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Sylvester Stallone
Milo Ventimiglia
Burt Young
Geraldine Hughes.
Sylvester Stallone.
Sylvester Stallone.
Running Time
102 minutes

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Rocky Balboa
Brilliantly awful 6th in the series...

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Mourning the death of his wife and running a restaurant that trades on his boxing glory days, Rocky Balboa (Stallone) ekes out a quiet existence. But when a TV show uses computer gizmology to match the Italian Stallion against the current champ, Balboa once again finds the will to fight.

Rocky Balboa
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Rocky Balboa, The Sixth entry in Sylvester Stallone’s ring cycle, pulls off the unique cinematic feat of being totally terrible and completely brilliant at the same time. Thirty years after he first appeared (and 16 since Rocky V), Rocky Balboa, both the character and the film, remains simple, sentimental and cocksure. There have been no Casino Royale-style re-inventions here but, in some senses, this is equally smart. Completely understanding the level on which the movie needs to work, Rocky Balboa is bold, broad and magnificently big-hearted. Stallone slyly ties the fictional story — a man trying to reclaim former glories the only way he knows how — with the audience goodwill toward the meta-story — a filmmaker trying to reclaim former glories the only way he knows how — and recaptures enough of the original’s gritty urban feel, big emotional moments and triumph-of-the-underdog shenanigans to offset the clunkiness of the execution.
By any usual critical yardsticks, this is trite stuff. Much of the movie sees Rocky giving big, overwritten speeches full of hackneyed homilies to the underwritten characters who circumnavigate his life. Scenes that see Rocky mooning over his late wife or trying to reconnect with his estranged son are written and staged with the subtlety and nuance of a fence post. Even worse, Stallone — to mix our sporting metaphors — drops the ball on Rocky’s motivation for returning to the ring. There’s some guff about “the monster building up inside”, but the actual reasoning is fuzzy and mystifying.
Yet what saves Rocky Balboa is a commodity rare in movies these days: affection. Stallone clearly loves this character and knows that we feel the same way. As a director, he is not afraid to commit to the material, however clichéd things get, confident that we’ll warm to Rocky’s plight. Sensibly, after the excesses of Rockys III-V, he’s also dialled it all back, approximating the realistic milieu of the first flick. As an actor he has an innate dignity and hangdog charm that can make the corniest dialogue palatable, and lends the portrait of a man trying to come to terms with his changing world a tangible emotional weight.
Bizarrely, it resembles Back To The Future Part II (without the twisty-turny time-travel stuff) in that it almost overlays the sequel on the original. From Bill Conti’s fanfare over the opening credits, to Rocky’s pet turtles, to his tentative relationship with a grown-up “little Marie”, to Rocky and Paulie’s tour of the key locations from the first flick, Stallone neatly evinces a nexus of recognition, warmth and nostalgia. If you’ve been raised on Rocky, the mere sight of a training montage, all punching cold slabs of meat and running up steps, will leave you giddy with excitement. And the final showdown against Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver), with its full-blooded, hyper-real, toe-to-toe pugilism, is up there with the Apollo Creed/Clubber Lang fight nights of old. You’ll spot the outcome a mile off, but as always with Rocky, what matters is the journey.

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.

Reviewed by Ian Freer

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Rocky Balboa: The Best Of Rocky

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Rocky Balboa

Certainly a better and more fitting send-off for the character than Rocky V. Really charming film that - as Rocky is doing with his restaurant business - obviously trades on your love for the previous films, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that this film works. ... More

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Posted by jncorbett at 01:29, 31 October 2010 | Report This Post


Good movie ... More

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Posted by shady_88 at 14:48, 15 August 2010 | Report This Post


“It ain’t over, till it’s over!” and now it finally is! The Rocky saga is now complete! And it its capped off by a film that has so much heart that you feel every beat as it plays out in front of you! Yes this movie is cheesy, yes it has a tad improbable story line, but really, who cares?! This is Rocky, Rocky at his heart tugging best!! What Sylvester Stallone has managed to achieve with this movie is finish the journey of his creation, Rocky ‘the Italian Stall... More

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Posted by sagent33 at 07:47, 02 June 2009 | Report This Post

The sendoff the Rocky (and the fans) deserved.

This film is fantastic return to form for one of the most iconic movie characters of all time. Whilst Rocky V took a bold step in removing Balboa from the ring and sending him back to his roots, it felt like a punch in the gut for fans Rocky's insprirational ragst to riches story. This movie gives Rocky the send off we all wished for, and with the exeption of two overlong speeches (The one in front of the boxing panel and the one to Rocky Jr) the film supplies an approropriate level of sentiment... More

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Posted by tdw2782 at 23:05, 22 December 2008 | Report This Post

Loved It...

Rocky Rocky II Rocky Balboa Rocky III Rocky V Rocky IV That's the order I rate Rocky. Rocky is one of the greatest series of movies along with Godfather and Star Wars. I'd rate this 3.75 if possible.. ... More

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Posted by Ozalcin at 21:02, 10 December 2008 | Report This Post

Sylvester Stallone gives his best performace since "Copland" and reminds us all how good a "Rocky" movie can be. A film with real emotion and real heart, The perfect ending for the character. I hope he does'nt make another one and spoil this great film. Good Job :) ... More

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Posted by PaulJohn at 23:20, 02 August 2008 | Report This Post

The film was excellent, the characters are brilliant and Rocky's simple life to nearly winning against the world heavyweight is inspiring. If he had won at the end I would take a star back ... More

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Posted by Zinatam at 16:33, 07 July 2008 | Report This Post

Gonna fly now

awesome ... More

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Posted by epdug at 12:34, 06 May 2008 | Report This Post

Rocky Balboa

A breathtaking finale for one of cinema's best loved sagas and a fantastic final round for one of the worlds best loved characters. ... More

