First Blood - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

First Blood Reviews

Page 1 of 278
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2017
To many, Sylvester Stallone is an easy target: he looks like a boxer well past his prime. In actuality, he's an incredibly talented filmmaker, and in this case, an actor. First Blood is essentially a commentary on the state of American war veterans after they were withdrawn from Vietnam. They were largely neglected upon their return, and were often called "baby killers" for what the American citizens presumed was a part of their duties. It follows John J. Rambo, a Vietnam war veteran searching for one of his old comrades. Upon learning his fate, Rambo walks through a small town in Washington state, and crosses paths with a vicious and hateful sheriff. One thing leads to another, and Rambo is being chased by local police, state police, and The National Guard. Leading this pack is his old colonel, Sam Trautman: the only man with a chance of saving the armed forces from Rambo. The tension that builds between Rambo and the police department in the first act sets the stage for a nail biting action film. Stallone performed almost all of the stunts, including one in which he jumps off a cliff and is halted by a series of branches. It was during this sequence that Stallone actually broke his ribs. The finale contains one of my favorite movie monologues ever, and it's delivered with such strong emotion and heart; this is direct evidence that Stallone can not only look the part, but he can play the part as well. First Blood is one of the best action movies ever made, and it's elevated by Stallone's versatile and all-in performance. When Rambo meets the sheriff again face-to-face, he tells him "in town you're the law, but out here it's me." The same can be said about his abilities as an actor, and he has every right to say it off camera as he does on camera.
November 17, 2017
This film is such a classic action film and I love it every minute of it. I love 70 and 80 action film that this one is awesome this guy name John Rambo in the film just want something to eat but sooner later things go very bad and he has to fight the police to make a point but overall damn good film what a classic.
November 1, 2017
This is by far the best action movie ever with the best actor ever the man Sylvester Stallone! I love this movie! An action classic!
October 20, 2017
My partner is on a mission to convince me that 80's action movies have far superior storytelling than modern ones, and dammit, he's totally right. This PTSD character study is spectacular. I think it's best if I just leave Rambo here and skip the sequels that will probably destroy his theory.
October 3, 2017
re review: the reason why rambo is one of my favorite action heroes is because he can beat the tar out of a bunch of corrupt policemen and still avoid killing. i respect the director for making an action movie in the 80's (where a high body count was a cliche) by going against the norm and tries to do his own thing instead of other movies from this time period where to hero is a cold blooded killer. if he isn't the greatest action hero of the 80's he certainly is the most honorable even if the sequels decided to make him a killer much to my dismay, until the far far FAR inferior sequels were released.
October 1, 2017
Five stars hands down and I was also pleasantly surprised that the 2008 Rambo was terrific!
½ September 19, 2017
If I had too list my top 5 favorite movies, First Blood would have to rank #3. Stallone in this movie, thats mostly a drama, is great even though he doesn't speak much. Just the look on his face tells the story of a beaten and battered veteran. Just awesome and amazing is all I can say.
½ August 21, 2017
I have seen portions of this film before but never together so I decided to give it a go.
It is 1982 and Vietnam war hero John Rambo seems to be minding his own business in the north U.S.A. (filmed in Canada) when he is systematically targeted by some local redneck Sheriffs led by Brian Denehy as Teasle, arrested on a trumped up charge and threatened with 90 days jailtime.
What these police don't realise is that they are messing with the wrong guy. Rambo is a decorated Green Beret awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour.
What follows over the next hour or so is a war against one man psychologically damaged perhaps by his Vietnam War experiences.
Only a smug senior army commander played brilliantly by Richard Crenna can get at the psyche of Rambo and stop the inevitable destruction and death.
Director Ted Kotcheff delivers Stallone's second most famous character after Rocky Balboa to the screen in an action thriller that would go on to multiple sequels.
Stallone is at his muscle bound best before his mangling in the late nineties made him an Expendable laughing stock.
Anything that Bruce Willis and Schwarzenegger would do in the eighties Stallone manages here with some great action sequences of combat and survival skills.
One thing that did catch my attention was quite trivial (which goes a long way to explain my film watching).
How do American police cars in this type of film manage to drive through the forest terrain?
Back to the film. Stallone delivers a testosterone filled thriller.
August 18, 2017
This film is awesome. Not just because of the incredible action, not just because of the thrills and Drama, but because of the immense emotional impact that the film, and especially Stallone, evokes. This could be his best film. it's a shame about the sequels, which were just average.
August 17, 2017
A fun and exciting movie throughout, FIRST BLOOD owns a well written story
and an interesting character played beautifully by Sylvester Stallone, all leading up to its powerful and emotional finale. a win. Highly recommended by me.
July 31, 2017
Seven years after his discharge, Vietnam War veteran and Special Forces soldier John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) travels by foot to visit one of his old comrades, only to learn upon his arrival that his friend had died from cancer due to Agent Orange exposure during the war. Distraught, Rambo continues to travel, wandering into the small town of Hope, Washington. He is intercepted by the town's Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), who considers him an unwanted nuisance. When Rambo asks for directions to a diner, Teasle drives him out of town and tells him not to return. Rambo returns anyway, so Teasle arrests him on charges of vagrancy, resisting arrest, and possessing a concealed knife. Led by chief deputy Art Galt, Teasle's officers abuse Rambo, triggering flashbacks of the torture he endured as a POW in Vietnam. When they try to dry-shave him with a straight razor, Rambo overwhelms the police, fights his way outside, and flees into the woods. A furious Teasle organizes a search party-complete with automatic weapons, dogs, and a helicopter-to recapture him. During the search, it is learned that Rambo is a former Green Beret who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service. Galt spots Rambo and resorts to lethal force in defiance of orders, attempting to shoot Rambo from the helicopter. Trapped on a high cliff over a creek, Rambo leaps into a tree to break his fall, injuring himself in the process. Galt leans out of the helicopter, trying to shoot Rambo, who is hiding behind a tree. Rambo throws a rock which fractures the helicopter's windshield; the pilot's sudden reaction causes Galt to lose his balance and fall out of the helicopter to his death. Rambo attempts to persuade Teasle and his men that it was an accident and that he wants no more trouble, but the police open fire and pursue him into a wooded area. Rambo disables the deputies non-lethally one by one using his combat skills, until only Teasle is left. Holding a knife to his throat, Rambo threatens to fight back much harder if Teasle doesn't "let it go," giving him a war that he won't believe. Teasle chooses to press the issue, and the state police and national guard are called in to assist in the manhunt. At the same time, Rambo's mentor and former commanding officer, Colonel Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna) arrives. Warning of his former soldier's abilities, Trautman advises that Rambo be given a gap to slip through so he can be recaptured more safely later. Confident that Rambo is hopelessly outnumbered, Teasle refuses...

