1. Southpaw (2015)
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Billy Hope, the legendary boxer, goes into a deep depression when tragedy strikes him at the peak of his career. When Billy’s daughter’s custody is in jeopardy, he decides to get his life back on track by returning to the ring.
2. Rocky Balboa (2006)
Former heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa challenges reigning heavyweight champion Mason Dixon to a nationally televised 10-round exhibition fight after he loses a highly publicized virtual boxing match. Rocky’s son and friends are shocked when he agrees to come out of retirement to take on a challenger who is thirty years his junior, physically and mentally. In the face of overwhelming odds, Rocky goes up against Dixon in what will go down in boxing history as the greatest match-up of all time.
3. Ali (2001)
After winning an Olympic gold medal the year before, Cassius Clay bursts onto the scene as a brash new pro boxer in 1964. It’s a new era for African Americans in sports thanks to his unapologetic belief that he’s the greatest boxer of all time. He’s outspoken and bold. To his credit, he sets out to prove it, and his nimble and forceful style quickly transforms him into a formidable heavyweight fighter who quickly claims the title. His private life is just as interesting, with his ties to the Nation of Islam, friendship with Malcolm X, and decision to change his slave name to Muhammad Ali igniting debate.
In spite of his success, Ali’s personal and professional lives will be put to the ultimate test when the military draft rules are changed, making him eligible for induction into the military during the Vietnam War No matter how good a deal came his way, Ali refuses to cooperate in an unjust war for the benefit of a racist nation that has treated his people so horribly because of his principle. His decision has cost him dearly because he can no longer box legally in his home country while the case is pending. What happens next is a fight for a man who is willing to put his life on the line for what he believes in, and a comeback that will solidify his place in sports history as one of the greatest.
4. Straight Outta Compton (2015)
Frustration and anger about life in America’s most dangerous neighborhood were channeled into music by five young men in 1987, using brutally honest rhymes and hardcore beats. Straight Outta Compton takes us back to where it all began, telling the true story of how these cultural rebels, armed only with their lyrics, swagger, bravado, and raw talent, stood up to the authorities that wanted to keep them down and formed the world’s most dangerous group, N.W.A. Their voice ignited a social revolution that is still resonating today as they spoke the truth that no one had ever spoken before and exposed life in the hood.
5. Bloodsport (1988)
Tadashi Tanaka has spent most of Frank Dux’s life training him for the Kumite, a deadly martial arts competition. In it, participants suffer life-threatening injuries or even die. Frank decides to go despite the fact that his superiors in the army have told him he cannot because they require his services. Frank is pursued by two army officers who follow the trail to Hong Kong, but he manages to elude them. The advancing Frank is aware that he may have to face the defending champion Chong Li who has killed a few of the other competitors.
6. A Walk Among The Tombstones (2014)
Former cop Matt Scudder is now a private investigator. A drug dealer asks him to track down the assailants who took his wife hostage. Even after he paid them, they apparently still killed her. Scudder flatly rejects the idea. However, the man returns to see him a short time later and reveals how his wife was assassinated Scudder agrees to take on the position. He conducts some investigation and discovers that the men he seeks have done this previously. Also, it appears that the people they apprehended are all linked to a drug trafficking organization. A new girl is kidnapped and Scudder is determined to make sure she is returned safely.
7. Broken City (2013)
After being accused of murdering rapist Mikey Tavarez, detective Billy Taggart is brought to court in New York City where he is declared not guilty by the judge but leaves the police force. The mayor and the chief of police both vanish with crucial evidence and Billy is declared not guilty by the judge. He’s now a private investigator and lives with Natalie Barrow, an aspiring actress and the sister of Mikey’s victim, who he met seven years earlier. In order to save their company, his secretary Katy Bradshaw (Alona Tal) is trying to collect some of the debts.
