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Creed 3 movie


In Theaters


Home Release Date




Bob Hoose

Movie Review

Adonis “Donnie” Creed has decided to fight his last fight. At least, in the ring anyway. He’s stepping down as the reigning boxing champ and taking up a new battling helm as a fight impresario. He’ll be setting up world-class fighters, not being beaten and pummeled by them.

And that suits Donnie just fine. He can relocate his family and business to a much more spotlight-ready area and keep his pretty face pretty. It’s a win-win.

Of course, no matter how fine your suits are, or how big and spectacular your home, you can rarely clean out all the old skeletons from your proverbial closet. And Donnie has a few of those.

One of those past connections is a guy by the name of Damian “Dame” Anderson. He’s a close friend who was once a Golden Gloves Champ. He and Donnie used to run around and get in trouble together when they were teens. But Dame had aspirations to hit the big time, too. He was set on being a pro boxer … until he got popped for a big crime and sent off to prison for 18 years.

Well, it just so happens that Dame is out now and still hoping for a shot. He’s kept himself in top shape. So while, yeah, he’s a bit long in the tooth to be starting a pro career, he does have a friend in the biz.

And that friend owes him one.

From Donnie’s perspective, it’s all kinda impossible. How can he push this guy who’s never fought a single pro fight as an adult? But there are reasons why Donnie, well, can’t say no to Dame. Things Donnie has done in the past. Things he’s kept hidden.

Maybe there’s a page he can pull from Rocky Balboa’s book. I mean, Rocky got his break as a two-bit unknown when Donnie’s father fought him in Philly for publicity back in the day, right? Maybe Donnie can set something like that up for Dame. If Dame holds up and lasts a few rounds, then he might get some attention from the fighting community. If he goes down in flames, well, he had his shot.

What Donnie doesn’t realize is that Dame isn’t one to wait patiently while a friend cracks the door open for him. Dame’s itching to kick that door down. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to grab what’s “rightfully” his. And if that means a little dirty fighting inside or outside the ring, then so be it.

Dame feels like Donnie owes him. And Donnie is ultimately going pay. In more ways than one.

Positive Elements

We see Donnie making positive choices to support his wife and daughter. And Donnie goes the extra mile to help Dame, too. Even though their relationship grows contentious, Donnie works hard to set things right. Not surprisingly given this storytelling franchise’s pedigree, redemption and forgiveness play big roles in this boxing drama, too.

Spiritual Elements


Sexual Content

Donnie and his wife, Bianca, flirt sexually with each other. They begin kissing and then sink to the floor before the camera cuts away. We also see Bianca dressed in nightwear that includes a t-shirt and short shorts.

During the boxing matches, attractive women—wearing either bikinis or formfitting outfits—carry cards that announce the next round. Donnie, Dame and other heavily muscled fighters spend lots of time shirtless.

Violent Content

As would be expected in a film of this stripe, well-choreographed fights feature bone-crunching battles. Slow-motion body blows ripple through each boxer’s flesh, and punches send blood spewing. This close combat yields minor cuts, bleeding wounds and angry bruises, mostly on the brawlers’ faces. One particularly brutal moment, for instance, features Dame pulling out his mouthpiece during a fight and spitting out several bloody teeth, too.

The de rigueur training montages can also be surprisingly jarring. Not only are boxers bashed and bloodied while sparring, but Donnie’s beat-himself-into-shape prep mode includes grueling uphill runs, pulling heavy objects (such as a small prop plane), pounding his fists bloody on a tree, etc. Amid those activities and others, Donnie collapses in exhaustion as he struggles to rebuild his fighting stamina.

We see some moments of violence outside the ring, too. Someone gets punched in the face, leaving an eye and brow bloody. A boxer is hit with a club at a party and has his wrist broken.

As a teen, Donnie jumps and pummels a guy who used to beat him and Dame when they were just boys. Donnie gets dragged off the man by a group of guys who punch and kick him. Then Dame steps up with a drawn gun.

A kid at school bullies Donnie’s daughter, and she punches the other child in the face. Then Donnie begins to give her some self-defense lessons.

Crude or Profane Language

The dialogue and songs in the soundtrack include about a dozen s-words, two f-words and 10 n-word variants, along with several uses each of “h—,” “a–” and “d–n.” We also hear one or two misuses of God’s name.

Drug and Alcohol Content

People drink champagne, hard alcohol and wine at a couple different celebrations. Bianca drinks wine with Donnie’s mom while watching TV. Dame and Donnie have a couple glasses of cognac. And Donnie’s home bar sports a full array of alcohol choices. Donnie’s mother takes some prescription drugs.

Other Negative Elements

Dame taunts Donnie publicly, calling him a coward in front of a TV audience.


This third entry in the Creed franchise no longer includes a role for the aging Rocky Balboa, but his well-worn Rocky movie formula is still intricately woven through the Creed III fabric. That means that while there’s less North Philly heart and circus-like spectacle, things still feel as familiar as an old pair of heavy bag gloves.

In short, current muscled-up lead Adonis Creed (played by Michael B. Jordan) must pound himself back into fighting shape to take on a foe he never wanted to face and to protect the family he loves. (Cue the trumpets and a muscle-flexing mountaintop roar.) It’s the kind of tale we’ve come to expect from this series.

On a more granular level, viewers will find some very well-choreographed fight scenes. They’ll enjoy redemptive character moments, too, as Creed draws his family in close and reaches out to heal his relationship with Dame.

However, there are also some rather odd story logic stumbles here; a spit bucket full of foul language; and, of course, a whole lotta painful-looking pummeling that you’d never want your kids to recreate in the backyard.

Put all that up on the cinematic weigh-in scale and I’d say fans of this prizefighting franchise will think this pic goes the distance. But it ain’t a knockout.

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Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.