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Reviews & Ratings for
Rocky More at IMDbPro »

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272 out of 302 people found the following review useful:

"But it's Thanksgiving. Yeah to you, but to me it's Thursday."

Author: JFHunt from Manhattan
17 December 2004

It's hard to explain what this movie means to me. Words could never. I remember when I was a kid, I never liked the first Rocky, was too obsessed with III and IV. It happened when I was 11 and I went to see V in the theater. I never been to a movie like that before. People were screaming and cheering. Shook the whole damn place. They were dancing in the isle's and celebrating. It was then I realized the true power of Stallone's vision. The realization that only the original would ever really matter.

Rocky to me is so many things. I had to beg my girlfriend to see it. She said she doesn't like boxing. I almost dumped her right there. If she wasn't so hot, I probably would have. I was crushed that someone could think that this movie is about boxing. To me it was never that. It's about a guy, much like you or me, who's down on his luck and everyday feels like Sunday. He's pushing 30, single and broke. I'm sad to say that at this moment it almost reminds me of myself. Every minute more another reason.

It's hard to pick my favorite scenes from the movie. I love the chemistry between Rocky and Adrian (Shire). When he's talking to door and she finally comes out and then stops to look in the mirror. It's a thing of beauty. Or when Mickey (Meredith) goes over to Stallones apartment. Rocky gets upset and punches his shitty wall, then goes to hide in the bathroom. The look on Stallone's face when he comes out to find Mickey still there is priceless. I heard it wasn't in the script or directed, just happened. But the one that does it for me is when he comes home in the opening scene after the chapel fight. He turns on his record player and goes for a beer, but it's empty, like everything else in his life. Talks to the turtles and his fish, why because the Rock is lonely. Goes to the mirror and practices a joke for his love. Looks at a picture of himself and realizes he's wasting his life. It's more than beautiful or real.

It's safe to say that I have seen the original more than 100 times. I still feel all the emotion. I love this movie more than any other film. I hope one day, with God's help, to show it to my kids and have them feel the same way. I think if I ever got the chance to meet Stallone, I'd want to thank him. Tell him how he changed my life. But in reality, he probably wouldn't care. Because, "I'm at least half a bum."

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232 out of 287 people found the following review useful:

Changed My Life

Author: Tony Fountain from United States
9 January 2005

"Your gonna eat lightning and your gonna crap thunder"

Rocky is about a poor boxer living his life in Philadalphia. His life changes when an invitation from the heavyweight champ Apollo Creed is given to him.

Romance, Drama, Fight.

Story- With minimum resources and low money, this movie was an underdog itself. Stallone wrote it and fought to play Rocky. When they were low on resources, they changed the story all together and made it even better. The story is flawless and keeps you on the edge of your seat. 9/10

Music- The best thing about the movie itself. The music in this movie is guaranteed to give you goosebumps every time you watch it. Bill Conti gives you an excellent score throughout the movie, including the famous "gonna fly now". 10/10

Acting- 4 nominated performances in this movie. The acting is very good as well, especially Burgess Meredith who offers one of the greatest acts I have ever seen. Stallone plays Rocky Balboa and changes his voice very well to be Rocky. He did a very good job. Talia Shire plays Adrian, a shy pet store owner who has never had a BF before. She did a good job as well. Burt Young plays the drunkard Paulie. Burgess Merideth plays the boxing trainer Mickey. I have never seen a better performance. 9.5/10

Stallone fought for this triumphant movie that made me want to go the distance (sounds corny but its true). It made me strive to work harder and not give up. If you haven't seen this, buy it and watch it. I'll guarantee it will change you too. A classic.

I give it a perfect 10/10

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190 out of 231 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest movies of all time.

