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Rocky IV inflates the action to absurd heights, but it ultimately rings hollow thanks to a story that hits the same basic beats as the first three entries in the franchise. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After reclaiming the boxing championship title, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) plans to retire and live with his wife, Adrian (Talia Shire). However, during an exhibition match, Rocky's friend Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) is mercilessly beaten to death by hulking Russian newcomer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). Rocky vows payback against Drago and flies to Russia to train for a Christmas Day fight. Despite their different training methods, Rocky and Drago both wage a long and intense match.

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Critic Reviews for Rocky IV

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (29)

  • Say what you like about the original Rocky, at least it was about something -- a sweet pug up against the system, and in love with a dowd. Rocky IV appears to be an epic about Sylvester Stallone's penchant for self-abuse.

    December 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 'Rocky IV' still stands, not as a highlight of the series (certainly not that) but as a quintessential artifact of mid-'80s studio filmmaking: soulless, flag-waving, soundtrack-blasting Product.

    April 30, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Padded with clips from earlier Rocky pictures, adding nothing to his mythic, let alone human dimensions, it lacks even the primitive suspense and crude capacity to release underdog emotions that permitted its predecessors to conquer one's better judgment.

    May 13, 2015 | Full Review…
  • [Stallone] creates credible villains worthy of his heroic character.

    May 13, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • This is grim and witless storytelling, and what makes it so depressing is that it hasn't improved by so much as a chemical trace since the days of the first Rocky.

    May 13, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The new film's narrative is stripped down to essentials, which gives it an emblematic quality.

    May 13, 2015 | Full Review…

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