The Death of Stalin

Watch The Death of Stalin

"In the Kremlin, no one can hear you scheme"
  • R
  • 2018
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 7.3  (112,470)
  • 88

The Death of Stalin is a 2017 political satire film directed by Armando Iannucci which presents a fictionalized account of the power struggle that ensued in the Soviet Union following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953. Starring an ensemble cast including Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin, and Jason Isaacs, the movie is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin.

Set in Moscow during the Cold War era, The Death of Stalin follows the events that unfolded in the aftermath of the Soviet dictator's sudden death from a stroke. In a series of darkly comedic scenes, the film depicts the chaos, paranoia, and political machinations that erupted among Stalin's top officials, who were all vying for power and influence within the Communist regime.

The movie opens with a frenzied and hilarious sequence in which the members of the Central Committee receive news of Stalin's death and scramble to make arrangements for his funeral. As various characters jockey for position, alliances are formed and broken, secrets are revealed, and loyalties are tested. Buscemi plays the role of Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin's eventual successor, who is portrayed as a pragmatic and ambitious politician with a penchant for self-preservation. Beale is excellent as the ruthless and cunning Beria, the head of the NKVD, who quickly emerges as Khrushchev's main antagonist.

Tambor delivers a nuanced performance as Georgy Malenkov, Stalin's Deputy General Secretary and a member of the ruling Politburo, who finds himself at the mercy of his more powerful colleagues. Palin effectively portrays Vyacheslav Molotov, a member of the Politburo who initially sides with Beria but later switches his allegiance to Khrushchev. Isaacs steals every scene he's in as the crude and bombastic General Zhukov, who is called upon to quell the unrest in Moscow.

The movie is both witty and dark, delivering sharp satire and trenchant observations about the nature of power and the corrosive effects of authoritarianism. The humor is irreverent and often shocking, but it never veers into tastelessness or triviality. The film also sheds light on the historical figures and events that shaped the Soviet Union in the post-World War II era, providing a fascinating glimpse into a pivotal moment in Russian and world history.

The cinematography and production design perfectly capture the atmosphere of 1950s Moscow, with the bleak and imposing buildings of the Stalinist era looming large in every scene. The costumes and makeup are also top-notch, convincingly transforming the actors into their historical counterparts.

Overall, The Death of Stalin is a brilliant and entertaining film that offers a clever and insightful perspective on one of the most consequential events of the 20th century. The performances are superb, the script is sharp and witty, and the direction is deft and assured. Whether you're a history buff or simply a lover of dark comedy, this movie is not to be missed.

The Death of Stalin is a 2018 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 88.

The Death of Stalin
Where to Watch The Death of Stalin
The Death of Stalin is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Death of Stalin for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (112,470)
  • Metascore