The Best/Worst of Sylvester Stallone

Since the ‘Expendables 2’ is coming out next month I thought it would be fun to do ‘the best of’ for the three biggest action stars, done Schwarzenegger a while ago and will link that below, a couple of weeks ago I did Willis’s best films and now I am doing Stallone’s best films and worst because I am not a huge fan of his. Just to point out that Stallone is a terrible actor and this list is so small that I am even including two of his films that I don’t like because it’s relevant to another release (Dredd). I haven’t actually watched a great deal of his films but apparently everything that isn’t part one of the series below is awful (well three other films that are apparently good but I haven’t seen them), cant verify that but I don’t particular like his work so I won’t be paying to see his worst (worst list not going to happen just this post).

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite Sylvester Stallone Film and least favourite film at the end and to check out my previous Best of posts with Schwarzenegger and Willis.

The Best of Bruce Willis

The Best of Arnold Schwarzenegger


Best of…


Rambo: First Blood (1982)

First Blood is the Sylvester Stallone film that unleashed “Rambo” onto an unsuspecting world. Wandering into a small, hostile town, ex-Green Beret John Rambo (Stallone) is targeted for persecution and abuse by potbellied Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy). When he can stand no more, Rambo goes bonkers, killing a deputy and heading into the surrounding hills, armed to the teeth. Only after Rambo has picked off practically every law enforcement officer within a radius of 50 miles do the local authorities bring in his former commanding officer, Trautman (Richard Crenna), for advice. Trautman’s response — that the locals had better get a lot of body bags ready — is hardly encouraging. First Blood proved to be one of Stallone’s biggest non-Rocky hits. Kirk Douglas had originally been cast as Trautman, but he quit the project when the producers refused to cave in to his demand that Trautman kill Rambo in the finale. That would be a stronger final. Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended.


I think that the films strengths come from the idea of a soldier not being accepted when he returned home, something that many soldiers think about on their return to civilian life and that’s this films point, most soldiers go through hell and deserve a better return than they get. On the other hand it’s a pure action film that has the best idea ever, one underdog killing everyone. My favourite scene would have to be when Rambo comes back from the forest and invades the town, just brilliant to watch an excellent thrill ride.

Must Watch Trailer:


Rocky (1976)

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a Philadelphia boxer, is but one step removed from total bum-hood. A once-promising pugilist, Rocky is now taking nickel-and-dime bouts and running strongarm errands for local loan sharks to survive. Even his supportive trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), has given up on Rocky. All this changes thanks to Muhammad Ali-like super-boxer Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). With the Bicentennial celebration coming up, Creed must find a “Cinderella” opponent for the big July 4th bout — some unknown whom Creed can “glorify” for a few minutes before knocking him cold. Rocky Balboa was not the only Cinderella involved here: writer/director Sylvester Stallone, himself a virtual unknown, managed to sell his Rocky script (one of 35 that he’d written over the years) on the proviso that he be given the starring role. Since the film was to be made on a shoestring and marketed on a low-level basis, the risk factor to United Artists was small. For Stallone, this was a make-or-break opportunity — just like Rocky’s million-to-one shot with Apollo Creed. Costing under a million dollars, Rocky managed to register with audiences everywhere, earning back 60 times its cost. The film won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended.


The original underdog story, the first half always seemed like a depressing look on a failed boxer but then the second half was all about him hoping and trying for a this one in a million chance of being the greatest. The film also boasts great acting and drama which isn’t exactly expected of Stallone but it’s one of my favourite performances by him. The music is great as well and that certainly continued throughout the film series. My favourite scene would have to be about half way through when he begins that argument with his trainer, which was a great scene and very powerful dialogue. Then there is obviously the actual fight which is really top notch stuff.

Must Watch Trailer:


Worst of…


Judge Dredd (1995)

A violent, effects-heavy science fiction adventure, Judge Dredd depicts a nightmarish future in which overcrowded cities are terrorized by brutal gun battles and policed by “Judges,” law officers who act as judge, jury, and executioner. Sylvester Stallone stars as Judge Dredd, a punishing enforcer with an unswerving dedication to law and order. Little does Dredd know that a nasty villain (Armand Assante) and a corrupt Judge (Jurgen Prochnow) are plotting to take over the city and plan to frame Dredd for murder in order to prevent him from interfering. Dredd winds up in prison, but he fights back with the help of Judge Hershey (Diane Lane), his partner and romantic interest, and Fergie (Rob Schneider), his friend and comic relief, developing a plan to clear his name and stop the bad guys. Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended.


