Creed (2015) Poster

(II) (2015)

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8/10
Gets better with age
bkoganbing2 April 2016
Although young Michael B. Jordan has the title role in Creed the film really belongs to Sylvester Stallone. Sly joins an exclusive club of players like Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, and Al Pacino who got two Oscar nominations for playing the same role. In the case of Sly and Newman both aged naturally into the parts of Rocky Balboa and Eddie Felson. It's hard to believe that it has been 39 years since Stallone debuted Rocky Balboa. It's also 39 years between the nominations that Stallone got for Best Actor for Rocky and Best Supporting Actor for Creed.

But between that there have been several Rocky films over the years as Sly has developed more facets to the fighting Mr. Balboa of Philadelphia than I'm sure he even thought of when he debuted Rocky. It all really comes together with Creed.

But as for the story it seems that back when Apollo Creed was killed in that fight with that Russian steroid machine Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV he had a dalliance that resulted in a post mortem birth of an illegitimate son who grew up to be Michael B. Jordan, character name of Adonis Johnson. Apollo's widow Phyllis Rashad took him out of foster care as his natural mother had died and raised him.

Jordan has an interesting dichotomy to deal with. He's his father's son and wants to make it in the fight game, but on his own as Adonis Johnson. He seeks his father's old friend and rival Rocky Balboa as a mentor and Rocky trains him for a title shot at the light heavyweight championship.

Rocky Balboa is not the most articulate movie hero ever developed, but he sure imparts a lot of wisdom to Jordan. Those scenes with Jordan are what got Sly Stallone that second Oscar nomination. Also Rocky has some personal crises of his own to deal with. These guys are of incalculable help to each other.

I really loved this film and how Stallone developed Rocky to this point. Like fine wine, Rocky gets better with age.
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9/10
With grit, style and substance, Creed goes the distance as an exceptional crowd pleaser.
LloydBayer25 November 2015
History has a strange way of repeating itself. 40 years ago, Rocky Balboa became a household name and turned an unwanted actor into one of the greatest success stories in Hollywood. The fact that Rocky (1976) won three Academy Awards including Best Picture is of little importance compared to the real life struggle behind the making of that film. For Sylvester Stallone, it was a rags to riches story that mirrored his real life struggles to make a decent and honest living. Cut from the same cloth maybe, but Creed is much more than just the seventh installment in the Rocky film franchise. As a no- holds-barred sports drama, this is every bit an exceptional crowd pleaser with a lot of heart, plenty of amusing jabs to the ribs, and an unexpected but emotional haymaker to the gut. And a lot more.

Co-written by director Ryan Coogler, there's no doubt that Creed is a passionate love letter to the first film, which in itself is a poetic love story about fighting the good fight. Although boxing is the central theme, and often frowned upon as a brutal blood-sport that causes serious injuries, it's never been about the fight but more about what you are fighting for. Coogler gets this spot-on when we are introduced to teenager Adonis Johnson in juvenile detention. We soon learn that Adonis is the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, born shortly after the latter's death in Rocky IV. Appolo's widow Mary Ann (Phylicia Rashad) rescues young Adonis from what is certain to be a life on the streets and raises him as her own in the plush Creed estate in Los Angeles. Cut to present day and Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) is a corporate executive half way up the ladder. It's a stark contrast to Stallone's blue collar stiff in the first film, but this is where both films converge. Like Rocky, Adonis (calling himself Donnie) knows he is destined for something else, so heads to Philadelphia to meet his late father's rival turned best friend.

The meeting with Rocky is one of several great moments in the film while also serving as a nostalgic homecoming occasion for every fan of the franchise. It's a fascinating intersection of the past but none better than the fact that in many ways, Creed is an inverted mirror image of Rocky. And before sending this film off on its own pulsating trajectory, Coogler reveals a full hand of spades. One of which is the legacy Rocky bestows on Donnie, and in essence, Stallone handing over the franchise baton to Jordan. We may not realize this at first and that's because we are already smitten by the father-son relationship developing between Donnie and Rocky. Their character study is the most significant aspect of this film. Donnie has always been an orphan and the reason why he never took on his father's name is an emotional revelation. Who he is and why he wants to become a professional boxer is his darkest secret.

Both equally emotive and with comic interruptions, Jordan and Stallone deliver impressive performances. Stallone in particular gives what has to be his career best performance since Copland, and if this is his franchise swan song (owing to a devastating but befitting plot device) that's all the more reason why this film must be seen. But as they say, the show must go on and Jordan is more than capable of shouldering future films under the Creed banner. And with the inclusion of Philly local Bianca (Tessa Thompson), Donnie's neighbor and love interest, future sequels look to be set in Rocky's beloved hometown.

Onto the production quality and it suffices to say that Creed has THE best technical aspects in the franchise, including spectacular fight choreography, astounding cinematography in the ring and around Philadelphia, and an upbeat hip-hop soundtrack fused with the original score from previous films. The only real letdown comes from Donnie's main opponent (Real life professional boxer Tony Bellew) who isn't as antagonistic as you would expect, given the villainous ferocity from Clubber Lang (Rocky III) and the evil Ivan Drago (Rocky IV). But that's a minor blemish to an overall outstanding film made with grit, substance and style. At its best, Creed is a very intimate film for fans and newcomers and an undisputed knockout for 2015.
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9/10
Micheal B. Jordan is a super star, and Sylvester Stallone's got his back!!
subxerogravity25 November 2015
Milking the franchise for everything it's got, Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa in the 7th installment in the series. This time, he's smart enough to know he's too old to get into the ring, so he gets some new blood with a familiar name.

