Rocky III

1982

Rocky III

Critics Consensus

It's noticeably subject to the law of diminishing returns, but Rocky III still has enough brawny spectacle to stand in the ring with the franchise's better entries.

64%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 36

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 345,357
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Movie Info

Sylvester Stallone returns to the character which made him famous in this wildly successful sequel. Rocky III starts with the Italian Stallion so famous that his likeness is everywhere, including pinball machines. Fame and complacency soon cause Balboa to lose his title to young thug Clubber Lang (Mr. T), who inadvertently causes the death of Rocky's beloved trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), before their first championship bout. After sinking into a depression, Balboa must regain the love and support of his family, as well as the elusive "eye of the tiger," the hungry need to beat the opponent which former foe Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) teaches him during this film's de rigueur training sequence. In the end, Balboa faces off against Lang for a second time. "Eye of the Tiger," the theme song Stallone commissioned from the band Survivor, became a huge hit single.

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Critic Reviews for Rocky III

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (13)

  • In Rocky III, Rocky Balboa achieves a peace and contentment with both his strengths and weaknesses that he hasn't shown before. He's still growing.

    Apr 26, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Rocky III is an engaging exercise in discreet, incisive and good-humored hokum.

    Apr 24, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The real question with Rocky III was how Sylvester Stallone could twist the plot to make an interesting difference. He manages.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Learning, especially from Scorsese, in his approach to action and performance, writer/director/star Stallone has somehow contrived to make each of his movies into a more magnificent spectacle than the last.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Mr. Stallone, the star of Rocky III as well as its writer and director, is hard put to find problems with which to freight his gold mine of a character, now that Rocky has everything.

    Aug 30, 2004
  • Another return to the ring for Rocky Balboa sees Stallone ditch drama for all-out adrenalin-fuelled entertainment.

    Apr 17, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rocky III

  • Mar 02, 2016
    Rockier than the first two chapters but still packing a lot of fist-pumping punch, part III takes the franchise into more commercial waters yet remarkably still makes the audience root for the character. Mirroring the tides of success in his personal life, Stallone's second Rocky sequel finds the character getting caught up in the fame and riches that come along with a championship belt only for a bout with humbleness to knock him back to his senses. With this over-the-top and flashy chapter, the franchise - and character - earn all of the lampoons sure to follow, but the pure boxing spectacle and continuing underdog drama are truly something to behold. In this PG-rated sports drama, world champion Rocky Balboa falls into a hole and finds himself picked up by a former enemy. Stallone and Shire fly on auto-pilot, sure-footed as the lovebirds getting, wait for it, one more shot. Carl Weathers, meanwhile, aptly advances Apollo Creed from showy opponent to driving force when he becomes Rocky's trainer. Given this arc, his character becomes as interesting a player in the franchise as the Italian Stallion himself. While Hulk Hogan hams it up as wrestler Thunderlips in an exhibition match, Mr. T likewise goes big but manages to make the menace tangible, ending up to be Rocky's most memorable opponent second to Apollo. Bottom line: Glass-Jawed Angels
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2016
    Of all film franchises this one's appeal deeply mystifies me. Is it simply just a case of mass hysteria, bought on by people WAY too easily roused by montages of men working out and then hitting each other in the head??? I'll admit it's unintentionally hilarious at times though. Why does he fight Hulk Hogan again??? Seriously......WHY? And no way is "Exhibition Fight for charity" an even remotely acceptable answer. And I swear there is some homo-erotic stuff happening here, whether consciously intentional or not.
    Super Reviewer
  • Feb 10, 2013
    An unnecessary but entertaining chapter to the Rocky saga. Stallone laces up the gloves again. A very cliche and somewhat-misdirected plot, dialogue and moral knocks it down, but the energetic action and boxing drama and glory brings it back up and continues to swing to the final bell. 3.5/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 24, 2012
    Mr. T vs Rocky. It's a rip off of the first two Rocky movies, offering little to nothing to add to the character or the franchise. The Mr. T fights are great, but, the rest of the film feels like filler.
    Bryan D Super Reviewer

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