(Photo by MGM / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

All Sylvester Stallone Movies Ranked

A little like Rocky, Sylvester Stallone seemed almost destined to fail in the film business. A bit part in Woody Allen’s Bananas, resorting to shooting a softcore porn flick (The Party at Kitty and Stud’s), and having to sell his dog at a 7-11 for $50 was what Stallone’s acting career was amounting in the ’70s. Then his screenplay about an underdog Philly boxer met the right director, John G. Avildsen, and after that it was step-by-step all the way up to national phenomenon and Best Picture winner. And as for his dog? Stallone bought him back and he appears as Rocky’s sidekick, Butkus.

Since 1976, Stallone has built a fascinating body of work, fashioned from numerous creative starts and stops, of incredible highs and crashing lows. He turned Rocky into a sequel machine, becoming a punchline by the ’90s (Rocky V), before multiple miracle turnarounds (Rocky Balboa, Creed) restored its former glory.

Stallone’s friendly (?) competition with Arnold Schwarzenegger gave him a taste of the ’80s action world, compelling him to pump out flicks with the quickness: The likes of Nighthawks, Cobra, Over the Top, and Tango & Cash give him enduring cult status, and mainstream derision. The ’90s saw him at his funniest (Demolition Man) and most dramatic (Cop Land), but also brought bigger bouts of embarrassment (Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot).

By the mid-2000s, Stallone was digging through his own legacy, and uncovering plenty of veins to tap. There was the Rocky Balboa restart, ’80s throwback franchise Expendables, Schwarzenegger team-up Escape Plan, and duking it out with the Raging Bull himself, Robert De Niro, for Grudge Match.

And the one we’ve yet to mention: a certain John Rambo. 1982’s First Blood was a sensitive, terrifying indictment of Vietnam War veteran treatment. It’s a subdued film, without much to suggest the blistering violent fantasies the series would morph into across First Blood Part II, Rambo III, and Rambo. Now, with the action coming to the homestead in Rambo: Last Blood, we’re ranking the best Sylvester Stallone movies (and the worst) by Tomatometer!

#52

Reach Me (2014)
4%

#52
Adjusted Score: 3.948%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a bewildering array of talented actors pummeled by disjointed direction and a dull, hackneyed script, Reach Me is so fundamentally misbegotten that its title reads more like a threat.
Synopsis: A motivational book written by a mysterious man (Tom Berenger) goes viral and quickly gains popularity, inspiring a group of... [More]
Directed By: John Herzfeld

#51

The Specialist (1994)
7%

#51
Adjusted Score: 8.159%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This over-the-top star vehicle for box office draws Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone went through a series of directors before... [More]
Directed By: Luis Llosa

#50
Adjusted Score: 9.281%
Critics Consensus: Thoroughly witless and thuddingly unfunny, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot gives its mismatched stars very little to work with - and as a result, they really don't work.
Synopsis: The carefully maintained ultra macho image of a gruff L. A. police officer (Sylvester Stallone) crumbles when he gets a... [More]
Directed By: Roger Spottiswoode

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 8.126%
Critics Consensus: Do not enter.
Synopsis: Years after Ray Breslin [Academy Award (R) nominee Sylvester Stallone (Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture, Creed, 2016)] fought his... [More]
Directed By: Steven C. Miller

#48

Backtrace (2018)
11%

#48
Adjusted Score: 4.644%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After suffering a brain injury from a bank heist gone wrong, MacDonald (Matthew Modine) develops amnesia and is put into... [More]
Directed By: Brian A. Miller

#47

Oscar (1991)
12%

#47
Adjusted Score: 12.525%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this farcical spoof of 1930s gangster movies, a crime boss (Sylvester Stallone in a rare comic turn) does his... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#46

Get Carter (2000)
12%

#46
Adjusted Score: 13.516%
Critics Consensus: Michael Caine shows up to collect a paycheck, and so does everyone else in this rote, middling remake.
Synopsis: Hit man Jack Carter returns home for his brother's funeral, and is soon investigating the events that led to his... [More]

#45

Avenging Angelo (2002)
13%

#45
Adjusted Score: 3.448%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A woman who has just discovered she is the daughter of a murdered Mafia chieftain seeks revenge, with the aide... [More]
Directed By: Martyn Burke

#44

Cobra (1986)
14%

#44
Adjusted Score: 15.294%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A renegade cop nicknamed Cobra (Sylvester Stallone) is assigned to destroy a serial-killer cult and protect the model (Brigitte Nielsen)... [More]
Directed By: George P. Cosmatos