Micheal B. Jordan plays Adonis(perfect name), a man who was in his mother's womb while his father, the legendary Apollo Creed got his ass handed to him in the 4th Rocky. With the same passion to fight as his father, he seeks out Apollo's old rival and best friend the Italian Stallion to teach him the skills to reclaim his legacy and become a new legend.

Like a good boxing movie should, Creed has heart. I'm such of fan of Micheal B. Jordan. He's got the charm and talent to become a movie star and Creed proves he's leading man material.

And much respect to Sly, who as an aged Rocky, is in the same spot as once franchise regulars, Micky and Paulie. It's humbling for a movie star to take a step back and let Jordan drive the vehicle in front of the camera, and Ryan Coogler sit in the director's chair and pen the flick, but obviously Sly cares about this cow and sought out the very best to make it the very best. Stallone also gave a performance of a lifetime worthy of an Oscar nod for supporting actor. He is Rocky, and watching him on the screen with Jordan was incredible cinema.

And the action in this movie was amazing. Some of the greatest battles in cinematic boxing are happening in Creed. We are so close to the action you can feel every hit. Also have to comment on Jordan's boxing skills. Creed, does an excellent job with showing a boxer going from having raw talent, to becoming a champion.

Definitely a worth wild boxing movie to see, and I think the best Rocky film since number two.
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9/10
An Exhilarating Showcase of Talent and Heart.
tjgoalie1325 November 2015
Ryan Coogler's Creed delivers on everything that a great boxing film should, and represents a full return to form for Rocky. Directed by superstar in the making Ryan Coogler, and starring powerful performances from Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone the film is amazing. Creed is exhilarating, beautifully acted, while honoring the previous Rocky films lovingly. The film may be a little too familiar at times, but at least approaches it's overused plot lines with a different take.

From the opening scene the film captures your attention, showing us a glimpse into who this character is "a fighter." The film remains an exhilarating journey with this character, who is easy to connect with. As the film progresses, Coogler mixes old techniques like the famous Rocky slow motion sequences, with newer (less used) techniques like very intimate fight sequences, where the camera helps the viewer feel like they're standing in the ring. The film will draw you in from the moment it starts, to the moment it ends.

One reason the film is so exhilarating is the terrific acting of Michael B. Jordan, who leads this journey. Once again teaming up with director Ryan Coogler Jordan anchors the film, and in the process creates a relatable, and human main character. On this note, after seeing "Creed" and "Fruitvale Station" I would be willing to make the bold statement that I think Ryan Coogler is on his way to becoming the next Scorsese. All of this being said what may be even more satisfying is seeing Sylvester Stallone return to form as Rocky Balboa.

Some may criticize the movie for not bringing a lot of original plot lines to the movie, they would be right. However, while not very original the film handles these plot lines from a different perspective. No longer are we watching the nobody rising up against the odds, now we see a man trying to get out of the larger than life shadows of a man he never knew. Those who love the Rocky films recognize the slow motion moments in almost every film, and the iconic way the boxing matches were choreographed. Creed departs from the overuse of slow motion and more adapts the fight choreography of Raging Bull, while still mixing the essence of the Rocky fight scenes.

The way Coogler mixes old with new in many different ways helps make the whole film feel like the story it's telling. Coogler captures the tone of the older Rocky films, while also making a film distinctly different. Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone deliver, and Creed ends up being exactly what fans hoped it would be. In the end if you have the time go see Creed, it's a terrific 2 hours to spend.
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10/10
A love letter to Rocky and film fans alike
kevinoliver9425 November 2015
There's no other way to say it; Creed is a knockout.

From start to finish, this film exhilarates and crackles with brilliant on screen performances and masterfully directed fight sequences. It wholeheartedly captures what was so brilliant about the first film: the characters. Yes, I'll return to theaters to see the fights, but it's the characters, particularly Rocky and Adonis that truly captivated me from start to finish.

I can't say enough great things about writer/director Ryan Coogler. The way he masterfully captures the modern spirit of Philadelphia and the visceral tension of standing toe-to-toe with a man who wants to see you hit the ground is second to none. What stood out the most, however, was his writing of Rocky Balboa. The subtle nuances that we love about the Italian Stallion are effortlessly worked into the script and flow like water from Sly's crooked mouth. Speaking of, the script would be for naught if it weren't for the beautiful performances by Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. I'm not ashamed to say I was brought to tears at various parts of this film.

I'm just so happy to say that this film wasn't a disappointment. This film exceeded my wildest hopes of a 7th Rocky installment and had me feeling amped up for hours after the credits rolled. I can't wait to see more from the talent involved in this film, and I proudly endorse and recommend Creed to Rocky fans and film fans alike.
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9/10
"The chickens are slowing down" (dialog)
A_Different_Drummer2 December 2015
... but Stallone isn't.

There are a number of serious reasons to catch this film if you can:

* it's a solid production. Nice writing, acting, direction. Starts slow and builds. Not every great film has to start with a car chase (FF) or a building imploding (Bond).

* it's a feel good film, and they don't make those any more. The script makes clear, this is as much about capital-L LIFE as boxing. Not a boxing movie. But it is not "not" a boxing movie --- see?

* props to writer/director Coogler. A labor of love and it shows.

* a great opportunity to spend time with a legend, and here I mean Stallone not Rocky. This guy literally does not know the meaning of the word "quit." When everyone in town turned down the Rocky I script, he found backers anyway. When some of the Rockies turned out to be bombs, he just kept going. When everyone figured he was down for the count, he started a B-movie franchise called the Expendables. And when he woke up one morning and realized that all the other franchises had imploded, he turned his B-movie franchise into an A-movie franchise, and no one even noticed.

