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Rocky Balboa 2006

Critics score:
76 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: 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. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: The new old Rocky doesn't need a last-minute, come-from behind, rock 'em, sock 'em victory to give us a good time. You know what? I smell a sequel. Read more

David Fear, Time Out: The ol' lug can't be blamed for wanting one last victory lap, but if you've got nothing to offer except benign nostalgia, just let the gloves stay on the glory-days shelf. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: I gotta admit that I had a pretty good time watching this 94th film in a series that started 30 years ago. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Ultimately, is Rocky Balboa necessary? Of course not. But neither are plenty of other movies that find their way to theaters, and this one at least provides some undemanding entertainment. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: 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. Read more

Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The big surprise is that it also has just enough referential wit and nostalgic charm to keep the smiles coming through the schmaltz. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: When asked why he would step back into the ring, even though he's out of shape and in his late 50s, the Italian Stallion mumbles something about "the stuff... inside," which sums up the thin justification for Rocky Balboa. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: The Italian Stallion gallantly fights one last time in Rocky Balboa, an endearing final chapter that has more in common with the 1976 original than any of the sequels. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Rocky Balboa isn't a response to Stallone's late-life crisis, it is his late-life crisis, right up there on the screen. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: 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. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Rocky Balboa, the sixth (and hopefully last) installment in the underdog saga of the Italian Stallion, straddles the line between nostalgia and self-parody and frequently teeters toward the latter. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: The first four-fifths of the film is a meandering lead-up to the inevitable getting-in-shape montage, run up the steps and a big fight. Up until that point, all Rocky does is talk. And talk. And talk. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: It turns out that the added years only benefit the character, making him seem touchingly new because he's so old. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: What sounds absurd in print -- a 60-year-old Balboa gets back in the ring with the reigning heavyweight champ -- is thoroughly, satisfyingly enjoyable on-screen. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: 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. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: Stallone, sporting the triple-decker title of writer, director and star at age 60, ratchets down the volume and retains some of the legend's scruffy origins while making sure that it all comes together at the end with a Big Noisy Fight. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Does Rocky Balboa deliver? Weirdly enough, it does: I was jumping out of my seat during Rocky's bout. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: We're only one round into the film and Stallone is already slipping in the old flashbacks. Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR.org: I know, I know, you're thinking, oh please, not Rocky again. I was thinking that too. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Touchingly nostalgic, the sixth chapter in the saga of Sylvester Stallone's eternal underdog packs a far more powerful punch than anyone would have expected. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Nothing that happens here is particularly touching, exciting or funny. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Stallone has said this is it for Rocky -- even if the film is major box office hit, there will be no seventh outing. If that's the case, it's hard to think of a better sendoff. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com: 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. Read more

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times: It's actually the best Rocky movie since the original -- a fitting and triumphant final chapter for one of the most iconic characters in the history of motion pictures. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Rocky Balboa scores a split decision: A familiar start, some flat-footed middle rounds and a solid, flailing finish. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: Shamelessly nostalgic, strenuously formulaic and utterly bereft of unforeseen developments, Rocky Balboa nevertheless has its modest charms. Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out: Even goodwill can't make this look like anything more than a glorified TV special. Surely it's time for the audience to throw in the towel? Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Rocky still has some life left in him, and so does the franchise. As Rocky himself might have said, who wouldda thunk? Read more

Robert Koehler, Variety: Though Stallone directs with little visual inspiration outside the ring sequence, he sticks to the original's up-from-the-streets spirit and rejects the slickness that had crept into the franchise. Read more

Rob Nelson, Village Voice: Rocky Balboa, effortlessly reflexive and patently, even proudly, absurd, is a tough movie to dislike -- and believe me, I've tried. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: There were titters, yes. But to this viewer, sentimentality won by a knockout. Read more