#43

Driven (2001)
14%

#43
Adjusted Score: 17.218%
Critics Consensus: Underdeveloped characters, silly plot dynamics, and obvious CG effects.
Synopsis: Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for this action-packed drama directed by Renny Harlin and set in the dangerous, high-stakes world... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#42

Zookeeper (2011)
14%

#42
Adjusted Score: 17.525%
Critics Consensus: Zookeeper smothers Kevin James's with a sodden script and a surfeit of jokes inappropriate for the young viewers who would be intrigued by its juvenile storyline.
Synopsis: In Zookeeper, the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kindhearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James). Finding himself more... [More]
Directed By: Frank Coraci, Walt Becker

#41

Rhinestone (1984)
15%

#41
Adjusted Score: 15.239%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a big-time country singer brags that she can turn anybody into a country-singin' star, she must attempt to make... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#40

Assassins (1995)
15%

#40
Adjusted Score: 17.733%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sylvester Stallone headlines this high-tech action-adventure and plays a ruthless hit man who finds himself stalked by a younger rival.... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 9.946%
Critics Consensus: Whether it's being presented as D-Tox or Eye See You, this Stallone starring vehicle is a slapdash thriller to actively avoid.
Synopsis: Sylvester Stallone returned to the screen after a three-year absence (excepting his voice work in Antz) with this tense and... [More]
Directed By: Jim Gillespie

#38

Lock Up (1989)
17%

#38
Adjusted Score: 17.088%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sylvester Stallone stars in this prison melodrama as Frank Leone, an auto mechanic who just wants to play with the... [More]

#37

Judge Dredd (1995)
17%

#37
Adjusted Score: 20.044%
Critics Consensus: Judge Dredd wants to be both a legitimate violent action flick and a parody of one, but director Danny Cannon fails to find the necessary balance to make it work.
Synopsis: This action-filled sci-fi spectacle is set in a grim, futuristic world in which authoritarianism is the only way left to... [More]
Directed By: Danny Cannon

#36

Ratchet & Clank (2016)
22%

#36
Adjusted Score: 24.345%
Critics Consensus: Ratchet & Clank may satisfy very young viewers, but compared to the many superior options available to families and animation enthusiasts, it offers little to truly recommend.
Synopsis: Ratchet and Clank tells the story of two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman... [More]

#35

Daylight (1996)
25%

#35
Adjusted Score: 26.703%
Critics Consensus: The opening's got a great fiery explosion and Stallone puts in another earnest, sympathetic performance, but all else in Daylight feels designed to annoy the audience into submission.
Synopsis: In this disaster/adventure film, a truck containing dangerous chemicals explodes in the Holland Tunnel, trapping those New Yorkers not killed... [More]
Directed By: Rob Cohen

#34

Over the Top (1987)
27%

#34
Adjusted Score: 28.526%
Critics Consensus: The definitive film about arm-wrestling truck drivers fighting for custody of their children, Over the Top lives down to its title in the cheesiest of ways.
Synopsis: A caring truck driver, wants only to gain custody of his beloved son after his ex-wife becomes deathly ill. Unfortunately... [More]
Directed By: Menahem Golan

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 33.981%
Critics Consensus: Like the sequels that preceded it, Rambo: Last Blood is content to indulge in bloody violence at the expense of its main character's once-poignant story.
Synopsis: Almost four decades after he drew first blood, Sylvester Stallone is back as one of the greatest action heroes of... [More]
Directed By: Adrian Grunberg

#32

Rocky V (1990)
29%

#32
Adjusted Score: 30.975%
Critics Consensus: Rocky V's attempts to recapture the original's working-class grit are as transparently phony as each of the thuddingly obvious plot developments in a misguided installment that sent the franchise flailing into longterm limbo.
Synopsis: Touted upon its release as the finale of the Rocky saga, this fifth entry in the long-running series of sports... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#31

Tango & Cash (1989)
31%

#31
Adjusted Score: 34.08%
Critics Consensus: Brutally violent and punishingly dull, this cookie-cutter buddy cop thriller isn't even fun enough to reach "so bad it's good" status.
Synopsis: Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell star in this Hollywood buddy actioner about two competitive police officers in Los Angeles. Tango... [More]
Directed By: Andrey Konchalovskiy

