Rocky Balboa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Rocky Balboa Reviews

Top Critic
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
I know, I know, you're thinking, oh please, not Rocky again. I was thinking that too.
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out New York
February 3, 2007
The ol' lug can't be blamed for wanting one last victory lap, but if you've got nothing to offer except benign nostalgia, just let the gloves stay on the glory-days shelf.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
January 16, 2007
Even goodwill can't make this look like anything more than a glorified TV special. Surely it's time for the audience to throw in the towel?
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 28, 2006
When asked why he would step back into the ring, even though he's out of shape and in his late 50s, the Italian Stallion mumbles something about "the stuff... inside," which sums up the thin justification for Rocky Balboa.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
December 22, 2006
What gives Rocky Balboa its unexpected pathos is the titanic humility of Stallone's performance, the earnestness with which he plays a man knocked down (but not out) by the ravages of time.
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 20, 2006
As usual with Stallone's Rocky sequels, the schmaltz is unbearable, but the fight is plausibly handled, and Stallone's sincere sadness at growing older makes this an unexpectedly satisfying conclusion to the series.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 20, 2006
We're only one round into the film and Stallone is already slipping in the old flashbacks.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 20, 2006
Touchingly nostalgic, the sixth chapter in the saga of Sylvester Stallone's eternal underdog packs a far more powerful punch than anyone would have expected.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 20, 2006
A sequel that is at once preposterous, unnecessary and weirdly entertaining.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 20, 2006
Rocky Balboa scores a split decision: A familiar start, some flat-footed middle rounds and a solid, flailing finish.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 20, 2006
The first four-fifths of the film is a meandering lead-up to the inevitable getting-in-shape montage, run up the steps and a big fight. Up until that point, all Rocky does is talk. And talk. And talk.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 20, 2006
Nothing that happens here is particularly touching, exciting or funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 20, 2006
Stallone has said this is it for Rocky -- even if the film is major box office hit, there will be no seventh outing. If that's the case, it's hard to think of a better sendoff.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 20, 2006
It's just good to see the guy, and it's good to revisit the character. And that's everything good to be said for the experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 20, 2006
Ultimately, is Rocky Balboa necessary? Of course not. But neither are plenty of other movies that find their way to theaters, and this one at least provides some undemanding entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
December 20, 2006
Shamelessly nostalgic, strenuously formulaic and utterly bereft of unforeseen developments, Rocky Balboa nevertheless has its modest charms.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 20, 2006
I gotta admit that I had a pretty good time watching this 94th film in a series that started 30 years ago.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 20, 2006
There were titters, yes. But to this viewer, sentimentality won by a knockout.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
December 20, 2006
It's actually the best Rocky movie since the original -- a fitting and triumphant final chapter for one of the most iconic characters in the history of motion pictures.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 20, 2006
Rocky Balboa isn't a response to Stallone's late-life crisis, it is his late-life crisis, right up there on the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
December 19, 2006
What sounds absurd in print -- a 60-year-old Balboa gets back in the ring with the reigning heavyweight champ -- is thoroughly, satisfyingly enjoyable on-screen.
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 19, 2006
Rocky Balboa is far from essential, and there are moments in it bad enough to make you wince. But I dare you not to feel at least a tiny little rush when that opening bell rings, and Rocky starts swinging one final time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 19, 2006
Even as Sylvester Stallone's long goodbye to the heroic underdog who made him famous descends from pathos into silliness, and from fairy tale into hallucination, you can't help liking the big galoot.
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
December 19, 2006
What makes this vanity project so pleasurable is that Stallone has written a script filled with wit, and even self-deprecation. In the end, there's no quit in Rocky Balboa. More alarmingly, there appears to be none in Sylvester Stallone.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 19, 2006
Rocky still has some life left in him, and so does the franchise. As Rocky himself might have said, who wouldda thunk?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 19, 2006
Rocky Balboa puts the anything-is-possible fairy tale to rest with a lot of heart, and a lot of hooey.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 19, 2006
OK, so it's not a great movie. But like its hero, it has a great heart.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 19, 2006
Rocky Balboa is almost as hard to resist as it is to believe.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
December 19, 2006
The Italian Stallion gallantly fights one last time in Rocky Balboa, an endearing final chapter that has more in common with the 1976 original than any of the sequels.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Bob Townsend
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 19, 2006
The big surprise is that it also has just enough referential wit and nostalgic charm to keep the smiles coming through the schmaltz.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
December 19, 2006
The new old Rocky doesn't need a last-minute, come-from behind, rock 'em, sock 'em victory to give us a good time. You know what? I smell a sequel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 19, 2006
Rocky Balboa, the sixth (and hopefully last) installment in the underdog saga of the Italian Stallion, straddles the line between nostalgia and self-parody and frequently teeters toward the latter.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 19, 2006
Above all this is a film for gluttons for punishment, for those who never ever can get enough of Sylvester Stallone. Everyone else, please leave the building.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 19, 2006
Mock Stallone all you want. I want to also, but I can't. He understands that the character is much bigger than himself, an American emblem that will long outlive him.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
December 19, 2006
Stallone, sporting the triple-decker title of writer, director and star at age 60, ratchets down the volume and retains some of the legend's scruffy origins while making sure that it all comes together at the end with a Big Noisy Fight.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
December 19, 2006
Surprisingly, Rocky Balboa is no embarrassment. Like its forerunners it goes the distance almost in spite of itself.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rob Nelson
Village Voice
December 19, 2006
Rocky Balboa, effortlessly reflexive and patently, even proudly, absurd, is a tough movie to dislike -- and believe me, I've tried.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 18, 2006
Does Rocky Balboa deliver? Weirdly enough, it does: I was jumping out of my seat during Rocky's bout.
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
December 18, 2006
Well, whadda ya know? It looks like you can teach an old underdog new tricks.
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
December 18, 2006
Though Stallone directs with little visual inspiration outside the ring sequence, he sticks to the original's up-from-the-streets spirit and rejects the slickness that had crept into the franchise.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 15, 2006
Just when you're ready to puke, the old Bill Conti theme ('Gonna Fly Now') kicks in -- are you feeling it? -- Stallone steps in the ring and every day is Christmas. All together now: Rock-ee! Rock-ee!
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 13, 2006
It turns out that the added years only benefit the character, making him seem touchingly new because he's so old.
Full Review | Original Score: B