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Olga Weis

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Knockout Entertainment: The Top 10 Must-See Boxing Movies

Raging Bull Movie

1. Raging Bull


Raging Bull is a 1980 biographical sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It tells the story of Jake LaMotta, a middleweight boxer whose self-destructive and violent tendencies wreck his professional and personal life.

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  • The film features stellar performances by Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Cathy Moriarty.
  • Martin Scorsese’s direction and Thelma Schoonmaker’s editing create a visually stunning and captivating film.


  • The film’s intense and violent scenes may not be suitable for all viewers.
  • The pacing of the film may feel slow for some audience members.

Conclusion: Raging Bull is a powerful and intense film that showcases the destructive nature of a man consumed by his own demons. With excellent performances, brilliant direction, and stunning visuals, it remains one of Martin Scorsese’s greatest achievements in filmmaking.

Rocky Movie

2. Rocky


Rocky is a classic sports drama film released in 1976. It was directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Sylvester Stallone, who also stars in the lead role. The movie tells the story of Rocky Balboa, an aspiring boxer from Philadelphia who gets a shot at fighting the heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. Rocky must not only prepare physically for the fight but also overcome personal and emotional challenges along the way.

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  • Inspiring underdog story: Rocky Balboa’s journey from an unknown, small-time boxer to a contender against the world heavyweight champion resonates with audiences and leaves them feeling motivated and inspired.
  • Iconic training montage: The film’s training montage, featuring Rocky running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and performing grueling workout routines, has become one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history.


  • Slow pacing: Some viewers find the film’s pacing to be slow, as it focuses on character development and building suspense rather than constant action.
  • Predictable storyline: The film follows a relatively predictable storyline of an underdog overcoming obstacles to achieve success in the end, which may make it less engaging for viewers who prefer more unexpected twists and turns.

Conclusion: Rocky is a timeless classic that has stood the test of time. Its inspiring story, iconic moments, and memorable characters have made it a beloved film in the sports genre. While it may have some drawbacks in terms of pacing and predictability, the overall experience of watching Rocky is undeniably impactful. Whether you’re a fan of boxing or not, this film is worth a watch for its powerful message of determination and perseverance.

Million Dollar Baby Movie

3. Million Dollar Baby


“Million Dollar Baby” is a 2004 American sports drama film directed by Clint Eastwood. It follows the story of Maggie Fitzgerald, a determined young woman who aspires to become a professional boxer. She seeks the help of a hardened boxing trainer, Frank Dunn, who is initially reluctant to train her. However, as Maggie proves her dedication and talent, Frank takes her under his wing and their relationship evolves into a strong bond. The movie delves into themes of ambition, sacrifice, and the complexities of human relationships.

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  • The performances in “Million Dollar Baby” are outstanding, with Hillary Swank delivering a powerful and compelling portrayal of Maggie Fitzgerald. Her transformation from a determined and ambitious young woman to a skilled and confident boxer is captivating to watch.
  • The screenplay, written by Paul Haggis, is gripping and emotionally charged. The story explores themes of perseverance, resilience, and the pursuit of dreams, with well-developed characters and a poignant narrative that keeps viewers engaged from start to finish.


  • “Million Dollar Baby” has been criticized by some for its portrayal of disability and the ethical dilemmas it raises. The movie raises questions about the right to die and the role of euthanasia, which can be controversial topics for some viewers.
  • The film’s pacing can be slow at times, which may not appeal to those who prefer faster-paced action or sports movies. The focus is more on the characters and their personal journeys, rather than on intense boxing matches.

Conclusion: “Million Dollar Baby” is a compelling and thought-provoking sports drama that showcases exceptional performances and explores complex themes. While its portrayal of disability and the ethical dilemmas it presents may be divisive, the film’s emotional impact and strong storytelling make it a worthwhile watch for fans of character-driven dramas. Overall, it is a deserving recipient of its critical acclaim and Academy Awards.

Cinderella Man Movie

4. Cinderella Man


Cinderella Man is a 2005 American biographical sports drama film directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, and Paul Giamatti. The film is based on the life of professional boxer James J. Braddock, who made a comeback during the Great Depression and went on to win the world heavyweight championship. It is an inspiring story of determination, resilience, and the human spirit overcoming adversity.

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  • Russell Crowe delivers an outstanding performance as James J. Braddock, capturing the essence of his strength, determination, and vulnerability.
  • The film beautifully portrays the struggles faced by the working-class during the Great Depression and effectively creates a sense of empathy and connection with the characters.


  • The pacing of the film can feel slow at times, especially during the middle portion when Braddock’s boxing career takes a downturn.
  • Some critics argue that the film simplifies the complexities of Braddock’s life and career, leading to a somewhat predictable narrative.

Conclusion: Cinderella Man is a well-crafted and inspiring biographical drama that showcases the resiliency of the human spirit. While it may have its flaws, particularly with its pacing and narrative simplifications, the film ultimately delivers a heartfelt and captivating story of triumph against all odds.

The Fighter Movie

5. The Fighter


The Fighter is a 2010 biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell. The film follows the true story of boxer Micky Ward and his older half-brother Dicky Eklund, who was also a boxer and struggled with drug addiction. As Micky tries to establish his own career in boxing, he must navigate the complicated dynamics of his family and confront his own doubts and insecurities.

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  • Riveting performances by the cast, especially Christian Bale who won an Academy Award for his role as Dicky Eklund.
  • Realistic and gritty portrayal of the boxing world, capturing the physical and emotional challenges faced by the characters.


  • The pacing of the film can feel slow at times, particularly in the build-up to the major boxing matches.
  • The focus on Micky Ward’s personal life and family dynamics may overshadow the actual boxing scenes for some viewers.

