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First Blood Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100


    Director Ted Kotcheff has all sorts of trouble with this mess, aside from credibility. Supposedly, the real villain here is society itself, which invented a debacle like Vietnam and must now deal with its lingering tragedies. But First Blood cops out completely on that one, not even trying to find a solution to Stallone's problems.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Until the last twenty or thirty minutes, however, First Blood is a very good movie, well-paced, and well-acted not only by Stallone (who invests an unlikely character with great authority) but also by Crenna and Brian Dennehy, as the police chief.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

First and most popular Rambo; and yes, bloody.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie, the most successful of the movies featuring the Rambo character, has many moments of violent bloodshed (including the hero sewing his own gashed arm shut) and foul language. Rambo's incredible guerilla survival skills have special appeal for young fans, but there's lots of not-to-be imitated stuntwork.

  • Families can talk about the difference between the military and the civilian mindsets in the movie, and how Rambo was educated by the Army: "When in doubt, kill." You can also discuss the shabby treatment of American Vietnam veterans compared to other war vets, and how Hollywood's portrayals of them -- either psychos or super-commandos -- contributed to the problem.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Rambo was rewritten (for Stallone specifications) from the book's pitiless, murdering character to someone who never intentionally kills, but causalities and wounded still result from his actions. His commanding officer, Trautman, seems to be the voice of reason and the only person who understands Rambo, but the authority figures of the small-town sheriff and his men are irredeemable bullies who pretty much dictate the fatal flow of events.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Rambo is tortured with knives in Vietnam flashbacks, brutalized by cops in modern-day America. Plenty of beat-downs, shootouts, spearings on Viet Cong-style death traps, and a memorable scene in which Rambo stitches up his own arm wound. One of Rambo's traps kills a bloodhound (off screen). Rambo never directly kills anyone here (except an animal he hunts for food), he just wounds and maims.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Non-erotic, bare-butt shot of Rambo hosed down by police.

  • language false5

    Language: Plenty of "s--t," "hell," "damn," and "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: A mention of Soldier of Fortune magazine.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social saloon drinking and smoking.