The verdicts on Creed 3 are in – and the reviews have been pretty glowing for Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut. The third movie in the trilogy picks up with Adonis Creed (Jordan) as his personal and family life are thriving. However, things get more complicated with the arrival of his childhood friend Damian (Jonathan Majors), fresh off a stint in prison and eager to prove his boxing prowess.
Total Film’s Matt Maytum gave the movie four stars, calling it a "fresh and confident directorial debut" for Jordan. Plenty of other reviews have been similarly glowing for the Rocky offshoot. Read on for what the critics had to say about Creed 3 below.
Total Film – 4 stars – Matt Maytum
"While the film might occasionally miss Philadelphia pugilist Rocky’s punchy philosophical idioms, it’s a credit to Jordan as director/star that Rocky’s absence isn’t too keenly felt; his Creed 2 fist-bump sign-off ("It’s your time") having legitimized his exit in story terms. And this story is very much Donnie’s, as his latest opponent gives him plenty to tussle with inside and outside the ring (drawing poignancy from his own background, rather than Rocky’s). The traditional underdog element is flipped: this time it’s the rival clawing his way up against the odds."
The Guardian – 4 stars – Benjamin Lee (opens in new tab)
"While shrugs are still being felt across the globe after last week’s lackluster Ant-Man threequel, next week offers up a much-needed balm, a rare sequel that comes close to restoring one’s faith in the worth and legitimacy of the franchise as a concept, the latest chapter in what might well be the best we have right now."
The Independent – 4 stars – Clarisse Loughrey (opens in new tab)
"Majors, already man of the hour thanks to his recent, formidable entry into Marvel’s cinematic universe, is even more impressive here. He’s taken a molotov cocktail of a character, all arrogance and sorrow, and rage, and rooted him in pensiveness. There are moments – and I know this is quite the statement – when he manages to out-charisma both Jordan and Thompson. It’s quite the feat."
Variety – Owen Gleiberman (opens in new tab)
"Jordan, however, gives what may be his fullest performance yet as Adonis: now proud, now anxious, now valiant, now tearful, now at the end of his rope. As a director, he paces the movie well and stages the boxing matches with a brutal imaginative precision. Dame may be old for a fighter, but what he lacks in youth he makes up for in vengeful killer instinct. His body is chiseled, his soul hardened. He’s a wrecking machine, all right, though more than that he’s the return of the repressed, the side of Adonis that Adonis is running away from. If Creed III turns out to be the last Creed movie, it will prove to be a satisfying finale. But if not, it keeps the bar high."
Entertainment Weekly – B – Leah Greenblatt (opens in new tab)
"And so, in the siren song of so many second sequels come before, just when Adonis thought he was out, they pull him back in. Can he get into fighting shape again and beat his old friend, now his greatest enemy? Should he? Adonis wears snow-white satin to their climactic face-off, and Dame is in all black, a clarity of messaging which generally suffuses the rest of the movie; shades of gray do not apply. The screenplay, by Zach Baylin (King Richard) and Ryan's brother Keenan Coogler, hits most of its narrative notes with a hard fist, and Jordan and Majors stomp and fume like raging bulls, consumed by their singular purpose."
Indie Wire – B- – Kate Erbland (opens in new tab)
"In Michael B. Jordan’s Creed 3, the franchise star adds ‘director’ to his resume with an ambitious, if cluttered feature debut. And while the basic idea that fuels the central battle of the film is thrilling enough — who would want to go up against Jonathan Majors, let alone a Jonathan Majors driven by righteous anger? – an overcooked script from Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin, full of other diversions and potential disasters, keeps Creed 3 from landing every punch it throws. Overall, though, it does prove victorious: Jordan clearly has directorial skill (it’s his bigger swings that are most energizing), and he and Majors make for a formidable onscreen duo."
Creed 3 is out in cinemas on March 3. For more upcoming films, check out our breakdown of 2023 movie release dates.