Well-known actors and producers are taking to the fairy tale boxing story and some of the most legendary boxers are now having their anecdote conveyed on the big screen. The most recent one is the eagerly anticipated Hands Of Stone, which depicts the great Robert Duran’s story. Tyson has also generated a lot of hype due to the highly respected director, Martin Scorsese planning this film. It also has Django’s Jamie Foxx starring who has already gave us a preview of his uncanny impression. To celebrate, take a look at our pick of the 8 best boxing movies you have to see.
When you think of boxing it is often ‘eye of the tiger’ that you tend to notice yourself humming. This underdog story is one that captivated viewers’ imagination and changed boxing for the mainstream. Stallone soon became a huge hit with both his acting and producing. This ‘from rags to riches’ plot is one that spreads across six different movies. For anybody looking for fitness motivation, this is your film. As cheesy as it is, the montage training most definitely get you pumped.
Probably the biggest classic when it comes to boxing movies and one that the mainstream audience can enjoy. This sporting film is cleverly directed and has you doubting your affection for Jake LaMotta. Robert DeNiro portrays the story of his life in an award winning fashion and Martin Scorsese imprints his style into this film. It will be interesting to see how he Scorsese will approach his latest boxing venture as they shoot the events of Mike Tyson’s life.
It seemed as though many producers took a step back from the boxing themes but Mark Wahlberg brought it back with this film based on Micky Ward’s experience. It’s another underdog story that shares similarities with Rocky, but this is a real story based on factual episodes. Ward was renown in the boxing sphere for putting his neck on the line in every fight, he was always part of an exciting fight. His most notable fights were parts of the Arturo Gatti trilogy, which were ironically left out of this film. But the rest of the coverage was perfectly choreographed and looked almost identical to the real fight footage. The Fighter is a fantastic picture with ups and downs and a perfect performance from Christian Bale.
This upsetting story is another that’s based on a true one, this movie quickly diverts from boxing action. ‘Hurricane’ played by Denzel Washington is arrested and is sentenced for murder. After his book is read there’s a family that soon plead his innocence whilst trying to gather crucial evidence that simultaneously exposes corruption.
Just when you thought that Rocky ended with Rocky Six, they brought released this new side of Rocky Balboa. It’s time for Stallone to coach Apollo Creed’s son and help him make a late transition to a boxer. This movie also features professional boxers such as Tony Bellew and a cameo appearance from Andre Ward.
Million Dollar Baby
A determined woman has to overcome all obstacles to become a successful boxer. This movie encroaches on gender issues as well as poverty too, this eventful accumulation of issues makes for a good film. Be ready to get absorbed by this aster plot.
One of the latest boxing releases as Jake Gyllenhaal gets into incredible shape for this enactment. Slightly predictable and nothing that we haven’t seen before but despite that it is well worth a watch. It offers non-stop action and an insight into some of boxing’s politics.
How valid would a compilation of the best boxing films be if it didn’t feature ‘The Greatest’. Will Smith dedicated himself to this role and even developed his boxing skills in the style of the number one. Mohammad Ali’s fascinating behaviour extended further than the ring. He stood up for what he believed in and when refusing to go to war he was arrested. A man of integrity, this displays politics, boxing and some of the things that made the trash talker so special.
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With the sport providing so many natural stories with the likes of Manny Pacquiao rising from poverty to leading politics in his country, it only seems right to enjoy an influx of fighting movies. There are many others too, with numerous documentaries or ‘docufilms’. In fact Manny is one that allows an insight into Pacquiao’s life. Keep a look out for Hands Of Stone released on August 26th in the US and soon to follow in the UK. Get hold of these great films by purchasing them with HMV discount codes and Amazon promotional offers.
By Daniel Treasure, 25th August.