Ranking things from worst to best is certainly a fun thing to try. That is why I am starting my “Series Ranked” blogs, and my first shall be my favorite movie series of all time, the Rocky films. I will be ranking all 6 from worst to best. These are just my opinions, mind you. And yes, I did say six. As much as I would like to, Rocky’s latest feature, Creed will not be included, for it is not actually a Rocky movie. Though I would definitely put it at the top of this list, (top meaning worst).
OK, Let’s get to it. I will try to make this spoiler free, for those who have not seen these timeless classics. And shame on you if you haven’t.
#6 Rocky V
This probably comes as no surprise, as this is infamous for being the worst by far. I do not hate this movie, I actually enjoy it quite a bit. Rocky returns to the slums he worked so hard to escape, but takes on the role as manager instead of the managed. The movie does not play out the way every fan wanted it to, which is probably why it falls short. But the emotion and struggle that make these movies so great are still evident, so this certainly helps redeem it.
#5 Rocky Balboa
This is a great movie despite it being low on the list. I was thrilled when this movie came out after a 15 year (give or take) absence of Rocky films. Right away, the movie blasts you with emotional struggle, familiar soundtracks and all your favorite characters that managed to survive the series. The viewer instantly feels at home and this makes it easy and fun to catch up with Rocky’s life and what he has been doing while in retirement. It is a great movie, no doubt about it, but the age of the actors takes away from the movie a bit, making it a bit more dull than the others, due to the limitations on what they can do.
#4 Rocky IV
This is certainly an interest direction for the series, addressing some global issues at the time. This was my favorite movie out of the first five growing up, but now it falls short because this movie is primarily focused on boxing. 95% of the movie consists of training or boxing matches. This is thrilling stuff for sure, for it shows Rocky face his toughest challenges, in his personal life, in training and in the ring and it is no doubt exhilarating to watch. As a kid, this is why I loved the movies, but as I matured, I noticed that most of the emotions and character development and interaction was very limited. Though they did try to squeeze some of it in there, so I give them that. Fantastic movie overall.
#3 Rocky III
It was hard for me to pick if III or IV would get the third spot, but obviously I went with III, and simply because this had more of the raw emotion and struggle that I keep talking about. I can’t emphasize enough how these are the main ingredients of the movies, boxing is just a side dish. This is what keeps the movies going forward and allows the characters and story to expand, resulting in 6 (or 7) fabulous movies that don’t feel repetitive and old. It’s easy to get excited about a new movie starring Rocky instead of saying, “ugh, another one!?” Rocky III is a fine example of everything needed to make a good movie, earning the number 3 spot.
To me, these last two movies, compared to the others, are in a league of their own. This is the movie that started it all. Most of the cast consisted of unknown or small named actors who came together so perfectly for this low budget film written by a poor struggling artist, resulting in one of the best movies of all time. It is simply a masterpiece. The struggle and raw emotion of the main characters doing their best to survive, backed by incredibly fitting music, makes this so enjoyable to watch. Every viewer can find something to relate to with almost every character, so they can feel the struggle, the aches of life, the hardship that must be endured. And most importantly, it gives us hope when you see Rocky rise up from nothing, to making a name for himself. And on top of it all, you really want to exercise and start boxing after watching. Go health!
#1 Rocky II
This, in my opinion, is the best Rocky movie and also happens to be my favorite movie of all time. It takes everything that made the first movie so magical and builds upon it, taking the characters, and the viewers on an emotional roller coaster through the highs ad lows of life. You can’t help but get emotional over this movie, from sadness and gladness. It is just so well crafted and presented, that you will find yourself desperately routing for Rocky, and feel everything he and his wife feel.
All 6 movies are great and I highly recommend them to everyone. They are like a drug to me. I literally start getting withdrawal from them after 5-6 months and it steadily worsens until I watch them all.
They are that good.