A holiday treat that may surprise everyone and stand the test of time. Like Stallone himself.
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8/10
Stallone Should Have Won The Oscar
slightlymad228 July 2016
Continuing my plan to watch every Sly movie in order, I come to Creed.

Plot In A Paragraph: Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Long rumoured, Sly publicly turned this movie down on more than one occasion. And I was in the camp that was glad he did. I didn't want anything ruining the ending to Rocky Balboa, which for this Zoner was perfect. However a few flops at the domestic box office later, and it's back to Rocky.

And it is the smartest decision he made in years, winning the Golden Globe and taking him all the way to the Oscars. (I still say he should have won)

Whilst I enjoyed Creed immensely, I can see both sides of the argument regarding this movie.

I'll get what I didn't like out of the way first. Whilst I loved the nods and references, I thought it literally borrowed TOO heavily from the first movie from me (Just a few....The champs opponent breaking something prior to the fight, and the Champ needing an opponent quick, and said opponent is chosen because of his name. The fighters needing separating at the end of the second round, A 14th round knock down with the champ turning his back to celebrate as the hero gets up, the result of the fight)

It undid all the Rocky/Robert relationship restored by the end of Balboa. How did the vultures of the gutter press, not pick up on how sick Rocky was looking?? And did Robert not see any pics of his Dad in the papers or on TV, and think "He's not looking too well, I'll give him a call"

I didn't relate to Adonis (nobody's fault) but when Rocky wasn't on screen, especially early on, I wasn't that interested, and was tempted to reach for the remote, to run it forward to the next time Rocky was featured.

As someone who has lost close (TOO many) family members and loved ones to Cancer, and been with them all the way through it, the scenes of Rocky receiving his treatment, struggling to the toilet and needing to be tucked in, struck me far TOO close to home as I thought they may.

Tony Bellew was intimidating enough, but thought his physique lacked, and he almost looked fat next to Jordan.

Now on to the good.

Sly is fantastic, and is totally worthy of his Golden Globe win and Oscar Nomination!! It's defiantly an Oscar worthy, so for him not to win, was guttering!! He was the best thing in the movie, and when he wasn't on screen, I found myself thinking "When is Rocky coming back in to it" Although I think his Balboa performance, was better (the "It wasn't supposed to be like this Paulie" scene in the meat house and the "It ain't about how hard you hit" Speech come to mind) and it could be argued Copland is too!!

I thought all the cast were good, especially Jordan, and I really liked Rashad, even if she was under used!! (I thought it would be her at the hotel room door, the night before the fight, meaning Rocky finally called her)

I loved it when Gonna Fly Now kicked in during the start of the final round.

I know it's not to everyone's taste, but I enjoyed the score, and all the fight scenes were well shot too!! Though I'm not quite sure how it was a split decision. He seemed well beat to me.

The scenes that I cried at 1 When Rocky got the news 2 "Put everything that was good in my life in a bowl" 3 seeing Rocky struggle during the training montage 4 "You're a Creed and I love you kid" and the Rocky music kicked in 5 seeing Rocky struggling up the steps.

It was nice to see Sly playing Rocky again, and it is a very touching movie that reduced me to tears more then once. It's a well made, entertaining movie, and I do enjoy it. But I don't feel the need to revisit this movie that often. I think my ten your old son summed it up best. When I suggested watching this, he questioned why I wanted to watch it, so I asked why not?? And he replied "If I want to watch a Rocky movie, I'll watch one of the real ones"
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9/10
"I'm afraid to take the name and lose it."
classicsoncall3 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
When I wrote my review of "Rocky Balboa", I premised an idea that might have been used for an eventual 'Rocky VII' movie. I didn't get it all right, as the character Marie and Rocky Balboa Jr. weren't brought over from that story. But the part I got right had to do with exploring Rocky's growing older, and as this picture goes on to reveal, how he chooses to deal with an illness that will eventually level the former champ.

As I watched the movie, most of my attention was trained on Stallone, his speech and mannerisms and how he's remained true to the character of Rocky Balboa. There was a particular scene that I'm sure impacted Stallone on a personal level. As Adonis viewed personal mementos of Rocky's life, there was a framed picture of Stallone (as Rocky) with his own real life son Sage who passed away in 2012. I viewed that scene with incredible poignancy and wondered how Stallone must have felt doing it.

In fact the entire film seems to symbolize the passing of an era. Rocky visits the cemetery to be close to his departed wife Adrian and brother-in-law Paulie. Rocky certainly looks older, worn, even haggard, with a sense of tired exhaustion when faced with the prospect of taking on a new protégé. I had to check Stallone's age and learned that he's just shy of seventy. You have to wonder where all the years have gone since 1976's "Rocky". I'll say this, as an actor he's unselfish here admitting that he lost the 'third fight' to Apollo Creed. I'm sure there are any number of actors who wouldn't make that concession as part of the script, even thought it's a fictional story.

As for Michael B. Jordan, I thought he acquitted himself well as the upstart new light heavyweight contender. About the only problem I had with the story was that there was no sense of history to his boxing career. By the time of the big title match against Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew), he was introduced to the Liverpool crowd with a record of 16-0, with only a single prior match in the picture to show for it. So this viewer didn't have a sense of his being ready for the bout, even if he was trained by one of the best.