"First Blood" is a 1982 American action adventure film directed by Ted Kotcheff. It was co-written by and starred Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo. It is based on David Morrell's 1972 novel of the same name and is the first installment of the Rambo series. The film was released in the United States on October 22, 1982. Despite initial mixed reviews, the film was a box office success, grossing $47.2 million at the box office. Since its release, First Blood has received reappraisal from critics, with many praising the roles of Stallone, Dennehy, and Crenna, and recognizing it as an influential film in the action genre. It has also become a cult film. The film's success spawned a franchise, consisting of three sequels (all of which were co-written by and starred Stallone), an animated series, comic books, novels, and a Bollywood remake. A fifth film, tentatively titled Rambo: Last Stand, was cancelled in January 2016 when Stallone stated that he was retiring the character. First Blood originally received generally mixed reviews, with several critics noting that the plot lacks any sense of credibility. Variety called the film "a mess" and criticized its ending for not providing a proper resolution for the main character. More recently, Leonard Maltin gave the film one-and a half stars out of four, saying that it "throws all creditability to the winds about the time [Rambo] gets off with only a bad cut after jumping from a mountain into some jagged rocks." The film's three lead actors received much praise for their performances. In his review, Roger Ebert wrote that he did not like the film's ending, but that it was "a very good movie, well-paced, and well-acted not only by Stallone... but also by Crenna and Brian Dennehy". He commented, "although almost all of First Blood is implausible, because it's Stallone on the screen, we'll buy it", and rated the film three out of four stars. In 2000, BBC film critic Almar Haflidason noted that Stallone's training in survival skills and hand-to-hand combat gave the film "a raw and authentic edge that excited the audiences of the time". James Berardinelli of ReelViews called the film "a tense and effective piece of filmmaking". He noted that the film's darker tone, somber subtext, and non-exploitative violence allowed the viewer to enjoy the film not only as an action/thriller but as something with a degree of intelligence and substance. On Stallone's performance, he wrote "it seems impossible to imagine anyone other than Stallone in the part, and his capabilities as an actor should not be dismissed".

