Due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, sports have been canceled for the foreseeable future. In this unpredictable time, many sports fans will be left watching reruns of past games or looking for other pieces of entertainment to fill the cavernous void left behind without sports. Below is a list of the top five boxing movies, ranging from old classics to modern takes on the praised genre. These films present their own unique stories that truly set themselves apart in a crowded pool of boxing films.
5. “Southpaw” (2015)
A heavily overlooked film, “Southpaw” is a boxing film that strikes at the heart. After famed boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses his wife in a shooting, he goes on a downward spiral of depression and violence which ultimately leads to him losing his daughter to child services. He now must find a way to revive his boxing career and get his life back together. It is a very powerful and relatable film as it has a lot to do with the meaning of family. Along with the intense boxing scenes and a great performance from Gyllenhaal, “Southpaw” is a special film about family and redemption that should definitely be watched.
“Southpaw” can be rented on Amazon Prime, Vudu and iTunes.
4. “Creed” (2015)
A spin-off of the classic “Rocky” franchise, “Creed” tells the story of Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) and his rise to fame as a young boxer with the help of boxing legend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). While doing so, he must also cope with living up to the legacy of his father, Apollo Creed. “Creed” is a great film that showcases countless standard boxing elements, meaningful character moments between Creed and Balboa and valuable themes. The boxing scenes are also directed with a very unique and original touch that make them extremely fresh and exciting to watch. These factors, along with the fun homage paid to the classic “Rocky” films, make this a standout boxing film to watch while spending time at home.
“Creed” can be rented on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu and iTunes.
3. “The Fighter” (2010)
“The Fighter” is another modern day boxing film that hits all the right notes. It has your standard boxing elements, but it is presented in the background of a unique and original story revolving around a boxer named Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his troubled half-brother, Dicky Ecklund (Christian Bale), who was also a boxer once. Ward wants to make it big as a boxer, but the behaviors and mistakes of his brother put a challenge on not only his family life, but his ability to become an elite boxer. “The Fighter” is a great film which succeeds at depicting the perseverance to push forward despite the influences around you while also showing a heartfelt story between two brothers in the boxing world.
“The Fighter” can be rented on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu and iTunes.
2. “Rocky” (1976)
Probably the most famous of any boxing movie ever, “Rocky” is a true boxing classic. The film follows Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) as he looks to find a place in the world while also trying to become an elite boxer as he prepares to face the famous Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). With the classic training montages, universal themes, and emotional punches, “Rocky” is what set the standard for boxing movies that we see today and it has so many iconic moments that everyone can enjoy. “Rocky” is a must see boxing movie.
“Rocky” can be rented on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu and iTunes.
1. “Raging Bull” (1980)
While not as famous as “Rocky”, “Raging Bull” is probably the best boxing movie ever made. The movie follows the story of real-life boxer Jake La Motta and how boxing affected his life. The film is truly special as it not only showcases the common tropes in the sport of boxing, but also how it can truly affect someone’s life — both positively and negatively. No other film truly showcases the effects of boxing as well as “Raging Bull” does, making it a classic in the genre and a must-watch film. Legendary director-actor duo Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro teamed up once again to create a film that truly sets itself apart from any other boxing film ever made.
“Raging Bull” can be streamed on Netflix and Vudu for free and can be rented on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play and iTunes.