Boxing films are still relevant today because of their training montages, underdog stories, and spectacular fights. In the past, there have been some outstanding people.
Since the turn of the twentieth century, boxing films have dominated the sports film genre. As in the Rocky franchise, Southpaw, and Million Dollar Baby, these films focus on the personal and professional challenges of fictional boxers, such as in the case of Rocky. Raging Bull, Ali, Hands of Stone, and The Fighter round out the top five boxing biopics.
Boxing movies continue to be popular among moviegoers and reviewers alike because of their exciting fight scenes, heartwarming tales of triumph over adversity, and gripping training sequences.
10. Southpaw (2015) – 7.4
Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as the lead character in Southpaw takes the film above the normal boxing film tropes. After the death of his wife, a left-handed boxer finds himself at a low period in his life. The ex-champion makes a last-ditch effort to reclaim his previous glory in the face of loss and inner demons.
The mental and physical toll that Gyllenhaal’s Billy Hope takes in order to get back on his feet makes him an ideal figure for films about former boxers attempting a comeback.
9. Champion (1949) – 7.4
Boxer Midge Kelly (Kirk Douglas) is the star of Champion, a film about the life of a professional boxer. Douglas, on the other hand, loses touch with his humanity as a result of his newfound fame and fortune, and a toxic series of events ensues.
As depicted in this noir classic, sportspeople’s lives can be ruined by outside influences. Champions Midge Kelly is a study about the evil side of boxing, as opposed to the usual lovable characters in the boxing genre.
8. Before The Fall (2004) – 7.4
Before the Fall, a German film from the early 2000s, is a coming-of-age tale presented from the viewpoint of a young boxer. In comparison to other boxing time plays, this one has a number of contemplative and politically heated passages.
Friedrich Weimer, a boy growing up in Nazi-occupied Germany during World War II, dreams of attending a Nazi Academy so that he can show off his boxing abilities to a wider audience. As a result of his time at the institution, he has developed an entirely new perspective on life. Friedrich is forced to choose between his sporting career and his own free will as a result of this brainwashing.
7. Creed (2015) – 7.6
The Rocky film series resurfaced in the 2010s with Creed, a spin-off that followed the events of the first six Rocky films. Sylvester Stallone returns to reprise his role as Rocky Balboa, this time as a trainer. Adonis Creed, the son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, is an aspiring boxer played by Michael B. Jordan.
Having a protagonist who is as passionate and dedicated to the sport as Rocky was in his prime helps Creed tremendously. For all its emotional impact, the combat scenes in Creed are extremely realistic and convincing, especially with actors like Tony Bellew and Gabriel Rosado, who have real-life experience in the ring.
6. The Hurricane (1999) – 7.6
As a boxing drama, The Hurricane begins with Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter’s real-life story, but soon transitions into a legal thriller that tells Carter’s story from beginning to end. The biopic, starring Denzel Washington, explores the boxer’s false conviction and eventual release thanks to the efforts of a teenager and his foster family.
In addition to Denzel Washington’s outstanding performance, the film’s heartwarming idea is brought to life by an excellent ensemble cast. In the film’s boxing contests and in his daily life in prison, the protagonist’s fury is on full display.
5. The Fighter (2010) – 7.8
They are half-brothers who have a troubled relationship with boxing, and Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale star in The Fighter. In contrast to Wahlberg’s Micky Ward, who is struggling to get his career back on track, Bale’s Dicky Eklund is a washed-up professional boxer who is struggling with a cocaine addiction.
With the ensuing domestic strife, the stage is set for a more dialog-driven boxing movie. Prior to engaging in combat, The Fighter focuses on the psychological challenges that boxers may confront before they even step foot in the ring. A brutally accurate portrayal of a self-destructive boxer was provided by Christian Bale in his role in the film. It’s more than just a boxing movie because each character has such a unique story to tell.
4. Cinderella Man (2005) – 8.0
Former heavyweight champion James Braddock is portrayed by Rusell Crowe in this 1930s period piece. The Ron Howard-directed film, which received three Oscar nominations, was lauded for its ability to strike a delicate balance between gritty and sentimental undertones while yet being true to its source material.
Cinderella Man is set during the Great Depression, which adds to the film’s allure. It’s no secret that our protagonist, like the rest of the country, has been devastated financially. As a result, Braddock is becoming increasingly desperate to rise to the top of the wrestling world.
3. Million Dollar Baby (2004) – 8.1
Hillary Swank’s performance as Maggie Fitzgerald, a waitress-turned-boxer, makes Million Dollar Baby one of Clint Eastwood’s best films. Unlike other boxing movies, which frequently feature up-and-coming competitors or veteran fighters seeking a return, Maggie takes a different tack.
The 31-year-old amateur is passionate about the sport, but he lacks the necessary knowledge and experience. In the end, she decides to pursue a professional career under the guidance of coach Frankie Dunn (also played by Eastwood).
2. Rocky (1976) – 8.1
One of Sylvester Stallone’s best pictures, Rocky combines action with romance in a way that no other Stallone film has managed. It’s hard to argue that Rocky Balboa isn’t one of the best underdog figures in Hollywood. Apart from Rocky, the importance of his trainer Mickey Goldmill and Rocky’s opponent Apollo Creed cannot be overstated.
No matter how you look at it, the original 1976 film is full of iconic scenes that have influenced countless sequels and boxing dramas ever since.
1. Raging Bull (1980) – 8.2
La Motta, a hot-headed champion and alcoholic, was played by Robert De Niro in the film Raging Bull. La Motta, in contrast to other boxers depicted in cinema, is not a role model. Martin Scorsese’s best film, it tries to delve into the brutality of this boxer’s life and the harsh sport in which he competes.
Instead of glorifying boxing, Scorsese explores the sport’s darker side, and the director doesn’t hold back. Thelma Schoonmaker’s cutting in the dramatic and graphic bout scenes makes Raging Bull a trailblazer in boxing cinematography.