THE DEATH OF STALIN
(2018. 107 min. Comedy, Satire. Rated R for language, violence, and sexual references.)
Moscow, 1953. This wild, farcical tale begins when Soviet tyrant Joseph Stalin unexpectedly drops dead and his parasitic cronies square off in a 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). This bitingly funny takedown of bureaucratic dysfunction is performed to the hilt by a sparkling ensemble cast that movie goers will easily recognize.
As our players bumble, brawl, and backstab their way to the top spot, you ask: Who’s really running things here?
The Death of Stalin is a wickedly irreverent satire from the genre’s current ace, Armando Iannucci, who gave us 2009’s Iraq war send-up In the Loop and HBO’s political series “Veep.”
“A crackling, whip-smart satire that cuts to the bone of governmental power struggles, The Death of Stalin has a timely urgency that mirrors today’s political chaos.” —Adam Graham, The Detroit News