Welcome home the undisputed Heavyweight Boxing Champion as “Creed III” releases on home video.

Michael B. Jordan has been working as an actor since he was very young with his first credited project being a 1999 episode of The Sopranos. It makes a certain amount of sense that he might make the leap from actor to director, having seen what it’s like on one side of the camera for so long. It makes even more sense for him to do it with a property and character that he’s well familiar with, Adonis Creed of the Creed series. On paper, this makes sense because of his familiarity with the character, the prep work, and all the things that go into making Adonis the incredible addition to the Rocky franchise that he is. In reality, this is complex, requiring Jordan to not only direct himself and his cast, but learn his fight choreography, train to maintain fighting shape, as well as manage all the departments to ensure synergy. This makes Creed III a heavy lift and one that Jordan deftly accomplishes, delivering a film that fits nicely within the larger Rocky universe as it explores an aspect of Adonis that’s been festering since well before audiences met him. Now with Creed III on home video, audiences can explore this third film as they like, enjoying two brief featurettes and three deleted scenes in the process.

If you’d like to learn about Creed III in a spoiler-free capacity, head over to the initial theatrical release review. Moving forward, you can duck, you can dodge, but spoilers will be dropped.


L-R: Director Michael B. Jordan and José Benavidez Jr. on the set of their film CREED III A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Eli Ade. © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved CREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In 2002, a young Adonis (Thaddeus J. Mixson) plays kit man to his friend Damian (Spence Moore II), a young boxer on the rise in the Los Angeles area. After a successful bout, the two stop at a convenience store for snacks and Adonis bumps into someone, instantly triggers Adonis, resulting in him assaulting that person. By the time police arrive, Damian has pulled a gun in defense of Adonis and gets arrested while Adonis runs off. In the present, Adonis (Jordan) is retired from boxing and working both as a promoter of boxers and operator of his gym. Things are generally going well until Damian (Jonathan Majors) appears, fresh from his time in prison, to reconnect with Adonis. At first, Adonis is keen to do whatever he can to help Damian, but, as Damian grows ever more impatient, it quickly becomes clear that these two have unfinished business that goes beyond that night all those years ago.


L-R: Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed and Jonathan Majors as Damian Anderson in CREED III A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo Credit: Eli Ade. © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. CREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The first Creed (2015) introduced the world to Adonis, the child of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), conceived outside of marriage, left to grow up in the foster system. Drawn to boxing, he’s a man filled with rage and a desire to make a name for himself while rejecting his father’s. That story is a tale of acceptance of who he is and where he comes from. The second Creed (2018) tale introduces the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the man who killed Apollo during a boxing match, Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), who is on a quest to bring back honor to his family. This quest pits the two adult children against each other, requiring that Adonis confront his father in a way he’s never had to before. Having addressed personal identity and ties to his father, the third Creed story does something incredible; it goes further inward, challenging Adonis to do something he’s been too afraid to do, to confront his rage and his trauma by going inward. The return of Damian into his life is a stark reminder of everything he thought he’d left behind, even going so far as to state explicitly to his wife Bianca (Tessa Thompson) that he found it easier to pretend he’d forgotten. The conflict is internal, made external by the friction between Damian and Adonis as each man refuses to discuss their choices as children, too afraid at what the other might say or think, too determined to make the present make up for lost time, never considering what the absence of conversation is doing to them. In this way, the final fight, even more so than the prior two films, isn’t about the fight, but about the fighters. This isn’t to suggest that the prior final fights in the Creed films didn’t represent some larger concept or overarching theme, but the confrontation in Creed III isn’t really about Adonis coming out of retirement to reclaim the Heavyweight Title belt or Damian proving that he can beat the former champ. These are bonuses, but not the goal. The real intention of the fight is to use their fists to get out the anger, the rage, the disappointment, and the fear that they’ve held in for so long.


