The Death of Stalin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Death of Stalin Reviews

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March 21, 2019
If any other film could match the dark, and insanely clever writing and style of this film I would be astounded. For those that know their Russian history, the brilliance of the satire will hit right home, and for those that aren't you're still in for a riotously hilarious trip.
March 20, 2019
Funny portrayal of the events through a cinematic experience. Extremely good script writing and on point direction. Was very theatrical though.
March 17, 2019
This film is funny and surprisingly historically accurate (although condensed) it all works very well.
March 16, 2019
Riotous and ridiculous, but serious when it needs to be.
March 10, 2019
Interesting take on history
March 9, 2019
A brilliant dark comedy
½ March 8, 2019
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.
March 3, 2019
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!
February 27, 2019
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.
February 24, 2019
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.
February 21, 2019
Great cast, great idea, I just didn't laugh very much.
February 17, 2019
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.
February 15, 2019
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.
February 11, 2019
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.
½ February 6, 2019
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.
February 4, 2019
The movie was unrealistic about what actually happen... And most of the movie was "f you.. F you.." So much cussing.. And the way he died was so untruthful.. So all together they madd the movie terribly..
February 3, 2019
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'.
½ February 1, 2019
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...)
January 26, 2019
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.
½ January 23, 2019
Good, but not Iannucci's best work.
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