Sylvester Stallone Movies That Break the Mould

Sylvester Stallone has been setting trends for decades.
We all know that Sly Stallone is Rambo, and Rocky, and that he’s made a name for himself as one of the prime examples of the cinematic action hero. But what if we told you that he’s actually much, much more than that? Sly has done some truly crazy stuff with his movie roles, breaking the mould in many weird and wonderful ways. Don’t believe us? Here’s seven Sylvester Stallone films that truly break the mould.

Cop Land

Stallone surprised audiences and critics alike when he made a dramatic turn as Freddy Heflin, a small-town sheriff going up against a crew of super corrupt New York cops. He acted alongside Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel and Ray Liotta, proving that he’s capable of delivering emotional body blows, not just physical ones. 


If you ever doubted Sly’s ability to hit audiences right in the feels, check out the opening scene of Cliffhanger. The drama pits Sly’s Gabe, a former mountain climber and rescue ranger, against John Lithgow’s cruel, villainous Eric Qualen. They both chew the scenery, and Stallone proved that rock climbing is the coolest thing to do with your bare hands. 


Here’s a fun fact: Cobra was the film that Stallone made after bailing on Beverly Hills Cop, which he thought was too comedic. Cobra is about Marion Cobretti, a special forces cop called in to deal with stuff too hectic for regular cops to handle. It’s the film that influenced Ryan Gosling’s Drive, and basically spawned a generation of imitators (and with 80s nostalgia at it’s peak, it’s now cooler than ever).

Over the Top

Sylvester Stallone did something absolutely nuts and frankly a little brave: he made an epic, feel-good underdog story about a guy who fights to become the best of the best… at arm wrestling. Over the Top is earnest, goofy and is basically Rocky for arm wrestlers. Talk about breaking the mould.

Rambo: Last Blood

People thought Rambo was done for, but Stallone has broken the mould yet again by bringing Rambo back to the big screen. He’s consistently showed foresight with his willingness to bring his heroes roaring back in gritty sequels, pre-dating the franchise revival boom that we’re currently witnessing. Also, Sly had the guts to fuse Rambo and Home Alone. How cool is that?


It takes a brave man to fight… it takes an even braver man to sing. Sly co-wrote this comedy which sees Dolly Parton play a struggling singer who bets her career on her ability to turn a regular person into a country music star. She picks an obnoxious cab driver, played by Stallone. Sly says he regrets making the film, but it took guts to do something so incredibly far outside of his wheelhouse.


Why does Rocky qualify as a film that broke the mould? Well, Stallone was a nobody when it got bought, and he wrote it for himself. The studio pushed for a big name, but he refused, sticking to his guns. And as the world now well and truly knows, he nailed it, cementing himself as a superstar in the process.

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