Rocky IV

Critics Consensus

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.

40%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 48

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 352,595

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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 (11) | 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…
  • 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…
  • Sylvester Stallone is really sloughing it off shamelessly in Rocky IV, but it's still impossible not to root for old Rocky Balboa to get up off the canvas and whup that bully one more time.

    March 11, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Rocky IV

  • Mar 02, 2016
    Taking the franchise down Rocky roads that it would not return from for 20 years, the dated antics of chapter III set the series in a carnival atmosphere that's thankfully not entirely without its blunt-force charm. Indeed, of all of the Rocky films, Rocky IV ages the worst. If the last chapter proved over-the-top and flashy, then this flag-waving exhibition epitomizes the words overblown and gaudy. Taking the Cold War to the canvas, Stallone's third Rocky sequel trades blows with ridiculousness, but nonetheless draws you into the action by repeating a successful formula and not forsaking its underdog roots. In this PG-rated sports drama, Rocky (Stallone) comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge after a highly intimidating 6-foot-5, 261-pound Soviet athlete (Dolph Lundgren) kills Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in an exhibition match. By now, Stallone and Shire plow through the formulaic goings-on on cruise control, but their earnest chemistry still remains. Burt Young, long an unlikable but indelible supporting character, hits cartoonish heights here, as does Lundgren as the Italian Stallion's formidable and memorable foe, Ivan "I must break you" Drago. Still, the training and fight scenes make for as many gripping as parody-worthy moments. Bottom line: Duh, Comrade
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2016
    If it wasn't for the robots (WTF????), and the painfully overwritten lines of an absurdly dogmatic persuasion, then this would otherwise be nothing more than an interminable series of mildly rousing montages. There are some unintentionally funny bits though, and Dolph's "Ivan" showcases the best and worst of all Rocky's opponents.
    Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2013
    Rocky IV, no doubt, has its motivational and somewhat inspirational moments during its climatic scenes, but it is knocked down by its inconsistent direction and cheesy cliched montages. This fourth installment does induce some patriotism (Cold War era) but doesn't fully satisfy or have the "eye of the tiger" 3.5/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 24, 2012
    East Vs. West. For a film capturing the angst of the cold war, Russia Vs. The United States, the film has some interesting parallels. The fight scenes are very cliche, and offer nothing new. Some of the training sequences are just...silly. There are moments of heart in this movie, but in the end, it just feels like yet another rip off of the original film. Only no where NEAR as good.
    Bryan D Super Reviewer

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