So as I write this, "Creed" rates an 8.7 on IMDb after just over a week in release, from almost eleven thousand voters. "Rocky" the original comes in at 8.1. Is "Creed" a better picture? I don't think so, which is why I feel modern day movies have an unfair advantage in the IMDb rating system. But go see the movie and judge for yourself, and see if you don't come away with a split decision.
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9/10
Much More Than Just a Boxing Movie
TheFirstExecutioner25 March 2016
Creed is the 7th installment in the Rocky franchise but this time focuses on Adonis Creed, Apollo Creed's son. He wants to follow in his father's footsteps and is trained by Rocky Balboa himself. More than boxing, this movie really goes into the relationship between Creed and Rocky and how they both support each other when they most need it. Michael B. Jordan is fantastic as Creed. He is so energetic in the boxing scenes and he is even better when his character is being developed. Now we come to Sylvester Stallone as Rocky. In his signature role, he absolutely knocks it out of the park in what may have been his best performance in his career as an actor. He honestly deserves an Oscar for this part. He brought tears to my eyes on multiple occasions and still has the same charm from the old Rocky movies.

Creed perfectly mixes elements from past Rocky movies, especially the first, with modern culture. The amazing Rocky score is complemented by modern styles. Creed's story is told just like Rocky's and it is so beautiful to watch. The cinematography is also visually pleasing. Coogler captured the look of Philadelphia extremely well. The boxing scenes are excellent. There is a fight that is done completely in one take and I have no idea how they did it. It was amazing. This movie is a drama that tugs at your heart a lot, but at times it still manages to be quite funny as well.

I love Creed as a film. Its characters are so well realized and acted, the cinematography is gorgeous, and the boxing is glorious. Creed is definitely one of the best films of 2015. Creed gets an A.
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8/10
"It's your name - use it"
bob-the-movie-man8 January 2016
As a boxing movie Creed packs a heavyweight punch.

Sylvester Stallone (as the film's producer) has covered a lot of miles with his Rocky legend, most recently with his 2006 Rocky Balboa. As such I had thought there was little milk left in the cash cow, but "Creed" proves me wrong. This time, with Stallone's advancing years, he wisely doesn't stretch credibility by having Rocky Balboa as the center of the pugilism, but hands the baton to young contender Adonis ("Donnie") Creed (Michael B Jordan). Adonis is the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, Rocky's protagonist and later close friend in the first four Rocky films.

Donnie is a kid from the wrong side of the tracks with a big chip on his shoulder and a reputation for finding trouble with his fists. Brought back from the brink by Apollo's wife (a touching performance by Phylicia Rashad) Donnie can't escape his family legacy and seeks Balboa's help to make it in the ring, using his own adopted name. Balboa's help leads to a number of 'traditionally' brutal Rocky-style encounters in the ring.

I must admit I don't normally 'go' for boxing films like this, but this is extremely well done. All of the boxing training is gritty and believable and the actual bouts, particularly the classic finale, is suitably thrilling and a technical masterpiece of camera-work (hats off to cinematographer Maryse Alberti, who also filmed "The Wrestler" so is no stranger to the ring).

A real surprise is just how good Stallone is in the role. There are scenes where Stallone really has to act – particularly an emotional locker-room scene when Rocky faces up to his own personal crisis – and any jokes about Sylvester "Expendables" Stallone's acting abilities are forgotten. Michael B Jordan is also a great find and a name to watch. He has to cover a wide range during the film and succeeds admirably.

Tessa Thompson, impressive in last year's "Selma", makes a similarly positive impression here playing the love interest in the form of songstress Bianca, with a difficult future ahead of her.

"Creed" is a love letter to the old Rocky films, and – with this quality, and likely success – the start of a whole new generation of films seems probable. The respect it shows to the originals is characterized by a moving tribute to the classic 'Philadelphia steps' scene that brings a genuine lump to the throat. That being said, the film is a lot more 'street' for a new generation, with a soundtrack (by Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson) that mixes rap and hip-hop with more classic orchestral elements. Without outright plagiarism of Bill Conti's classic score, Göransson subtly weaves in some of Conti's themes, notably Adrian's theme, as well as coming up with his own "Fly Now"- equivalent musical high-point.

Impressive direction is by Ryan Cooglar in only his second feature film (after Fruitvale Station, also with Michael B Jordan). Cooglar also wrote the story and co-wrote the script. Without any spoilers, the story is delightfully 'un-Hollywood" by being unpredictable in where it goes. However, an area for criticism is that it took a few 'easy' short-cuts in places: a particular 'change of heart' in the film is way to glib and quick.

Finally, i would love to watch this film in a cinema in Liverpool, when the "hallowed turf" for a bout is revealed as being Everton's ground, Goodison Park….! Generations of Liverpool FC fans will be turning in their graves and I predict that cinemas in the city could become scenes of the worst hand to hand combat since the finale of Kingsman!

(Please see the graphical version of this review at bob-the-movie- man.com. Thanks.)
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8/10
Keep pushing and Stay Hard
IgorNascimentoVeiga17 July 2022
It's not about winning, it's about hard work, daily dedication and never giving up because new opportunities will come. This is the biggest lesson I take from the Rocky movies, a lesson that is valid for our lives, the person who can absorb this mentality will probably have a lot of success in life.

About the film, the performances are good, the plot is not that deep (and it doesn't need to), sets, soundtrack, action scenes and very accurate fighting.

