What Critics Are Saying About Creed


Creed is the latest instalment in the Rocky franchise, in which the former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a mentor to the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed. The boxing drama, released on the 25 November in the US and 15 January in the UK, is written and directed by Ryan Coogler, known for his 2013 bio-drama Fruitvale Station.

TimeOut New York
“Of Stallone’s surprisingly tender performance–a definitive late-career triumph–enough can’t be said. He stares skyward when someone mentions the Cloud, reads the paper at grave sites and lives in memories. But Adonis
brings back the fight in him. Stallone has not only taken a risk on Coogler but submitted to a personal sea change. And when those trumpets do blare, a new actor emerges.”

Chicago Sun-Times
“Writer-director Coogler (who directed Jordan in the excellent “Fruitvale Station” in 2013) takes a chance in revisiting so many familiar and beloved touchstones from previous ‘Rocky’ films, from the training sequences to another journey up the stone steps at the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the introduction of yet another colorful, seemingly indestructible champion — this time one ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan (Anthony Bellew), an undefeated, undisputed light-heavyweight from Great Britain who is getting one last fight before he’s off to prison. In nearly every instance (save a goofy, choreographed sequence with some Philly street-bike daredevils), Coogler pulls it off in stylish fashion.”

A.V. Club
“Faced with less heavy material, he ups his showmanship considerably. He makes judicious use of long takes, following Adonis and Rocky off the street, up some stairs, and into their training gym for the first time, and depicting an entire mid-movie boxing match in a single unbroken shot, temporarily turning the ring into Creed’s entire world. In Coogler’s hands, elements as basic as a training montage, freeze-frames that briefly display a boxer’s background and statistics, or a rallying run through the streets of Philadelphia become thrilling and funny again. On a pure technical level, this may be the best-looking and best-made of the series.”

“The fights are well-staged and the climactic bout pits the protagonist against a suitably nasty opponent. Coogler provides enough rousing moments to get the adrenaline pumping – there are times when the urge to jump up and cheer is almost too strong to resist. But there’s more to Creed and it is elevated by the quiet, subtle elements. Much as Rocky became a classic and won a Best Picture Oscar because of the importance of the Rocky/Adrian love story, so Creed advances to a higher orbit by focusing on the Adonis/Rocky relationship and the decline of a man once thought to be indomitable. 2015 has seen its share of sequels; perhaps surprisingly, Creed is among the best.”

Seattle Times
“‘Creed’ is a ‘Rocky’ movie to its core. The hero’s name is different, but his character arc is the one fans of the series know oh so well: To rise from obscurity; to get a shot at the title; to pummel and be pummeled; to go the distance…  The movie’s tropes are comforting in their familiarity. The tale of a decent hero fighting long odds never gets old.”

Philadelphia Inquirer
“Stallone took ‘Rocky’ all the way to the bank – and to the Academy Awards in 1977, where it beat out ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘Taxi Driver’ for best picture. It is not inconceivable – not at all – to imagine ‘Creed’ in the running in the same category when nominations are announced early next year,” Rea wrote. “And for Jordan to be in the running for best Actor, and Stallone in the supporting actor lineup. ‘Everyone here knows they’ve seen something special,’ Rocky says after Adonis’ climactic fight. It’s hard to argue with the man.”

New York Times
“One of the most surprising things about “Creed” is how gentle and easygoing it is, notwithstanding the effective brutality of the fight scenes. It is a pleasure to watch Mr. Stallone amble through a movie with nothing much to prove. He is at his best when he works comfortably within his limitations as an actor. Mr. Jordan’s limitations, in contrast, have yet to be discovered. With every role, he seems to delight in the unfolding of his talent, and to pass his excitement along to the audience.”

 LA Times
“Within the inevitable boundaries of a venerable franchise (this is a “Rocky” film, after all), Coogler and company do fine work convincing us against our better judgment that nothing we see is preordained, that anything can happen within the four corners of the ring. You can’t ask a “Rocky” film to do more than that”

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