Creed ★★★★★

Anchored by emotionally charging performances, an exceptionally gripping story, outstanding direction, powerfully intense boxing scenes, and a highly motivational soundtrack, Creed successfully continues the Rocky franchise, while also standing on its own perfectly. Ryan Coogler pulled off quite an amazing boxing drama that introduced us to a new protagonist with an equally fantastic amount of development and at the same time properly honored the legacy of the Rocky character. Out of all the legacy sequels being made today, Creed undoubtedly ranks as one of the best. Every character in this film is full of immensely raw emotion. What makes them remarkably compelling is that they feel so realistic and extremely relatable. They aren't superheroes, spies, or robots. They're real human beings struggling with the emotionally and physically challenging obstacles life presents them. Michael B. Jordan is extraordinarily perfect casting as Adonis, the son of the legendary Apollo Creed. Adonis is constantly facing the shadow of his father and watching him grow into his own person makes for one captivating character arc. It goes without saying, Sylvester Stallone absolutely kills it in this movie as the lovably inspiring Rocky Balboa, a character that has been through so much in his life and still managed to overcome every hardship. There's no denying that Stallone's performance here brings out some heavy tears. Facing the biggest challenge of his life, which is fighting death, lends to so many of the film's most emotionally devastating scenes. Adonis and Rocky's relationship is definitely the beating heart of this movie. Ryan Coogler does an impressively phenomenal job with the boxing scenes themselves. They're well-shot with an extreme amount of intensity and energy that keep you on the edge of your seat. The soundtrack as well deserves major praise. The score includes some familiar beats, but again does its own thing very well. Overall, Creed is more than a worthy entry in the Rocky franchise. It's arguably the best one since the first film. That's how great it is.

My Grade: A+

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