Every Movie Where Sylvester Stallone Doesn’t Shoot, Punch or Maim Anyone, Ranked
Sylvester Stallone can never seem to stay out of trouble. In just about every movie he’s ever made, he’s punching somebody, shooting somebody or punching and shooting somebody. Even now, at 76, he’s still playing these kinds of roles. Case in point: He stars as an ex-mobster in his new Paramount+ series, Tulsa King, who will undoubtedly be engaging in plenty of fisticuffs.
But Stallone is also an Oscar winner with almost 100 credits on his IMDb page, so there must be some movies in his filmography where he doesn’t inflict physical violence upon another human being. And yet, even in the movies where you think he’d be nonviolent, he somehow ends up in some kind of altercation. For instance, in Rhinestone, in which he plays a country singer, he gets into a bar fight, and in The Party at Kitty and Stud’s, aka the softcore “porn” film he starred in before Rocky, he beats a woman with a belt. (Yikes!)
After a lot of fast-forwarding, though, I was able to eventually determine that there are precisely six movies — not including cameos or animated movies — where Sly doesn’t hurt or kill someone. Here they are ranked by how big of a softie he is in them…
While he’s not Rocky or Rambo, Kit Latura is still a total badass, which is why he’s the least soft character on this list. For the uninitiated, Daylight is a disaster movie about a bunch of people who are trapped in the Holland Tunnel. Stallone plays a tough-guy NYC cabbie — and more importantly to the plotline at hand, Manhattan’s former EMS chief — who ventures into the tunnel to save the day.
Daylight is pure 1990s action-thriller, complete with aggressive music choices and an incomprehensible amount of fire. It’s incredibly entertaining, and Stallone does a bunch of cool action stuff in it — a la punching a hole in the tunnel wall. But that’s really the only thing he hits. In fact, it’s downright impressive how Latura never hurts someone even though he’s a completely stereotypical Stallone character.
In probably the biggest miscast of his career, Stallone plays a washed-up race-car driver who gets back in the racing game to do some more racing because, I guess, there are no other racers who can race the way he races? (It’s very hard to tell.) All that matters for our purposes is that he doesn’t hit or shoot anybody. That said, race-car driving is a very macho profession, so he can’t be that much of a softie despite the decided lack of pugilism.
Made in the wake of Ocean’s Eleven, Shade is a gambling/heist movie where a few crooks are trying to take down the best poker player in L.A. In it, Stallone plays “The Dean,” who is the old poker champ the gang is trying to take down. (Spoiler alert: Stallone wins, and he remains L.A.’s best poker player.)
“The Dean,” which is his first name and nickname, isn’t in the movie enough to have his character really fleshed out — he’s merely a supporting role who does a lot of bet-raising. We do know that he’s supposed to be tough because he’s played by Stallone and the movie bends over backwards to say how slick and good at poker he is. But IMHO that still makes him less tough than a race-car driver and a life-saving EMS chief.
In yet another miscast, Stallone plays an editor of a news website who alternately says inspirational things and yells inspirational things. He’s not in the movie much, but there’s a decent amount of range and tenderness in all of the Rocky-like speeches he gives.
I didn’t expect Rocky Balboa to top this list, but I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising. Although the Rocky films are about boxing, what’s always been so endearing about them is how empathetic Rocky is. Stallone, of course, spends the six Rocky movies throwing all kinds of punches, but when he gets to the Creed franchise, he’s old and sweet, sipping tea and wearing old-lady glasses. He still carries the aura of Rocky, but since he doesn’t get in the ring, he’s mostly all sweetness.
There’s not a lot of differences between the Rocky in Creed and Creed II, but at the end of Creed II, Rocky meets his grandson and sheds a visible, yet still quite manly, tear. Now that’s a softie for ya.