That's it, a simple film (but not generic) that fulfills its role very well, a good sequel to a saga of legendary films.
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9/10
Incredible continuation
masonsaul24 August 2020
Despite a very similar plot to the original Rocky, Creed is an incredible continuation that finds new life in the Rocky franchise with an emotional and thrilling film. Michael B. Jordan gives an incredible performance and has fantastic chemistry with Tessa Thompson, who is also incredible and Sylvester Stallone, who is perfect and gives an all time great performance. Ryan Googler's direction is amazing with intense and visceral fights. It's extremely well paced and the music by Ludwig Göransson is amazing.
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2/10
Unnecessary Creedence Revival
thesar-220 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This HAS to be the year of nostalgia with the Original Star Wars trilogy remake, the Return to Jurassic Park Reboot and the memory of 1960's Bond in Spectre. But, the one I never asked for, nor anyone really needed, was to see Rocky XXXVIII.

But…since so many people kept asking my opinion on it and how many rave reviews I've heard that might equate Oscar buzz, I decided to check it out. I am sorry I did.

Not that the movie's ineptly made, it's just an incredible retread of countless boxing movies before it. Hell, it even played homage to all the previous Rocky training montages before it…and repeatedly. Over and over.

Half way through I was ready to give up with the extreme number of clichés and unoriginal ideas/paths, but figured the second half HAS to be better since so many people loved it so much.

Nope. The second half was just as dull and the same old story. In fact, once the climax hit – the obligatory finale in any of these boxing movies – I had completely tuned out. Not only did I know how it would pan out, I didn't care one bit.

This movie had one singular fresh idea (son of former boxing champ in the Rocky series, Apollo Creed, is introduced) but every single other minute was unoriginal and predictable from six scenes leading up. It was so by the numbers, it's a wonder anyone even cared to even mention the movie to me. I wish someone would tell me how this movie is so great and stands out from every other boxing film.

Okay, the lead, Michael B. Jordan was decent, but he was just playing his role in this "should've been made-for-Lifetime-TV movie." Sylvester Stallone has reinvented himself many, many years ago, as an aging action star, and now he's completely beyond that. It's getting old and perhaps it's time, Sly…

I guess if you're heavily into boxing, boxing movies AND just want to see the exact same movie you've seen countless times before, you might like it. Otherwise, it's an extreme waste of more than two hours.
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10/10
Awesome
bevo-136781 June 2020
Next we will have a movie where rockys dog fights against clubber Lang's cat
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8/10
Rocky comes back, as a trainer
sauravjoshi853 June 2020
Creed is a sports drama movie directed by Ryan Coogler and stars Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Anthony Bellew in the leads.

This is the seventh movie in the Rocky Franchise.

This movie is probably one of the best Rocky movies in the recent times. Rocky is back again as a trainer. This movie again focuses on more emotion just like the previous movie. The plot is predictable but good. Acting is good. Screenplay gets slow but still not disappoint you much.

This movie might give birth to a new franchise in the name of Creed as Creed II is already released and planning of Creed III is underway.

A nice emotional movie with one of the best performance by Stallone. A must watch.
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5/10
Not bad - but unoriginal and overrated
WeeClaude29 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Geez, I wanted to like this movie. I love the Rocky saga, and I was intrigued by the idea of introducing Apollo Creed's son as the new protagonist. And once the film started getting rave reviews, I got *really* pumped to see it.

Unfortunately, I feel like I saw a different movie from everyone else. Sure, "Creed" has some good acting and a good heart, and it's somewhat respectful to the Rocky legacy. But, drat it, this film is really just a lazy remake of the first Rocky film, with Adonis Creed in Rocky's role and Rocky in Mickey's role.

Worse than that - "Creed" rips off literally every preceding Rocky movie. It contains not a single original idea. Indeed, I recognized every scene - the illness subplot is recycled from "Rocky II," the boring office job material was previously seen in "Rocky Balboa," the training montage was in...well, all the old ones...and so on. Just changing the protagonist isn't enough to make this ancient material feel fresh.

There were some opportunities to explore new directions, but the filmmakers squandered most of them. For example, the beginning of the film builds up Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) as a compelling new character - but then she gets dropped like a hot potato about 1/4 of the way through the movie. And Adonis Creed's potentially interesting romance with Bianca (Tessa Thompson) develops in a very clichéd fashion; all Creed ever does is lie to Bianca or spoil things for her, yet somehow she loves him anyway. Why?

Even their "meet cute" scene didn't work for me. Bianca wakes Creed up by blasting music in their apartment building at 3:00 AM - which in a movie is charming behavior, but in real life would be incredibly annoying. Somehow, Creed is the only person in the building who comes to complain. Yeah, right.

On a more depressing note, I really don't like what the film does to Rocky's character. If you thought Rocky was a sad old man in "Rocky Balboa," you ain't seen nothing yet. The Rocky in this movie has given up on life, and that's not easy to watch. At least in "Rocky Balboa," we got to see Rocky rebuilding his life after losing Adrian, by drawing closer to his son and developing a friendship with Little Marie. But in this movie, his son and Little Marie are gone, and Rocky is just...waiting' on death. Ugh, how bleak. And I guess I'm supposed to believe that Rocky's forced, chemistry-free friendship with Adonis Creed gives him a reason to live again. Yikes.