Conclusion: The Fighter is a compelling and emotionally charged film that offers a unique perspective on the world of boxing. While it may not be for everyone, the strong performances and authentic storytelling make it a worthwhile watch for fans of sports dramas and true stories.

The Hurricane Movie

6. The Hurricane


The Hurricane is a biographical sports drama film released in 1999. The movie tells the true story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a middleweight boxer who was wrongly convicted of murder and spent 19 years in prison before his conviction was overturned.

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  • The Hurricane features a standout performance by Denzel Washington in the lead role. Washington completely immerses himself in the character of Rubin Carter, capturing both his strength and vulnerability.
  • The movie expertly balances the thrilling boxing scenes with the emotional and dramatic moments. The fight sequences are well-choreographed and convey the intensity and brutality of the sport.


  • The Hurricane takes some creative liberties with the true story of Rubin Carter, which may bother viewers looking for a completely accurate portrayal. However, these changes were made to enhance the dramatic impact of the film.
  • Some may find the pacing of the movie to be a bit slow, particularly in the earlier parts where the story is being set up. However, the slower pace allows for more character development and adds depth to the narrative.

Conclusion: The Hurricane is a powerful and gripping film that showcases the triumph of the human spirit against incredible odds. Denzel Washington’s performance and the compelling storytelling make it a must-watch for fans of biographical dramas.

Creed Movie

7. Creed


Creed is a 2015 sports drama film directed by Ryan Coogler. It serves as both a spin-off and a sequel to the Rocky film series. The movie follows Adonis Johnson, the son of the late world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, as he seeks to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a professional boxer. He seeks the help of veteran boxer Rocky Balboa, who becomes his mentor and trainer. The film explores themes of legacy, determination, and family, while showcasing intense boxing matches and emotional character development.

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  • 1. Powerful performances: The performances in Creed are outstanding. Michael B. Jordan delivers an emotionally charged and physically demanding performance as Adonis Johnson, capturing the character’s determination and drive. Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa with a moving and nuanced portrayal that brings depth to the iconic character.
  • 2. Gripping storytelling: The movie’s screenplay, written by Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington, is engaging and well-paced. It effectively balances the intense boxing sequences with an exploration of the characters’ personal journeys, creating a compelling narrative that keeps the audience invested throughout.


  • 1. Formulaic plot: While Creed offers a fresh perspective by focusing on a new character, the overall plot follows a similar structure to previous Rocky films. This can make the storyline somewhat predictable for audiences familiar with the franchise.
  • 2. Lack of character development: While the main characters receive significant development, some of the supporting characters in the film are underutilized and lack depth. This limits the overall impact of their roles in the story.

Conclusion: Creed is a compelling sports drama that successfully pays homage to the Rocky franchise while also carving its own path. With powerful performances, gripping storytelling, and intense boxing sequences, the film offers an emotional and entertaining cinematic experience. While it may follow a formulaic plot and lack some character development, these minor drawbacks do not hinder the overall impact of the movie. Creed is a must-watch for fans of the Rocky series and anyone looking for an inspiring and well-executed sports drama.

Southpaw Movie

8. Southpaw


Southpaw is a 2015 sports drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua. The film follows the story of Billy “The Great” Hope, a professional boxer who goes through a series of personal and professional setbacks. As he struggles to regain his feet, he must fight not only in the ring but also for his family and redemption.

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  • Engaging and emotional storyline
  • Powerful performances, especially by Jake Gyllenhaal


  • A few predictable plot points
  • Some clichéd elements in the underdog sports drama genre

Conclusion: Southpaw is a must-watch for fans of sports dramas and boxing movies. It offers a compelling story and strong performances that make it an engaging and emotional experience. While it may have some predictable plot points and clichéd elements, the overall impact and message of the film make it a worthy watch.

Fat City Movie

9. Fat City


Fat City is a 1972 American sports drama film directed by John Huston. The film is based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Leonard Gardner, who also wrote the screenplay. The story follows the lives of two boxers, Tully and Ernie, as they navigate the world of professional boxing in Stockton, California. Tully is a washed-up former boxer, while Ernie is a young, talented fighter looking for his big break. Despite their different backgrounds, the two men form a friendship and help each other chase their dreams in the brutal and unforgiving world of boxing.

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  • An authentic and gritty portrayal of the world of boxing
  • Strong performances from the cast, especially Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges


  • The pacing can be slow at times
  • The film’s ending may leave some viewers wanting more resolution

Conclusion: Fat City is a compelling sports drama that offers a raw and realistic look at the world of boxing. With strong performances and an authentic depiction of the sport, it is a film that will resonate with fans of the genre.

Ali Movie

10. Ali


Ali is a biographical sports drama film directed by Michael Mann and released in 2001. The film tells the story of world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali and covers the decade from 1964 to 1974, showcasing his rise to fame, his conversion to Islam, his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War, and his legendary fights against some of the greatest boxers of all time.

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  • 1. Exceptional performance by Will Smith as Muhammad Ali, capturing his charisma, mannerisms, and fighting spirit.
  • 2. Realistic portrayal of the racial tensions and political climate of the era, adding depth to the story.


  • 1. Lengthy runtime of over 2 hours and 40 minutes, which may feel excessive for some viewers.
  • 2. Lack of focus on Ali’s personal life and relationships, with limited exploration of his marriages and family dynamics.

Conclusion: Ali is a captivating biographical drama that offers a powerful portrayal of Muhammad Ali’s journey as a boxer and an activist. While it may have its flaws in terms of length and character development, the film’s strong performances and authentic depiction of Ali’s life make it a must-watch for fans of the legendary boxer and those interested in exploring the social and political climate of the 1960s and 1970s.