#30

Grudge Match (2013)
31%

#30
Adjusted Score: 35.834%
Critics Consensus: Grudge Match is sporadically funny but meandering, and its strong cast largely mired in a plot that's overrun with clichés.
Synopsis: Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone star as old boxing rivals who come out of retirement for one final match.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Segal

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 38.209%
Critics Consensus: Like its predecessors, Expendables 3 offers a modicum of all-star thrills for old-school action thriller aficionados -- but given all the talent assembled, it should have been a lot more fun.
Synopsis: In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson),... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#28
Adjusted Score: 15.25%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Out for vengeance, Breslin and his crew find themselves breaking into a new high-security prison in an effort to find... [More]
Directed By: John Herzfeld

#27
Adjusted Score: 38.828%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) takes off for the second time to save U.S. POWs and fight at least two armies... [More]
Directed By: George P. Cosmatos

#26

Rambo (Rambo IV) (2008)
38%

#26
Adjusted Score: 43.337%
Critics Consensus: Sylvester Stallone knows how to stage action sequences, but the movie's uneven pacing and excessive violence (even for the franchise) is more nauseating than entertaining.
Synopsis: When a group of missionary aid workers in Myanmar disappear into the vast green inferno, vigilante Vietnam War veteran John... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#25

Paradise Alley (1978)
40%

#25
Adjusted Score: 24.224%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Film auteur Sylvester Stallone wrote, directed, and stars in this re-working of Rocky to fit an old-fashioned Hollywood formula, depicting... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#24

Rocky IV (1985)
40%

#24
Adjusted Score: 43.375%
Critics Consensus: Rocky IV inflates the action to absurd heights, but it ultimately rings hollow thanks to a story that hits the same basic beats as the first three entries in the franchise.
Synopsis: Stallone is back for the fourth time (as Rocky) when an invincible computer-trained Soviet boxer kills his friend in a... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#23

Rambo III (1988)
38%

#23
Adjusted Score: 40.035%
Critics Consensus: Rambo III finds its justice-dispensing hero far from the thoughtful drama that marked the franchise's beginning -- and just as far from quality action thriller entertainment.
Synopsis: When Vietnam vet John Rambo discovers that his former commander is being held captive in Afghanistan, he undertakes a personal... [More]
Directed By: Peter MacDonald

#22

The Expendables (2010)
42%

#22
Adjusted Score: 47.857%
Critics Consensus: It makes good on the old-school action it promises, but given all the talent on display, The Expendables should hit harder.
Synopsis: An all-star cast of action-movie icons headline Sylvester Stallone's explosive action thriller about a group of hard-nosed mercenaries who are... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 48.768%
Critics Consensus: The movie will be found wanting if one is not taken in by the 3-D visuals.
Synopsis: Carmen's caught in a virtual reality game designed by the Kids' new nemesis, the Toymaker (Stallone). It's up to Juni... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 50.876%
Critics Consensus: Bullet to the Head's unapologetically trashy thrills evoke memories of its star and director's proud cinematic pasts -- but sadly, those memories are just about all it has to offer.
Synopsis: Based on a graphic novel, Bullet to the Head tells the story of a New Orleans hitman (Stallone) and a... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#19

Escape Plan (2013)
50%

#19
Adjusted Score: 53.533%
Critics Consensus: As much fun as it is to see Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up onscreen, Escape Plan fails to offer much more than a pale imitation of 1980s popcorn thrills.
Synopsis: One of the world's foremost authorities on structural security agrees to take on one last job: breaking out of an... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Håfström

#18

Demolition Man (1993)
62%

#18
Adjusted Score: 64.621%
Critics Consensus: A better-than-average sci-fi shoot-em-up with a satirical undercurrent, Demolition Man is bolstered by strong performances by Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock.
Synopsis: The plot of this action film begins in 1996, with Los Angeles in a violence-crazed conflagration. One of the LAPD's... [More]
Directed By: Marco Brambilla

#17

Rocky III (1982)
64%

#17
Adjusted Score: 66.953%
Critics Consensus: It's noticeably subject to the law of diminishing returns, but Rocky III still has enough brawny spectacle to stand in the ring with the franchise's better entries.
Synopsis: Sylvester Stallone returns to the character which made him famous in this wildly successful sequel. Rocky III starts with the... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#16

Shade (2003)
67%

#16
Adjusted Score: 33.511%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The first film from real-life card shark Damian Nieman, who wrote and directed the picture, stars Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton,... [More]
Directed By: Damian Nieman

