Top 10 Sylvester Stallone – The star is 75 years old, we think these are his ten best films

RETRO MOVIE – Sylvester Stallone celebrates his 75th birthday on this day. In a career spanning 51 years, Stallone’s career has seen its ups and downs, but in recent years it has been revived by relatively high quality sequels to some of the most famous franchises.


Of course, no matter what films he goes on to make, Stallone will always be a Hollywood legend. In memory of the recently dropped Tom Cruise top 10, we decided to rank the best films in Sly’s filmography. If you think we missed one or disagree with our choices, let us know in the comments below.


10. Nighthawks (1981)


Originally planned as French Connection III, Phantom of the Night was plagued by production problems, including a director change a week after shooting. The film also marks the American debut of the late Rutger Hauer and features the brilliant pairing of Stallone and Billy Dee Williams. Despite its problems, the brilliant stunt performances by Stallone himself and Hauer’s superb portrayal of the main villain make Phantom of the Nightfall one of Stallone’s least seen but most extraordinary films.


9. Cobra (1986)


Cobra was made to be a more serious action film than Beverly Hills Cop (which Stallone rewrote and almost starred in), and Cobra could easily have launched a new franchise starring Marion Cobretti. Cobra was directed by Rambo: First Blood II director George P. Cosmatos, and despite being a commercial failure, it turned out to be a pretty cool movie. Though it was nominated for several Razzies, Cobra has been an inspiration for many filmmakers, especially Nicolas Winding Refn, who pays tribute to the film in his own Drive. Stallone has said that a reboot of the film could come in the form of a TV series. Let’s hope it won’t lack a killer soundtrack and an 80s vibe.


8. Creed (2015)


While in the early 2000s, Stallone resurrected the franchise with ROCKY BALBOA and RAMBO, as well as the nostalgic EXPENDABLES films, it was BLACK PANTHER director Ryan Coogler who gave Stallone an Oscar-nominated supporting role in CREED. CREED, spun off from the ROCKY franchise, is Michael B. Jordan’s film, but Stallone shines in one of the most heartbreaking performances of his career, and his character continues to live up to his potential three decades after his debut. He’s equally good in CREED II, but it’s in this film that Stallone seems to deliver his best performance of the franchise.


7. Cop Land (1997)


If you make a movie that stars Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick and Robert De Niro, and the best performance is by Sylvester Stallone, you’ve got one hell of a movie. Logan director James Mangold’s neo-noir is one of Stallone’s most revered roles, and should have won him an Oscar. Playing Stallone’s Freddy Heflin, the cop investigating corrupt cops, is a great character that we can basically imagine anyone but Stallone playing. Yet he was still memorable in the role.


6. Tango & Cash (1989)


One of the last two films of the 1980s (released on 22 December 1989 alongside ALWAYS), TANGO & CASH shows the chemistry between Stallone and Kurt Russell. Rumors of a possible sequel have started to surface, and even if it was just the two actors talking for two hours at a coffee table, I’d watch it. This film isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it’s got solid action, some great prison scenes, Kurt Russell in drag, and a great cop-buddy vibe. They really don’t make movies like this anymore, and I’d love to see one more time of these two forcibly teaming up.


5. Cliffhanger (1993)


1993 was the year of Stallone. While DEMOLITION MAN was the lighter film, Renny Harlin’s CLIFFHANGER was the more intense. The stunningly shot film, which has some of the most breathtaking scenes, was only made because the planned John Hughes comedy starring Stallone and John Candy fell apart at the last minute (for more information, see BARTHOLOMEW VS NEFF). Then we almost got GALE FORCE, a DIE HARD rip-off set in a hurricane and rewritten by Joe Eszterhas as an erotic thriller. Fortunately, Stallone and Harlin moved on to CLIFFHANGER, and the rest is history. Nothing can top that opening scene. It still gives me the creeps.


4. Rambo: First Blood II (1985)


While FIRST BLOOD may have been a more nuanced action film with dramatic elements, RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II is the template upon which countless action films have been built. A huge blockbuster, RAMBO contains insanely over-the-top action and violence that has become synonymous with Stallone and 80s action stars in general. Co-written by Stallone and James Cameron, RAMBO is to FIRST BLOOD as ALIENS is to ALIEN. Almost as if it existed in a completely different franchise, it’s an action movie for fans and paved the payoff for the next decade of Stallone’s career.


3. Demolition Man (1993)


Stallone was revived in the early nineties, including this, his first sci-fi film. Played by Wesley Snipes as the great villain, The Destroyer was a deliberately exaggerated action film with great humour, and Sandra Bullock was also in it. The action part was good, but this story, not without its self-irony, showed that despite his previous failures, Stallone is still a great comedian, not just an action hero.


2. Rambo: Első vér (1982)


Six years after Rocky, Stallone co-wrote an adaptation of a novel about a Vietnam veteran who must use his fighting skills against local police who want to catch him. While critics were not initially thrilled with First Blood, it is a very different type of action film than we have seen before. By introducing us to a war hero suffering from PTSD, we were treated to a truly unique character that would not be so professionally developed in years to come. Rambo: First Blood is not just an action movie, it’s a damn good thriller and drama.


1. Rocky (1976)


Let us never forget that Sylvester Stallone was nominated for an Academy Award for writing ROCKY, which later won the Academy Award for Best Picture. A brilliant and perfect film, ROCKY spawned seven sequels, of which Stallone wrote six and directed four. ROCKY is an iconic film that has a statue in Philadelphia and has become part of American pop culture. It is the film that cemented Stallone’s stature in Hollywood, and without it, his subsequent films would not have been made. ROCKY is the perfect film in every way, and you don’t have to be a sports fan to accept it.


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