Here's Where You Can Stream Or Rent Every Rocky And Creed Movie

(Welcome to Where to Watch, which provides a clear and simple answer to the question, "Hey, where can I watch this thing?" In this edition: the Rocky/Creed franchise.)

"Creed III" is officially in the works with Michael B. Jordan starring and making his directorial debut. That sequel does not arrive until November 2022, but if you want to be all caught up on the whole franchise by the time it comes out, here is where you can stream or rent all of the previous "Rocky" and "Creed" movies so far.


Where to stream: HBO Max

This cinematic introduction to the lovable Philly boxing underdog put Sylvester Stallone on the map in a huge way as both the writer and star of what would go on to become one of the biggest sports movie franchises in history. This first movie (which is much more of a low-key, dramatic character study than any other entry in this franchise) won Best Picture at the Oscars in what may have been the most competitive Best Picture year in Academy Awards history: its competition was "All the President's Men," "Bound for Glory," "Network," and "Taxi Driver." Was that the right call? It's debatable! But "Rocky" is an undisputed classic, and a major inflection point in film history because of how big a deal Stallone would become in the decades to follow.

Rocky II

Where to stream: HBO Max 

After holding his own against Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers, who just crushes it in these films) in the first movie's climactic match, "Rocky II" sees the Italian Stallion getting back in shape for a highly anticipated rematch, once again under the tutelage of his aging mentor, Mickey (Burgess Meredith, one of the all-time great scowlers and growlers). 

Rocky III

Where to stream: HBO Max

The third entry, which is arguably the best of the initial "Rocky" franchise, features Rocky Balboa facing off against a brash bruiser named Clubber Lang (Mr. T). This one has it all: Rocky coming to grips with his celebrity status, the death of a great supporting character, Rocky being publicly humiliated, his former rival Apollo Creed stepping in to train him (leading to one of the most homoerotic slo-mo montages ever), and Rocky ultimately overcoming his grief and winning the title back. The ending, which centers on a private rematch between Rocky and Apollo, is far and away the best ending of any "Rocky" movie and one of my favorite endings of any movie. "Ding, ding."

Rocky IV

Where to stream: HBO Max

Soviet fighter Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) seems to be a match made in hell for our hero. Drago straight-up kills Apollo in the ring during an exhibition match ("If he dies, he dies" is some ice cold sh*t to say, man), inspiring Rocky to travel to Russia for a big vengeance match. In opposition to Drago's steroid-infused, high-tech training regimen, Rocky grows a beard, gets back to nature, and trains by running up snowy Russian mountains, lifting logs, and strapping himself to a sled and pulling it like a horse. This is the movie that envisions the end of the Cold War happening because of a boxing match, so ... yeah. It's pretty ridiculous.

Rocky V

Where to stream: HBO Max

Rocky, who has brain damage after battling Drago, trains a young fighter named Tommy "The Machine" Gunn who ends up turning against him, culminating with an unsanctioned street fight for the first time in the franchise. The film is really all about the troubled relationship Rocky has with his son, and while that could be interesting in the right context, this ain't it. For years it seemed like this would be the final film in this franchise, which would have been a shame considering how much it stinks.

Rocky Balboa

Where to stream: HBO Max

More than 15 years after "Rocky V," Stallone decided to get back in the ring with "Rocky Balboa," a movie that is better than it has any right to be but which still fails to reach the previous heights of the early films. It's a much more melancholy movie than the previous entries, and you can sense the real Stallone grappling with aging and his own legacy almost in real time. Bonus: Rocky fights a character named Mason "The Line" Dixon (Antonio Tarver), which proved Stallone was at least still able to come up with great character names.


Where to rent: Apple, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft, Redbox, DirecTV ($3.99)

Just when it looked like the "Rocky" franchise was over, Ryan Coogler came along and rejuvenated it by shifting the focus away from Rocky Balboa and toward Apollo Creed's son (Michael B. Jordan), exploring questions of legacy, privilege, pressure, and identity from a fresh new angle. That combination of ideas mixed with this film's great performances (Stallone is magnificent in this one, but Jordan and Tessa Thompson are also wonderful) and Coogler's dynamic direction results in what might be the best overall movie in this entire franchise.

Creed II

Where to rent: Apple, Amazon, Vudu, Microsoft, Redbox, DirecTV ($3.99)

"Creed II" is a middling "Rocky" movie, but its disappointment stings all the more because of how much "Creed" overdelivered on nearly every front. Adonis Creed ends up fighting Ivan Drago's son (Florian Munteanu) in this one, which feels a little too tired of an idea at this stage in this franchise's lengthy lifespan. Fingers crossed the third "Creed" movie has a bit of a stronger foundation to it.