boxing movies | PINKVILLA

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boxing movies | PINKVILLA

Discover the legendary boxing films that paved the way for Creed III’s success. These movies established the fighter character decades ago, depicting their hunger and determination like no other genre.

From true-story redemption to iconic fictional characters, IMDb voters have chosen the best boxing films of all time. These movies beautifully and brutally showcase the fighting spirit as a way of life, inspiring athletes facing tough times.

Witness the knock-down, drag-out depictions of a sport that demands the toughest minds and bodies. These films capture the essence of boxing, making them must-watch classics for any moviegoer.



1. Real Steel (2011)

  • Genre: Action/Sci-fi
  • Star Cast: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand
  • Director: Shawn Levy
  • Writer: Shawn Levy
  • Run time: 2h 7m
  • Year of release: 2011
  • OTT Platform: Zee5
  • IMDb rating: 7.1/10

In the movie “Real Steel,” directed by Shawn Levy, sports and sci-fi come together to create a thrilling film set in the future, where robot boxing is a prestigious event. The story follows Charlie Kenton (played by Hugh Jackman), a former prizefighter who feels lost after robots take over the boxing ring. He teams up with his estranged son, Max (played by Dakota Goyo), to train a discarded robot and make a comeback.

Real Steel is a unique and unforgettable movie, blending genres in a weird but exciting way. However, it has some flaws, like weak writing and a somewhat predictable plot. Yet, the film’s entertaining premise and the futuristic world with robot matches still manage to captivate and provide a fun experience.


2. Rocky Balboa (2006)

  • Genre: Romance/Sport
  • Star Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Antonio Tarver, Geraldine Hughes, Milo Ventimiglia, Tony Burton, A.J. Benza, James Francis Kelly III
  • Director: Sylvester Stallone
  • Writer: Sylvester Stallone
  • Run time: 1h 42m
  • Year of release: 2006
  • OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
  • IMDb rating: 7.1/10

Rocky Balboa, the sixth installment in the Rocky franchise, is an inspiring boxing movie. It follows the journey of the titular character, played by Sylvester Stallone, who leaves his small business to have one last fight. His chance for glory is complicated by his arrogant opponent, Mason Dixon, portrayed by Antonio Carver.

The film captures Rocky’s unwavering determination and indomitable spirit, traits that have always defined the Rocky movies. It reminds fans why they fell in love with the character. The 2006 movie is full of heart, led by a true champion, and boasts intense boxing sequences.

Considered one of the greatest boxing movies of all time, Rocky Balboa’s uplifting narrative and the enduring spirit of its protagonist make any minor imperfections fade away.


3. Creed II (2018)

  • Genre: Drama/Sport
  • Star Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Dolph Lundgren
  • Director: Steven Caple Jr.
  • Writer: Steven Caple Jr.
  • Run time: 2h 10m
  • Year of release: 2018
  • OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
  • IMDb rating: 7.1/10

In the boxing movie Creed II, Adonis, with Rocky by his side, faces the son of the man who killed his father. This iconic matchup has both old and new Rocky fans excited. The sequel delivers emotional battles and intense rounds in the ring, making it a powerful addition to the cinematic universe of boxing movies.



4. Rocky II (1979)

  • Genre: Drama/Sport
  • Star Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Tony Burton, Joe Spinell, Leonard Gaines.
  • Director: Sylvester Stallone
  • Writer: Sylvester Stallone
  • Run time: 1h 59m
  • Year of release: 1979
  • OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
  • IMDb rating: 7.3/10

In the successful follow-up, Rocky II, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) and Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) have a rematch, battling their pride in different ways. Though not as critically acclaimed as the first film, it still did well.

Stallone continued as Balboa in four more boxing movies: Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, and Rocky Balboa. These films received mixed reviews from loyal fans as they were released over a span of 30 years.



5. Southpaw (2015)

  • Genre: Drama/Thriller
  • Star Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence, Forest Whitaker, 50 Cent
  • Director: Antoine Fuqua
  • Writer: Antoine Fuqua
  • Run time: 2h 4m
  • Year of release: 2015
  • OTT Platform: Youtube
  • IMDb rating: 7.3/10

In the same year as Creed, Southpaw competed for viewership and stood out as a great boxing movie. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Billy Hope, the film tells the story of a retired boxer facing tragedy and fighting to regain custody of his daughter and revive his career.

Southpaw follows the familiar theme of redemption that’s common in boxing movies. Billy, like many main characters in such films, is driven by a strong desire to rebuild his life. Fuelled by the destruction he’s experienced, Jake Gyllenhaal delivers a powerful performance.


