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Rated PG-13 · 132 min. · 2015

Drama



The boxing-film genre reached its narrative limits long ago. But by using conjoined character arcs, the Rocky series’ seventh film ably honors, updates and even deconstructs its legacy. Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the son of late champ Apollo Creed—Rocky’s respected nemesis—is rescued from a delinquent childhood by Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), Apollo’s widow. Haunted by her husband’s death in the ring, she discourages Adonis’ impulses. But he moves to Philadelphia to coax an aging Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to train him. Balboa runs an Italian restaurant and doesn’t visit Mickey’s gym anymore. Still, he reluctantly agrees to train Adonis, though his guilt over failing to prevent Apollo’s death is a motivation the film doesn’t sufficiently explicate. Ryan Coogler, who also directed Jordan in Fruitvale Station, reclaims the blackness of a franchise originally framed through the prism of the Great White Hope. It’s not only the first Rocky film in which Rocky doesn’t fight, but also the first that doesn’t spotlight a white boxer. Jordan and Stallone, utterly at ease, conjure an alchemy of wit and poignancy. The film doesn’t conclude with a celebration in the ring. Instead, a movie icon haltingly climbs the same steps he once galloped up to glory, in an elegy for a cultural phenomenon.

Official Site: creedthemovie.com
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writer: Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington
Producer: Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff and Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Anthony Bellew

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