More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 16.48%
Average: 2.27%
Pretty Bad: 1.14%
Total Crap: 4.55%

4 reviews, 152 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Inuyashiki by Jay Seaver

Glass (2019) by Peter Sobczynski

Destroyer by Jay Seaver

Replicas by Jay Seaver

Modest Heroes by Jay Seaver

House That Jack Built, The (2018) by Peter Sobczynski

Rider, The by Jay Seaver

Witch in the Window, The by Jay Seaver

Dark Money by Jay Seaver

Bird Box by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed

[] Buy posters from this movie
by Dancing Potato

"Remember Stallone's good movie? Me neither, but apparently this is it."
4 stars

I find boxing incredibly stupid. I mean, I respect the sport (like all sports except lacrosse) and the people who do it, but the entire idea must've been thought up by some really stupid people. Nonetheless, boxing spawns at least a movie a year and I usually end up seeing it. With Rocky, I'm glad I did.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but one of my friends is a boxer. He’s not just a boxer, he’s the Canadian champion in the category that stands around 115 pounds (which means, yes, he’s a skin-on-bones midget). He makes it a point not only to see every boxing movie ever made before 1975 (except the good ones, like Raging Bull) but he also makes it a point not to miss an opportunity to praise the Rocky movies. Well, he likes them all except the first one, of which he only likes the fight and the training montage. Strangely enough, that’s my least favorite parts of the film, which proves once again that my friend is the devil-child of Michael Bay.

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is a two-bit boxer in Brooklyn who fights in smoky, sweaty rooms for a crap salary and lives in solitude with his pet turtles and occasionally breaks a thumb or two for a local heavy. Rocky’s life is boring, a dead end. He flirts with Adrienne (Talia Shire), the shy pet-shop worker and sister of Rocky’s buddy Paulie (Burt Young) in an attempt to get some nookie, but Adrienne shyness means his advances never amount to much. One day, Rocky is called by the office of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), the world champ. Creed has decided to give a nobody a chance at the title, and Rocky was the lucky pick.

The film’s story is perhaps as famous as the last scene in the film. Stallone was an out-of-work actor whose biggest part was a suporting role in the cultish B movie Death Race 2000. He wrote the script in three days and pitched the idea to a studio, who took a gigantic chance by casting Stallone in the lead role. The movie paid off big time, propelling Stallone’s career, making a fortune for the studio and winning the best picture Oscar in 1977, beating out outstanding films like Taxi Driver, Network and All The President’s Men.

The film is a classic case of rags-to-riches, both on-screen and off. Clichés are here by the bowlful but the film somehow avoids making them look like clichés. The ending is surprising considering the relatively straightforward story; this is not a typical sports film ending. Hell, this is not a typical sports film. Unlike the belated Hollywoodized sequels, Rocky is not about throwing punches and what combo is better. It is about Rocky’s struggle to make himself into something (yes, I believe this is where you cue Brando) and then finding out that being something might sound good, but it’s not always what you want.
Sylvester Stallone is not a good actor, by any means. He was made for action movies, and no one mumbles incomprehensible one liners like him, but none of his Rambo shenanigans can be qualified of “performance”. I won’t be the first to say that Rocky is perhaps Stallone’s only good performance (barring, maybe, Copland). Stallone seems to know that this movie was his make-it-or-break-it opportunity, and he spends most of the film actually moving his facial muscles and showing actual emotions, something he has not done since then.

This being a cheap-ass movie, the cast is mostly made up of then-unknowns that have, since then, either died, enjoyed a brief period of fame, or become hopelessly lost in a sea of dreck. Burgess Meredith, best known as the Penguin from the old Batman TV show, shows up in a few scenes as Rocky’s trainer. Here, he mostly screams at Rocky or throws water in his face when he’s fighting. He had a more substantial role in the sequels, but then again they stank of rancid weevil droppings. Talia Shire (already a veteran of two Godfather movies, so not an unknown) is excellent as the shy Adrienne. Burt Young, Carl Weathers and Joe Spinell do equally fine jobs, although none of them rose to greater fame after this film; Spinell did Maniac, if you want an example.

Of course, this would not be an acceptable review if I didn’t talk of the action. We’ve passed all that sissy character crap, when will we see two guys punching each other? Well, if you must know, there are two boxing matches in the film, and as well made as they are, I feel that I still can’t praise them. They lack the realism and electricity of Raging Bull and at times it even seems that Stallone (who choreographed the fight scenes) didn’t even know how boxing works. There’s an inordinate amount of blood being pumped out of both Stallone’s and Weathers’ faces;
I’ve seen fights stopped for a tenth of that blood. Well, at least no one died like in Rocky IV.

