Rent The Death of Stalin (2017)

3.4 of 5 from 1393 ratings
1h 42min
Rent The Death of Stalin Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Stalin Is Dead! And with The Soviet Union's top job now up for grabs, the men in Stalin's council are about to enter an 'interview' process unlike any other. With the prospect of absolute authority over the nation within grasp, in the days that follow, devious plotting and farcical backs tabbing are fair play, and one man will emerge with supreme power over the USSR. The question is: who?
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , Yulya Muhrygina, Andrey Korzhenevskiy, , , , Alexandr Piskunov, Ruslav Neupokoev, Alla Bineeva, ,
Directors:
Producers:
Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Kevin Loader, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou
Writers:
Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, Peter Fellows, Fabien Nury, Thierry Robin
Others:
Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou, Kevin Loader, Ian Martin
Studio:
EntertainmentOne
Genres:
British Films, Top 100 Films, Comedy
Countries:
UK
BBFC:
Release Date:
26/02/2018
Run Time:
102 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary with Director and Writer Armando Iannucci, and Writers David Schneider, Ian Martin and Peter Fellows
  • Interviews with the Cast and Crew
  • Deleted Scenes
BBFC:
Release Date:
26/02/2018
Run Time:
106 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary with Director and Writer Armando Iannucci, and Writers David Schneider, Ian Martin and Peter Fellows
  • Interviews with the Cast and Crew
  • Deleted Scenes

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Reviews (30) of The Death of Stalin

Highly Disappointing - The Death of Stalin review by JS

Spoiler Alert
15/01/2018

Against much opinion I found this film to be essentially very boring with a Monty Python/Daily Mail view of Russia and actually quite offensive to all those millions of people who must have suffered immeasurably under Stalin's rule. OBVIOUSLY I know it is a black comedy, and therefore to be taken as such, but essentially it spins out one joke-what it actually must have been like to be there as a member of the "Government" when Stalin died and how to react in such bizarre circumstances- and spin this out for however how long. The West unfortunately has a completely one sided view of Russia and Eastern Europe most of the time and all films like this will do is to play to the prejudices and stereo types of "little Englanders" in reinforcing their brain dead views.

8 out of 27 members found this review helpful.

Ignore the haters. This is a very good film. - The Death of Stalin review by LH

Spoiler Alert
27/03/2018

Wow. I guess humour is a highly personal thing given some of the po-faced reviews above. I know that this film has been banned in Russia and this itself drew me to want to watch it! (One just wonders about the independence of some of the comments above... That's all I'll say on that.)

I loved this film. Very funny in a very dark way, which I guess won't please all of the people all of the time, but definitely appeals to my sense of humour. I found the cast to be absolutely first rate. The accents didn't bother me at all... What would have annoyed me would have been any attempt at cod Russian accents. I loved the way the film unfolded and the twists and turns of the political intrigue. Whilst I accept that it's probably not entirely factually correct, it doesn't claim to be a documentary. It's a comedy. It does bring home the horrors of Stalin's brutal paranoid reign of terror and the purges and the families destroyed at the stroke of a pen on to a list. It has made me want to learn more about this period of history and I fully intend to.

8 out of 8 members found this review helpful.

Black Comedy - The Death of Stalin review by JD

Spoiler Alert
01/03/2018

Superb movie. Very clever take on an historic event, the death of Stalin. Very, very funny, the cast are great ( special mention of Michael Palin ) and full use of black comedy to highlight the atrocities of the Regime.

6 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

Acting supreme - The Death of Stalin review by KN

Spoiler Alert
03/06/2018

Black comedy is something to admire when it works. Although I would recommend this film I didn’t think it was quite funny enough. The dialogue and especially the acting are top class (especially Russell Beale ) but it left me a bit cold. A film to certainly admire but not to love

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

The Death of Stalin review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

The satirical nature of The Death of Stalin reminded me greatly of vicious comedy show Spitting Image, a program where puppets portrayed political players as rubber-faced goofs that bicker over current events. While not as overly looney, this historical comedy does tread on similar the ground the way it finds the funny in the fascistic. While not as insightful enough to be worthy of a history class viewing, this film at least finds enough funny stuff with this material for such a talented ensemble.

It’s 1953 and Joseph Stalin has suddenly died. Mere hours after his passing, his various comrades of Soviet allegiance assemble and argue about what to do next. The most immediate thing they bicker on is how to handle the body once it is found, bumbling about the best way to get it out of the room and how to pick up the corpse of Stalin. Once they start deciding who should be in charge, the political affairs swirl as some oppose the choice of Stalin’s replacement while others scheme to overtake the weaker candidates. This bickering starts early especially since Stalin had a list of enemies.

Throughout the picture is a breezy sensation of how fast such a chaotic country proceeds with handling, well, everything. The opening sequence features an orchestra scrambling to finish up a recording that’ll be delivered to Stalin on a strict deadline. There’s a lot of bumbling to make sure everything is perfect, including a last-minute addition of grabbing the poor off the streets to act as an audience that will clap along for the track. It’s amusing how within this tight sequence we see both the fear of the Soviets, the bitterness of the poor, and the fast pace to prep the audience for when things spin off the rails politically.

A fantastic ensemble has been assembled for such a film. Players include the likes of Steve Buscemi, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Jeffrey Tambor, and Michael Palin. Though many are playing historic political players up for laughs, they do at least bring a human enough nature to such a story that sells the dark edge, keeping their tongues firmly within their cheeks. There’s a lot of cute little laughs strung in throughout, as when Buscemi, playing Nikita Khrushchev, is in such a rush to get to Stalin he neglects to take off his pajamas and wears them over his clothes. This somewhat insignificant addition only adds to the fantastically frantic nature of the picture, where there is so much going on one doesn’t even notice how silly they look.

The film also doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects of this power struggle. Not at all. There are some truly chilling moments when political players stroll through a church where political prisoners can be heard being executed in the background. Every death here comes with a shout for Stalin and a bang, seeming to occur like clockwork. Yet there’s also an absurdity to the violence of the shifting in power. There are several particular scenes of raids that are either punctuated by unaware civilians or surprise betrayals where the lines of order blur. There’s such madness to how all of this goes down during the arrangements for Stalin's funeral that you can’t help but laugh.

The Death of Stalin no doubt takes liberties with the material and its historical figures, considering it was based on the French graphic novel La Mort de Staline. But the pacing and acting are so damn engrossing that the whole experience is richly comedic of reaping ripe ridiculousness from the scramble of political vultures. Few films of this nature carry such an astute and palpable punch political satire.

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