The Death of Stalin ★★

Even Iannucci's defenders would likely agree that his semi-improvisational approach is rather one-note, achieving most of its variety by virtue of his performers' individual inventions. In this, his second feature, that style is strained, perhaps to the breaking point with a distasteful transfer to a historical milieu with much higher stakes. The results are considerably darker than Iannucci's other work, and I'm not sure that a succession of flustered profanities is a sufficient means of critiquing a government that wantonly murders its citizens. Even those who laugh at the cuss words will likely not find much investment in which of these Commies comes out on top.