Best Boxing Movies of All Time
In cinema history, numerous great boxing movies have been made. Movie and fight fans often debate which are the best boxing movies ever.
Here is a complete list of the best boxing movies of all time. Read below to see which boxing movies we picked and why we picked them.
Best Boxing Movies
The Rocky Film Series
The Rocky movies are automatic entries when putting together a list of the best boxing movies ever. (Yes, even Rocky 5) All the films are filled with iconic moments that are among the best in film history.
The movie that started it all is about a journeyman boxer getting the chance of his life to fight the world champion. We watch Rocky go through an epic journey to defy the odds and achieve glory.
Sylvester Stallone constructed a masterpiece with this work. Everything from the acting, music, shots of the training, and fighting is a work of art.
You’re not a fan of combat sports if you haven’t seen Rocky. Easily one of the best boxing movies ever and arguably the best.
Rocky II continues the story of the “Italian Stallion” after his near win. Dealing with his new-found fame and marriage as he prepares to fight Apollo Creed in the rematch.
Just like with the first movie in the Rocky series, it puts you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Even on repeat watches, you still get pumped seeing Rocky Balboa become the world’s heavyweight champ.
Rocky III details the next chapter of Rocky Balboa’s life. Detailing his fall from grace, the loss of his title, and his beloved trainer, Mickey.
With the help of rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed, Rocky searches for his fighting spirit in preparation to rematch Clubber Lang. Just like Rocky I & II, III is filled with iconic moments that get you pumped every time you watch it.
Rocky IV is the old story of USA vs. Russia. After Russian boxer Ivan Drago kills Apollo Creed in the ring, Rocky returns from retirement to avenge his friend.
The movie is exciting from start to finish and filled with even more memorable training montages. Rocky IV has gotten generations of fans pumped and motivated to start training. Another iconic Rocky movie that’s one of the best boxing movies ever.
While Rocky V is the weakest Rocky movie, we felt we needed to cover it. Rocky reluctantly becomes a trainer and takes on training prospect Tommy Gunn (played by pro boxer Tommy Morrison). While it’s a low-tier movie in the Rocky franchise, the street fight scene is pretty cool.
When we thought Rocky was done, he returned to the classic Rocky Balboa. This story shows a middle-aged Rocky lost and trying to find himself again.
After a computer simulation predicted Rocky would beat the current heavyweight champion. (played by boxer Antonio Tarver) This leads to Mason “The Line” Dixon offering to fight the retired champ in an exhibition.
Rocky tries for one last shot at glory in one of the most surprising best boxing movies ever.
The Creed Film Series
Staying within the Rocky universe, we must add Creed I & II to the list of best boxing movies ever. Incredibly well made and two of the best boxing movies ever made.
In Creed 1, we discover that Apollo Creed had an illegitimate son named Adonis Johnson (played by Michael B. Jordan) The young boxer seeks out Rocky to train him to become a world champion like his father.
A sick Balboa reluctantly trains Adonis, who goes on a journey to re-establish the Creed legacy and become champion. It is a surprisingly great movie, which shows Roc
Creed II is the Rocky IV of the film series. After becoming the champion, Adonis is challenged by the son of Ivan Drago, who killed his father in the ring decades prior.
We watch Creed defy the odds to avenge his father and find the fire to beat the Russian juggernaut.
For many, Raging Bull is the greatest boxing movie ever, and it’s hard to argue against this opinion. The classic film, directed by Martin Scorcese and starring Robert DeNiro, depicts the turbulent life of former champion Jake LaMotta.
You witness great depictions of LaMotta’s great battles and battling his demons outside the ring. DeNiro really immerses himself in the role of the champion, as Scorcese shows why he’s a master filmmaker.
The Fighter is another incredible biopic that details the life of former champion Micky Ward. Detailing his struggles in his early career, dealing with his toxic family, and overcoming it all to become a champ.
Everyone in this movie performs phenomenally in one of the best boxing movies ever. If you weren’t a fan of Micky Ward before seeing this movie, you’ll love him after.
Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood directed this classic that was destined to become one of the best boxing movies ever. A weathered old boxing training(Eastwood) reluctantly takes on training a female boxer played by Hilary Swank.
Everything from the boxing training and fights are shot perfectly, and an all-star cast elevates the story. If you’ve watched the Million Dollar Baby movie, you’ll understand why it’s on the list
On The Waterfront
While some may dispute On The Waterfront being on the list, boxing is very much one of the film’s main aspects. It is not only one of the best boxing movies but one of the all-time best movies ever.
Marlon Brando plays a washed-up boxer who now works as a heavy for a gang that controls a waterfront. Brando has one of the all-time best performances as the ex-fighter looks to become a somebody instead of a bum.
Russel Crowe really had one of the best performances of his career in the classic Cinderella Man. Crowe plays James J. Braddock, a blue-collar everyman boxer who defied the odds to become world champion. It’s one of the classic boxing films that never gets old on rewatches.
Will Smith had the performance of his life in his biopic of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Smith nails everything about the champ, and it really brings you into what the world was like during this era. The movie really shows how Ali helped change the world in and out of the ring.
While some may argue that this isn’t a full boxing movie, boxing plays a big part in the story. The story of Snatch revolves around the world of unlicensed boxing as other groups attempt to steal a priceless diamond.
Brad Pitt stars as gypsy bare-knuckle champion Micky, who is asked to fight after knocking out a promoter’s fighter. We go through a crazy journey leading up to the fight, which becomes one of the best boxing movies ever.
Girlfight, starring Michelle Rodriguez, became one of the most surprising best boxing movies ever. It depicts the story of a young Latina who takes up boxing against her family’s wishes. Despite all the odds being against her, we see her follow her heart and become a fighter.
Diggstown is an underseen classic and one of the best boxing movies ever. The story followed a conman/boxing promoter(played by James Woods) freshly released from prison and looking for action.
He finds himself in a corrupt town with a boxing history run by a crooked mayor played by Bruce Dern. The two make a bet that Wood’s old friend and boxer “Honey” Roy Palmer can knock out 10 opponents in 24 hours.
Daniel Day-Lewis put on one of the best performances in his career in The Boxer. It depicts a former IRA member and boxer trying to restart his life after 14 years in prison.
The Irish fighter finds himself pulled between the gang world and living an honest life as a boxer and trainer. It’s a powerful movie that really is one of the best boxing movies ever made. You should seek out a movie if you’re a fight fan or a film fan.
Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, is the last entry on our best boxing movies ever list. Gyllenhaal elevates this as he immerses himself in the role of a boxer.
This was one of the rare times where the actor legitimately looked like a skilled boxer. The story is okay, but for the film is worth mentioning on Gyllenhaal’s performance alone.