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Rocky Balboa

7/10
Sport . Drama
 

When he loses a highly publicized virtual boxing match to ex-champ Rocky Balboa, reigning heavyweight titleholder Mason Dixon retaliates by challenging the Itallian Stallion to a nationally televised, 10-round exhibition bout. To the surprise of his son and friends, Rocky agrees to come out of retirement and face an opponent who's faster, stronger and thirty years his junior.

 
Actors: Burt Young , Sylvester Stallone , Henry G. Sanders , Talia Shire , A. J. Benza , Tony Burton , James Francis Kelly III , Geraldine Hughes , Milo Ventimiglia , Antonio Tarver
Directors: Sylvester Stallone
Country: USA
Release: 2006-12-20
More Info:
  • Mark Bell

    The acting in the film is grade-A, with Stallone bringing the more mumbled Rocky from the first film spliced with some rousing inspirational monologues when the moment is right (not forced, not preachy… just perfect).

    Film Threat Full Review
  • William Arnold

    It's not so much a sequel or even a remake for a new generation of moviegoers as it's a retranslation for the old one: an irresistible statement that "Yo, life ain't over till it's over."

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    What gives Rocky Balboa its unexpected pathos is the titanic humility of Stallone's performance, the earnestness with which he plays a man knocked down (but not out) by the ravages of time.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Michael Wilmington

    The movie itself, defying all odds, comes close to a knockout.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Better than decent. But if Stallone (who wrote and directed the flick) had pulled a few punches to the heart, it could have been truly worthy of that first, glorious movie.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    A deep and astonishingly authentic streak of melancholy runs through this fifth sequel to the 1976 sleeper that made both struggling actor Sylvester Stallone and hard-luck slugger Rocky Balboa international stars.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Rocky Balboa is not as good as "Rocky," but it allows us to forget the other four sequels, none of which was memorable.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Ethan Alter

    After the widely reviled "Rocky V," it was just as unlikely for there to be a satisfying conclusion to the Rocky saga, but Rocky Balboa fits the bill.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Stallone doesn't pander to audiences with unearned sentiment. He believes in his story, in the inspirational element that has sent thousands of folks running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art over 30 years.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    There is much to poke at in Rocky Balboa, yet the movie, with its amusingly updated ''Gonna Fly Now'' montage and its very niftily staged climactic bout, summons just enough incredulous wit about just how often Rocky has been around this particular block to let Sylvester Stallone earn his nostalgia.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    Defies all expectations with a low-key, technically stripped-down production that really does come close to capturing the heart and soul of the original.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Does Rocky Balboa deliver? Weirdly enough, it does: I was jumping out of my seat during Rocky's bout. If you close your eyes and try to halve your IQ--aim for something between a baboon and a lemur--you might even think it's a masterpiece.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    Surprisingly Rocky Balboa, is no embarrassment. Like its forerunners it goes the distance almost in spite of itself. It's all heart and no credibility except as a raw-boned fable.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    It matters because this boxer taps into something deeper in our collective souls than the desire for entertainment. It's the hope that one day we're going to win big, too, after everyone's given up on us. It's as hokey as it's true.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Like the character of Rocky, it's got heart to spare, and is by turns one of the sweetest of the sweet-science pictures as well as one of the most doleful. Fighters fight, it's what they do. And Balboa, god bless him, fights on.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Just when you're ready to puke, the old Bill Conti theme ("Gonna Fly Now") kicks in -- are you feeling it? -- Stallone steps in the ring and every day is Christmas. All together now: Rock-ee! Rock-ee!

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Rocky Balboa is far from essential, and there are moments in it bad enough to make you wince. But I dare you not to feel at least a tiny little rush when that opening bell rings, and Rocky starts swinging one final time.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Think you're too tough for a sentimental comeback story? Well, a few minutes with Rocky Balboa might just knock the cynic out of you.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    What's touching about Rocky Balboa, the sixth chapter in the saga of Philadelphia's lord of the ring, is the small-scale stuff. Not the spectacle of the has-been, now 60, connecting with a punch. But the sight of an actor connecting with a character.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    As written, directed and, of course, acted by Sylvester Stallone, this film provides more insight into the character and his psyche than previous films, which were much more about the punches thrown.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Rocky Balboa scores a split decision: A familiar start, some flat-footed middle rounds and a solid, flailing finish. And since Stallone has promised to throw in the towel on the franchise, we'll add an extra half star in honour of his diligence in the gym.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Ian Freer

    If you hear the Rocky theme and think '118 118', you might wonder what all the fuss is about. For the rest of us, this is a reminder of why we fell in love with the character in the first place.

    Empire Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Even as Sylvester Stallone's long goodbye to the heroic underdog who made him famous descends from pathos into silliness, and from fairy tale into hallucination, you can't help liking the big galoot.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Rob Nelson

    Rocky Balboa, effortlessly reflexive and patently, even proudly, absurd, is a tough movie to dislike -- and believe me, I've tried.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Robert Koehler

    The time away from the ring has done Rocky and the franchise some good, although it takes pic a good long while to gather momentum and clout before a surprisingly satisfying third-act heavyweight bout.

    Variety Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    As usual with Stallone's Rocky sequels, the schmaltz is unbearable, but the fight is plausibly handled, and Stallone's sincere sadness at growing older makes this an unexpectedly satisfying conclusion to the series.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    While Stallone likely hopes to go out with a bang, this small, manipulative movie doesn't have any real punch to it.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Anyone who appreciates Sylvester Stallone or enjoys the "Rocky" movies will find moments to enjoy in Rocky Balboa and will leave the theater reasonably satisfied. It's just good to see the guy, and it's good to revisit the character. And that's everything good to be said for the experience.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    This is no corporate project made to squeeze a few more dollars from a fading cash cow. No one else has been asking for another "Rocky," other than maybe Burt Young . No, this is a rarer beast -- an auteur sequel -- and it's so wrapped up in its maker's personal mythology and psychic needs that it becomes a hall of mirrors to which we're given a slack-jawed ringside seat.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Chris Kaltenbach

    The original Rocky would have found a way to ground that encounter in reality, to engender honest emotion and give audiences an Everyman hero both noble and believable. This film is too busy worshiping its hero to bother.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Above all this is a film for gluttons for punishment, for those who never ever can get enough of Sylvester Stallone. Everyone else, please leave the building.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Watching Rocky Balboa go through the usual paces does trigger a few helpless waves of nostalgia, especially once Bill Conti's famed score kicks in and Stallone sticks it to a few sides of beef. But audiences needn't be responsible for helping an over-the-hill actor through his midlife crisis.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • As Stallone’s gentle gift for funny, engaging, naturalistic dialogue starts to take hold, the movie fills up with tiny, poignant moments. Scuffed with heartfelt sincerity and naïve emotionalism, it’s a film that makes little people bigger than life.

    Total Film Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Rocky Balboa is not as good as "Rocky," but it allows us to forget the other four sequels, none of which was memorable.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • M.K. Terrell

    Stallone's writing and direction pull off a considerable level of pathos and suspense as Rocky mourns his wife's passing and tries to develop a closer relationship with his resentful son.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Against all odds this panoply of punishment is almost thrilling, even though it's raging bull of a different kind.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Even as Sylvester Stallone's long goodbye to the heroic underdog who made him famous descends from pathos into silliness, and from fairy tale into hallucination, you can't help liking the big galoot.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Nick Schager

    Stallone yearns to investigate the loneliness of a man who can’t get over the past, an endeavor which entails unwieldy speeches (delivered by the actor in his patented “yews guys” patois) and reflective shots of the city’s skyline.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
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