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Genre: Action
Photography: Color
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: May 23, 1986
Directed by: George P. Cosmatos
Written by: Sylvester Stallone
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Starring: Sylvester Stallone
Brigitte Nielsen
Reni Santoni
Andrew Robinson

Cobra is a 1986 American action film "directed" by George P. Costamos, and written by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the title role (the two previously worked together in 1985's Rambo: First Blood Part II). The film co-stars Reni Santoni, Brigitte Nielsen, and Andrew Robinson. The film was loosely based on the novel Fair Game by Paula Gosling.


A tough-on-crime street cop must protect the only surviving witness from a social darwinistic supremacist group.

Why It Sucks

  1. Overfilled with cliches. While cliches are a typical thing for 80's and 90's cop and action movies, this movie uses them to full extent.
  2. Intrusive product placement.
  3. Tries too hard to be dark and edgy.
  4. Farfetched plot.


Cobra was panned by critics and audiences. The film currently holds a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 2.7 out of 10, but lacks a consensus. Gene Siskel of The Chicago Tribune gave the film a two and a half out of four stars and described the film as "a nonstop war between one grenade-and-gun-laden man." Steve Crum of described it as "Sub-par Stallone shoot-em-up."

Box Office

Cobra opened up at #1 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $12,653,032 and later made a domestic gross of $49 million. In foreign countries, Cobra made $111 million. Overall, the film made a worldwide gross of $160 million against its $25 million budget making it a success.

Awards and nominations

Cobra was nominated for four Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, but lost to Howard the Duck.


  • The screenplay was originally conceived from ideas Stallone had during pre-production of 1984's Beverly Hills Cop, whose screenplay he heavily revised. Stallone had wanted to make Beverly Hills Cop a less comedic and more action-oriented film, which the studio rejected as being far too expensive. When he left that project, Eddie Murphy was brought in to play the lead role.
  • Despite George P. Costamos being listed as the director for the movie, the title was a honorific at best. Stallone was the one who was really calling all the shots.
  • The movie was originally supposed to release with an X rating and a run-time of 120 minutes. A good 30 minutes worth of footage was cut and a lot of the violence was toned down so that the movie could compete with the then smash hit Top Gun.


External links