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The Death of Stalin

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.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

83

The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

The Death Of Stalin isn’t quite as pointed or rat-a-tat funny as In The Loop (or Veep at its best), but 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.
90

Vox by Alissa Wilkinson

The Death of Stalin is Iannucci’s most complex and almost nihilistic rendering of what politics is: A team of bumbling and weak-minded people who lack any real conviction other than a desire for power and position.
91

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

It’s “Veep” in the Soviet Union, a welcome expansion of Iannucci’s canvas that keeps his savage comedy intact.
83

The Playlist by Kevin Jagernauth

The Death Of Stalin is a grim reminder that we are never too far away from history turning back on progress. It’s not an easy lesson to reconcile, but Iannucci at least has us laughing for a good while before delivering his devastating blow.
100

Empire by Nick de Semlyen

Iannucci’s brand of political satire is applied to one of the darkest chapters in modern history, with sensational results. The Lives Of Others with laughs, it’s farcical, frightening and a timely reminder that things could always be worse.
100

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

The Death Of Stalin 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.
70

Variety by Peter Debruge

Though sporadically brilliant, this too-often uneven send-up of Russian politics attempts to maintain the rapid-fire, semi-improvisational style of Iannucci’s earlier work...while situating such madness within an elaborately costumed and production-designed period milieu.
80

Screen International by Tim Grierson

The novelty of his volcanically vulgar, deeply cynical tone may have worn off some, but Iannucci has nonetheless crafted another poisonous cocktail of naked ambition and blustery bravado with a decidedly bitter aftertaste.

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