Worst To Best: Sylvester Stallone

Sly’s hits and misses

The Party At Kitty And Stud's (1970)

The Film: Caused a bit of a stir when it was re-released in 2007 as an X-rated film – though none of the X-rated footage involved Sylvester Stallone. In the softcore version, also known as The Italian Stallion , he takes his cinematic bow as the titular Stud, a sadomasochistic boor.

Stallone Strength: He worked just two days and got $200 for his efforts – which mostly involved rolling around naked, standing around naked, whipping people while naked… you get the gist. Not too bad for Sly’s first ever acting gig.

Rhinestone (1984)

The Film: Comedy from director Bob Clark ( Black Christmas ) in which Dolly Parton’s giant-haired country singer attempts to turns Sly’s New York cabbie into a stage performer.

Stallone Strength: The film’s poster had Stallone arm-wrestling with Dolly Parton – yep, Sly’s not afraid of taking on the big gals. He’d have to develop a tough skin after this, though – Rhinestone was dragged over the coals by critics.

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)

The Film: Shambolic comedy in which a cop’s mother comes to stay and interferes with his life. Even Stallone admits it’s bad. “[ That ] was my worst movie,” he said in 2010. “If you want someone to confess to murder make them sit through that.”

Stallone Strength: Ebbing pretty low here, though Stallone at least got an award out of it. Sure, it’s a Golden Raspberry for Worst Actor, but it’s still an award, right?

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)

The Film: Third film in Robert Rodriguez’s kiddie capers. Stallone supplies the film with its silver-haired villain Sebastian the Toymaker.

Stallone Strength:
Sure, the kiddies lapped it up, but the critics found little to love – especially when it came to the film’s script. Despite Stallone playing three alter-egos, none of them have any pizzazz.

Staying Alive (1983)

The Film: Sequel to Saturday Night Fever directed by Stallone himself. Six years after Fever , Tony (John Travolta) has moved to Manhattan and is working as a dance instructor.

Stallone Strength:
Though Stallone doesn’t act in the film (aside from a brief cameo appearance), he showed he had heft when it came to directing – the film was a box office smash and was one of the most successful films of 1983.

Driven (2001)

The Film: Sadly not a predecessor to Drive , but a hot-wheeled action drama from director Renny Harlin. Stallone plays racing prodigy Joe Tanto, who’s wheeled in to help a rookie racer.

Stallone Strength: Sly wrote the script for this critically-mauled drama, which did him few favours. Still, his natural charisma gets him through most of his scenes.

Rocky V (1990)

The Film: Not quite a disaster, but absolutely the worst of the Rocky films, this fifth entry has Rocky (Stallone) becoming a trainer but being betrayed by his new protégée.

Stallone Strength:
Stallone’s still got it both in and outside the ring. The highlight here, though, is the relationship between Rocky and his son Robert, played by Stallone’s son Sage. It’s a touching on-screen portrayal that’s all the more affecting in the wake of Sage’s tragic death this year.

No Place To Hide (1970)

The Film: A paranoid thriller surfing a brief trend in conspiracy cinema in the early ‘70s, No Place To Hide follows what happens when the FBI plants a moll in a group of anti-war hippies.

Stallone Strength: Critics weren’t kind to the film or Stallone, the young actor getting his first taste of critical failure. No place to hide, indeed…

Get Carter (2000)

The Film: A remake of Michael Caine’s seminal ‘70s thriller. This time, Stallone is Jack Carter, a financial enforcer at a mob casino who’s out to kill the men who murdered his brother.

Stallone Strength: A definite low-point in the early Noughties for Stallone, Get Carter was savaged by audiences and critics – and Stallone himself was lambasted for “sleepwalking” through most of the film.

Zookeeper (2011)

The Film: Atrocious family comedy starring Kevin James as a lovelorn zookeeper who finds true romance with a little help from his animal friends.

Stallone Strength: Alright, the film was pants, but Stallone came along with his tongue in his cheek as the voice of Joe the Lion. It’s not every day you get to see a big cat speaking like Sly…

We recommend