I'm not sure why the critics are so into this movie - usually, they vilify sentimental, lazy remakes like this. I think perhaps they were really jazzed that Ryan Coogler of "Fruitvale Station" fame directed it. All I can say is, I hope "Fruitvale Station" is better than this. "Creed" is as unoriginal as a Star Wars movie about blowing up the Death Star. Worse yet, it reminded me of the inevitable passage of time in a sort of downer way. Yeah, I think I'll just pretend it doesn't exist, and toss it in the same bin with other passing-the-torch films like "Star Trek: Generations" and "Batman Forever." It's a better film than those, true, but no less of a drag.
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8/10
Stallone deserves an Oscar
AlsExGal31 January 2016
I can say with all seriousness that Sylvester Stallone deserves his Oscar, and I didn't believe that the original and rather obvious "Rocky" deserved Best Picture Oscar, so I'm not some fan blind to the weaknesses of the series . He was excellent in that film. While some can argue that the Oscar would be a reward for the entirety of the Rocky franchise, I think that Stallone's performance in Creed stands on its own and is wholly deserving of any accolades he receives. His performance of an aging Rocky Balboa coming to terms with his own mortality (and the mortality of his loved ones, like Pauly and Adrian) and dealing with the effects of aging and the realization that he cannot partake in the rigorous boxing world anymore is very heartbreaking and compelling. Without providing any spoilers, the scene in which Adonis Creed and Rocky return to the famous steps from the first Rocky is a very poignant scene.
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6/10
Formuliac Feel Good Urban Fairytale But Nothing More Than That
Theo Robertson23 December 2015
Look stop me if you heard this before but Once upon a time a poor downtrodden lad from the wrong side of the tracks finds a purpose in life and rescues himself from a dead end life and finds wealth and happiness from the fruits of his efforts Sounds like every story ever written doesn't it and the only stand out is that it's yet another movie in the ROCKY franchise . To be fair the Italian stallion isn't really the focus of the story and the story revolves around the son of the late Apollo Creed , a son has it happens he didn't know he had and a son no one else in the universe knew he had apart from the producers of this movie . Did someone say contrived ? How about another word beginning with C - cynical ? Yes that's the word we're looking for . Cynical

But this isn't a film for cynics and it helps if you don't view this film through cynical eyes because like the original ROCKY from 40 years ago . It certainly tries to be feel good and might just succeed on that account if you're in the mood . Director Ryan Coogler does cast well with up and comer Michael B Jordan in the title role with real life boxers such as Ward and Bellew as pugilists and it's probably the only film you'll see where the climax takes place at Goodison Park in Liverpool . No doubt the people who enjoyed the previous films in the ROCKY series will enjoy this one but you've seen it all before many times even down to having the bad guys speak with British accents
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8/10
CONLAN WINS THE FIGHT, CREED WINS THE NIGHT
KeremUlucay9 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Lets be honest, Creed is so different from any Rocky movie. In the same time it is so loyal to first one. And it feels it is 6th's sequel, we can see the connection. Story is awesome, cast is amazing. Micheal B. Jordan looks so ambitious, as though he has Eye of the Tiger. His motivation is super duper great. On other hand, we have Tessa Thompson. Im so close to fall in love with her, really. Her character has well written. And absolutely, we have the big shot Sly Stallone. There are nothing to say about him. He is just a legend. But if I had to add something, I can say his acting is better than his young version. Being old has a positive effect on him. But in this movie, director is not Stallone, we have a different guy from other Rocky movies. He is Ryan Coogler. He is amazing, Im so thankful to him for making this world so better and creating another great story about these perfect characters. He proves Rocky franchise has built their own universe. There are lots of great references to earlier movies like chicken training, giving some screen time to Adrian and Paulie characters. I shocked when I realised Paulie is dead. He was the only survivor from first Rocky expect Stallone. But in the same time, I was expecting to see some characters like Little Marie or other children of Apollo Creed. Where are they now? Anyway, Creed has great fight scenes, technically they are perfect. And it has very inspiring training scenes. Also this movie has a great humour, I raised a laugh during the "cloud" thing. Finally, best thing this movie have is making an incredible final fight and making whole movie is like a new solo movie. And worst thing it have is not creating a so intense villian. This is my second favourite Rocky movie so far. I cant wait for second Creed movie.
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Great Characters, Emotion and Performances
Michael_Elliott1 January 2016
Creed (2015)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Character study of Adonis Johnson who we meet as a troubled child. After fighting through the streets and child care services he learns that he's the son of former heavyweight champ Apollo Creed. Mary Anne Creed takes the young kid in and as an adult he decides to take up boxing. Soon Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) wants to make that his career and he seeks out Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) who he hopes will train him.

I remember watching ROCKY V in the theater and remembering what a disaster that film was and how the entire franchise had finally put itself in the ground. Years later Stallone was bringing his famous roles back and it turned out that ROCKY BALBOA was a masterpiece that perfectly get the series back on track. CREED, from director and co-writer Ryan Coogler isn't quite as good as that film but when you consider this is the seventh movie in the series you can't help but be amazed at what they were able to do here.

As I said in my review of SOUTHPAW, the boxing genre really hasn't changed any since the 1940s and each decade gave us new boxing movies dealing with the same stories. There's always a troubled character and there's always the end result of trying to get redemption. It's easy to see why actors, writers and directors want to take their turn at the boxing genre and Coogler and Jordan, who previously worked together on the wonderful FRUITVALE STATION, both show the mainstream what they're able to do.

The story does feature the same redemption and character developments of previous boxing movies but it was a smart idea connecting this to the Rocky Balboa series. For starters, everyone knows them characters and by knowing them you can bring a little more emotion to them and you're already connected with them. The screenplay is smart enough to make this film fit in with what came before it but it's also smart enough to really wrap a great idea behind this Creed character. Someone trying to make a name for themselves and someone trying not to use a name for fame is something that can connect with the viewer.

The film so well-written as this one also means that the terrific cast can dig into their roles. Jordan once again turns in an excellent performance and I really liked that his character really was a good guy who just makes some stupid decisions. A lot of times we see bad characters trying to do good but I loved the nice quality that Jordan brought to the role. Stallone gives one of the greatest performances of his career and once again manages to prove that he's a terrific actor and doesn't need a machine gun in his hands. He has some incredibly touching scenes here that her perfectly nails. Tessa Thompson is also very good in her supporting role as the love interest.

