Rocky Spinoff Creed Is Surprisingly Good
One critic says it's the best Rocky film since the original
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2015 10:48 AM CST

(Newser) – The son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed turns up in Philadelphia to be trained by his dead father's once-opponent Rocky Balboa in Creed—a movie cheered by critics, who give it a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Here's what they're saying:

  • "You'd expect a boxing movie to deliver the body blows, but what's surprising are the various tender caresses the movie delivers," writes Joe Dziemianowicz at the New York Daily News. Creed not only "packs a mighty punch," but it's "an exciting, amusing, and well-acted crowd-pleaser," he says. Sylvester Stallone will "knock your socks off," he adds. Sure, the David-versus-Goliath angle is "corny, but it still works."
  • "Despite getting laid out in excruciatingly graphic detail, the kid somehow comes roaring back, not so much struggling to his feet as leaping. Which is exactly what this energetic, hugely entertaining film does for the four-decades-old franchise," writes Tom Russo at the Boston Globe. Michael B. Jordan and Stallone are each great on their own and "develop a terrific, relaxed chemistry," he says. The movie also "works on two levels, tending equally to nostalgists and a younger crowd."

  • "This is the best Rocky film since the original" and "one of the year's warmest and most crowd-pleasing surprises," praises Lou Lumenick at the New York Post. A training montage shows writer-director Ryan Coogler "not only respects but totally gets what made the original underdog classic win the Best Picture Oscar in 1977." It's this that helps him deliver "a knockout punch." Stallone, meanwhile, delivers "one of his most careful and nuanced performances in years."
  • "Creed follows the themes and gambits of classic fight films but this is no paint-by-numbers imitation," writes Colin Covert at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "This excellent sequel introduces new characters to the series while paying homage to the enduring appeal of its predecessors," he says. "It unabashedly manipulates audiences ... on its way to a wholesome, uplifting finale. It is cornball as all get out, formulaic, and wonderfully, amazingly delicious."