Stallone is feral this film, physically powerful; he's muddy and bloody, but he's still pretty even in a tarpaulin. He's the wild child coming home. First Blood is good to the last drop, if you like that sort of thing. [22 Oct 1982, p.17]
This is the only Rambo movie worth seeing, and is an excellent thriller where we empathize with Stallone's PTSD scarred Rambo as a struggling and decorated Vietnam Vet lashing out against unsympathetic and heartless forces in a story as relevant today as it was then.
As a macho fantasy, First Blood is successful. But by the time it comes to its sobering, let's-put-this-all-in-a-sane-perspective conclusion, one has a right to feel powerfully misused. [25 Oct 1982, p.119]