Over the Top

Critics Consensus

The definitive film about arm-wrestling truck drivers fighting for custody of their children, Over the Top lives down to its title in the cheesiest of ways.



Total Count: 26


Audience Score

User Ratings: 45,714
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Movie Info

A caring truck driver, wants only to gain custody of his beloved son after his ex-wife becomes deathly ill. Unfortunately his wife's powerful and wealthy father refuses to let that happen. Also, the son is angry and disrespectful because he so seldom sees his dad. In order to prove himself to his boy, the trucker enters an arm-wrestling contest.


Sylvester Stallone
as Lincoln Hawk
David Mendenhall
as Michael Cutler / Michael Hawk
Robert Loggia
as Jason Cutler
Susan Blakely
as Christina Cutler-Hawk
Rick Zumwalt
as Bob 'Bull' Hurley
Chris McCarty
as Tim Salanger
Bob Beattie
as Announcer
Allan Graf
as Collins
Robert Eazor
as Head Referee
Bruce Way
as Grizzly
Jimmy E. Keegan
as `Big Boy'/Richie
John Braden
as Col. Davis
Randy Raney
as Mad Dog Madison
Paul Sullivan
as Carl Adams
Jack Wright
as Big Bill Larson
Michael Fox
as Jim Olson
Seth Mitchell
as First Policeman
Dale Benson
as Salesman
Joe Kiel
as Taxi Driver
Dean Abston
as Turnkey
Flo Gerrish
as Martha, the Waitress
David Van Gorder
as Second Boy
Reggie Bennett
as Female Arm Wrestler
Joshua Patton
as Arm Wrestler
Danny Capri
as Third Boy
Gregory Braendel
as Limo Driver
Rose Dursey
as Hospital Clerk
Marion Mickens II
as Officer of the Day
Dave Patton
as Trainer
Alexa Lambert
as Cocktail Waitress
Bob Eazor
as Referee
Ed Levitt
as Referee
Bob Rogers
as Referee
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Critic Reviews for Over the Top

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (19)

  • It's a technique that gives new meaning to the term ''feeling had.''

    Mar 27, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The only diversion is keeping track of the shameless advertising plugs that dot the film, like toadstools after a rain.

    Mar 27, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The way to a kid's heart is through his daddy's biceps, though this big daddy looks more like terminal Dada.

    Feb 27, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Routinely made in every respect.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Inevitably there is a bicep-bursting climax in Vegas, and even though he does wear clip-on ties, it is impossible not to root for the New Yorkie Bar man.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • The film seems to advocate reason as a good first approach to any problem, and all-out destruction as the next best thing.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Over the Top

  • Jul 27, 2017
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Nov 21, 2014
    Another 80's film that has a soundtrack that all sound the same and an underdog story and who else to play the main role but Stallone, He does well with the low budget and makes the film more exciting than it sounds, Not a classic by any means but it's under appreciated and worth watching.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2013
    Sylvester Stallone leads the cast in Over the Top, a campy and heartwarming family film. The story follows long haul truck driver Lincoln Hawk as he takes his estranged son Mike on a road trip, but he'll have to fight to keep him when Mike's grandfather attempts to get custody. The plot's not that bad, except for when it tries to be a sports film about arm wrestling (which is just weird). Still, the arm wrestling championship is so incredibly cheesy that it's fun. And Stallone has the charisma to sell just about anything, making it rather easy to go on this ride with him. Additionally, the film has a great soundtrack that features some classic '80s hits such as "Meet Me Half Way," and "Winner Takes It All." Though there's some unevenness, Over the Top has a charm to it that makes it entertaining and fun.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2013
    Over the Top is one of those low budget action flicks of the 80's that relies on recycled ideas from previous films. In this case, this is basically Rocky with Arm Wrestling. Menahem Golan directs this picture, and the result is a somewhat decent action flick that has plenty of flaws, but is worth seeing at least once. The film's title is appropriate for this film, as it is a very silly idea for a film. I had heard plenty of things from this film, but I was slightly disappointed with this film, and the end result is a picture that leaves a lot to be desired. Although entertaining, this is a film that is quite forgettable and is not one that is Sylvester Stallone's best. Luckily for Sly he has made some stellar films before this one, and he would recapture his magic with Rambo III. The film is amusing for what it is, and it plays out like a guilty pleasure. Is the film decent, yes it is, but is not a film that is worth re watching again and again. The film's biggest problem is the formulaic plot and predictable ending. Another factor is the acting, it is quite subpar for Stallone, and he is underwhelming here as well. The actor playing his kid is quite annoying and just ruined the overall enjoyment. Over the Top could have been a great film, and it did have some ideas that worked, but most of the time, the film fell a little flat and it simply just left a lot to be desired in terms of a quality film. I liked it, but it was decent and nothing ever great. The lazy script and lack of original ideas was what made this one not standout among Sly's other films.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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