The Ten Best Boxing Movies Ever Made
Some of the world's most popular movies are sports-themed. Here I highlight the top ten boxing movies ever made.
Some of the best movies to have graced our screens have been about boxing. It is no wonder why, as boxing is both a sport that requires both tremendous skill and heart.
This sport depicts many admirable attributes, such as perseverance, courage, determination, calculation and expertise.
This is surely why it is often dubbed "the sweet science." Many of the best boxing films have managed to capture the admirable qualities depicted in boxing and I think this is why they are so popular. Here I list the top ten boxing movies ever made.
Rocky IV (1985)
Rocky IV was one of my favourite films from the Rocky series, starring Sylvester Stallone. In this film, Rocky travels to the Soviet Union to take on Drago, a Russian boxer.
I thought this film was more original than some of the other Rocky films and thought it deserved this place on this list.
Ali is a biographical drama portraying the life and travails of the most famous boxer in history, Muhammad Ali.
Ali depicts Muhammad Ali's rise to fame, and the difficulties that he had to face in the society in which he lived.
It stars Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rocky III (1982)
Rocky III, the third installment in the Rocky series, finds Rocky Balboa coming up against his toughest opponent yet, Clubber Lang (played by Mr. T).
I thought this film earned itself a position on this list as it was so memorable.
This film also had an incredible soundtrack, featuring the song "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. There was even a scene at the beginning of the film where Rocky fought a wrestler (Hulk Hogan) for charity.
Cinderella Man (2005)
Cinderella Man is based on the life of the boxer James J. Braddock, who was given the nickname "Cinderella Man." He was given this nickname due to his rise from poverty to good fortune as a champion boxer. The film is directed by Ron Howard and stars Russell Crowe as Braddock and Renee Zellwegger as his wife.
This film is an uplifting true story of a man's struggle to provide for his family and his subsequent success in boxing, which ultimately changes his fortune for himself and his family.
The Fighter (2010)
The Fighter is another film which is based on the life of a real boxer named Micky Ward. The cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams.
The film depicts the difficulties faced by "Irish" Micky Ward in his quest to attain the welterweight title.
Hurricane tells the true story of the life of the boxer, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. Denzel Washington does an excellent job of portraying Carter, who went from being a top boxing contenderto being falsely imprisoned for murder.
This is a gripping account of one man's struggle against racism and his refusal to give up in the face of overwhelming difficulties.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Million Dollar Baby stars Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. It is about a young lady named Margaret "Maggie" Fitzgerald, who wants to become a champion female boxer. She works as a waitress and struggles with low income, so this is her real shot at changing her life.
She meets up with a boxing trainer (Eastwood) who is reluctant to train her, telling her he doesn't train girls. Eventually he gives in and helps train Maggie and the two set out for their last shot at glory; for her as a fighter and for him as a trainer.
The Champ (1979)
This film is a remake of the film of the same name made in 1939. It tells the story of an ex-boxer named Billy Flynn (nicknamed "Champ" by his son), who now makes a living training horses. Flynn lives with his young son named T.J., who he has brought up on his own after his wife walks out on them.
After T.J.'s mother makes a reappearance, Flynn decides to change his life to be able to better provide for his son. He decides to give a shot at boxing again for a chance for a better life. Jon Voight stars as Flynn, whilst Faye Dunaway plays his ex-wife. This film had a powerful storyline and I thought the movie was weaved together really well; for this reason it deserves third position.
Raging Bull (1980)
Raging Bull is about the real life and career of the famous boxer Jake La Motta. It is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Scorsese does an excellent job of portraying the volatile and aggressive La Motta, whose temperamental behaviour is wreaking havoc in his personal life.
Nevertheless it is this same aggressive streak which makes him an excellent and formidable boxer.
This was the film that started off a series of sequelsstarring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa. This film was not only brilliant and original, but it is also the ultimate "feel good" movie. The story is about how a small time boxer gets randomly picked to fight the champion after another fighter pulls out.
Everyone watching this film can identify with the protagonist's difficulties and his efforts to overcome them. The soundtrack in this film was also brilliant and the "Rocky Theme" was immortalized by this film. Whenever somebody mentions the term "boxing film," one immediately thinks of Rocky and I think this demonstrates the popularity of this film. For these reasons I think it deserves the top position.