Fighting is a primal urge that seems to be hardwired into the human psyche. Watching an amazing MMA contest, a brutal boxing clash or even a street fistfight is something that we as a species cannot help but do. Fights have inspired a large number of films in the entertainment business. You can find some of the best action films ever made in a variety of genres, including boxing, karate, and more.
In addition to combat sports, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best sports movies ever made, so be sure to check those out as well.
1. Never Back Down (2008)
Never Back Down is a rarity in the category of fighting movies, where high school drama meets action. The story follows a young man named Jake Tyler (Sean Faris) as he begins his first day at a new high school. The story takes an unusual turn when he is enticed into a secretive underground fight club. Naturally, he comes face-to-face with an enemy that only a seasoned mixed martial arts fighter can vanquish.
2. Bloodsport (1988)
For a 1980s action film with a heavy emphasis on combat, Bloodsport may be just the ticket. To win a covert martial arts competition in Hong Kong, Army Captain Frank Dux goes AWOL. All of the bouts are terrible, and there’s no way to predict who will survive. This film, which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme in his breakthrough role, is an excellent resource for learning more about the action star’s past.
3. Fight Club (1999)
David Fincher’s film based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel is one of the best of all time. In this film, some young and irritated men believe that kicking each other around is the best way to deal with their problems. The movie, despite its moral conclusion in the end, causes societal unrest in the unsatisfied young men of society. However, the movie has some excellent writing and an excellent twist ending. At the same time, Brad Pitt’s acting in “The Hunger Games” is both hilarious and horrifying at the same time; he satirizes the social expectations and attitudes of young men in a meta way.
4. Real Steel (2011)
Real Steel has all the ingredients of a classic boxing movie, but with the sci-fi flair of a movie like Alien. Starting with Hugh Jackman as a disillusioned former boxer who chances to uncover a hidden skill. Is this movie becoming too much like every other underdog boxing movie? You’re almost there. What sets Real Steel apart from most other films is that the untapped talent in this case is an old, abandoned robot. So, if you’re searching for a movie about robots fighting, go no further than this one. You can also check out other action films on Netflix to see if there are any that interest you.
5. Enter The Dragon (1973)
Enter the Dragon is widely regarded as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time and one of the greatest movies ever made. In addition, it is the final picture in which he appeared before his death. James Bond and the blaxploitation movement were just beginning to take hold at the time Lee teamed up with James Minton Kelly and John Saxon. Just sit back and enjoy the beautifully choreographed battle scenes and the sleazy 70s appeal of the picture, which has since been understood as an allegory of post-colonial Asia by academics.
6. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
A boxing trainer named Frankie (Clint Eastwood) has dedicated his life to the ring at the sacrifice of nearly everything else in his life. Million Dollar Baby, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, won four Academy Awards. It’s because he doesn’t think women should box that Frankie declines Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), who shows up demanding a trainer. The two create an emotional bond as Frankie teaches her to be a viable fighter, and this will impact their lives for many years to come.
7. The Karate Kid (1984)
It was big in the 80s and beyond, even if it wasn’t as intense a form of mixed martial arts as UFC fights or other kinds. Even after all these years, the Karate Kid still influences the combat genre. It’s one of the most recognizable and influential films in the history of cinema and television. In fact, the Netflix series, Cobra Kai, has even gained its own cult following as a result of the original movie’s popularity.
8. The Fighter (2010)
The Fighter is based on the true story of Micky Ward, a young boxer who is trying to break out of the shadow cast by his elder half-sibling. In order to assist Micky (Mark Wahlberg) realize his ambitions of grandeur, his older brother Dicky (Christian Bale) accepts him as his student. When one great boxer falls from popularity while his younger brother rises to prominence, it is a familiar story, but the performers involved here make it feel like something wholly new and original.
9. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
“Wire-Fu” cinematic aesthetics are liberally used in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a film that redefines the sub-genre of Kung Fu movies. By opposing her arranged marriage, Jen (Ziyi Zhang) fights to overthrow the oppression of society by pursuing a life of crime on the run while in the throes of passionate love with another person. Yu (Michelle Yeoh), a highly competent and trained swordmaster, discovers that she has let her life pass her by without having her own genuine love story, despite her devotion to fairness and honor. For its day, this film was widely appreciated, earning four Oscars and enchanting audiences across the world.
10. Warrior (2011)
Warrior tells the narrative of two brothers, like The Fighter. Upon Tommy Riordan’s return to Pittsburgh, he enlists the help of his sober father to prepare for the world’s largest mixed martial arts event. Ex-MMA fighter Tommy’s estranged brother joins the tournament as he works his way toward the title. Their paths will inevitably cross, and they will be compelled to face the things that brought them apart.
11. Ip Man (2008)
One of the best martial arts films ever made, Ip Man is a must-see for anyone searching for a more classic kung fu movie. It’s also worth noting that IP Man was a real person who taught Bruce Lee his martial arts techniques. If you’re looking for some of the best fight scenes you’ll ever see, this film is a must.
12. Rocky (1976)
Sylvester Stallone penned and starred in Rocky, the classic boxing biopic that has endeared itself to generations of moviegoers. With Apollo Creed’s (Carl Weathers) random selection to battle the heavyweight champion of Philadelphia, Rocky (Robert De Niro) must overcome both physical and emotional barriers. In telling a fantastic sporting narrative, this film also tells a personal one about overcoming the odds and proving everyone else wrong. It’s a masterful piece of storytelling. Despite the fact that this is a completely made-up story, it does have some characteristics in common with the greatest boxing contests in history.