Creed Review: Latest Rocky Movie Packs A Crowd Pleasing Punch

Adonis Johnson never knew his famous father, world heavy weight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa. Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo – the fierce rival who became his closest friend.


In what might be a surprise to some moviegoers, Creed packs a high quality, crowd pleasing cinematic punch to audiences just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend. The ads left more to be desired from my end. However, I always trust the filmmaking pedigree over advertisement any day. Creed is an old fashioned homage to the previous Rocky movies while confidently finding its stride throughout the storytelling process. This has a much more solid footing than the Rocky Balboa reboot from almost ten years ago. It follows the boxing underdog formula perfectly, but does so with such precision.

Creed is an old fashioned homage to the previous Rocky movies while confidently finding its stride throughout the storytelling process.

The best element of Creed is the direction from emerging filmmaker Ryan Coogler. In an upgrade from his Sundance Film Festival award winning Fruitvale Station, he is an offbeat and unexpected choice to continue the Rocky franchise. While most filmmakers would’ve gone big or overtly sentimental, Coogler honors the legacy of Rocky while providing realism. I admired the polished look in some scenes but the grittiness in others. Also, I loved when the stats of each fighter flashed on the screen. It reminded me of the urgency of the text messages race across the screen in Fruitvale Station.
Another welcoming filmmaking element in Creed was embodied within the acting. Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone delivered nuanced performances. Both carry the movie even during some of the uninteresting or longer moments taking viewers to unexpected emotional depths. It seems that these characters are at a crossroads in their life. Stallone reflects on the past while Jordan ponders his uncertain future. They both use boxing to channel their passion for life, thought it is a rediscovery form Creed is a comeback for Stallone after his Expendable hits (and a few misses). Likewise, Michael B Jordan should find himself with more career opportunities.


Creed provides a refreshing modern upgrade to female characters. The ones here aren’t passive and are even vital to the progression of the story and character development. Tessa Thompson, who plays his assured companion Bianca and much more than just a love interest. They have outstanding chemistry. I adored a scene where the two of them are lying next to each other in their apartment. The moment is simple but says a lot about their relationship. Phylicia Rashad becomes the mother he never knew he had. She has a few very good scenes providing tender balance.


All in all, Creed is a satisfying movie going experience that has a sentimental and serious reflection on the Rocky character while embracing a new fighter for the modern era.



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  • Acting - 8/10
  • Cinematography - 8/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7/10
  • Setting/Theme - 6/10
  • Buyability - 7/10
  • Recyclability - 7/10

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About Kenny Miles

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.

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