Perhaps that Rocky’s most lasting contribution to pop culture is its theme song. I can't for the life of me think of one human being I know who doesn’t know the theme song. People who haven’t seen the film probably know it. Officially titled Gonna Fly Now, it has very much adopted the title of the film since 1976.

I believe, like most people, that Rocky was not deserving of its Oscar. Whilst certainly a rousing, feel-good piece of entertainment, it is not without clichés or obviously manipulative scenes. Yet, as it stands, Rocky is good enough to create its own class, away from the awful sequels.


link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/09/01 07:44:32
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell raging bull is alot better 2 stars
6/02/16 Pharmg879 Very nice site! 5 stars
6/01/16 Pharme378 Very nice site! 5 stars
5/31/16 Pharmd301 Very nice site! 5 stars
5/30/16 Pharme651 Very nice site! 5 stars
5/28/16 Pharme387 Very nice site! 5 stars
5/27/16 Pharmk202 Very nice site! 5 stars
5/26/16 Pharmd913 Very nice site! 5 stars
5/25/16 Johnf360 Thanks again for the blog post.Thanks Again. Cool. ddbkkbeebged 5 stars
6/15/14 Jamie Probably my all-time favorite movie and this review does suck! 5 stars
3/06/14 Justin R. This and "Raging Bull" are some of my favorite movies. 5 stars
5/19/12 keith miron The ending was the best part 3 stars
5/26/11 Glenn Laurence Hardy Junior This is a classic! it's just simply great! (i have a facebook!...) 5 stars
3/22/11 daddy tayne i love this moovie yya know , giimme da bubble gum so I can blow bubbles wit mah bubble gum 1 stars
8/03/09 RLan Because of all the sequels, people forgot how great this movie is! 5 stars
7/08/09 *Holy_J@lapeno* Classic. Its a classic. You cant beat it. Great storyine and plot. LOVE IT! 5 stars
3/21/09 mark This review SUCKS! 5 stars
1/10/09 Condom Crusadar Rocky is bad ass, this movie is awsome, go watch it. 5 stars
9/22/08 don Great 5 stars
8/12/08 Shaun Wallner One of the greatest movies ever made! 5 stars
8/10/08 Keithers What do you do when you're whole centered around 2 hours...what do you do? 5 stars
6/17/08 Johnnyfaye Rocky wins you over with pure heart and determination 5 stars
5/14/08 dunno wooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwww brilliant hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehhehehehehehehehehe 5 stars
2/20/08 Anthony Feor Stallone's best work and it still stays popular after all the years. 5 stars
1/24/08 dustin jezz its the greatest movie ever 5 stars
10/31/07 jerry this movie sucks 1 stars
8/09/07 EZ $$ one of the best movies ever its awesome ---> 5 stars
6/17/07 Leigh best movie ever made 5 stars
5/10/07 Mickey Amazing and moving with great charcters and brilliant acting from all. A masterpiece. 5 stars
5/09/07 Rahkeem Reynolds Rocky is the "Greatest Fighting Story of all time this is a great master piece i 5 stars
4/25/07 Captain Vince Ignore the bottom Review 5 stars
4/25/07 Captain Vince this sucks 1 stars
2/13/07 Double M If the "Down, down. Stay down" near the end doesn't get you, you're as good as dead. 10/10 5 stars
2/13/07 Richard Remington The reason I hate this so much is I bet 5000 bucks that rocky would win! 1 stars
1/31/07 Richard Remington what a scam! Poor Rocky gets beat to a plup and cries for his wife to save him! 1 stars
1/29/07 MP Bartley Takes its time, but it has an authentic attention to detail and big heart for its character 4 stars
1/05/07 kkaj Rocky is my all time favorite movies, this one just adds more heart to them all 5 stars
1/03/07 Mel A true classic, there's no comparison, Rocky is an outstanding film. 5 stars
1/01/07 johnnyfog Like Rambo, the first film has humanity that the sequels lack 5 stars
12/10/06 Sonny M.O.O.N. Rocky Balboa is to be respected as a character that inspired a nation. 5 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini a bit slow in places but still good 4 stars
