Watch The Death of Stalin (2017) online free – Judging by the other reviews here, this seems to be a Marmite film. And that carried over to the showing I went to. It was a lunchtime showing so there weren’t that many in the cinema, maybe a dozen, but often I found myself the only one laughing at the jokes. Not sure what that says about my sense of humour. But the jokes are very black. Excellent cast and performances too.
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The Death of Stalin (2017) review by PipAndSqueak – Gallows humour with hollow laughs
There’s no avoiding truths rapidly passed over in this depiction of chaos following the death of an evil dictator. Stalin had charm…to those who were not his subjects and were never a threat to his authority. He fooled many so-called intellectuals in the West but everyone around him knew the truth, and, most managed to tip-toe over eggshells in order to stay alive. To thrive in such an environment requires a certain kind of callous ruthlessness…perfectly depicted with suitable crass humour here. The cast is perfectly chosen…each very accomplished actor adding their particular star dust. There’s more than a single sittings’ content in this film which deserves another viewing. Impressive and engaging story-telling based on real life events. Bravo all.
The Death of Stalin (2017) review by TheLittleSongbird – One of the best films of 2017
It must have been very daunting to make a film revolving around the period during the death of one of the world’s most notorious dictators and mass murderers Joseph Stalin and its aftermath, and make it one that was entertaining, clever and beautifully produced and acted while not trivialising the horrors of the time.
‘The Death of Stalin’ embraced this challenge and fully succeeded in its goal. ‘The Death of Stalin’ was one of those films where expectations were high (considering there are some truly great actors here) and those expectations were only met but exceeded. It won’t be for the faint hearted, it can be violent in a very gruesome sense. While it is very evocative and well-researched, it is history but not quite as we know it (kind of like a more sophisticated version of Horrible Histories). Some may have a problem with the film not having authentic Soviet accents, and instead a mix of English and US ones, to me this was not a problem as there are many adaptations of Russian literature that mostly don’t attempt authentic accents and when they are attempted it has wildly variable results.
2017 has been a very hit and miss year from personal opinion for films. Some very good to great films and also some less than average to rubbish ones, as well as ones that fall somewhere in between. Some may say that for any year in film, but to me 2017 was one of the most hit and miss. ‘The Death of Stalin’ is a clear highlight. Didn’t find that much wrong with it, the character of Svetlana is not as interesting and doesn’t have the same depth as the rest of the characters perhaps but this is compensated by Andrea Riseborough still making the most of what she has. The occasional clunker in the writing too but they are vastly out shadowed by the rest of the script being so good.
Even with a couple of minor reservations, ‘The Death of Stalin’ as said succeeds in achieving a very difficult task and achieving an ideal balance. Despite how it sounds it is not even close to being as offensive as it easily could have been, making something funny out of one of the darkest (maybe the darkest though it’s not in a particularly good, if nowhere near as terrible, state now either periods for Russia/The Soviet Union)on paper does not sound tasteful, but ‘The Death of Stalin’ splendidly works its way around that potential issue.
Visually, ‘The Death of Stalin’ looks beautiful. The settings and costumes are meticulous in detail and evocative, a lot of homework went into recreating this period, looking both sumptuous and atmospheric. The cinematography is fluid and natural and has the right amount of grit and audaciousness. The music has a mix of the rousing and understated.
Armando Iannucci directs with complete command and control of the subject, his trademark touches of political amorality and dark and sometimes broad but witty and offbeat humour come through loud and clear. He doesn’t try to soften reality, nor does he try to make it one big joke, he could easily have done that but he doesn’t and he deserves a lot of credit for that.
Further good things are a clever script that has genuinely funny moments and also some truly thought-provoking ones. As soon as the opening sequence begins and happens one knows they’re in for a treat. ‘The Death of Stalin’ is never dull and is hugely entertaining but also has a darker edge in exploring the full terror of Soviet life during the Great Terror, struggle for power and the purge and not trivialising it, it’s actually pretty harrowing and poignant.
One cannot talk about ‘The Death of Stalin’ without mentioning the uniformly outstanding cast, the standouts being Simon Russell Beale giving a performance of almost Shakespearean complexity and Steve Buscemi who bags some of the best moments.
Jason Isaacs steals scenes when he appears (and Paddy Considine delights in his), Andrea Riseborough makes the most of her role and Rupert Friend being this good was a pleasant surprise. Michael Palin is indeed more subdued form than usual but it suited the character and he does it perfectly, personally like that side to him. Jeffrey Tambor is great fun and Olga Kurylenko is expressive.
Summarising, really great and one of 2017’s best films.
The Death of Stalin (2017) review by nphilip21 – A great political satire
Watched this at the cinema last night and although I was looking forward to it and was expecting it to be good I was still pleasantly surprised.
Firstly: the actors all put in very believable and impressive performances. A joy to behold. Secondly: the plot is as intruiging as it is funny and really keeps you glued to the screen. Thirdly: this made me laugh out loud at least five times during it’s run-time. You know: the sort of laughs you just can’t hold back even if you try.