So little connection to the actually comics it saddens me, still funny though.  Where to start, were to start. Well first off it all looked a little cheesy from those costumes to the bikes funnily close to the comics but they still looked too plastic and fake. Then there’s the choice of having a comedic side kick for judge dredd who was played by Rob Schneider (what where they smoking). Then theres his clone who looks nothing like him, but I could forgive it all if the people who made the thing had raed more than the synopsis of the 2000 AD comics they based it off, because if they had he wouldn’t have taken his helmet off every other scene.  There is however my best line “I am the law!” which done by Sylvester Stallone is easily the funniest lisp ever. I really hope Karl Urban is much better, he’s a nerd so think he will.

Must Watch Trailer:


Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)

Despite his status as a major action star, Sylvester Stallone has made a number of attempts to remodel himself as a comic actor; one of his more infamous efforts in this direction was Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot!. Police detective Joe Bromowski (Sylvester Stallone) has just broken off his relationship with his girlfriend (and fellow police officer) Gwen Harper (JoBeth Williams), so Joe’s mother Tutti (Estelle Getty) decides it’s time to pay him a visit. Tutti proceeds to make Joe’s life miserable by nagging him about his clothes, cleaning his apartment, washing his gun, tagging along on investigations, and somehow getting involved with a gun-running organization that the police have been trying to infiltrate. After this film, Stallone would stay away from comedy until 1997, when he played a cameo in another unenthusiastically received film, An Alan Smithee Film — Burn, Hollywood, Burn. Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended.


To be honest I am not sure what category to put this, as a film it’s just awful in every way but when I watched it I had it in my mind as a parody rather than a genuine comedy film. Either way after watching it the only thing that comes to mind is “defuq did I just see!” seriously super weird. The worst of films normally have the funniest Reviews so let’s have a look.  Best reviews “It is moronic beyond comprehension, an exercise in desperation during which even Sylvester Stallone, a repository of self-confidence, seems to be disheartened.” Roger Ebert. Wow, would you like a plaster for that burn?! Here’s another “Being shot might be preferable to sitting through this.” Ken Hanke. Harsh but true.

Must Watch Trailer:

For I have spoken! Now you speak, please comment below.

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

26 responses to “The Best/Worst of Sylvester Stallone”

  1. jmount43 says :

    In my very humble opinion the best Stallone movie I’ve ever seen was Copland.


  2. ruth says :

    I’d have to say Expendables is the WORST, I nearly walked out of the cinema. Maybe I haven’t seen too many of Sly’s films but that was the worst of the ones I have seen.


  3. Fogs' Movie Reviews says :

    Easy to pick a winner when you can choose the Rocky series in its entirety! Winner, by knockout in the first round! 😀

    I can also say Stallone acknowledges “Stop!” is his worst film, at least his biggest joke. When asked by a questioner what each of their favorite movies of were of the others, Stallone beat Schwarznegger to the punch and answered “Junior”. which slayed the crowd. He then quickly added “And his is “Stop or My Mom Will Shoot!” 😀


  4. Wednesday's Child says :

    I have never been a fan of Stallone’s either, but I thought it was just me. I did enjoy Tango and Cash and Staying Alive although I know that they are not the type of movies I would recommend that anyone else actually watch!


  5. mistylayne says :

    I haven’t seen any on the best films list only the worst films list. And of those, I think I only saw one scene of “Judge Dredd” (and it traumatized me) and I don’t remember “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” (I’m just assuming my parents rented that back in the day because that’s absolutely something they would watch). So maybe I haven’t actually seen any of these…


  6. atothewr says :

    Copland is a good movie by the way. Best has to be Rambo or Rocky.


  7. Eric says :

    Haha, I love how you included Death Race 2000 in the “best” poll. I was surprised as hell to see him in that movie. Good stuff.


  8. theipc says :

    I’m a big Stallone fan even though he’s sure made some stinkers. Rocky is either my favorite movie of all time or the second. Have you ever seen Copland?


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