Author: Jud ( from New Jersey
26 February 2003

I don't remember exactly when I first saw this film, but for a long time I thought that the second of the series was my favorite. Well, I recently bought the DVD box-set and after I watched the first movie again I knew that it was definitely the best in the series, and also one of the best movies ever made. Rocky is very much more than just a boxing movie. It's a movie about the unbreakable human spirit, determination, and the will to "go the distance." Rocky(Sylvester Stallone) is a second rate club-fighter and a debt collector for a loan shark(Joe Spinnell). He becomes involved with a shy girl working in a petshop named Adrian(Talia Shire), and also becomes friends with her brother Paulie(Burt Young). Rocky's life really isn't anything of interest - until the World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed(Carl Weathers) gives him an unexpected shot at the title. An old boxer-turned-trainer named Mick(Burgess Meredith) offers to be Rocky's manager. Although the whole film is outstanding, what follows are some of the greatest and most memorable movie moments of all time. Rocky striving to go the distance in the training scene, the final fight, and the closing moments of the film are so emotional and inspiring that they perfectly demonstrate the human spirit and can bring out the will to win in anybody. Add to this an excellent music score and you have a classic and unforgettable movie. Without a doubt deserved the Best Picture award in 1976. Exceptional performances by all the cast members, notably Burgess Meredith and Sylvester Stallone. **** out of ****

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180 out of 229 people found the following review useful:

The Raging Bull Named Rocky...

Author: MovieAddict2016 from UK
5 May 2003

"Rocky" is about a man. It is the story of a man who exceeds past all normal expectations and makes the most out of what he is doing. What is he doing? Boxing. Why? As Rocky says in the film, "You have to be a moron to want to box."

Rocky is played by Sylvester Stallone, whose only other film before "Rocky" was "Weekend at Kitty and Stud's," and, as you can probably guess by the title, it was an X-rated movie. But Stallone gives just about the best performance of his career here. Before he started getting into recycled action movies and unfunny comedies, the man had talent, as seen shining through in "Rocky." Somewhere along the way he lost that talent, but it's pretty evident that he had it at one time.

Stallone wrote the script, which is about a down-on-his-luck Philadelphia man named Rocky Balboa. Rocky is your average tough-guy you see walking down the street, but this film takes a closer look INTO the guy walking past you, and not AT the guy walking past you.

He lives in a beat-up, old apartment, infested with roaches, and he barely makes enough money to support himself. His job? Rocky retrieves money for loan sharks. His real job, however, is to break the loaners' thumbs if they don't pay up. He's a muscle man.

After he returns from his "job" every day, he takes time to do what he has been doing for the past six years, which is boxing. Then, after that, he takes a trip to the local pet store to see the love of his life, Adrian, who works there. He constantly tries to impress her and talk to her, but she is shy and literally does not talk much throughout the entire film.

But things change for Rocky after heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) decides that he wants to make a big performance on the 4th of July. He wants to appear nice by letting a regular Joe Schmoe fight him in the ring. All for show, of course. As he is looking through a book of local boxers, he points his finger at the letters THE Italian STALLION, a.k.a. Rocky. He says that fighting an Italian is perfect. "An Italian found America," Creed says. If he fights an Italian-American on the 4th of July, it will be symbolic and will also make Creed look good.

But Rocky doesn't realize this is all for show. When he receives word that Apollo Creed wishes to fight him in the ring, Rocky begins to train long and hard with Burgess Meredith, which results in the famous scene where Rocky runs up an entry of stairs in Philly with the music "Gonna Fly Now" playing in the background. This scene is spoofed by films world-wide, and it's one of the cornerstones in film history. You will see it all the time. It's just one of those film moments that are marked down in history.

The most entertaining thing about "Rocky" is how innocent Sylvester Stallone comes across in his role as Rocky. You feel for him when he is trying to impress Adrian and she shrugs him off. The scene where her brother invites Rocky over, and Rocky keeps saying, "Are you sure she knows I'm coming?" is a sign of how the guy has been put down. And then when she comes over to his apartment, he acts nice and talks to her. He's not trying any moves on her. He just enjoys being with her. Rocky is a bit of an idiot, as he himself admits, but he's a sweet idiot.

And the end, when Rocky fights Apollo Creed, is amazing. A nobody who actually stands a chance against the heavyweight champion of the world. Creed and Rocky are being battered by each other. Creed goes into the opposite corner as Rocky, and one of Creed's managers says, "This guy thinks this thing is for real -- knock him out!" You feel sorry for Rocky there, because he is giving the fight all he's got, when it was just a publicity stunt from the beginning, but he didn't even realize it.

Things like that are what make "Rocky" what it has become over the years. It is a great film, and it has many classic moments that you will see spoofed in films all the time. You should probably see it just for that fact.