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Posted by Ethan Hunt at 16:38, 29 February 2008 | Report This Post

Apart from the first its the best in the series, Sly really tried make this character go out with one hell of a punch, and as far as I'm concerned he suceeded, plus because its called Rocky Balboa instead of Rock VI, you can pretend the fifth one never happend! ... More

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Posted by dgribble at 20:18, 22 February 2008 | Report This Post

Balboa - Gracefully Bowing Out

Rocky 5 was rubbish. Not a dignified exit for a character who first hit the big time in the late 70's. A pale, and poorly executed, imitation of one of the greatest sports movies of all time. So Stallone's decision to reinvent his hero as a washed out, over the hill has-been, wasn't a bad move. The resulting film wears it's big heart on it's sleeve and, against the odds, pulls off a fitting finale for old Rocky. The script is sentimental and occasionally a little fuzzy but, once the training s... More

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Posted by chris welch at 13:38, 01 August 2007 | Report This Post

Bit of a trip down memory lane, and a very enjoyable one at that! A fitting addition to one of the most inspirational movies ever made! ... More

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Posted by jonnypatterson at 23:15, 12 July 2007 | Report This Post


Stallone successfully re-captures the essence of the first Rocky film in this heartfelt, crowd-pleasing goodbye to one of cinema's most memorable sporting icons. Brilliant! ... More

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Posted by Jim Bob at 12:04, 28 May 2007 | Report This Post

the hard hitter

Its hartbreaking ina way, Rocky's looking back on everything he's done and acomplyshed, and dispite his old age has the hunger to get back in the ring to proove he's still got it. ... More

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Posted by elimonator at 23:23, 15 May 2007 | Report This Post


Rocky Balboa - what a character. This film delivers the perfect round off to a hit and miss franchise. Nostalgic tear-jerking moments throughout with a brilliant score and an awesome performance from all those involved. It would have been a shame to leave it on the low that was Rocky V and i am so glad Rocky came back for one last hurrah. Role on John Rambo. ... More

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Posted by ross_thomson2000 at 07:41, 15 May 2007 | Report This Post

Whats new?

This is bassically rocky 2 through 4 with a bit of 5 in it (that sucked too right?) The typical 'everyones againts him' characters who have their heart warmed and are convinced by rocky's charasmatic charm is the most far fectched thing in the film forget the 60 year old boxer. Also is it just me or is apollo's trainer a bit of a bitch? He's probably not seen rocky since the drago fight, probably wasn't even invited to adrians funeral, now all of a sudden he appears at the drop of a hat to help ... More

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Posted by The Kevmiester at 21:46, 03 May 2007 | Report This Post

Stallone has pulled it off, a great film and the best Rocky film since the original, Stallone also deilevers his best perfomance since Cop Land. ... More

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Posted by Naweed_1 at 19:53, 30 March 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Rocky Returns

I saw the movie for the first time last night.  I can't be bothered to go into a whole lot of detail about the movie but all I've really got to say is that I really enjoyed it.  Very emotional.  Very enjoyable. ... More

Posted by mlavagna at 06:13, 20 March 2007 | Report This Post

Rocky Returns

With Rocky Balboa, I have to admit I was preparing myself for a terrible film, only made to give Sylvester Stallone one last chance to clutter the screen with his huge (and now wrinkling) muscles and terrible mumbling of lines. The ridiculous plot only added to my fears, Rocky now retired, hears of a computer simulation that pits him against the reigning undefeated heavyweight champion Mason 'The Line' Dixon. Rocky decides to ditch his Zimmer frame and make the fight a reality in an exhibitio... More

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Posted by Paul on Empire at 17:56, 22 February 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Rocky Balboa

I dont think ive ever been so confused in my life. Noted, I shouldnt have gone to see the film considering I hadnt seen any of the other 5 or whatever but still I believe it really could have been edited down to a half hour. I liked the fight though. ... More

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Posted by ednamode at 23:08, 21 February 2007 | Report This Post

Rocky Balboa

Absolutely entertaining but awful acting and the script sucks. But a good movie overall even though when 'rocky' talks you just think WHAT! ... More

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Posted by rockerjo at 17:47, 11 February 2007 | Report This Post

Rocky Balboa

Absolutely entertaining but awful acting and the script sucks. But a good movie overall even though when 'rocky' talks you just think WHAT! ... More

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Posted by rockerjo at 17:47, 11 February 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Rocky Balboa

OOps, I'd meant to quote you Dale, not just put a big chunk of what you'd said and leave it there... I can see why you'd think it might not appeal to cinema-goers who hadn't seen the first 5 but I'd only seen about half an hour of the first one and I still loved it. I think although much of it seems to hinge on past glories the films heart really came out in the scenes with his son, showing what it's like to live with a legacy that impinges on others and what effect the past had on Ro... More

Posted by Taizy at 17:13, 10 February 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Rocky Balboa

o anybody new to Rocky, the film must stink. However, this is not a film for them, it's for those who have grow up with Rocky (as acknowledged in the closing credits). No, it isn't Raging Bull. But credibility went out of the window a long time ago. If you have a great fondness for the other films, then this nostalgia fest is well worthwhile, and it nicely bookends the series. ... More

Posted by Taizy at 17:08, 10 February 2007 | Report This Post

Rocky Balboa

this really is a poor film. I think its ridiculous that Rocky wants to get back into boxing beacuse of a simulated fight. The ending fight with Dixon is rather dissapointing. However what i did like about it was in the fight with Dixon it goes black and white but the blood is still red so you can see the cuts on their faces. Spoiler!! Rocky looses his final fight that was good. Its also really let down by bad acting and a poor script. ... More

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Posted by solid snake at 14:40, 10 February 2007 | Report This Post

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