Creed III Parent Guide
The cinematography is punchy enough to carry the unremarkable storyline.
Parent Movie Review
Adonis “Donnie” Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has had an incredible career and is the reigning heavyweight champion of the world. Donnie is smart enough to know that he’s getting old in a young man’s game, and decides to retire after his next fight. He plans to manage other fighters in his gym and spend more time with his family. Life isn’t going to be that easy, though.
Damian (Jonathan Majors), a childhood friend of Donnie’s who was a skilled boxer before spending 18 years in prison, reappears outside of Donnie’s gym insisting that he’s still got what it takes to succeed in professional boxing. When Donnie pulls some strings to get him into a title fight with Felix Chavez (Jose Benavidez), one of the fighters Donnie trained, Damian fights dirty and seriously injures Felix. Damian isn’t done and starts publicly insulting Donnie and his family. Bianca (Tessa Thompson) knows there’s something else going on, something dating back to Donnie’s childhood with Damian, but Donnie refuses to talk about it. She’ll just have to hope that her husband can find a way to deal with his past before it gets him in even more trouble – or into the ring again.
As with the other films in the franchise, Creed III is a pretty standard boxing movie, structurally speaking. You know how it’s going to shake out. There’ll be some early and largely inconsequential fights (mostly for character motivation), a big loss, a training montage, and then a climactic bout for the title. Where the franchise has succeeded is in telling a more emotional character story on top of the fisticuffs, and this film continues in that vein.
There’s some really good work happening here in showing the story of the fight and the arc of the characters without the benefit of much dialogue. It’s hard to get a good monologue out with a mouthguard in and a heavyweight boxer trying to reshape your skull, but Creed III works hard to show you what’s going on. Unfortunately for family audiences, that does mean some pretty brutal hits and a good deal of blood in the ring, so if you’re sensitive to violence, this film will be a rough viewing experience.
Having not rewatched the previous films, I can’t be as precise as I’d like to be, but I feel like the third installment is a little weaker. Donnie’s character is just as exciting and dynamic, but I seem to remember being more engaged by the other movies in the franchise. This outing feels a little more familiar, a little less daring maybe. Or perhaps I’m just in a terrible mood today. Who can say? Maybe I just miss Sly Stallone lurking around in that goofy hat. I can say with rather more confidence, though, that if you liked the other movies, or boxing movies in general, you’ll have a good time with Creed III’s punchy cinematography and quick choreography. Just don’t expect too many surprises.Directed by Michael B. Jordan. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors. Running time: 116 minutes. Theatrical release March 3, 2023. Updated March 3, 2023
Watch the trailer for Creed III
Rating & Content Info
Why is Creed III rated PG-13? Creed III is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sports action, violence and some strong language.Violence: People are frequently hurt in boxing events, and are sometimes seen bleeding or spitting out teeth. There are references to child abuse with brief depictions. A man is severely beaten on the street. A character’s hand is deliberately broken with a baton.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are fifteen uses of scatological profanity and infrequent mild curses and terms of deity. There are several uses of a racial slur and one sexual expletive in songs heard in the film.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking socially on several occasions.
Page last updated March 3, 2023
Creed III Parents' Guide
What does Bianca want Adonis to learn about expressing his emotions? How successful is she in encouraging him to open up to her? Why is Adonis so reluctant to talk about his childhood? What kind of responsibility does he feel for what happened? How does Damian exploit those feelings? How do you think Damien perceived those events?
What are some of the ethical issues surrounding boxing as a competitive sport? What kind of long term injuries do fighters sustain? What are some of the consequences of those injuries?
Related home video titles:
This film is a sequel to Creed and Creed II, and a continuation of the Rocky franchise, including classics like Rocky, Rocky IV, and Rocky Balboa. Another film about an aging fighter trying to make things work in MMA rather than boxing is Born a Champion.