    If the Great Terror of the Man of Steel was one of the Twentieth Centuries great tragedies—a betrayal of the revolution, the state, and the people—then with this bitter burlesque of backstabbing and backroom dealing, Iannucci brings forth the farce inherent to the Soviet Politburo, as much an instrument of organized crime as it was of law and order.

  • Riculf RMay 26, 2020Reply

    Watched it three time now. It ALWAYS entertained. I’ve rarely seen any film that has made me laugh and then made me wonder that this probably happened. Sobering, terrifying and funny in equal measure.

  • Jonathan GJune 4, 2020Reply

    Hilarious. A great deadpan comedy. It probably would help to have some knowledge of the personalities of the mid-20th century Soviet Union. All the acting is great.

  • James BJune 8, 2020Reply

    A hilarious movie with a great political commentary. Acting is great and the storyline is even better. Highly recommend!

  • Kyle CJune 12, 2020Reply

    I think I got my expectations a little too high for this one. It was pretty funny at times, and it was definitely kinda goofy, but I still feel like it might have taken itself like 40% too seriously. It’s got a great cast and most of them are really funny when they have something to work with, but the last third of the movie is bogged down with plot and doesn’t have the same style of dry humor as the beginning. All that being said, the scenes where this movie shines make up pretty well for any shortcomings. Jason Isaacs is hilarious, even if he doesn’t get as much screen time as the posters would have you believe. Overall I’m a little disappointed, but it’s definitely not a bad movie.

  • Oleg IJune 17, 2020Reply

    The most interesting thing about this film is that it actually happened. Of course there are exaggerations, but as a whole it is quite close to a real history. The humor is very, very black. Maybe you’ll find it more “funny”. As a Russian and a descendant of a murdered “public enemy” myself, I found it hard to laugh most of the time. To me it is more of a drama, told with a strong sense of humor. I liked cast play also. Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Michael Palin and all others – very good. That’s a big shame for me that this film is actually banned in my country. Seriously, permanently banned. Had to wear an old pirate hat again just to have a chance.

  • AnonymousJune 28, 2020Reply

    A really good film with a great cast and a great display of history. While for most of the film sides with one side, the end brilliantly shows the shady ness of politics and that the one we were rooting for, may not have been the right choice. It also displays the hidden party’s in the background. Always ready to take over.

  • Dara CJuly 4, 2020Reply

    One of the best burlesque of the century. Hilarious and exorbitantly paramount. I just augmented it as one of my favorite movies.

  • Dillion BJuly 6, 2020Reply

    The Death Of Stalin is a hilarious satire on how the leaders of the Soviet Union react after their tyrannical leader Joseph Stalin has a heart attack. You will see how the leaders of the Soviet Union all try to fight for power using backward conversations and passive aggression, and all in a hilarious satire.
    The two leaders with the most screen time, Beria (Simon Beale) and Nikita (Steve Buscemi) both performed fantastically, and my favorite of all was General Zhukov (Jason Isaacs). The performance of how they both schemed while at the same time did it in a comedic fashion was so fun to watch. Armando Iannucci did a great job of telling a story and being funny, but not too funny at the same time. I highly recommend this movie. 5 Stars!

  • Matthew VJuly 8, 2020Reply

    Unspeakably brilliant and filled with wit doled out as quick as machine-gun fire. Commies are at their most funny when they’re dead or doomed.

  • Thomas BJuly 14, 2020Reply

    Brilliantly done, fairly loyal to historical accuracy, and funny dark satire. The heated exchanges were hard to understand bc they talked at once

  • Ahmad RJuly 30, 2020Reply

    Bright and witty writing manages to make the story of the USSR after Stalin’s death hilarious. Despite the historical inaccuracies, this movie is still a great and funny movie to watch. Who knows, after watching this movie, you might be interested in the USSR’s history as well. The soundtrack was also enjoyable

  • Garin MJuly 31, 2020Reply

    This movie is very funny. It doesn’t waste a second

  • Andy BJuly 31, 2020Reply

    I just couldn’t get past the wildly differing accents in this. Any sense of cohesion goes right out the window. That, and the fact that the subject matter is so dark. It is possible to satirise such grim periods of history but this is so blunt that it’s just not funny. Jojo Rabbit is a good example of a film that does deal with such horrific events successfully. Iannucci’s version of that would probably just have Hitler cracking jokes about invading Poland in a cockney accent.

  • Jude PAugust 20, 2020Reply

    It has managed to make the scary atmosphere unscathed, which was prevailing in the USSR. Ludicrous at sometimes, but good efforts to make history live.

  • Ted WAugust 30, 2020Reply

    Overrated mediocre movie that I’ll forget about in 1 day.