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 67.535%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sylvester Stallone and Henry Winkler star as members of a 1950s street gang who must face the onset of maturity... [More]

#14

Cliffhanger (1993)
68%

#14
Adjusted Score: 71.92%
Critics Consensus: While it can't escape comparisons to the movies it borrows from, Cliffhanger is a tense, action-packed thriller and a showcase for the talents that made Sylvester Stallone a star.
Synopsis: Producer Neal H. Moritz and writer Joe Gazzam team with Studio Canal for this remake of the 1993 mountain-climbing adventure... [More]
Starring:
Directed By:

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 72.262%
Critics Consensus: Taut, violent, and suitably self-deprecating, The Expendables 2 gives classic action fans everything they can reasonably expect from a star-studded shoot-'em-up -- for better and for worse.
Synopsis: The Expendables are back and this time it's personal... Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#12

Nighthawks (1981)
70%

#12
Adjusted Score: 70.874%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Deke DaSilva (Sylvester Stallone) and Matthew Fox (Billy Dee Williams) are New York police officers specially assigned to a special... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Malmuth

#11

Victory (1981)
71%

#11
Adjusted Score: 46.558%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: John Huston directed this exciting World War II action film, which culminates in a rousing soccer game. In a German... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#10

F.I.S.T. (1978)
73%

#10
Adjusted Score: 73.332%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Johnny Kovak (Sylvester Stallone) is a trucker for a large and abusive company in the 1930s. He gets involved in... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#9

Rocky II (1979)
71%

#9
Adjusted Score: 73.268%
Critics Consensus: Rocky II is a movie that dares you to root again for the ultimate underdog -- and succeeds due to an infectiously powerful climax.
Synopsis: After scoring a personal victory (though a physical defeat) in his "Cinderella" bout with Apollo Creed, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#8

Cop Land (1997)
74%

#8
Adjusted Score: 77.498%
Critics Consensus: Cop Land gifts its star-studded cast with richly imagined characters while throttling the audience with carefully-ratcheted suspense, although this potboiler lacks the moral complexity of the crime classics that it harkens to.
Synopsis: The second film from writer/director James Mangold, the corruption drama Cop Land stars Sylvester Stallone as Freddy Heflin, the much-denigrated... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#7

Rocky Balboa (2006)
77%

#7
Adjusted Score: 82.919%
Critics Consensus: Implausible but entertaining and poignant, Rocky Balboa finds the champ in fighting form for the first time in years.
Synopsis: The greatest underdog story of our time is back for one final round of the Academy Award-winning Rocky franchise. Former... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#6

Death Race 2000 (1975)
83%

#6
Adjusted Score: 86.426%
Critics Consensus: Death Race 2000 is a fun, campy classic, drawing genuine thrills from its mindless ultra-violence.
Synopsis: Cult hero Paul Bartel directed this low-budget satire in which America's passion for cars, violence, and sporting events are finally... [More]
Directed By: Paul Bartel

#5

Creed II (2018)
84%

#5
Adjusted Score: 96.322%
Critics Consensus: Creed II's adherence to franchise formula adds up to a sequel with few true surprises, but its time-tested generational themes still pack a solid punch.
Synopsis: Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he... [More]
Directed By: Steven Caple Jr.

#4

First Blood (1982)
87%

#4
Adjusted Score: 90.941%
Critics Consensus: Much darker and more sensitive than the sequels it spawned, First Blood is a thrilling survival adventure that takes full advantage of Sylvester Stallone's acting skills.
Synopsis: A former Green Beret must use all of the guerrilla tactics he learned in Vietnam to save himself after he... [More]
Directed By: Ted Kotcheff

#3

Antz (1998)
93%

#3
Adjusted Score: 97.966%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a stellar voice cast, technically dazzling animation, and loads of good humor, Antz should delight both children and adults.
Synopsis: Central Park ant drone Z longs to be an individual of accomplishment, but Z's colony is a society that puts... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson

#2

Rocky (1976)
94%

#2
Adjusted Score: 100.77%
Critics Consensus: This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.
Synopsis: A slightly dimwitted amateur boxer from Philadelphia's tough neighborhood gets a surprise shot at fighting for the heavyweight championship, while... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#1

Creed (2015)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 106.367%
Critics Consensus: Creed brings the Rocky franchise off the mat for a surprisingly effective seventh round that extends the boxer's saga in interesting new directions while staying true to its classic predecessors' roots.
Synopsis: Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, attempts to follow in his father's... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

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