9/09/06 Tekva The BEST Cinderella Story yet 5 stars
8/23/06 David Cohen Earned its "Best Picture" academy award 5 stars
8/08/06 marco inspiring 5 stars
7/10/06 Tarun chawla It's a movie which shows "Hard work definately gets its price". 5 stars
6/05/06 Wipef First Half is Boring. Second half, The great bit's totally kick in. 4 stars
4/12/06 poo great 5 stars
2/27/06 Steven Lewis Rocky is monumental 5 stars
2/19/06 Ronin A great, great movie, full of both brutality and positive emotions. A classic 5 stars
2/13/06 Anthony An Awesome movie 5 stars
1/19/06 krista this movie is an awesome movie 5 stars
12/20/05 Michael A Likeable Fellow, That Rocky 4 stars
12/03/05 Keithers Rocky fights with so much heart...that it over comes his brute style in Rocky. 5 stars
11/25/05 Samer Sarhan Rocky is the best movie ever made, simply put! 5 stars
9/17/05 JAY The most allround good movie?Oh hell yeah! 5 stars
8/29/05 Ricky The best movie of all time 5 stars
8/26/05 ES Much like First Blood a classic of American film making 5 stars
8/14/05 Skye Stevenson Cool Fun 5 stars
8/07/05 sumit kumar siplysuperb,Awesome,morale boosting 5 stars
8/03/05 ALDO knocks the shit out of Raging Bull. Rocky is all heart 5 stars
6/25/05 Mr Fluffy Just like Boxing Helena but with more realistic boxing 4 stars
5/28/05 tony EXELLENT PICTURE! 5 stars
3/25/05 Cameron Cubbison One of the true great gems of American cinema. Perfect in every way. 5 stars
3/04/05 Morbid Florist I don't even follow boxing, but I loved it. One thing I can't work out though, who won? 5 stars
2/04/05 Gray what we most all but do in our own way 5 stars
1/05/05 keithers.. I loooove that final fight.....Rocky never gives up 5 stars
12/15/04 Tom Benton Dated classic, but well-done anyways; Stallone is great. A real feel-good piece. 5 stars
10/27/04 joey best sports movie of all time 5 stars
10/19/04 matt mint 5 stars
10/15/04 Tony THE BEST 5 stars
9/14/04 Rocky's Biggest Fan The Rocky series touched me!!! 5 stars
9/10/04 jeff very motivational movie, great music. 5 stars
8/13/04 Zac Stallone rocks you fucking can go and eat your mums fucking dangleberries you fucking cunt 5 stars
8/07/04 ALDO Rocky....great it if ur depressed with life :) 4 stars
7/26/04 Tom Best film ever 5 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz A must see 5 stars
7/20/04 Chris one of the greatest sports movies ever 4 stars
7/19/04 twilliams606 Overrated in my opinion. 2 stars
7/18/04 Richard really excellent - year's best 5 stars
7/17/04 legend One of the best underdog movies of all time. 5 stars
7/17/04 Raymond Lee great movie 5 stars
7/14/04 akshai All 5 are awsome movies no one can say what is better 5 stars
7/14/04 Jack Sommersby It's certainly effective, but it's also clunky and uneven. parts 2 and 3 are better. 4 stars
7/07/04 Carlos Delgado This is my favorite movie of all time this movie taught me to never give up on my dreams 5 stars
6/30/04 Sean Scanlan Wow! 5 stars
6/28/04 H R Kaplan Startling in its excellence. Great movie!! 5 stars
6/17/04 Sean Scanlan This is the movie that made Stallone a star 5 stars
4/07/04 Ryhan Brings out the optimist in me 5 stars
1/08/04 Michael Del Duca This movie was one of the greatest movies i've ever seen 5 stars
12/10/03 Samuel Burgess Meredith alone makes this film good!! 5 stars
12/06/03 john a beautiful and exiting film as good as it gets! 5 stars
11/02/03 CrAiGiE favorite film of all time 5 stars
10/13/03 saint mary clerance This flim is the best flim ive ever seen in my life, but ive only ever watched one 5 stars
9/12/03 Michael Facchini Rocky embodies the true spirit of America, Rocky represents the underdog in us all 5 stars
8/11/03 Maurice The Predator this movie really kicked ass 5 stars
7/24/03 Abhinav Mathur awesome 5 stars
7/08/03 Alex ADRIAAAAAN 5 stars
5/05/03 Andrew Carden Superb Film, With Excellent Performances By Stallone, Shire & Meredith. 5 stars
5/04/03 Chris Rocky is from Philly, not Brooklyn. 5 stars
5/03/03 Gray he wanted to be some one 5 stars
4/08/03 ashley naules the best film made in the world and always will be,i wrote every word to every 1 of them 5 stars
3/10/03 Jack Sommersby A fine underdog story. 4 stars
3/09/03 jack b nimble a very good movie hurt only because there was a rocky 5 to tarnish the memory of this class 4 stars
2/24/03 D-BONE Rocky is the shit! I love this movie more than any other movie out there. 5 stars
11/28/02 Flash If you ever want to see a boxing movie this is the one. A classic for the ages! 5 stars
11/27/02 Rhad One of the top 10 most inspiring movies of the century. 5 stars
11/06/02 Terence I love it 5 stars
10/31/02 Jay "Rocky" won Best Picture and Sly Stallone was nominated for Best Actor, but should've won. 5 stars
6/30/02 Dave Matlock this is the best movie I have eer seen. 5 stars
6/28/02 Justin The Greatest Film I Have Ever Seen! This movie won an Oscar for Best Picture! 5 stars
6/19/02 Kevin One of the greatest films I've seen, Rocky is an inspiration to all!! 5 stars
4/06/02 Justin Sly Stallone and Talia Shire are great in their performance! 2, 3, 4, & 5 are great, also! 5 stars
3/08/02 Mo Anand It's a good movie that starts off slow...but picks up and has a great ending 4 stars
3/01/02 Aleah me likes...rocky looks like a guy i like^-^,oh yeah 5 stars
12/28/01 Lorraine What can I say. It made me cry. 5 stars
12/21/01 joseph greatest movie of all time 5 stars
12/20/01 Rocky Balboa The best, without a doubt 5 stars
12/04/01 The $1.98 Pyramid No words to describe it. 5 stars
7/04/01 Mente The beginning of the greatest film series ever 4 stars
5/13/01 R.W. Welch Stalone peaked the first time out; one of the best boxing flicks ever. 5 stars
4/12/01 fifu stallone's best work, the once role his voice suits 5 stars
4/04/01 brendan pearce great series my favourite movie of all movie 5 stars
3/25/01 Danielle awesome awesome awesome! 5 stars
3/25/01 Monster W. Kung Overrated, but still very enjoyable and light years better than any other Stallone flick. 4 stars
2/26/01 Big P. This movie is awesome. People who think it is corny or hokey, don't understand it. 5 stars
1/13/01 rezzy a total domination, the shiznit 5 stars
12/28/00 Turtle A great movie all the way through. 4 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla Probably Stallone's best film to date 5 stars
5/30/00 danilo kill Sylvester! I can't stand him! Aaaaaarghhhh! 1 stars
5/24/00 Kathleen Davis Worth seeing over and over again! This is everyones dream!!! 5 stars
4/04/00 Nicolas Vasquez Jr. Best movie of all time 5 stars
3/27/00 Eddie K. The shit 5 stars
1/31/00 Tim W. Sylvester Stallone started his Career with a oscar, Schwarzenegger with Muscles.A must see 5 stars
10/27/99 corey owen excellent 5 stars
7/07/99 Ben Leostein Rating: ***½ (out of ****) Category: "Very Good" 5 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg Of course this film is good. 4 stars
4/27/99 Lucas jackson This movie was fucking awesome,it had a great story,acting and was thrilling 5 stars
2/20/99 Piz Great movie that shows the strength of an individual, stirring soundtrack 5 stars
2/01/99 Vick Di Brecci Frankly, I don't see the appeal. Just cornball sentiment like GWH. Rent Raging Bull inste 3 stars
11/04/98 Bad Kosh Intriguing to see that Stallone wrote both Rocky and Rocky II. Too bad the sequels sucked. 5 stars
11/03/98 Silent Rob An expertly crafted tale. Foreshadowed nothing that was to come from Sly. 4 stars
11/02/98 Johny It all went downhill from here for Stallone 5 stars
11/01/98 Negative Creep Definitely one of the greatest films ever made. 5 stars
11/01/98 Oz A classic. Hard to believe Stallone wrote it. Shame it got overdone with sequels. 5 stars
11/01/98 J-Guy (the MFC) an okay flick. fairly predictable. not great, not god awful. 3 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  21-Nov-1976 (PG)
  DVD: 05-Dec-2005


  02-Feb-1977 (PG)

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast