You know how everyone had such high hopes for 2021 and then so far it’s been, well… NOT GREAT? It’s enough to make you feel like you could scream to the heavens and hit something. But since you don’t really want to do that, the next best thing is watching someone ELSE take out all of their fury in the boxing ring.
Here are 12 excellent boxing movies that’ll accomplish that goal.
Jungleland – Coming to the Box on January 12 and currently available on Redbox On Demand, this boxing drama stars Charlie Hunnam and Jack O’Connell as brothers who are forced to compete in an underground bare-knuckle prize fight in order to win the money needed to repay local gangsters who won’t leave them alone.
The Fighter – This Oscar-winning 2010 film is based on a true story, and boasts an A-list cast of Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Bale portrays washed-up, drugged-out boxer Dicky Ward, who’s training his half-brother Micky (Wahlberg) in the hopes of him rising up through the welterweight ranks.
The 6 Rocky movies – There are very few film franchises that you could make a whole day out of watching, but Rocky is here for you in your time of need. Relive the inspiring saga of underdog Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), who overcomes all odds to make it in the heavyweight boxing world thanks to the support of his no-nonsense trainer, Mickey (Meredith Burgess), the love of his life, Adrian (Talia Shire), and her alcoholic-but-supportive brother, Paulie (Burt Young). Along the way, Rocky must battle against everyone from the cocky Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) to the soulless Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) from the USSR. It’s not often we are treated to the entire arc of a character’s life story across multiple films, but if you watch all 6 Rocky movies AND the next two on this list, that’s just what you’ll get.
Creed and Creed II – While we wait for Creed III, which will star AND be directed by its leading man Michael B. Jordan, catch up on the Rocky franchise spin-off saga that revolves around the son of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). In it, Jordan plays Adonis Creed, who never knew his famous father. But he did inherit is superior athletic genes and is trying to make a name for himself in the boxing industry with the help of love interest Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and trainer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).
Cinderella Man – Here’s another boxing film that was inspired by a true story. Ron Howard directs Russell Crowe in his role as James J. Braddock, a boxer whose livelihood is crushed when he breaks his right hand … just as the Great Depression hits. His wife (Renee Zellweger) resents his manager (Paul Giamatti) for trying to get him back into the game as a left-handed fighter, until she realizes they may not be able to survive any other way.
Bleed for This – And finally we have yet another harrowing (but inspiring) true story. This one stars Miles Teller as Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, a boxer who suffers a critical neck injury, has a neck brace bolted into his skull and is told he’ll never fight again. However, Vinny will not accept this news and continues to work out in secret with his trainer (Aaron Eckhart) in the hopes of one day returning to the ring.
What boxing movie do you turn to when you want to let off some steam vicariously?