This is the first time we get to see the character John Rambo on the screen and I remember vividly how I thought this was a good and different action movie back in the early 80s as a teenager. The character is more believable here compared to how Stallone developed the character later on. Here he is a Vietnam vet haunted by his memories of what he experienced in the Vietnam war and the emotional layers are strong and thought worthy. Yes, the character does carry some "overpowers" here as well, but not so it feels too over the top as it does in the sequel "Rambo - First Blood II". Sylvester Stallone plays the character in a convincing way and doesnīt become just some super action figure in this first part. The violence in the film is graphic but not overbearing or comic book like. I reckon "realistic" in many ways. Itīs easy to sympathise with John Rambo as he is merely a man who is trying to get by haunted by what he became as a Green Beret and the horrifying experiences he had to endure in the Vietnam war. He doesnīt want any trouble, he just wants to be left alone. But, society keeps pushing him and when push comes to shove John Rambo gives Teasle a war that he won't believe. Rambo doesnīt kill anyone with purpose and the killing of Galt is accidental. The drama and the ensemble with Stallone, Crenna and Dennehy works very well and Ted Koetscheffīs direction is dynamic in some ways and uses the beautiful environments and sceneries in a proper manner. "First Blood" is yes maybe not the best action movie ever made, but yet itīs an ok action film from the 80s with some interesting emotional layers.

Trivia: The first rough cut was over three hours, possibly three and a half hours long and according to Sylvester Stallone, it was so bad that it made him and his agent sick. Stallone wanted to buy the movie and destroy it thinking that it was a career killer. After heavy re-editing, the film was cut down to 93 minutes; this version was ultimately released in theatres.

"First Blood" was Sylvester Stallone's first non-Rocky movie which didn't bomb. In fact, it arguably saved his career.
½ July 25, 2017
While there's not much blood or violence as the next 3 movies, First Blood is still a great action film (despite not having much action). Great acting by Stallone in this as one of his many popular characters besides Rocky.
July 17, 2017
A fairly good action movie. The actors do a good job of making you feel for Rambo. Stallone is a little hard to understand. The ending is anticlimactic. Overall it's an average movie.
July 2, 2017
Story about a Vietnam veteran who is pushed to the edge by a small town sheriff and when he loses it he reeks total havoc on the town. Really good movie. Even the end when Stallone cries I enjoy it. The camerawork is exceptional but the lighting of the movie is not good. I wish someone would lighten it up.
June 7, 2017
First Blood tries to take on a compelling and emotional subject but fails to do so by loading the film with too many noisy action sequences instead of a psychological character study.
June 2, 2017
the story of a Vietnam vet pushed to far and be careful when judging people because looks can be deceiving
½ May 25, 2017
The ultimate action movie. John Rambo is a larger-than-life character that you will remember. I just wish the film had a stronger ending. (First and only viewing - 5/13/2017)
½ May 13, 2017
Not what I thought it would be, I thought Rambo was blood, guts and explosions and while the second half of the movie contained all of the above; there was a deeper message here. A film about a war veteran with severe PTSD really puts a person in his shoes and provides and excellent perspective. The message at the end was great. Looking forward to part 2.
½ March 22, 2017
Amazing, great early performance by Stallone, great acting, action and settings.
January 11, 2017
I'm surprised there are so few views on the original film of the franchise. Not as dark as the book. But still not the hyper-patronage of other films that followed it in the '80s. No clear bad-guys, everyone makes mistakes and has their own viewpoint. Far more realistic situations than the next two sequels. And only one bodycount!!!
Page 1 of 278