6. The Hurricane (1999)

  • Genre: Drama/Sport
  • Star Cast: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber,

John Hannah

  • Director: Norman Jewison
  • Writer: Norman Jewison
  • Run time: 2h 26m
  • Year of release: 1999
  • OTT Platform: NA
  • IMDb rating: 7.6/10

In the boxing movie “The Hurricane,” Denzel Washington stars as Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter, a wrongly accused boxer. The film blends multiple genres and received praise for Washington’s performance, earning him an Oscar nomination. While the movie took creative liberties, it still offers entertainment value. If you prefer comparing page-to-screen adaptations, you can refer to the books “The 16th Round” by Rubin Carter and “Lazarus and the Hurricane” by Sam Chaiton and Terry Swinton, which delve into the historic case.


7. Creed (2015)

  • Genre: Drama/Sport
  • Star Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad
  • Director: Ryan Coogler
  • Writer: Ryan Coogler
  • Run time: 2h 13m
  • Year of release: 2015
  • OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
  • IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Creed is a fantastic boxing movie that bridges the gap between the past and the present. It follows Adonis Johnson, the son of the legendary Apollo Creed, who wants to make a name for himself in the boxing world. He seeks the help of Rocky Balboa, a former champion. The film’s success lies in its focus on Adonis’ journey while still honoring the legacy of the previous films. Ryan Coogler’s direction is excellent, making Creed one of the best boxing movie sequels ever made.


8. The Fighter (2010)

  • Genre: Drama/Sport
  • Star Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Melissa Leo
  • Director: David O. Russell
  • Writer: David O. Russell
  • Run time: 1h 56m
  • Year of release: 2010
  • OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
  • IMDb rating: 7.8/10

The Fighter is an Oscar-winning boxing movie with a star-studded cast. It’s based on the life of “Irish” Micky Ward, who strives to shine outside his troubled brother Dicky’s shadow. Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale deliver outstanding performances, earning two Oscars for the film. The movie showcases the heart of a fighter and the determination to conquer challenges, even when they come from your own family. With its powerful storytelling and brilliant actors, The Fighter stands as a remarkable addition to the boxing movie genre.


9. Cinderella Man (2005)

  • Genre: Drama/Drama
  • Star Cast: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Paddy Considine, Bruce McGill, David Huband, Connor Price.
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Writer: Cliff Hollingsworth
  • Run time: 2h 24m
  • Year of release: 2005
  • OTT Platform: NA
  • IMDb rating: 8/1

“Cinderella Man” is a boxing movie based on the true story of James J. Braddock. Set in the early 1900s, it tells the inspiring tale of a washed-up boxer struggling to survive the Great Depression. But then, he gets a chance at redemption by facing a young, talented opponent.

Directed by Ron Howard, “Cinderella Man” received three Oscar nominations but didn’t win any. The film beautifully portrays Braddock’s comeback during a time when hope was scarce. It’s a perfect match of sports and true-life stories, making it a must-watch for boxing movie fans.


10. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

  • Genre: Drama/Sport
  • Star Cast: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Lucia Rijker, Brían F. O’Byrne, Anthony Mackie
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Writer: Clint Eastwood
  • Run time: 2h 12m
  • Year of release: 2004
  • OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
  • IMDb rating: 8.1/10

This Oscar-winning Best Picture is the foundational female boxing film. It stars Hilary Swank as Maggie, a struggling server with a dream to become a champion boxer. She convinces veteran boxing trainer Frankie, played by Clint Eastwood, to train her. Morgan Freeman co-stars as the narrator and a supporting character. Million Dollar Baby knocked out four of its seven Oscar nominations. This boxing movie reminds audiences that the sport isn’t for the faint of heart, holding its own against iconic competitors.


11. Raging Bull (1980)

  • Genre: Drama/Sport
  • Star Cast: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Writer: Martin Scorsese
  • Run time: 2h 9m
  • Year of release: 1980
  • OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
  • IMDb rating: 8.1/10

Raging Bull is one of the greatest boxing movies ever, showcasing the star power of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Martin Scorsese. De Niro plays Jake La Motta, a fierce middleweight champ with a turbulent life outside the ring. The film is based on La Motta’s autobiography, and its stunning visuals earned it eight Oscar nominations and two wins. It’s considered one of the all-time top movies, not just in the sports genre.


12. Rocky (1976)

  • Genre: Drama/Sport
  • Star Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith
  • Director: John G. Avildsen
  • Writer: John G. Avildsen
  • Run time: 2 hours
  • Year of release: 1976
  • OTT Platform: Amazon Prime
  • IMDb rating: 8.1/10

This movie is iconic for a reason – it’s a classic boxing film. Sylvester Stallone wrote the story and was determined to produce and star in it. Everyone knows about Rocky, even if they haven’t seen it. Stallone plays Rocky Balboa, a small-time Philly boxer who gets a chance to fight the world heavyweight champion.

Rocky’s success led to many sequels and a modern spinoff series. Stallone is charming as Rocky, an honest and good-hearted athlete trying to earn the respect he deserves. The movie received three Oscars out of ten nominations, including Best Picture.

Also read: 15 Football Movies That Score Big on the Silver Screen: From 80 For Brady to Safety

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