Creed is the latest entry in the Rocky franchise, though it's the first that doesn't include a writing credit from Stallone. It probably took a lot of nerve for the star to allow relative newcomer Ryan Coogler (who gave us 2013's excellent Fruitvale Station) to take the directorial reins—but the payoff is oh-so-worth it. Creed is not only a loving homage to Rocky, it builds upon the legend while maintaining the original film's heart and purity. Michael B. Jordan—of Fruitvale Station and Friday Night Lights—plays young Adonis Johnson, the illegitimate son of Rocky's original nemesis and friend, Apollo Creed. Bouncing around juvie halls, Adonis is eventually adopted by the late Creed's wife (Phylicia Rashad) and raised in luxury—but that does little to quell the anger boiling inside. Boxing in shoddy Mexican bars, Adonis decides to go professional, and convinces a reticent, slow, and gray Rocky Balboa (a slow and gray Stallone) to train him. And when the world discovers Adonis is actually a Creed? It isn't long until the still-green fighter is face-to-face in the ring with a terrifyingly experienced world champion (132 min.).
Director: Ryan Coogler
Producer: Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Kevin King-Templeton, Sylvester Stallone and Nicolas Stern
Cast: Michael Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Andre Ward, Anthony Bellew, Ritchie Coster, Jacob "Stitch" Duran, Graham McTavish, Malik Bazille, Ricardo "Padman" McGill, Gabriel Rosado, Wood Harris, Buddy Osborn, Rupal Pujara, Brian Anthony Wilson and Alex Henderson