Movie Reviews
Sly (2023).

Sly Review: A Gritty Tale of Stallone’s Triumphs and Tribulations

Sly delves deep into the life and legacy of one of Hollywood’s most enduring icons, Sylvester Stallone. The film offers a comprehensive overview of Stallone’s nearly 50-year career. Sly traces the journey from a challenging childhood in Manhattan to becoming a struggling actor, an action movie superstar, and a filmmaker. While the documentary succeeds in providing an engaging and informative glimpse into Stallone’s life, it falls short of achieving greatness due to a lack of in-depth exploration and a somewhat basic approach.

The Good:

Sly (2023).

The film’s strength lies in its ability to present a captivating narrative of Stallone’s rise to fame. Through a skillful blend of archival footage, interviews, and scenes from his most iconic films, audiences are treated to an intimate portrayal of the man behind legendary characters. These include the likes of Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. The documentary adeptly captures Stallone’s determination, resilience, and unwavering passion for filmmaking. It paints a vivid picture of the challenges he faced and the triumphs he achieved. The inclusion of interviews with prominent figures such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Stallone, and Quentin Tarantino adds depth to the storytelling. Thus, it provides valuable insights into Stallone’s impact on the film industry and his relationships within the Hollywood circle.

One of the documentary’s standout features is its ability to showcase Stallone’s evolution as an actor and filmmaker. From his early struggles to his breakthrough with Rocky, the film chronicles the highs and lows of Stallone’s career. It also highlights the moments that defined his legacy. The audience is treated to behind-the-scenes glimpses of his creative process, offering a rare peek into the making of some of the most iconic movies in cinema history. These moments of cinematic exploration provide a genuine sense of appreciation for Stallone’s artistic vision and dedication to his craft.

In terms of technical aspects, Sly boasts excellent editing and seamlessly integrates archival footage with interviews and film scenes. The pacing of the documentary is generally well-executed, ensuring a smooth flow of events and insights throughout its runtime. The cinematography, especially in capturing the behind-the-scenes moments, adds a layer of authenticity to the film, immersing the audience in Stallone’s world.

The Bad:


However, where Sly falters is in its failure to delve deeper into certain aspects of Stallone’s life and career. While the documentary covers the broad strokes of his journey, it often skims the surface, leaving the audience craving more profound insights into Stallone’s personal struggles. The film’s narrative structure feels somewhat formulaic, following a conventional rise-and-fall trajectory without offering many surprises or unique perspectives. As a result, the documentary occasionally lacks the depth and complexity needed to truly engage viewers.

Despite the presence of interviews with influential figures from Stallone’s life, the film misses an opportunity to explore their perspectives in greater detail. While these interviews provide valuable context, they often feel cursory, leaving the audience wanting more in-depth conversations and reflections. A deeper exploration of the emotional impact of Stallone’s work on his collaborators and the industry as a whole could have added layers of depth to the film’s narrative.


Sly is a solid documentary that offers an engaging overview of Sylvester Stallone’s remarkable career and enduring legacy. While it succeeds in celebrating Stallone’s achievements and providing a glimpse into his life, it falls short of achieving greatness due to its somewhat superficial exploration of his life. Fans of Stallone and enthusiasts of Hollywood history will undoubtedly find the film entertaining and informative. For those seeking a profound exploration of Stallone’s journey, Sly may leave them wanting a more emotionally resonant narrative.

  • Acting - 0/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 0/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 0/10
  • Setting/Theme - 0/10
  • Watchability - 0/10
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