He summons Billy and offers him $25,000 to investigate his wife, Cathleen, whom he believes is having an extramarital affair during the final week before the elections. Billy learns that Cathleen is meeting with Paul Andrews, the campaign coordinator for Hostetler’s main opponent, Jack Valliant. When Billy discovers Paul’s body on the street, he realizes he’s been duped by Hostetler and sets out to find the person responsible.
8. Billy Elliot (2000)
Northumberland County, in 1984, during the long and bloody coal mine closure strike against Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom. Miner Tony and widower Jackie Elliot are concerned about their 11-year-old second son Billy’s poor performance in boxing class, which gets even worse when they find out he secretly transferred to the neighboring ballet class, which was only attended by women. Only one of Billy’s classmates, closet-gay Michael Caffrey, encourages his desire to train and apply for the world-renowned Royal Ballet audition, which was sparked by his teacher, who thought he was talented enough for a private lesson. Changing pa and big brother’s minds about providing necessary support will take a fancy career opportunity that they could never have imagined in the pauper quarter.
9. Cinderella Man (2005)
The Cinderella Man, James J. Braddock, was a common-man hero during the Great Depression who would go on to become a surprising sports legend. For a time in the early 1930s the impoverished ex-prizefighter looked like everyone else in America who had hit rock bottom: beaten up, broken, and without hope. When it looked as if his career was over, he couldn’t pay his bills, and the only thing that mattered to him — his family — was in jeopardy. But Jim Braddock, deep down, was unyielding in his resolve. He willed an impossible dream to come true because he was driven by love, honor, and an incredible amount of grit. Braddock made a comeback to the ring in a last-ditch effort to help his family.
Everyone dismissed him as a non-starter. Braddock, on the other hand, was driven to victory by something greater than mere rivalry. All of a sudden, the common worker was elevated to the status of legendary athlete. It was Braddock, who carried on his shoulders disenfranchised Americans’ hopes and dreams, who soared to prominence when the underdog did what no one else would have dared to do: take on world heavyweight champion and notorious double-murderer Max Baer.
10. Black Mass (2015)
According to real-life events, FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger struck a “secret trading” deal with his brother, Massachusetts state senator William “Billy” Bulger, a prominent Boston figure, and fellow FBI agent John Connolly. They had a plan to take down the Boston Italian Mafia, but it went horribly wrong and turned into a bloodbath. It was only after the credibility for each other began to fade that drug dealing, murder and extortion increased. This led the FBI’s Boston office to confirm that Whitey Bulger was one of the most notorious criminals in US history as well as an FBI ten-most-wanted list.
11. The Accountant (2016)
In fact, Christian Wolff prefers numbers to people because he’s a natural born mathematician. He works for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations as a freelance accountant behind the scenes of a small-town CPA office. Ray King’s Treasury Department Crime Enforcement Division is closing in on Christian so he takes on a real client: a cutting-edge robotics company where an accounting clerk discovers a huge discrepancy involving millions of dollars. Christian takes the case. However, the body count begins to rise as Christian unravels the mysteries of the books and gets closer to the truth.
12. The Gunman (2015)
The Congo’s mines minister is shot and killed by a mercenary assassination team working for an unknown client. After a successful kill shot by Terrier (Sean Penn), he must go into hiding to protect the other members of his team and himself. There’s also the matter of abandoning his girlfriend out of the blue. Foreign mining company-funded assassination unleashes mayhem and death across the Congo. Years later, Terrier returns to the Congo to work for an NGO, but he soon becomes the target of a hired hit squad connected to the minister’s murder.
As a result, people close to him are killed, and he is forced to go back into hiding. As he searches for the person responsible for placing a bounty on his head, he rekindles his relationship with his former assassination team members, including his ex-girlfriend. Even though he is acutely aware that he will never be forgiven for his crimes, he is periodically rendered unable to function due to the cumulative and evolving physical brain damage that has resulted from the rigors of his profession. His reconnection with his old assassination team reveals additional intrigues with immediate lethal consequences, which is surprising given the lapse in time. The years he’s spent in hiding have done nothing but delay the horrifying conclusion that is rapidly approaching.