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Rambo III (1988)

tomatometer

60

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

46

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 76,412

My Rating

Movie Info

The third entry in the ultra-macho Rambo action movie series finds muscle-bound warrior John Rambo (co-writer and star Sylvester Stallone) refusing a request from his former Vietnam superior, Green Beret Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna). Trautman is to lead a mission to aid the mujahedeen rebels fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but the Buddhist Rambo turns his friend down. When the mission goes awry and Trautman is subsequently captured and tortured within a prison fortress, Rambo

Nov 23, 2004

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (18) | DVD (24)

Always at ground zero in the chaos is Rambo -- gloriously, inhumanly impervious to fear and danger -- whose character is inhabited by Stallone with messianic intensity.

January 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Saturday Morning Picture Club stuff, only dearer.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Stallone has by now made Rambo parody-proof, since the character is every bit as laughable as he is grandiose; that's part of the fun.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rambo may, in fact, have outlived his usefulness. His moment may have passed.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stallone scripts the wall-to-wall explosions too haphazardly and unimaginatively.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Engages the plight of the Mujahideen with a humanizing, doc-like approach (fascinating to witness, all these years later, when the ally/enemy tables have turned so drastically).

June 14, 2008 Full Review Source: UGO

Lacking the overall mojo of the first two

February 3, 2008

...an entertaining, sporadically electrifying piece of work that makes up in thrills what it lacks in relevance.

January 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Strays slightly from the formula and therefore loses some of its mindless fun credentials.

January 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A mindless and uninspired effort.

January 14, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's a very bad film, but now has an interesting element when viewed in retrospect -- Rambo goes to Afghanistan to fight with the Mujaheddin against the Soviets.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Real-life events have rendered this third Rambo adventure the most dated of the series. Still, though, it remains an exciting piece of hardcore action.

February 16, 2006
FulvueDrive-in.com

At least it helped inspire "Hot Shots Part Deux"

January 1, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

It's just the same crap.

March 25, 2003
Cinenganos

Not any worse than the second, but I still say this series should have ended with the first.

February 12, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Forget it, still another example of an unnecessary sequel.

December 25, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

More of the same...but boy it's cool!

September 17, 2002
Moviehole

The film seems to drop the sinister shroud of the other Rambos--it's lighter, campier; it leaves you pumped-up but unhostile.

May 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Mindless action.

May 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

There are better desert war films that have more style and story, but for brawn and bang, Rambo manages to pump it up.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Rambo III

At first it was all about survival and misunderstanding, then it became about trying to help his own. Now, with this one, things get personal again...and all rather nutty and silly.

Much like part 2, this one, while having a story, and a bit to do with character, is more about the over the top action than anything. That's all well and good on its own terms, but, with few exceptions, I feel that intense action is usually more effective if you actually care about the characters (truly), and they're really developed.

Rmabo goes on a mission to rescue his mentor after he's MIA following a disastrous mission to aid Afghani rebels against invading Soviets. Yeah, this one was sorta timely, but just dealt with a potentially wonderful situation in the wrong way. Plus, it cracks me up how this movie tells the story of an event that would inadvertently come back to bite the U.S. in the ass about 13 years later.

If all you want is primarily a big focus on ridiculously over the top action and violence, then go for it. I'd prefer a bit more substance, though will admit that I wasn't bored with this, just not as involved as I should have been.
November 28, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

It may not be a great film, but it definitely knows exactly what was wrong with the first sequel. The second film was all about the action and getting John Rambo back on the screen. This film may seem like the exact same thing, but there is a much stronger story here and a reason for him to want to go back. I really had fun watching this film, but what was in my mind throughout my entire viewing experience, is that the script will not live up to the original, nor will any other aspect. Stallone still kicks ass in many ways, but it's not enough to create a memorable movie. "Rambo 3" is good at best!
July 1, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Rambo III is a change of pace for the character of John Rambo. Instead of taking the fight in an urban environment or the jungles of Vietnam, Rambo brings his fight to the deserts of Afghanistan. As his former C.O Col Trautman gets captured by Russian forces fighting clans in Afghnistan. Rambo stops at nothing to save his former C.O. Of all the Rambo films, Rambo III is one of my personal favorites along with the first. Rambo III is a favorite because as I've said, Rambo has a different battlefield to wage war on. The change of atmosphere makes the difference and is really a breath of fresh air. As with the first two, Rambo III is a well paced action film that delivers on the action. The way you enjoy a Rambo film is by seeing it as a popcorn flick. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for action buffs looking for the ultimate adrenaline rush, you don't need to look any further than this film. With the Rambo films, I view them as flawless action films because everyone of them brings the necessary ingredients to create a tense, bold and thrilling action film that will entertain you and make you want more. Rambo III was at the time of its release the most violent of three and the most violent film released as well. However it was surpasssed by Rambo IV. Fans will most likely welcome Rambo's cgane of scenery. Rambo III posesses all the usually elements you'd expect from a Rambo film. An enjoyable action film, Rambo III is a perfect example of a well done action film thats desined to deliver ultimate thrills. This is a fun film with plenty of action. Though the acting is not great by any means, what makes Rambo films watchable is the adrenaline, pulse pounding thrills as displayed so well in this awesome franchise.
May 10, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

I really don't understand the hatred and/or backlash for this at all. This is a sequel that wasn't just a carbon copy of the other two, it really had its own formula that for the most part works really well. Taking the story and characters to Afghanistan really changed the scope of the series. Instead of being a claustrophobic bloodbath, this was more of an adventure film. Some of the side characters were unnecessary, sure, but it was never a determining factor in my love for the movie. It still has John Rambo doing what he does best.
August 10, 2010
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

    1. Masoud: Somewhere in war, there is supposed to be honor.
    – Submitted by Dann M (12 months ago)
    1. Hamid: What's that?
    2. John Rambo: It's blue light.
    3. Hamid: What does it do?
    4. John Rambo: It turns blue.
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Colonel Zaysen: Drop your weapons! Now! You have no chance of escape! Come forward! I wish to take you back alive! This is your last warning! The choice is yours!
    2. Col. Trautman: What do you say John?
    3. John Rambo: Fuck 'em!
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Moussa: You do not look like men Griggs sent before. You not look like you are with military.
    2. John Rambo: I'm not.
    3. Moussa: What you are? Mercenary?
    4. John Rambo: No.
    5. Moussa: You're not with military, not mercenary - what you are? Lost tourist?
    6. John Rambo: I'm no tourist.
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Colonel Zaysen: Who are you?
    2. John Rambo: Your worst nightmare.
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Col. Trautman: What do we do?
    2. John Rambo: Well, surrounding them's out of the question...
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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