80

Empire

By Adam Smith
There's the fact that First Blood is a first-rate, taught action thriller.
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75

TV Guide

Boasting some of the best use of rugged landscape since the westerns of Anthony Mann, First Blood is an effective, if outlandish, picture that exists merely for its big-screen thrills.
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75

Chicago Sun-Times

By 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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70

Chicago Reader

By Dave Kehr
The director, Ted Kotcheff, does a good job with the violence and suspense, working well with the wide-screen format, and he seems fully aware of the dark, subversive implications of the material, even if the screenplay doesn't allow him to resolve them successfully.
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50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
First Blood is a gung-ho action flick fast enough and brutal enough to become Stallone's first non-Rocky hit; on the profound sympathetic levels it seeks to address, however, it is an emission of profound stupidity. [22 Oct 1982]
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50

Boston Globe

Ted Kotcheff's First Blood is a cute, slick anti-Vietnam war film carefully treated to go down for the pro-war constituency it's made for. [23 Oct 1982]
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40

Variety

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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62 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.