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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 16.95%
Average: 2.26%
Pretty Bad: 1.13%
Total Crap: 4.52%

4 reviews, 153 user ratings

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by Slyder

"Still memorable after all these years"
5 stars

Itís true that the formula of Rocky has already been done many times before, about the disgraced fuck that one-ups himself in order to gain if not fame, at least respect; just check Elia Kazanís masterful On the Waterfront. Still, the reason that Rocky works is because everybody here gave it 100% on the shoe-string budget they have. Sylvester Stallone couldnít ask for a better career debut and he rightfully deserved it when Rocky became one of the biggest hits of 1976, and still stands as one of the most memorable films ever made. What happened afterwards of course is another story.

The plot of course was inspired by the notorious Muhammad Ali vs. Chuck Wepner fight in which Wepner went a full 16 rounds and even once knocking the Greatest down. Hence the following: Chump boxer and local bum Rocky Balboa (Stallone) suddenly gets the chance of a lifetime when out of sheer luck World Heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) draws his name out of the box to become his next contender. Balboa sees this as a chance to gain at least the respect of his peers, especially a boxing coach called Mickey (Burgess Meredith) whom would later become his trainer, while at the same time he tries to woo a local shy pet store clerk Adrian (Talia Shire) whom is sister to Rockyís friend Paulie (Burt Young).

The success of everyone here is well-deserved since due to the low budget, everyone gives out their best in the movie. Director John G. Alvidsen (Joe, Save the Tiger, and The Karate Kid) manages to successfully turn his economical shortcomings into artistic strengths as he and cinematographer James Crabe bring out the cold urban landscapes of Philadelphia and its suburbs, which help show the harsh world in which our characters live in. Yet the amazing thing that Crabe and Alvidsen manage to achieve is that despite the brutal and harsh environment, its strangely alluring, comforting, almost intimate. This is important because this atmosphere makes the viewer feel at home with the characters, and their daily processions are so natural, it is as if we were watching a glimpse from our window out towards our very own neighborhood. It's a working class world in which they live in and Rocky lies at the bottom of the pit as the impossible not to like thumb-breaker/amateur boxer. Yet despite his status and the lack of respect from his peers, Rocky's heart shines so brightly it is capable of melting the icy textures that surround his life. One great example of this atmosphere's effectiveness is the ice skating ring scene, in which 300 extras were originally planned but since they couldn't afford it, they only shot with Rocky jogging and Adrian nervously skating around the ring. Yet as they set on their jog/skate, the chemistry between these two shy and introverted souls shines out, converting a potentially boring sequence into one of the most intimate scenes in the movie. It's in this scene when we see how Rocky manages to confirm the discovery of Adrian as his counterpart, and how these two seem destined for each other.

The script is unquestionably Stalloneís best (compared to the utter shit he would write later on) even if the fights are gripping yet unrealistic and it leaves a couple of characters and scenes undeveloped such as Paulieís character. And the reason for this is because Stallone developed his two main characters thoroughly; Rocky is a three-dimensional human being, a loser with a conscience and a heart of gold who suddenly is given the break of a lifetime and sees a chance of making his own mark as a boxer. He doesn't seek fame, and humbly accepts that he's a nobody, yet the only thing he wants is to be finally recognized as somebody of value. Adrian is also a banished soul like Rocky's, and you can tell her frustration at the state of her life in her face, and yet despite this she shows deep loyalty to Rocky and to his brother Paulie despite the latter's violent outbursts. Full credit is deserved for Stallone, Alvidsen and Crabe for their outstanding work in this movie.

The second most important thing that drives the movie is the acting: Stallone gives out is honest and most complete performance due to the fact that the limitations of the character mold very well with his personality, and also because he gives it all since this was his make-or-break film; itís pretty much the only time he manages to truly act and only once or twice he would come close to match his performance here. Talia Shire also comes out on her own with her dead-on portrayal as the shy Adrian, and its an amazing performance as she manages to speak volumes with her manners and her looks more than with words. Burt Young is a little less so, but still has moments of brilliance as the violent Paulie. Besides Stallone though, the man of the hour is Burgess Meredith and he nearly walks away with the entire movie with his impressive portrayal of the snarly Mickey.

In the end, this film is a classic, and a fine film to watch with the family since itís one of those feel-good movies that you canít help but watch. Too bad that Stallone lost himself amongst his own movie formulas and brainless action thrillers and became nothing more than a talent-less studio hack. The same goes for Alvidsen, whom only did one good film after this one, and never recovered since. Oh what couldíve beenÖ 5-5

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/26/04 05:35:18
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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

4/16/19 chocopie USA 4 stars
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: ***Ĺ (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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