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Logline: Rocky Balboa becomes the coach and mentor of Adonis Creed, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Review: After six films centering on the former World Heavy Weight Champion Rocky Balboa, the Rocky franchise was showing its age.  Ryan Coogler’s Creed reinvigorates the franchise by focusing on a compelling new character: Adonis Creed while pushing Rocky to the sidelines as his trainer.

Creed has a familiar story.  A boxer must train to fight a formidable opponent.  Coogler embraces the tired tropes of boxing films, though and creates something fresh and contemporary.  The tone is undeniably realistic.  Michael B. Jordan is excellent as Adonis and Sylvester Stallone gives great support as the iconic Rocky.

Creed is an emotionally visceral experience that reminds us what made Rocky (1976) such a great film in the first place and brings the aging franchise into the 21st century.

Rating (out of ****): ****