Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Loyalty has its rewards, especially when it comes to friends who've become like family. And hard work and perseverance will pay off if they come from the right place and with the best intentions. Self-control is an additional theme, though even those who don't demonstrate it are still rewarded.
Positive Role Models
Rocky may no longer be an unrelenting fighter in the ring, but he's still the same generous, big-hearted, and humble guy that he was in the previous movies. Adonis has a chip on his shoulder about being Apollo's son and has demons to silence, but he's well-intentioned, kind, and determined to succeed -- and to work hard to get there.
Directed and co-written by Black filmmaker Ryan Coogler, the film features Black (Adonis) and White (Rocky) main characters. Supporting characters of color include Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and Adonis' adoptive mother, Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad), along with several other Black minor characters (trainers and boxers, Philly residents, etc.). But non-Black depictions can fall into cliches: Early fights in Tijuana look lowbrow and gritty, using the type of yellow color filter that's been overused in Hollywood to convey Mexico as rundown, and there's a glimpse of East Asian tourists who snap photos by the Rocky statue. Women assume stereotypical roles as emotional anchors, sometimes to their own detriment (e.g., Adonis jeopardizes a high-profile gig for performer Bianca by starting a fight), though they do have their own backstories. Bianca has progressive hearing loss and wears a hearing aid -- the narrative is written respectfully.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Pummeling action in the ring (body blows, face punches, sounds of cracking bones) can get quite bloody and is painful to watch. One character is shown as a young child dealing with stressful situations with his fists. Lots of trash talk between boxers. A character deals with cancer treatment (sad moments).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
One scene shows a couple presumably having sex; viewers see some skin, the back strap of a bra, and kissing. A character briefly picks up a pornographic magazine (naked woman visible but nothing sensitive is shown).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language includes one "f--k," plus "ass," "s--t," "son of a bitch," the "N" word used by a Black character while fighting, "damn," "hell," "oh my God," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Labels/brands seen include Nike, Dell, Samsung. There's brief Hershey's and Tecate signage, and Breyers ice cream and Oreos sit on a table.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character leaves a bottle of liquor to salute a hard-drinking friend who passed away long ago.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Creed is the first movie in the Rocky saga to feature Michael B. Jordan as Apollo Creed's son, Adonis "Donnie" Johnson. With boxing at the story's center, you can expect plenty of scenes with often-brutal fights (body blows, face punches, blood everywhere), plus sad moments when a main character is diagnosed with cancer. The story is driven forward by a traditional hero's journey, which will likely appeal to teens. There's a romance that includes some kissing and groping (nothing graphic), and you can expect strong language (including "s--t," "oh my God," the "N" word used by a Black character during a fight, and one "f--k"). Directed by Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), the film has complex Black characters, though women play a secondary role as emotional supports to male leads. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie has elements that are terrific, no question, but it disappoints, too. Still, it's well worth seeing, if only to witness how Rocky's cinematic and boxing legacy continues. First, the good stuff: Decades after the first Rocky hit the big screen, the pull of the franchise endures. When Stallone makes his first appearance, it's hard not to root for him. We've known this character for years, and there's something fundamentally appealing about him.
Adonis, meanwhile, is much more complicated -- though perhaps not as complicated as he deserves. We don't get to know him as deeply as we did Rocky, and therefore we aren't as invested in him as we should be. He comes alive when he's in the ring, as the star of a Rocky movie should (though nostalgia buffs might wish they'd hear more of the iconic theme song), thanks to fight choreography that taps into both the balletic and brutal elements of the punishing sport. But Adonis also needs to be compelling away from the ropes. A hero's journey deserves a hero who's mesmerizing; through no fault of the talented Jordan, Adonis still stands in the shadow of Rocky Balboa.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Great Sports Movies
Drama Movies That Tug at the Heartstrings
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate