Top 10 Boxing Movies of All Time

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10. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed, co-produced, and scored by Clint Eastwood and starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman. It is the story of an under-appreciated boxing trainer, his elusive past, and his quest for atonement by helping an underdog amateur female boxer (the film’s title character) achieve her dream of becoming a professional. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The screenplay was written by Paul Haggis, based on short stories by F.X. Toole, the pen name of fight manager and “cutman” Jerry Boyd. Originally published under the title Rope Burns, the stories have since been republished under the film’s title. -Wikipedia.org

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9. The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter is a 2010 biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams. The film centers on the life of professional boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his older half-brother Dicky Eklund (Bale). The film also stars Amy Adams as Micky’s love interest, and Melissa Leo as Micky’s and Dicky’s mother. The Fighter is Russell and Wahlberg’s third film collaboration, following Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees. -Wikipedia.org

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8. Girlfight (2000)

Girlfight is a 2000 drama film starring Michelle Rodriguez. It focuses on Diana Guzman, a troubled teen who decides to channel her aggression by training to become a boxer, despite the skepticism of both her abusive father and the prospective trainers in the male-dominated sport. Girlfight was the debut film of writer/director Karyn Kusama, as well as Rodriguez’ breakout role.

The movie won the Director’s Award the Grand Jury Prize (tied with Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count on Me) at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. It also won the Award of the Youth at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. Rodriguez also accumulated numerous awards and nominations, including major acting accolades from the National Board of Review, Deauville Film Festival, Independent Spirit Awards, Gotham Awards, Las Vegas Film Critics Sierra Awards, and many others. -Wikipedia.org

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7. The Boxer (1997)

The Boxer is a 1997 film by Irish director Jim Sheridan. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson, the film centers on the life of a boxer and former Provisional IRA Volunteer, Danny Flynn, played by Day-Lewis, who is trying to “go straight” after his release from prison. The film is the third collaboration between Jim Sheridan and Daniel Day-Lewis, and portrays the increase of splinter groups within the IRA. -Wikipedia.org

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6. The Hurricane (1999)

The Hurricane is a 1999 biographical film directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Denzel Washington. The script was adapted by Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon from the books Lazarus and the Hurricane by Sam Chaiton and Terry Swinton and The Sixteenth Round by Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. The film received positive reviews, but has been criticized for inaccuracies by some media outlets and partisans of Carter’s trials. The film tells the story of boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, whose conviction for a Paterson, New Jersey triple murder was set aside after he had spent almost 20 years in prison. -Wikipedia.org

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5. Cinderella Man (2005)

Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock and inspired by his life story. The film was produced by Howard, Penny Marshall, and Brian Grazer. James J. Braddock is a hard-nosed, Irish-American boxer from New Jersey, formerly a light heavyweight contender, who is forced to give up boxing after breaking his hand in the ring. This is both a relief and an upset to his wife, Mae: she cannot bring herself to watch the violence of his chosen profession, yet knows they will have no good income without him boxing. -Wikipedia.org

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4. Ali (2001)

Ali is a 2001 American biographical film directed by Michael Mann. The film tells the story of boxing icon Muhammad Ali, played by Will Smith, from 1964 to 1974 featuring his capture as of the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston (Michael Bentt), his conversion to Islam, criticism of the Vietnam War, banishment from boxing, his return to fight Joe Frazier (James Toney) in 1971, and, lastly, his reclaiming the title from George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle fight of 1974. It also discusses the great social and political upheaval in the United States following the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. -Wikipedia.org

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3. When We Were Kings (1996)

When We Were Kings is a 1996 documentary film directed by Leon Gast about the famous Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The fight was held in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) on October 30, 1974. The film features a number of celebrities, including James Brown, Jim Brown, B.B. King, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, Spike Lee and Thomas Hauser. When We Were Kings was released in 1996 to strong reviews, and won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. -Wikipedia.org

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2. Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin from the Jake La Motta memoir Raging Bull: My Story. It stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, a middleweight boxer whose sadomasochistic rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite exceeded the boundaries of the prizefight ring, and destroyed his relationship with his wife and family. Also featured in the film are Joe Pesci as Joey, La Motta’s well-intentioned brother and manager who tries to help Jake battle his inner demons; and Cathy Moriarty as his abused wife. The film features supporting roles from Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana, and Frank Vincent. -Wikipedia.org

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1. Rocky (1976)

Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen, and written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rocky starts out as a club fighter who then gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. The film also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian’s brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky’s trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the champion, Apollo Creed. -Wikipedia.org

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