L-R: Director Michael B. Jordan, Mila Davis-Kent, and Tessa Thompson on the set of their film CREED III A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Eli Ade. © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved CREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This is the part of Creed III that I love the most. The majority of the Rocky franchise has utilized boxing as a method of ascending to a higher station in life, to make things better for themselves or their loved ones, and even bring themselves a certain amount of personal pride. With this film, the fighting is secondary to the core theme: opening one’s self to others is the thing that requires the most courage. If Adonis had spoken to Bianca at any point about Damian, the two would’ve been more prepared with the proper tools to approach Damian’s return and done so as a team. If his adoptive mother Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) had been more open with Adonis about Damian’s attempts to make contact during his incarceration, Adonis would’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with Damian sooner, enabling the two men to reconcile before things escalated. If Damian had taken the time to open up to Adonis in their first meeting, putting aside his fear of never achieving his life’s goal of boxing fame, the two could’ve come up with a plan to get Damian where he wanted to be without Viktor becoming a victim of Damian’s impatience. The inability to open up, the side effect of lacking the tools to communicate one’s feelings or to regulate one’s own emotions, this is the major theme of the film. The trauma done to us that we do not unpack and find healthy ways to heal from will only do more damage to us. If not today, at an unknown point in the future. This is what makes the film rich and weighty; this is what makes each fight in the film different from the ones before them. By the end, there’s a true sense of culmination so that if there was never another Creed tale, the audience would be incredibly satisfied. It’s a ballsy move to make the film less about boxing and more about the importance of therapy and healing, and Creed III does it without breaking a sweat.


L-R: Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed, Mila Kent as Amara, and Tessa Thompson as Bianca in CREED III A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film Photo credit: Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved CREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Regarding the bonus features, there are two featurettes: one that focuses primarily on Jordan as actor/director and one that focuses on the Jordan/Adonis-Majors/Damian relationship. Both of these featurettes run, on average, 10 minutes, enabling us to get a real sense of Jordan’s process as both actor and director in a variety of ways, as well as what it was like to work with Majors (and his own process to approach the role of Damian). Strangely, none of the features really get into Jordan’s approach to direction or explores the technology he used to film the fights. In either a pre-theatrical release featurette or promotional interview, Jordan discusses using a camera rig that uses an automated pre-programmed route (like was used in Leigh Whannell’s 2020 The Invisible Man) in some aspects of shooting the fights. This requires the actor to not only know their lines (where applicable), but also maintain mindfulness of their movements so that they are always where they need to be to remain in the shot but also so they don’t get hit by the camera as it moves around. The incorporation of the tech is fascinating and yet it’s not explored or discussed at all. Regarding the three deleted scenes, none of them really add to the film in a way that other scenes didn’t already accomplish, but one does wonder if there was more in the original script involving the storyline of Adonis and his daughter as that aspect, specifically the school altercation, gets short-handed in favor of moving the larger story along. This is certainly a personal preference to see explored more. As once The Cine-Men co-host Darryl Mansel mentioned it as something that bothered him, it’s begun to stand out more and more on subsequent viewings.


L-R: Director Michael B. Jordan and cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau on the set of their film CREED III A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Eli Ade. © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved CREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What’s included is good and informative, but there’s absolutely a missed opportunity here, not just as a new Creed film but as Jordan’s directorial debut, to really dig into what makes this film tick.

Even on a rewatch, Creed III is a strong film as both a directorial debut and the third film in a trilogy. One can see the director’s vision, his perspective in the way the characters are captured and the performances serve to convey the significance, as well as the smart continuation of the work that began in 2015. Whether this is the end of Adonis’s cinematic journey or the start of something entirely new, the trilogy as it exists now is indisputably satisfying.

Creed III 4K UHD and Blu-ray Special Features:

  • Michael B. Jordan: In the Ring/Behind the Camera (10:04)
  • There’s No Enemy Like the Past: Donnie and Dame (9:21)
  • Three (3) Deleted Scenes (4:23)

Available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD May 23rd, 2023.

For more information, head to the official MGM Creed III webpage.


Categories: Films To Watch, Home Release, Recommendation

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