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Overall Rating

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

4 reviews, 152 user ratings

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by Charles Tatum

"A technical knockout"
4 stars

One of Sylvester Stallone's best films put him on the map, and launched a very successful franchise.

Stallone wrote and stars as Rocky Balboa, a down and out fighter getting beat up in smoky clubs for chump change. He has a love/hate relationship with his friend Paulie (Burt Young), loves Paulie's sister Adrian (Talia Shire), and enforces payments to loan shark Gazzo (Joe Spinell). Heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) is looking for a title fight to celebrate the nation's bicentennial, but his opponent drops out. He and promoter Jergens (Thayer David) cook up a plan- give any mook a shot at the champ, in the name of the American way.

Balboa is chosen, and Creed goes about the financial business of being a champ, not taking Rocky seriously. Rocky enlists the help of Mickey (Burgess Meredith), a gym owner who saw Rocky's potential years before, but the two never acted on it. As the fight draws near, Rocky's relationship with Paulie deteriorates as his love for Adrian takes center stage.

I have not seen the original "Rocky" in well over two decades. I highly recommend the crisp widescreen DVD transfer, which puts all the videotape releases to shame. I literally forgot what a dark and grim film this is. Rocky's Philadelphia neighborhood is a bit run down, his apartment is a pit, and director John G. Avildsen captures it all perfectly, which is strange considering the almost comic book style of the sequels.

Stallone does a fine scripting job. While Rocky's relationship with Adrian takes a while, and the volatile Paulie is never explored too much, Stallone seems to know what the film audience wants. I always thought the fight at the end of the film was longer, but it barely makes ten or fifteen minutes. Weathers' Apollo is not as big a jerk as I remember, until he gets into the ring and must put on his show. Adrian could not be mousier, even with Mickey ears and a tail, but her transformation is believable without being jarring. Young and Meredith also turn in fine performances, not yet the one dimensional characters the sequels would turn them in to.

"Rocky" is not a excellent film. It is certainly a strong film, full of solid acting, writing, and directing. While I cannot fault any one ingredient for keeping it from being perfect, I do highly recommend it.

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originally posted: 07/14/04 02:56:38
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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
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  21-Nov-1976 (PG)
  DVD: 05-Dec-2005


  02-Feb-1977 (PG)

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