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? Written and directed by Armando Ianucci (Veep, In the Loop).
“IRRESISTIBLE! I keep finding myself wanting to compare it to 1964’s “Dr. Strangelove,” Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War comic masterpiece — which, as any movie buff will tell you, is exceptionally high praise. In this case, it’s also warranted.” -The New Orleans Times-Picayune
Critic’s Pick! The Death of Stalin is by turns entertaining and unsettling, with laughs that morph into gasps and uneasy gasps that erupt into laughs. Mr. Iannucci’s decision to have the performers speak in an array of accented English — from Brooklyn to Cockney — carries some political resonance, suggesting that totalitarianism knows no borders. But it also makes the familiar strange, creating a Brechtian alienation that few movies succeed in pulling off. –The New York Times