Rocky III (1982) - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rocky III (1982)



Critic 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.

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Movie Info

Sylvester Stallone returns to the character which made him famous in this wildly successful sequel. Rocky III starts with the Italian Stallion so famous that his likeness is everywhere, including pinball machines. Fame and complacency soon cause Balboa to lose his title to young thug Clubber Lang (Mr. T), who inadvertently causes the death of Rocky's beloved trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), before their first championship bout. After sinking into a depression, Balboa must regain the love and support of his family, as well as the elusive "eye of the tiger," the hungry need to beat the opponent which former foe Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) teaches him during this film's de rigueur training sequence. In the end, Balboa faces off against Lang for a second time. "Eye of the Tiger," the theme song Stallone commissioned from the band Survivor, became a huge hit single.

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Mr. T
as Clubber Lang
Burt Young
as Paulie
Carl Weathers
as Apollo Creed
Ian Fried
as Rocky Jr.
Hulk Hogan
as Thunderlips
Wally Taylor
as Clubber's manager
Jim Hill
as Sportscaster
Dennis James
as Wrestling Commentator #1
Jim Healy
as Wrestling Commentator #2
Stu Nahan
as Title Rematch Commentator #1
Bill Baldwin
as Title Rematch Commentator #2
Marty Denkin
as Title Referee
Ray Gedeon
as Wrestling Referee
Mario Machado
as Interviewer
Lou Filippo
as Rematch Referee
Jimmy Lennon Sr.
as Title Announcer
Jeff Temkin
as Rematch Ring Announcer
Big Yank
as Sparring Partner
Eddie Smith
as Clubber's Cornerman
Bob Minor
as Challenger
Julius LeFlore
as Challenger
Tony Brubaker
as Challenger
Rex Pierson
as Challenger
Carey Lindley
as Challenger
Jophery C. Brown
as Challenger
J.D. Smith
as Opponent
Melvin Jones
as Opponent
George O'Mara
as Opponent
Gilbert B. Combs
as Challenger
Alex Brown
as Opponent
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News & Interviews for Rocky III

Critic Reviews for Rocky III

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (9)

It would be true to say that Stallone has improved as a director, delivering a short, almost staccato movie which zips through the whole fable fast enough to prevent familiarity breeding contempt.

November 11, 2021 | Full Review…

Stallone is distinctly at his best when the film takes off into almost abstract montages of ;music or images, or in the nifty choreography of the fights.

September 23, 2020 | Full Review…

Rocky was a right hook that hit satisfying home: Rocky II was a good follow-up left: Rocky III is a redundant flurry of fisticuffs long after the match has been won and the referee has raised the victor's arm.

September 23, 2020 | Full Review…

In Rocky III, Rocky Balboa achieves a peace and contentment with both his strengths and weaknesses that he hasn't shown before. He's still growing.

April 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Rocky III is an engaging exercise in discreet, incisive and good-humored hokum.

April 24, 2018 | Full Review…

The real question with Rocky III was how Sylvester Stallone could twist the plot to make an interesting difference. He manages.

July 6, 2010 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rocky III

Apparently, the worst that can happen to any fighter is to get civilized, and so the great underdog drama of the previous films is gone in this forgettable, unnecessary third installment now that we are left with a famous boxing star fighting a psycho killer.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


The third instalment in the "Rocky" franchise is a little underwhelming, albeit enjoyable. The cast works together better than ever, and the bond between Rocky and Apollo Creed is the best chemistry in the series yet. Deep down, this movie has elements that have been missing throughout the years in the previous films, but the script is kind of lazy and the fights don't seem as inspired. Still, the final fight with Stallone and Mr. T makes the film already good enough to view, because the raw feeling of that fight is almost better than any of the previous finales. It may not reach any new heights for the franchise, but it's still enjoyable.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


An unnecessary but entertaining chapter to the Rocky saga. Stallone laces up the gloves again. A very cliche and somewhat-misdirected plot, dialogue and moral knocks it down, but the energetic action and boxing drama and glory brings it back up and continues to swing to the final bell. 3.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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