The final installment in the Rocky series is coming out this month, and if you’re a fan, it’s a must-see rite of passage to be present for the final screening. Like any good serial movie, it’s always a good idea to revisit the previous sequels before going to see the latest and greatest. Here’s our review of the first six Rocky movies.
- Rocky (1976) An unknown boxer gets the chance to fight champion Apollo Creed. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, and Burt Young.
- Rocky II (1979) Rocky faces a rematch with Apollo Creed as he struggles to keep his family together. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, and Burt Young.
- Rocky III (1982) Rocky hits tock bottom and finds an unlikely ally to help him get back on his feet. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, and Burt Young.
- Rocky IV (1985) When a Russian boxer kills Apollo Creed in the ring, Rocky travels to Russia for a few rounds of revenge in the ring. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, and Burt Young.
- Rocky V (1990) Broke and retired, Rocky takes on a protege who turns out not to be who he thought he was. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, and Burt Young.
- Rocky Balboa (2006) Rocky comes out of retirement for a final fight against Mason Dixon. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Tarver, and Milo Ventimiglia.
From worst to least, watch the Rocky series in this order:
Worst Spot 6: Rocky V
Why it sucks: Rocky “overcomes” his brain damage to come back for “one more fight” effectively ruining the entire premise of the previous movies. Plus, the plot casts Rocky as dumb enough to have lost the family’s money, and temporarily place Gunn ahead of his family’s needs. I realize he’s been hit in the head, but it doesn’t ring true to the original character sketch or the plot line established up to this point.
Worst Spot 5: Rocky IV
Why it sucks: Apollo, who has always been smart about his professional decisions, suddenly loses his cool and takes on a fight he can’t possible win which is so far out of character, it’s painful. Then, when Rocky starts to win the fight, Drago’s fellow soviets start to cheer for Rocky, including the fight’s leaders.
Worst Spot 4: Rocky II
Why it sucks: It doesn’t. In fact, Rocky II was a pretty good sequel. The only thing that stands out as being off-kilter is Paulie and Mickey’s characters begin to seem a little unrealistic, and more for show than the genuine-ness we saw in the original film.
Worst Spot 3: Rocky III
Why it sucks: It doesn’t suck, not really. This one was pretty enjoyable as well, even for those who are boxing fans. It’s lighter, believable, and enjoyable. It leaves you with that feel-good happiness we all hope for at the end of a movie.
Worst Spot 2: Rocky Balboa
This one . It’s probably the most believable, genuine sequel in the whole series to date. Stallone did an amazing job of sticking true to his character. We get a sneak peak back into that intimacy and genuineness that made us fall in love with Rocky in the original film.
The Best Rocky Movie: Rocky
No surprise, the first is usually the best.