The Death of Stalin (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Death of Stalin (2018)


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Critic Consensus: The Death of Stalin finds director/co-writer Arnando Iannucci in riotous form, bringing his scabrous political humor to bear on a chapter in history with painfully timely parallels.

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The one-liners fly as fast as political fortunes fall in this uproarious, wickedly irreverent satire from Armando Iannucci (Veep, In the Loop). Moscow, 1953: when tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin drops dead, his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to be the next Soviet leader. Among the contenders are the dweeby Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), the wily Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi), and the sadistic secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale). But as they bumble, brawl, and backstab their way to the top, just who is running the government? Combining palace intrigue with rapid-fire farce, this audacious comedy is a bitingly funny takedown of bureaucratic dysfunction performed to the hilt by a sparkling ensemble cast.


Steve Buscemi
as Nikita Khrushchev
Jeffrey Tambor
as Georgy Malenkov
Simon Russell Beale
as Lavrentiy Beria
Paddy Considine
as Comrade Andryev
Rupert Friend
as Vasily Stalin
Jason Isaacs
as Georgy Zhukov
Olga Kurylenko
as Maria Yudina
Michael Palin
as Vyacheslav Molotov
Andrea Riseborough
as Svetlana Stalin
Paul Whitehouse
as Anastas Mikoyan
Jonathan Aris
as Mezhnikov
Dermot Crowley
as Kaganovich
Cara Horgan
as Lidiya Timashuk
Justin Edwards
as Spartak Sokolov
Adrian McLoughlin
as Joseph Stalin
Gerald Lepkowski
as Leonid Brezhnev
Eva Sayer
as Young Waitress
Eloise Henwood
as Sweet Russian Girl
Adam Shaw
as Ilyin
Emilio Iannucci
as Young Doctor
Paul Chahidi
as Nicolai Bulganin
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Death of Stalin

Critic Reviews for The Death of Stalin

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (8)

A riotous farce of doublespeak and plotting laced with moments of bitumen-black horror.

October 18, 2017 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Its application of [Iannucci's] signature barbed comic voice to such grim history (executions are a constant source of gallows humor) packs its own punch.

September 14, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

A delicious black comedy ...

September 11, 2017 | Full Review…

It will more than satisfy Iannucci's fans at arthouses; here's hoping we don't have to wait another eight years to see the director's next film.

September 11, 2017 | Full Review…

The Death of Stalin marks the first instance in which Iannucci has applied his style to real-life figures, and it's as though he has crafted a historical foundation for the rest of his work.

September 11, 2017 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

There is one thing that power can't stand, and that is to be mocked: The social importance of this topical romp should not be underestimated.

September 11, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Death of Stalin

The acting is superb and the comedy is stellar, but The Death of Stalin feels somewhat artificial at times - and suffers from some noticeable instances of amateur filmmaking, which is a shame considering how masterful many elements of the film are.

Sean Thomas
Sean Thomas

Super Reviewer

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