The film features some great music and the cinematography is also extremely good. There have been so many boxing movies that it's hard to film a fight scene in new ways but I thought the scenes here were quite effective. CREED certainly reaches for your heart and hits all the right movies. It'll be interesting where the series goes from here.
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7/10
Decent outing in which Rocky Balboa takes a mentor to combat powerful contenders
ma-cortes23 January 2019
Boxoffice smash about a young man who attempts to become a boxing champion, thanks to the great Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone. Good spin-of with the previous heavyweight champion, nowadays ill and retired, serving as a coach to Adonis Johnson, Michael B Jordan, son of his former friend and rival Apollo Creed . As Adonis dreams of becoming a boxing champion to win fame and fortune, as his late father Apollo : Carl Weathers , but the long way results to be hard-working and difficult. As Adonis first has to confront a tough boxer called Danny Stuntman Wheeler : Ward, and , shortly after, it eventually leads to a final showdown, the world championship. As Adonis combats the world lightweight champion, Pretty Ricky Conlan : Tony Bellew, who is well trained by an astute coach : Graham McTavish .

This is a nice following to long running Rocky series in which it takes parts of Rocky I, II and Rocky IV. It relies too heavily on uplifting ideas from earlier Rocky movies. As Stallone/Rocky takes the Burguess Meredith role as trainer and mentor to newcomer boxer. As Rocky takes in a protege, training him in the style that made him a champ. As there are attractive and moving scenes about training and extreme endeveour. Support cast is pretty good, such as : Tessa Thompson as Creed's girlfriend, Phylicia Rashad as his mother, Graham McTavish, among others . And brief appearance of Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago as prologue to Creed II, 2018, directed by Steven Coples with similar cast , in which Adonis faces off against Viktor Drago son of Ivan Drago who appeared in Rocky 3.

Lavishly and efficiently financed , including spectacular combats, by the saga producers : Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff , his son William Chartoff and Sylvester Stallone himself. It packs a colorful and adequate cinematography by Marysse Alberty. As well as a pounding and stirring musical score by Ludwig Gorasson. The motion picture was competently written and directed by Ryan Coogler, though without originaly, because he simply copies the prior Rocky movies. Coogler is a fine craftsman who has written and directed a few and enjoyable films, such as Fruitvale station starred by Michael B Jordan, Black Panther and Scenes for minors Tv series. Rating : Above average. Well worth watching. The overall effect is to prepare you for the next sequel.
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9/10
The come-back story that caught everyone off-guard, including the fans...
ElMaruecan8218 January 2016
Rocky saying goodbye to a cheerful crowd in Vegas with Paulie and Robert, and then visiting Adrian's grave with an emotional "Yo Adrian, we did it!" was the perfect ending. And the father- to-son speech provided one of the most inspirational quotes of the 21st Century : "It ain't about how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward", and the perfect testimonial quote for Rocky Balboa.

So, just when we thought that Sylvester Stallone came full circle with his fetish character, Ryan Coggler, a director not even born when "Rocky IV" came out, pulled him back in the ring. Even the fans, even Sly, were perplex, so imagine those who associate him to mumbling action heroes or the Razzies' eternal punching bag. But I guess "it ain"t over till it's over" and Coggler thought there was more to do with Rocky, and he found a perfect spot to dig into: Apollo Creed, an American icon by himself and not just for the "stars and stripes" short but for his significant part to the Rocky's narrative. So fitting that he'd inspire one of the best of the series… again.

The idea of an illegitimate son was very smart: a character totally independent from the previous material yet deeply rooted in it. So the film wasn't (another) sequel, it was a spin-off, a first curiosity-grabbing nuance. And "Creed"'s interest never diminished ever since the talk started. And before Thanksgiving (40 years after the fictional start of the series), something magical happened: the words 'Stallone' and 'Oscar' were mentioned in the same titles, and it wasn't about the 1991 movie, and the 'Awards' referred to hadn't 'Razzie' written before. No one saw that coming. But after the first rave reviews, I was on an edge, nervously following the awards nominations and wins until the Oscar one, a huge victory by itself.

And this is a richly deserved nomination, so is the Golden Globe win, definitely not a veteran making his come-back in a year driven by a wave of 70's nostalgia (with "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"), this is a rich and heartfelt performance that hits a sensitive chord whether you love the series or not. Even as a fan of Rocky Balboa, I forgot how gentle and sweet he is, beyond the whole underdog appeal. His innocence made him such an enduring and endearing character, sticking to his philosophy of life, no matter how bad the news are, and even the mistakes he makes are forgivable because made out of well-meaning intentions.

The one mistake he made was not to stop Apollo during the Drago match, but he respected Apollo's stubbornness. So, when Creed's son insists on having him as a coach, Rocky sees that the boy is hungry. I know I make it sound as if it was a Stallone film (which it is, after all) but the merit goes to Michael B. Jordan who plays Adonis Creed with such confidence that we don't necessarily root for him at the start, he has a sort of cocky arrogance which is the trademark of his father (and the cause of his demise) yet his eyes betray some vulnerability begging to be vented sometime. When he finally lets it out, we understand the pain Creed's illegitimate son went through.

