Rocky Balboa

Critics Consensus

Implausible but entertaining and poignant, Rocky Balboa finds the champ in fighting form for the first time in years.

77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 183

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 515,395

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Movie Info

Now long-retired, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) runs a Philadelphia eatery and mourns the loss of his beloved wife, Adrian. Yearning to recapture a bit of his glory days, he plans to re-enter the ring for a few low-profile, local matches. All that changes when Rocky accepts a challenge to fight the world's reigning heavyweight champion, Mason "the Line" Dixon (Antonio Tarver).

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Critic Reviews for Rocky Balboa

All Critics (183) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (141) | Rotten (42)

  • I know, I know, you're thinking, oh please, not Rocky again. I was thinking that too.

    October 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Bob Mondello

    NPR.org
    Top Critic
  • Stallone wanted this movie to restore dignity to his greatest character. He succeeds, better then anyone might have expected.

    February 23, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    February 3, 2007 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The film meanders along this path for a long, slow while, a primitive soap opera dressed up as street poetry.

    January 27, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Paul Arendt

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • The unfortunate effect is that of an invisible angel of death hooking Rocky's mouth with a fishing line and implacably reeling him in.

    January 20, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • 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?

    January 16, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rocky Balboa

  • Oct 16, 2016
    It wins largely due to nostalgia, but Rocky Balboa delivers almost the same amount of heart that the first film is known for, along with another amiable performance from Stallone.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 14, 2016
    Restoring the character's Can-Do underdog qualities, this Rocky-solid redemption tale truly deserves a look from anyone who dropped out of the franchise after the low blow known as Rocky V. Audiences have every reason to want to boo this latter-day follow-up without even watching the fight--let alone sitting ringside. After all, the fourth Rocky sequel denigrated the series and our hero retired 20 years ago. If viewers watch blow for blow, however, they're truly in for one of the better Rocky films. Even though the film revisits a lot of the franchise's past and the main event proves far-fetched, this heart-warming sequel nonetheless ratchets up the entertainment value for an entire 12 rounds. In this PG-rated sports drama, widower Rocky Balboa (Stallone) comes out of retirement and dons his gloves for his final fight, which pits him against the reigning heavyweight champ Mason 'The Line' Dixon (Antonio Tarver). Somebody Up There Likes Me is a film about and expression attributed to boxing champ Rocky Marciano, but it likewise applies to another successful pugilist called Rocky, namely Balboa. With Adrian - long Rocky's anchor - out of the picture, the iconic character gets a refreshing new story arc while keeping her spirit very much alive and Stallone brings great poignancy to the part. Here, as a restaurateur happily telling old fight stories at - you guessed it -Adrian's, his next chapter feels wholly appropriate and plausible yet entirely respectful of the Balboa legacy. It's also great to see Young, so long relegated to third tier player, finally get elevated to second billing. If only his scenes with Stallone - mostly them trekking through Philadelphia revisiting long gone haunts - didn't descend into melodrama. Rocky's embattled relationship with his son teeters on the same melodramatic precipice, but it nonetheless rings true. As for the fight, in which computer analytics break down the actualities in a staged exhibition between far-over-the-hill Rocky and the current champion, it borders on hogwash. But, truth be told, it's damn entertaining hogwash. Bottom Line: Million Dollar Maybe
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2016
    Let this bizarre vainity project die already, like it did a very long time ago.
    Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2013
    Stallone goes the distance in the final installment of this underdog saga. Rocky Balboa is simple, plain, boxing entertainment and drama with modern-day fight experiences that fully surpasses its past films (except 1 & 2). The film is a graceful presentation of past, present and future in the realms of boxing and life and does enough to save the franchise until the final bell. 4.5/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer

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