Critics Consensus

This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.



Total Count: 61


Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,403,994
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Movie Info

A slightly dimwitted amateur boxer from Philadelphia's tough neighborhood gets a surprise shot at fighting for the heavyweight championship, while at the same time he finds love in the arms of a shy, reclusive girl who works in the local pet store.


Sylvester Stallone
as Rocky Balboa
Burt Young
as Paulie
Carl Weathers
as Apollo Creed
Thayer David
as Jergens
Bill Baldwin
as Fight Announcer
Al Silvani
as Cut Man
George Memmoli
as Ice Rink Attendant
Diana Lewis
as TV Commentator
George O'Hanlon
as TV Commentator
Larry Carroll
as TV Interviewer
Stan Shaw
as Dipper
Don Sherman
as Bartender
Billy Sands
as Club Fight Announcer
Pedro Lovell
as Spider Ricco
DeForest Covan
as Apollo's Corner
Simmy Bow
as Club Cornerman
Tony Burton
as Apollo's Trainer
Hank Rolike
as Apollo Cornerman
Shirley O'Hara
as Jergens' Secretary
Kathleen Parker
as Paulie's Date
Frank Stallone
as Timekeeper
Shirley O'Hara Krims
as Jergens' Secretary
Joe Sorbello
as Buddy the Bodyguard
Chris Avildsen
as Chiptooth
Frankie Van
as Club Fight Referee
Lou Filippo
as Championship Fight Announcer
Robert L. Tangrea
as Streetcorner Singer
Peter Glassberg
as Streetcorner Singer
William E. Ring
as Streetcorner Singer
Joseph C. Giambelluca
as Streetcorner Singer
Joe Frazier
as Himself
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News & Interviews for Rocky

Critic Reviews for Rocky

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (57) | Rotten (4)

  • Like the movies of Frank Capra, Rocky is a glowing tribute to the human spirit - a chin-up reminder that the decent, little guys of the world often accomplish the impossible if only because they try so hard.

    Feb 24, 2016 | Full Review…
  • In addition to a heart-warming script, Stallone has created on the screen a character of enormous appeal and charm -- half-articulate but funny, gruff but good-hearted.

    Nov 24, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Sylvester Stallone [is] as likable as a basset hound.

    Feb 6, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The story is achingly familiar, and though Stallone has a certain power, he is certainly not the subtlest actor to crawl out from under Marlon's overcoat.

    Jul 26, 2011 | Full Review…
  • There are occasional flashes that the film may be patronizing the lower end of the blue-collar mentality, as much if not more than the characters who keep putting Rocky down on the screen. However, Avildsen is noted for creating such ambiguities.

    Feb 20, 2009 | Full Review…

    A.D. Murphy

    Top Critic
  • I wanted to like it more than I did, but it'll do.

    Dec 13, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rocky

  • May 04, 2016
    It's always important to be aware of what you are about to watch whenever you are going to watch a Sylvester Stallone movie. There are multiple movies on his resumé that could have easily been thrown out of the window. "Rocky" is definitely not that movie! This is a movie that he wrote and starred in and showed his talent on both sides of the camera. It is a classic, but beautiful story about the hero who fails but still gets the girl in the end. Stallone plays the main character of Rocky Balboa and he shows all of his talents this time around. He proves that he is someone who is to be taken serious by the audience. The supporting cast, which includes stars like Talia Shire, Carl Weathers and Burgess Meredith helps the story forward and helps give our main guy a good sense of accomplishment in the end. Oh, and a lot of challenges! The twist to the classic love-rival story, ended up being one of the most successful accomplishments of all time. Who would have known...??
    Lasse G Super Reviewer
  • Feb 29, 2016
    Predictable in the fact that filmgoers will always root for the underdog if they love that underdog, Rocky stands heads and shoulders above all of the boxing tales that try replicating its singular charm...including, ironically, its own sequels. Remarkable not for its originality but for making a Capra-esque human drama that inspires rather patronizes, Rocky isn't the first underdog sports story but it does define the genre from here on-in. Indeed, if it had premiered 30 years earlier, this film very well might have been titled It's a Wonderful Life, You Bum. In this PG-rated sports drama, a small-time Philadelphia boxer (Stallone) gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect. Sylvester Stallone's script and performance, ahem, punch up pure character out of a caricature and provide a heart-warming tale that impossibly sports a blue collar Can-Do human spirit that seems unbeatable, even in a very cynical age. Arriving in a decade populated with hard-edged terminally pessimistic dramas such as The French Connection, Serpico, Network, All the President's Men, Taxi Driver, and Apocalypse Now!, Rocky's optimism in presenting the simple unshakable drive of an everyman's champion makes it an underdog of a different sort. The fact that it won the Oscar for Best Picture and became a blockbuster stands testament to the fact that filmgoers responded to it even if the material stands a slight step below quality-wise. Still, director John G. Avildsen's guiding hand gives film history one of the most indelible scenes of all time when our challenger reminds us what's more important than winning by screaming out to find his true love amid the maddening crowd: "Adrian!!!" Bottom line: Right Hook of God
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2016
    Bizarrely overrated, but with some great performances and a rousing final fight.
    Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2012
    Stallone is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter. Think about that for a second.
    Jonathan H Super Reviewer

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