holiday movie preview,  creed

2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Writer-director Ryan Coogler's Rocky spinoff, Creed, hits theaters today, just in time to send audiences into a roar of excitement over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Depicted as one of the most "terrific boxing movies" and one of the best in the Rocky series, the film portrays former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Movie critics can't praise the spinoff enough, giving it two thumbs up and promising you'll be in their corner once you see it, too.

And just in case you don't believe us, here are five reviews to prove it:

Michael B. Jordan, Creed

Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Entertainment

The Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan:  "A fresh retelling of Rocky that has us in its corner."

"Writer-director Coogler presents the very different Creed," Turan writes. "A film that is nominally a spinoff of the celebrated Rocky series but actually plays like something more interesting: a spiritual remake of the 1976 film that retells the original story in the kind of involving way one would not have thought possible."

Rolling Stone's Peter Travers says, "Hot damn! We have a winner!"

"So irresistible is [Sylvester] Stallone's blend of tough and tender that Oscar should give him points," Travers exclaims. "You heard me. Yo, Academy!"

Michael B. Jordan, Creed

Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Entertainment

The New York Times' A.O. Scott calls it "a terrific boxing movie."

"Creed is a dandy piece of entertainment, soothingly old-fashioned and bracingly up-to-date," he writes, adding, "The punches fly, the music soars and the ground is prepared for Creed II. We'll see how that goes. But for now it is sweet to have this lesson in the importance of fast footwork, brute power and brotherly love."

Vulture's David Edelstein: "Creed forges an exciting new path while staying true to its Rocky lineage."

"Creed represents a kind of Hollywood fantasy that doesn't have to be specious, focusing on pride, determination, self-control, hard work, and forging one's own identity. Movies don't always have to be ‘how things are.' When they're as warm and rousing as Creed, they can be 'how we want to make things.'"

Michael B. Jordan, Creed

Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Entertainment

ABC's David Blaustine claims, "Creed is one of the best Rocky movies."

"With Creed, Coogler takes an existing mythology and lovingly turns it into something new and very real, while Jordan takes a character who could easily be seen as unsympathetic, and turns him into someone exceedingly relatable."

He adds, "Creed isn't complicated. It's a simple story with just enough humanity sprinkled throughout to capture the hearts and minds of audiences who—trust me when I say this—will be cheering at the end of a movie that's not nearly as predictable as you might think."

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