But the truth is, if you take away all the underlying intricacies, "Rocky" is just the story of a simple guy who gets a chance to do something amazing, and he gives it all he's got. I think we've all gone through something like that before, and if so, you will be able to identify with "Rocky" all the more.

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130 out of 154 people found the following review useful:

His whole life was a million-to-one shot...

Author: Manny (TheSixthChild) from Melbourne, Australia
28 December 2003

When I was a kid there were only three major things in my life: food, wrestling and `Rocky'. My brother and I followed the numerous Rocky Balboa struggles religiously, and even today, there is no exception. Although the latest efforts of Stallone have been pitiful, the movie that made his career is the 1977 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, `Rocky'. On top of that, `Rocky' also earned two more Academy Awards for Best Film-Editing and Best Director (John G. Avildsen).

This movie is unlike any other ever put on film. It's films like this that remind us of the beauty that is going to the cinema, and if only I was around during that year when such films as `Close Encounters of the Third Kind', `Jaws', `Saturday Night Fever' and `Network' were all playing in cinemas. The storyline takes place in Philadelphia, where Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) struggles to make a living as both a small-time boxer, and the brawn of a loan shark. Until one day, a sudden opportunity is handed to Rocky to compete for the World Heavy-Weight Title against the champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), a charismatic and flamboyant fighter labelled as `The King of Sting' and `The Master Of Disaster'. Attracted to Rocky's reputation as "The Italian Stallion", a match between Creed and the unknown boxer is set, which is subsequently advertised as a fight where a "nobody" can become a "somebody". Mickey (Burgess Meredith), is the owner of the gym where Rocky trains and later becomes Rocky's manager. Mickey is passionate about the world of boxing, and believes that Rocky has the potential to go the distance, instead of being `a cheap second rate loan-shark'. However, the central character in Rocky's life is Adrian (Talia Shire), a shy pet-store clerk, who acts awkwardly when Rocky even breathes in her direction. However, these almost completely distant outcasts are strangely drawn to each other. While one `didn't have much of a brain', the other `didn't have much of a body', so they worked on their opposites, only to end up together. The legend of this film when it was first released in the mid-70's was: `His whole life was a-million-to-one shot', but what Stallone did was prove to the world that `Rocky' is one-in-a-million.

Seeing `Rocky' is both a cinematic experience and a religious experience. When first released, the film appealed to the widest audience, and all felt the emotion and intense passion which passed from the film, to them. The film's possession of realistic acting, superb dialogue and the most phenomenal music score by Bill Conti to date, indeed transformed the face of cinema. Stallone's wholesome performance of his own screenplay is electrifying as the film celebrates of the underdog battling to beat the odds. Fans of cinema aren't manipulated into thinking that the inevitable will happen as it does in every other tedious hero drama.

Over 25 years on, `Rocky' still manages to let the audience's emotions explode; Rocky's blossoming relationship with Adrian, the seedy worlds of Mickey and Adrian's alcoholic brother, Paulie (Burt Young), and the affirmation of Rocky's inability to overcome Creed. And who could forget the excruciatingly compelling Balboa / Creed confrontation? Rocky's determination overturns the boxing fraternity, and supplies cinemaphiles with one of the greatest moments in cinematic history, as a body of spectators both on-screen and off applaud and chant for Rocky in unison. The following four Rocky sequels attempted to deliver the same magic as the original, however failed to convey it's message. `Rocky' illustrates how life itself is stifling and perplexing, but sometimes when you lose your way as well as your original intentions, you may just find something better.

Simply put, if anyone has a free Friday / Saturday night, this is the film to go out and borrow from the local video store. It's unbelievable that this film was only voted in at #78 on the AFI Top 100 films of all time, and worse yet, was voted in at the SECOND best sports film of all time (the first went to `Hoosiers', starring Gene Hackman). C'mon people, be you black or white or brown or any other skin colour we have yet to discover, get out there and be inspired by Stallone's masterpiece, `Rocky'.

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92 out of 124 people found the following review useful:

What it is to be and "underdog"

Author: Scott Crumpler ( from Tallahassee, FL
14 November 2004

One of Stallone's first and finest feature film performances is as Rocky Balboa, a lonely, small-time boxer who gets by doing muscle work for a neighborhood loan shark. Everything about his life spells "underdog"-- he's even left-handed. He lives alone in a shabby apartment, and when he's not slowly being swept aside at the local gym, where even the trainer calls him a bum, he fauns over an introverted pet store clerk named Adrian.

