FlixChatter Review: CREED III (2023)


Directed by: Michael B. Jordan
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad

As a responsible reviewer, I should note this disclaimer: I have not seen Creed or Creed II. Normally, I’d avoid such situations, mostly to mitigate the feeling that said the sequel would not get its fair due and that by neglecting its predecessors, I’d be missing out on the film’s nuances and references. But I believe that any movie – sequel or not should be capable of standing on its own merit whether through story/narrative and/or execution.

That said, it’s a bit of a cop-out on my part and I completely embrace that perspective as well. But I was elated and needn’t have worried. Creed III is its own thing; not to mention that it also happens to be the first in the franchise not to have Sylvester Stallone in the cast (he is an executive producer however).


In Creed III, Adonis Creed (Jordan) is 3 years removed from boxing and now has evolved into a promoter, mentor, and successful businessman. Finally achieving a balance between work and family, he is happy to finally be done fighting and instead stand on the business side of things. But an old friend from the past suddenly works his way back into his fold. Damian (Majors), a brotherly friend from their group home days, shows up at Adonis’ gym, fresh from serving time for a violent incident.

With this shared history between the two men, the reunion is lukewarm, however. Damian, a former Golden Glove champ, wants to turn professional and asks Adonis to pull some strings. Creed reluctantly agrees, but something seems off with his childhood friend, who seems to “have a chip on his shoulder” and “wants to hurt somebody”. More and more, Damian becomes unhinged and goes head to head with Adonis, in what would ultimately be a showdown between the two.


Like most Rocky films, Creed III follows the formula perfected by its predecessors and doesn’t quite break new ground. But the film’s execution is well-done. Michael B. Jordan’s direction is spot on and a respectable directorial debut. Stylistically, Kramer Morgenthau’s cinematography and Tyler Nelson and Jessica Baclesse’s editing provide plenty of energy but never let it get out of hand. The pacing is well-thought and the film moves along to tell the story. Adding to the film’s strengths is an ensemble cast of great actors who provide the intensity to their roles – ultimately helping the film be as entertaining as it is, never mind the trappings of being a sequel and limitations of the story.


Jordan is excellent, as well as Phylicia Rashad as Creed’s mom. I could have used more Tessa Thompson, to be honest, but still grateful for her presence. But Jonathan Majors shines as Damian “Dame” Anderson. I first saw his talents on the short-lived HBO classic Lovecraft Country. Majors brings a vulnerable and sinister aura to Dame that is a great counterpart to Jordan’s Adonis. They’ve got chemistry and it’s pretty cool to watch. 


While Creed III, in a way, steps out on its own a few paces from the Rocky movies of yesterday, it’s still not completely free from its hereditary legacy. Still predictable and genre-specific, the film attempts to stand on its own weight with a slightly more complex protagonist in Adonis Creed and a more “human” story. Credit Jordan and the filmmakers for holding back the pomp and letting the actors’ intense performances define what’s on the screen any way it can. 

Looking back at the ridiculousness of Rocky III and IV specifically, it’s easy to like this film. And that’s mainly from the talented cast. Entertaining and somewhat satisfying, Creed III has inspired me to see Creed and Creed II and that seems like a win… maybe not by knockout — perhaps more by split decision, hah!



So have you seen CREED III? Well, what did you think?

5 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: CREED III (2023)

  1. I loved the first two Creed films and I highly you check them out asap, Vince! With that said, I agree with your review of Creed 3. It’s well made but kind of underwhelming. They tried to mix in the plot of Rocky 5 and 6 and it sorted of worked. But somehow I felt like something’s missing, I just wasn’t that satisfied with how the story turned out. I definitely miss Rocky but I get why Stallone’s not back in this film. He’s currently suing the producers. Lol!

  2. I really wanted to go to this this weekend but could not find the time. I suppose I should watch Creed II before I go though. Never bothered with it.

  3. Great review, Vince! You should check out the first two CREED films, I enjoyed them despite not being into boxing at all. I’ll definitely check out this one when it’s available on streaming, love the pairing of Jordan + current ‘it boy’ Jonathan Majors.

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s