Sly review: Almost unfiltered and profound

Sly is a documentary that explores the life and career of the iconic Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone. From his struggling days and the inception of the Rocky franchise to multiple successes and failures, Sly bears it all and presents an intimate look at a career that spans over five decades. It is now streaming on Netflix.


Sly delves into the roots of Stallone’s journey, mapping the course of the 77-year-old Hollywood Legend’s creative career thus far.

It highlights the endeavors and challenges, highs and lows, as he tirelessly hustled, took bold leaps, and evolved from an underrated outsider to a Hollywood icon.

Stallone candidly explores his turbulent childhood, the fractured bond with his father, his grueling entry into the professional realm, and his box-office missteps along with the towering triumphs, as well as the peculiar nature of fame.


Sly is engaging and surprisingly quick in covering various events. It dives deeply into the creation of the iconic Rocky series and brilliantly explores Stallone’s innovative process amidst tough times. 

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It offers a poignant look back at Stallone’s journey, marked by moments of candid self-reflection and a rare peek into his inner thoughts. The narrative also highlights the impact of Stallone’s famous characters like Rocky and Rambo on multiple generations of movie-watchers.

One of the best bits of Sly is its exploration of Stallone’s formative years and ascent in the film industry, evoking a sense of nostalgia. Furthermore, interviews with Frank Stallone Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger, Quentin Tarantino, and Talia Shire, among others add another layer of immersion to Sly.


The documentary, while offering intriguing insights, presents some shortcomings. Primarily, it scratches only the surface of Stallone’s rich and complex life, failing to delve as deeply as it could have into the nuances that have shaped him personally and professionally.

Despite its fascinating details, its relatively brief duration and the seemingly adoring tone it adopts towards its subject matter provide a sense of incompleteness.

Moreover, the film’s polished sheen detracts from the potential to present a truly intimate and raw portrayal of Stallone, which would have resonated more authentically with viewers. Overall, the documentary’s depth, narrative structure, and organizational coherence fall short of expectations.


Sly is an engaging documentary that holds its ground but falls just short of providing a truly authentic and resounding look into the behemoth that is Sylvester Stallone.

Sly review: Almost unfiltered and profound 1

Director: Thom Zimny

Date Created: 2023-11-04 12:42

Editor's Rating:

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