He gets his first break when he's chosen at random by heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed, to take a shot at his title. No one thinks he can beat Creed-- not even Rocky. All Rocky wants is to be able to go all ten rounds with the champ, because no one else has. And in the final ten minutes of the film, Rocky finds out just how far he can go.

What's terrific about this movie is that it's about Rocky. It's not about winning; it's not even about fighting. It's about Rocky and his desire to get by in the world without being a bum. The sequels to this widely popular film have focused more heavily on the upcoming fight, whereas this story focuses on Rocky's life. He doesn't want to win; he just wants to survive and feel good about himself. That's what most of us want, and that's why this film is a classic.

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73 out of 101 people found the following review useful:

A great Sylvester Stallone film

Author: rbverhoef ( from The Hague, Netherlands
18 February 2005

If you think Sylvester Stallone has made nothing but stinkers you just have to see 'Rocky'. This is a brilliant film, based on Stallone's own screenplay, where he plays a complex character in such a terrific way it is not strange people thought this was going to be a great actor. Compare it to another great film about a boxer, 'Raging Bull', and 'Rocky' will be better at some points. It goes without saying that it's quite an achievement.

The story is about Rocky Balboa (Stallone), a boxer who once had a glorious future, but now fights for little money in gyms. Then, out of the blue, he gets the chance to fight the heavyweight champ Apollo (Carl Weathers), a stunt from his side. Although Rocky seems to have no chance he starts his training to make the best of it, although at first he is too proud to accept any help. The scene where he finally accepts the help from his old trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) is one of the best scenes in the film. Rocky also starts dating the very shy girl Adrian (Talia Shire), sister of his friend Paulie (Burt Young).

'Rocky' is a terrific film in every aspect. The acting is what amazed me the most. Stallone gives such an impressive performance it is very hard to believe he is also the star of films like 'Over the Top', 'Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot' and 'Judge Dredd', and from the other 'Rocky'-films for that matter. Not only Stallone is impressive, Shire, Young and Meredith find perfect notes for their characters as well. Every little thing that happens seems natural through their acting and of course Stallone's screenplay does a great job here. Director John G. Avildsen serves this material the way he should. Of course he is no Martin Scorsese, 'Raging Bull' stays the better directed film, but he knows how to tell this story.

I do not like boxing very much, so a boxing-film is not something I would enjoy. But this is not a boxing-film, it is a film about a boxer. It tells about a character who happens to be a boxer running for a title. This is probably one of the points where the other four 'Rocky'-films fail and where films like this one and 'Raging Bull' and Clint Eastwood's 'Million Dollar Baby' succeed.

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74 out of 107 people found the following review useful:

Stalone's best

Author: mm-39 from Winnipeg
9 April 2001

As much as the media mocks Stallone, he won best picture for this film. He will never top this film, which made him a icon. It's a story about a down on his luck loan collector/ boxers who gets a one time shot at the heavy weight championship, because of a late pull out by a contender, and the champ does not want to lose his money on the deal. There is romance between Rocky and his new girl friend who lives just as hard of a life as Rocky, and together they make life livable. The rest of the cast is other down and outers who give the viewer a feeling of hopelessness until Rocky gets his chance. This film is touching, and unforgettable.

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62 out of 108 people found the following review useful:

Serious comments about the movie.

Author: yxcool from New Zealand
16 February 2005

If there is a chance for you which can turn you from nobody to somebody, how would you treat it? Would you let it go pass because it is almost impossible to achieve or you want to use all you have to give it a great shot? This is what the movie about, how a struggling underdog became hero, legend or more. This is the one of my favorite movies. Because it has a simplest storyline but it successfully gave expression to it's theme-if you want to be on the top, you have to pay the price which means hardworking and determination A good movie must require an understandable storyline which clearly tells its theme. That is why I think rocky is a great movie. The movie is about the sudden life change of a struggling underdog boxer-Rocky, the world champion set up a fight between himself and Rocky, but he decided to give it the greatest shot just to prove that he is not a bum for a entertainment show. So basically, whole movie is about how Rocky trying so hard to achieve his goal: go the distance with the champion.