In essence this is a very dark film that makes light of the crimes against humanity all these people were actually guilty of comitting. Some people might find it offensive that they are portrayed as quite funny and engaging characters. But I think Iannucci does such a good job reminding the audience of the nature of these people that he keeps a balance and really succeeds with this movie.
Very enjoyable. One of the best movies of the year. I really enjoyed this – and if you like whitty dialogue, good acting and an intelligently unfolded plot – you will too.
The Death of Stalin (2017) review by bob-the-movie-man – Death… Torture… Child Abuse… LOL??
Armando Iannucci is most familiar to TV audiences on both sides of the pond for his cutting political satire of the likes of “Veep” and “The Thick of It”, with his only previous foray into directing movies being “In the Loop”: a spin-off of the latter series. Lovers of his work will know that he sails very close to the wind on many occasions, such that watching can be more of a squirm-fest than enjoyment.
It should come as no surprise then that his new film – “The Death of Stalin” – follows that same pattern, but transposed into the anarchic and violent world of 1950’s Russia. Based on a French comic strip, the film tells the farcical goings on surrounding the last days of the great dictator in 1953. Stalin keeps distributing his “lists” of undesirables, most of who will meet unpleasant ends before the end of the night. But as Stalin suddenly shuffles off his mortal coil, the race is on among his fellow commissariat members as to who will ultimately succeed him.
The constitution dictates that Georgy Malenkov (an excellently vain and vacillating Jeffrey Tambor) secedes but, as a weak man, the job is clearly soon going to become vacant again and spy- chief Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale) and Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi) are jostling for position. (No spoilers, but you’ll never guess who wins!). Colleagues including Molotov (Michael Palin) and Mikoyan (Paul Whitehouse) need to decide who to side with as the machinations around Stalin’s funeral become more and more desperate.
The film starts extremely strongly with the ever-excellent Paddy Considine (“Pride”) playing a Radio Russia producer tasked with recording a classical concert, featuring piano virtuoso Maria Yudina (Olga Kurylenko, “Quantum of Solace”). A definition of paranoia in action! We then descend into the chaos of Stalin’s Russia, with mass torture and execution colouring the comedy from dark-grey to charcoal- black in turns.
There is definitely comedy gold in there: Khrushchev’s translation of his drunken scribblings from the night before (of things that Stalin found funny and – more importantly – things he didn’t) being a high point for me. Stalin’s children Svetlana (Andrea Riseborough, “Nocturnal Animals”) and Vasily (Rupert Friend, “Homeland”) add knockabout humour to offset the darker elements, and army chief Georgy Zhukov (Jason Isaacs, “Harry Potter”) is a riot with a no-nonsense North-of-England accent.
The film held my interest throughout, but the comedy is just so dark in places it leaves you on edge throughout. The writing is also patchy at times, with some of the lines falling to the ground as heavily as the dispatched Gulag residents.
It’s not going to be for everyone, with significant violence and gruesome scenes, but go along with the black comic theme and this is a film that delivers rewards.
(For the graphical review of the movie, please visit bob-the-movie- man.com or One Mann’s Movies on Facebook. Thanks).
The Death of Stalin (2017) review by Paul Evans – Funny, scary, dark, take from it what you will!
The Death of Stalin is one of those films you will either love or just not get at all. Being someone with a big interest in Politics, and an interest in the events of the Soviet Union this was always going to be must watch.
The material itself is almost frightening, some pretty horrific real life events happening, but performed in a way that you can’t help but laugh at, albeit sometimes with a little dread.
Superbly written as you’d expect by Armando Iannucci, if anyone knows political satire it’s him! Steve Buscemi and Simon Russell Beale shine particularly.
It’s one of those films I want to see again.
The Death of Stalin (2017) review by Raven-1969 – Stalin would be loving it!
Stalin would be loving it. In 1953 when he is found flat on his back and comatose, Stalin’s corrupt, butt-kissing underlings cause chaos and terror with their plotting and scheming to replace him. Nightmares make more sense. Purges sweep away the unwise and unlucky, army and security forces vie for the upper hand, prison doors open and close, executions take place in broad daylight and back stabbing rules the day. This is political satire at its best.
History, humor, brilliant quotes and somber visions about the past, present and future combine for a fantastic film. Truth is stranger than fiction, and one of the wonderful aspects of this film is how much the political trickery cuts to the bone. Vasily Stalin (the dictator’s vodka guzzling son) gets on the podium, for instance, and military jets streak across the sky and drown out his speech. A planned distraction? Of course. Stunts like this could happen anywhere and are happening everywhere. The film rings true. It is an eye-opening and fabulous glimpse of the political underworld. This is how people get killed or locked away, when their stories don’t fit. The actors are amazingly good, especially Jeffrey Tambor as Malenkov, Steve Buscemi as Khrushchev and Jason Isaacs as Zhukov. If you like politics and history as much as I do, you will love this. The film is in English and a variety of accents. This device (the various accents) heightens the aspect of chaos and confusion. Seen at the Toronto International Film Festival.