  • Steve WSeptember 5, 2020Reply

    I do not understand the heaping praise piled onto this film. Don’t believe what people tell you – it is not farce. This is a film with farcical elements shoehorned in. If it was farcical – this would be funny or amusing in some way. But this film is not amusing nor entertaining. It is downright dour, deflating, and ugly. Its like the director said “lets have the actors do THIS – while they are doing THAT – to give folks the semblance that something clever is going on.”
    A film that wallows in its own pretentiousness, it’s less clever than folks claim it to be.

  • V DSeptember 14, 2020Reply

    If you are into politics and power then this movie should definitely be on your watchlist, The story beautifully turns around the successor of Stalin and how powerful the man is even after his death.
    What this movie lacks is the portrayal of the greed and unethical character of the characters which at times turns out to be humorous where it shouldn’t be.

  • Roque SSeptember 15, 2020Reply

    Armando Iannucci dirige ésta sátira muy interesante sobre la muerte de unos de los personajes más infames de la historia, Joseph Stalin.
    La pelĂ­cula narra cĂłmo despuĂ©s de la repentina muerte de Stalin, la lucha por el poder en la UniĂłn SoviĂ©tica empieza… inmediatamente.
    El guiĂłn es inteligente, gracioso pero sobre todo, con un ritmo perfecto.
    Si bien no creo que sea precisa históricamente, las situaciones que detonan después de la muerte del dictador muy bien pudieron suceder.
    Una pelĂ­cula donde el dicho “La realidad supera a la ficciĂłn” supera todas las expectativas.

  • Mr QSeptember 18, 2020Reply

    Clever, quirky movie. The humor will not be for all, but it’s they type that gives you a appreciative smile more than a laugh out loud. Then the brutal ending really hits home as to the reality of fighting for power in totalitarian regimes.

  • Dara FSeptember 20, 2020Reply

    Still laughing remembering scenes from it.

  • Daniel JSeptember 22, 2020Reply

    Tied with Parasite as best comedy of the decade. Both are ruthlessly dark comedies with fantastic pacing, performances, and direction. If that’s in your wheelhouse then take a swing.

    Incidentally, this is the single best comic book adaptation I’ve ever seen.

  • Joseph MSeptember 22, 2020Reply

    My favorite comedy of all time, The Death of Stalin takes a seemingly joyless series of events and turns it into a glorious Political satire filled with great one-liners, exchanges, and some of the best uses of dark humor I’ve ever seen. The only nitpick I have is that the accents can be a bit too hard to hear, but that can remedied by the use of subtitles.

    Overall it’s a magnificent movie with spot-on acting and a wonderful sense of humor. But expect it like food in a famine, not everyone gets it.

  • Paul GSeptember 24, 2020Reply

    Brilliant! Satire, but really happened. Well played, a must see. Like No man’s land, funny, but should we laugh or cry?

  • Chetan COctober 10, 2020Reply

    This movie is so funny 🤣, I kept laughing through the whole movie 🍿.

  • Winston ROctober 20, 2020Reply

    Pretty good, comedic movie. We will not talk about the historical accuracy due to it being a movie. I had a great time watching it and laughed every scene at least once.
    Totally recommend it to everyone.

  • Claudia ENovember 8, 2020Reply

    This is very good movie. Accurate historical content. You cannot leave your seat.
    Steve Buscemi is brilliant.

  • Juan CNovember 19, 2020Reply

    Arguably the best black comedy since Dr. Strangelove, with an amazing ensemble highlighted by Steve Buscemi’s Krushchev and scene-stealing Jason Isaacs as Marshall Zhukov

  • Ian DDecember 20, 2020Reply

    Absolutely dreadful. Not one laugh in the 45 mins I persevered with it. Bordering on slapstick. Just needed Benny Hill who at least would have made me laugh.

  • Paul GDecember 26, 2020Reply

    It simply didn’t see the point in the film. The overriding humour that you can trust no-one is simply not enough to sustain the story. Disappointed.

  • Mark LJanuary 1, 2021Reply

    Some historical background knowledge is advised heading into The Death of Stalin. If getting your way through the briskly-paced who’s who doesn’t sound like a daunting task, you’ll find yourself hit with an onslaught of biting period commentary and absurd humor of the darkest nature. It will make you laugh, but it’s also quite scary to think that what it portrays is just inches away from reality.

  • Jeffrey DJanuary 3, 2021Reply

    A humorous reinterpretation of the moments after Stalin’s death, which is not actually too far from the truth. I laughed throughout the entire movie and I highly recommend.

  • Wellington GJanuary 4, 2021Reply

    Filme incrĂ­vel! Há inevitáveis adaptações, contudo nĂŁo deixando a fidelidade histĂłrica de lado. It’s an amazing movie!

  • Isaac HJanuary 4, 2021Reply

    It may not be consistently funny, but it could still stand it’s own as a energetic and upbeat biopic.

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