The acting of the film is another shinning point; it has many great actors in it. Especially the main actor Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) he made a great impression in my mind by his excellent pyrotechnic acting skill. In the famous fighting scene, Stallone performed an emotion of a boxer who is suffering from pain, frustration and exhaustion, but he is not giving up. The scene became so real because Stallone's incredible performance. Also, other actors like Burt Young (Pauline), Tailia Shire (Adrian) Burgess (Mickey) acted perfectly in the movie.

If there is anything else can highlight the movie that is the fantastic music used in the movie. Because the music played in the movie perfectly contributed to the atmosphere of each individual scene. E.g. when Rocky started his morning run, pumping up style music plays simultaneously while he is running, that generated a memorable scene. Also again in the fighting scene, a part of passionate and stirring background music played when rocky is trying so hard to stand on his feet, it has successfully reinforced the mood of the scene.

This movie is simple but well made. Fantastic music, excellent action sequences and incredible acting crew lined with a nice storyline to express its theme: a man can be anyone he wants to be but is requires great determination and stamina to achieve that. The movie is appealed to audiences who are 15 or above, and strongly recommended to every boxing fan! PG Rating: 8/10

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:


Author: Antoine Dubé from Edmonton
14 May 2000

The first common misconception about Rocky, and something that's almost inevitable when you put a half-naked Stallone with boxing gloves on the cover is that it's a fighting movie. In that time it would fall into a category including Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jackie Chan. Now don't get me wrong, I like both of these actors a lot, they're among my favorites, but Rocky is not just another cheap movie about a man who like to win a fight or tournament because he deserves it (Bloodsport, Quest). Instead of a fighting movie we should say that it is a movie about a fighter. That changes the context altogether, it means that sure he has fighting on his mind but has other personal issues that are demonstrated throughout the movie. In fact in the whole movie there are two fight scenes (at the beginning and at the end) which together add up to about 15 minutes.

The rest is the portrayal of a man who has never had it easy in his life but nonetheless keeps his heart. That is to say that he keeps his moral and ethics, just keeps on trying no matter the hardships. A MAN WITH A DREAM... an un-realizable dream to be frank. But in the end, a lot, even most, of our dreams are un-realizable... but we try anyway. The difference here is that this man is given a shot at his dream, a "one-in-a-million shot". It's something that we all would like so we can relate and CAN'T HELP but cheer for him at the end of the movie.

The largest portion, in minutes, of the movie is actually devoted to the love theme between Rocky and Adrien. So that should maybe make this a "love story" movie instead of fighting movie. Adrien is another of his dreams, slightly more attainable which is why he devotes more of his time everyday to trying to attain it (her). She won't open up to anybody but in the end, with a certain amount of tenacity on the part of Stallone, she can't help but fall for the heart deep inside the rough exterior.

Another theme here is that of fraternity between Rocky and Mickey, his trainer/manager. In fact THE MOST TOUCHING SCENE in the whole movie in my opinion is one of about 15 to 20 seconds long and without any words. It's when Mickey goes to see Rocky at his home the first time to see if he can manage him. Rocky gets angry with him but keeps it to himself until Mickey leaves, at which point Rocky takes it out on the door jam and yells at Mickey who can still hear him outside. Rocky's life is being turned upside down by this whole "fighting Creed" business and although it is his dream, he doesn't know how to deal with it and is scared to get mangled in the ring, knowing he's not of the same caliber as the champ. The touching scene is when he realizes that he has yelled at an old man. His heart takes him out into the street after Mickey, he joins him and shakes his hand. The beginning of an enduring friendship which will ultimately lead to tears in a later film (Rocky 3 and 5).

This movie simply seeps with "classic", and by the end you know you have just seen a movie of courage, of the portrayal of "the indominable spirit of man" (Rocky 3). No matter the difficulties, Rocky's heart takes him through it all. It doesn't fit the mold of today's classics (like Private Ryan) with melodrama and grandiose scenery, just a simple movie, with simple qualities but very large meaning intricately woven into the fabric of the film itself by Stallone and the director John G. Avildson, with the musical overtones of Bill Conti. A classic from a different age, and the mold of a lot of movies to follow.

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