Boxing has given us so many great movies over time. Memorable knockouts, hard fought battles in and out of the ring, and some based on real life. Five of the 10 movies listed are based on a real boxer. There’s so many great boxing movies that unfortunately not everyone can make the top 10.
The 10 best boxing movies ever are:
10. The Champ (1931)
The Champ is about a “has been” boxer who fights for his son and another chance at the heavyweight title. Gambling and drinking make both of these desires even harder for the former champion. In the end, a final boxing match is set up for the title, but it proves to be too much to handle, permanently.
9. Cinderella Man (2005)
Based on the life of James Braddock during the Great Depression, viewers get a story of the life of the former heavyweight champion. Braddock works at many different jobs just so his wife and son can get by, nearly starving himself. Braddock shocks the boxing world by defeating Max Baer for the heavyweight title. This movie was great and shows how life was for many boxers during the Great Depression.
8. The Fighter (2010)
This movie smashed the box office in 2010. Based in Lowell, Massachusetts, with two brothers who love to box. A washed up Dicky still has his families support even after multiple arrests and drug offenses. Mickey Ward, on the other hand, is an up-and-comer who few give a chance, but he proves a lot of people wrong along the way. A good movie overall, but the main focus continues to shift from brother to brother a little too often.
7. Rocky 3 (1982)
I’m going to say part three was better than part two because part two was just the original with a different ending. Part three gave us some great characters. We got Rocky Balboa, of course, Clubber Lang, and even Thunderlips played by Hulk Hogan. There’s more fighting in this movie than any other Rocky series movie.
6. The Harder They Fall (1957)
This was Humphrey Bogart’s last film, and he went out with a bang. It shows every angle and perspective of the boxing world. It shows it from the boxers, reporters, agents, and fans view. It shows many of the illegal activities, corruption, and “rigging” that took place in boxing. A very underrated boxing movie and recommended for Bogart fans.
5. The Hurricane (1999)
It’s not 100 percent about boxing, but this biographical film about Rubin “Hurricane” Carter is great. It stars Denzel Washington and mainly focuses on how Carter was wrongly convicted of homicide. A young struggling Lesra Martin finds about his case after reading Carter’s autobiography and is determined to have Carter freed. He is later freed and forgives the ones who put him behind bars.
4. Rocky 4 (1985)
It’s 1985, Rocky is back, the Cold War is going on, what’s not to like in this film? In part four, Rocky takes on the unstoppable Russian force that is Ivan Drago after he kills Apollo Creed in the ring. Despite the match being in Russia, Drago using steroids, and Rocky being about half of Drago’s size, Rocky pulls off the upset of the century. It’s not very often a part four in a movie series is as good as this.
3. Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
Paul Newman portrays Rocky Graziano in this boxing film. A young Graziano, who struggles with school, joins street gangs, is consonantly in trouble, and doesn’t have much luck in the Army, can’t catch a break. Graziano struggles to fit in with society, and boxing is his best (maybe only) option. Even with all the struggles, Graziano is victorious in the end. A very descriptive movie about Rocky Graziano.
2. Raging Bull (1980)
Martin Scorses and Robert DeNiro are the greatest director-actor combination in film history, and they don’t disappoint here. DeNiro plays boxer Jake LaMotta alongside Joe Pesci who plays brother Joey LaMotta. The movie focuses on LaMotta’s boxing career and controversial personal life. The biggest theme of the movie is the historic rivalry between LaMotta and Sugar Ray Robinson, who fought each other six times. An outstanding movie easily worth being No. 1.
1. Rocky (1976)
“An unknown gets a shot at the title.” Rocky went the distance with undefeated Apolla Creed in 1976 and it sparked many sequels. This movie is “loosely” based on the Joe Frazier/Muhammad Ali rivalry. Nobody, not even Rocky’s promoter, thinks Rocky has a chance to defeat the Champion. However, Rocky proves most wrong by knocking down Creed and going the distance. Stallone gives us memorable scenes that include running up the Philadelphia Museum steps and training by punching frozen animal carcasses. Aside from being a classic, it’s a good family movie.