Simon Russell Beale
Armando Iannucci (creator of such biting political satires as In the Loop and "Veep") transplants his trademark style to 1950s Russia in this unexpected black comedy. Terrifying autocratic Soviet leader Joseph Stalin has died, leaving a coterie of greedy, amoral and generally incompetent ministers to squabble like kindergartners over the future of their country. Among the ensemble cast are Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin and Jason Isaacs—none of whom seem remotely Russian. But that's not the point. Iannucci instead revels in the beautifully vulgar dialogues between frenemies and the idea that petty bureaucrats never change—no matter time or place.FULL REVIEW:Stalin meets slapstick in brutally funny political satire by Devin D. O’Leary (3/29/2018). 107 minutes R.