This is the irony of living in the shadow of a reputation, same problem for Rocky's son except that Adonis inherited the same gift and passion. His name is both a blessing and a burden, and it's up to him to find the right balance. His goal is honorable: to make a name by himself by earning each cheer without "Creed" playing a part of it, but who's he kidding? Isn't he having Rocky Balboa as a coach? He's a mountain of contradictions, which is the mark of complex and appealing characters. And his partnership with Rocky inevitably reminds of the fatherly friendship between Rocky and Mickey. Coincidentally, Stallone is nominated for playing Mickey's role, and by being nominated a second time for the same character, Stallone joins an 'elite Oscar' club counting such prestigious names as Pacino, Blanchett, Crosby, Newman and O'Toole.

Oscar trivia put aside, this proves Rocky doesn't belong to Stallone anymore, his legacy is bigger than that… for 40 years, not a single decade didn't have a "Rocky", it started with the gritty post-Nixon 70's, then the flamboyant Reagan era, the low-key 90's, 2000's and now technological 2010's, with a new generation of actors: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson. The series has a timeless appeal and always has something to offer, if only, a powerful emotional performance that took everyone off-guard. Whether he wins or loses, Stallone has already gone the distance, embracing, once again, the spirit of his creation. He might have done his share of stinkers, but hey, who can claim to have created a cinematic icon?.

As for the film, If not totally flawless, and not deprived from one or two awkward or a little over-stylized moments, the emotionality is intact, And Rocky's spirit is there. And Stallone is as emotional as in "Rocky Balboa'", but in a more restrained and subtle manner, you could tell Sly let himself being directed for the first time, for playing his 'baby' character, and it's truly a new Stallone that shines on screen. Jordan, Thomson and Philycia Rashad, who plays Mary Ann Creed, were so great, I'm looking forward to seeing them in other projects.

Should that be "Creed II"? Should they push their luck? Should Sly retire now in a blaze of glory? I sincerely don't know, there are many plot points left unsolved and that can work as a great material for a sequel… but for the moment, let's just appreciate the great achievement "Creed" is, and how it doubled the excitement of the Awards season by including the ultimate underdog actor, Sylvester Stallone.
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Nothing inherently interesting at all
Red_Identity21 December 2015
I'd rather not spend 120 minutes watching a film that is seriously step-by-step a copy of so many others before it. There's absolutely nothing interesting about it with any of the characters aside from Rocky, and that's because we already have that connection with him (I only watched the original before seeing this, and thought that was mostly an entertaining, engaging, heartfelt film). Nothing in the story is original, nothing in any of the supporting characters is original or interesting (I can't tell you how much I hate the "let's make the opponent boxer a real jerk" cliché). Nothing in any of the shots is interesting or original, nothing in the story is surprising. It's exactly the kind of film audiences will continue to eat up until the end of time and there will be thousands more like it. No, it's not offensive or bad, but I don't think that's enough. It's exactly the kind of boxing/sports film I always think of in my head when I say I'm not huge on boxing/sports films because they don't add anything new. Michael B. Jordan, god bless him, but he just can't elevate such an inherently uninteresting character. There's nothing there to do. Sylvester Stallone is by far the best thing about it, he has such a nice warmth and presence . I would not begrudge a nomination at all, but it isn't an amazing performance by any means.
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8/10
Creed is the latest worthy entry in Sylvester Stallone's Rocky series
tavm5 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
My movie theatre-working friend had wanted to watch this since it premiered two weeks ago so he finally got to see it with me just a couple of hours ago. We both very much liked it-he probably more than me as he was more into the fights as I was just observing the way they were staged and managed to be impressed by them as opposed to cheering like my friend was doing. Michael B. Jordan was impressive as the son of Rocky's late opponent/trainer Apollo Creed shown in flashbacks when played by Carl Weathers. And, yes, Sylvester Stallone is fine as Rocky Balboa-now very much an old man resigned to just running his restaurant and later finding out he's suffering from lymphoma cancer-a disease my friend told me his late father suffered from. As you can tell from that, there are both some exciting fight scenes and good drama abounding in this film. And what's a Rocky movie without some of Bill Conti's score from the original one occasionally playing here? Conti, by the way, was a graduate of LSU which is where both my brother and sister attended with the latter graduating from there. In summary, Creed was a worthy entry in the series created by Stallone.
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9/10
Blood and heart of a legacy, so passionately willed to the new era, it's breathtaking and beautifully heartfelt.
quincytheodore15 February 2016
Rocky is an ageless underdog story told in simple yet approachable way, the best thing about it is it's also true story about Stallone. Creed taps into the legacy of the franchise while also presenting new blood, a sort of passing of the torch by Sylvester Stallone. This is drama in its purest form and with the inclusion of spine tingling nostalgia, there's no way audience wouldn't get emotionally pumped when the young Creed trades blow while familiar soundtrack roars in the background.

This is the story of the son of Apollo Creed, Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) who is trained by Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). It's one the best mentor-student relationships on silver screen, which feels amazingly genuine and perhaps the best acting Stallone has given in a while. It will resonate to audience, old and young, infectiously inspiring in every sense.

Fighting is the most elementary form of drama, you have the protagonist and antagonist as they square off with their fists. Nothing can be simpler, yet the presentation of Creed takes advantage of the depth of Rocky's franchise then adds a crafty visual to display the struggle of the characters, both in ring and real life.

Cinematography is pleasantly brilliant, there are moments when the fights are done so viscerally gorgeous or in one prolonged shot that it's nearly impossible not to be invested in them. The view of Philly, so familiar with fans is shown with care, it is a homage to the enduring tale as well as an authentic effort to pass it to new generation.

It's been a long time, perhaps since Hugo, that a movie is delivered with such love. Creed is a presentation of utmost care for the namesake, respect for its sport origin and visual of brutal elegance.
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