The 20 Greatest Boxing Movies Ever Made, Ranked

Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures.

Everyone loves a good boxing movie!

While it is 1976’s Academy Award winning ‘Rocky’ that is now considered the gold standard in boxing movies, there have been many great ones over the years including Martin Scorsese’s ‘Raging Bull,’ the Oscar-winning Muhammad Ali documentary ‘When We Were Kings,’ as well as the biopic ‘Ali’ starring Will Smith.

Not to mention the long running ‘Rocky’ franchise which has produced six ‘Rocky’ movies and three ‘Creed’ spinoffs, including the latest, ‘Creed III,’ which is the first movie in the series to not feature Sylvester Stallone, but was directed by star Michael B. Jordan and opens in theaters on March 3rd.

In honor of ‘Creed III’s release, Moviefone is counting down the 20 best boxing movies of all time, including ‘Creed III.’

Let’s begin!

MGM Distribution Co.

MGM Distribution Co.

His Wife (Talia Shire) is dead and his Son (Milo Ventimiglia) hates him but this old man still has fight in him! When he loses a highly publicized virtual boxing match to ex-champ Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), reigning heavyweight titleholder Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver) retaliates by challenging Rocky to a nationally televised, 10-round exhibition bout. To the surprise of his son and friends, Rocky agrees to come out of retirement and face an opponent who’s faster, stronger, and thirty years his junior.

“It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”


PG1 hr 41 minDec 20th, 2006

A pair of aging boxing rivals (Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro) are coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout — 30 years after their last match.

“Stallone vs DeNiro”


PG-131 hr 53 minDec 25th, 2013

The more you love, the harder you fight. The world looks at Billy Flynn (Jon Voight) and sees a has-been who seemingly never was, an ex-boxing champion slammed to the mat years ago by booze and gambling. But Billy’s son TJ (Ricky Schroder) sees what the world doesn’t. He knows what his flawed but loving father is, was and always will be – The Champ.

The Champ

“The most poignant love-triangle of all – a father, his son, and the woman who came between them.”


Not Yet Rated2 hr 1 minJul 10th, 1979

The inspirational story of World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller), who after a near fatal car crash, which left him not knowing if he’d ever walk again, made one of sports most incredible comebacks.

“This is what the greatest comeback in sports history looks like”


R1 hr 56 minNov 18th, 2016

After Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) goes the distance with champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), both try to put the fight behind them and move on. Rocky settles down with Adrian (Talia Shire) but can’t put his life together outside the ring, while Creed seeks a rematch to restore his reputation. Soon enough, the “Master of Disaster” and the “Italian Stallion” are set on a collision course for a climactic battle that is brutal and unforgettable.

Rocky II

“Once he fought for a dream. Now he’s fighting for love!”


PG1 hr 59 minJun 15th, 1979

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Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures

Despondent over a painful estrangement from his daughter, trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) isn’t prepared for boxer Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) to enter his life. But Maggie’s determined to go pro and to convince Dunn and his cohort to help her.

“Beyond his silence, there is a past. Beyond her dreams, there is a feeling. Beyond hope, there is a memory. Beyond their journey, there is a love.”


PG-132 hr 12 minJan 28th, 2005

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a washed-up fighter who retired from the ring when robots took over the sport. After his robot is trashed, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son (Dakota Goyo) to rebuild and train an unlikely contender.

Real Steel

“If you get one shot, make it real.”


PG-132 hr 7 minOct 6th, 2011

The true story of boxer Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) who, in the 1920s following his retirement, makes a surprise comeback in order to get him and his family out of a socially poor state.

“One man’s extraordinary fight to save the family he loved.”


PG-132 hr 24 minJun 2nd, 2005

Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight against an opponent with ties to his family’s past, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is up against the challenge of his life.

“There’s More to Lose than a Title”


PG-132 hr 10 minNov 21st, 2018

Nineteen-year-old Danny Flynn (Daniel Day-Lewis) is imprisoned for his involvement with the I.R.A. in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill (Emily Watson). Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer.

The Boxer

“Love is always worth fighting for.”


R1 hr 54 minDec 31st, 1997

10. ‘Ali’ (2001)

Sony Pictures Releasing

Sony Pictures Releasing

In 1964, a brash, new pro boxer, fresh from his Olympic gold medal victory, explodes onto the scene: Cassius Clay (Will Smith). Bold and outspoken, he cuts an entirely new image for African Americans in sport with his proud public self-confidence and his unapologetic belief that he is the greatest boxer of all time. Yet at the top of his game, both Ali’s personal and professional lives face the ultimate test.

“Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”


R2 hr 37 minDec 10th, 2001

Now the world champion, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is living in luxury and only fighting opponents who pose no threat to him in the ring, until Clubber Lang (Mr. T) challenges him to a bout. After taking a pounding from Lang, the humbled champ turns to former bitter rival Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) for a rematch with Lang.

Rocky III

After dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damien Anderson (Jonathan Majors), resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face-off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damien – a fighter who has nothing to lose.

“You can’t run from your past.”


PG-131 hr 56 minMar 3rd, 2023

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After dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damien Anderson,… Read the Plot

Boxer “Irish” Micky Ward’s (Mark Wahlberg) unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His ‘Rocky’-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky (Christian Bale), a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KO’d by drugs and crime.

The Fighter

“Every dream deserves a fighting chance.”


R1 hr 56 minDec 17th, 2010

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) proudly holds the world heavyweight boxing championship, but a new challenger has stepped forward: Drago (Dolph Lundgren), a six-foot-four, 261-pound fighter who has the backing of the Soviet Union.

Rocky IV

“Get ready for the next world war.”


PG-131 hr 31 minNov 21st, 1985

The Weinstein Company

The Weinstein Company

Billy “The Great” Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), the reigning junior middleweight boxing champion, has an impressive career, a loving wife (Rachel McAdams) and daughter (Oona Laurence), and a lavish lifestyle. However, when tragedy strikes, Billy hits rock bottom, losing his family, his house and his manager. He soon finds an unlikely savior in Tick Willis (Forest Whitaker), a former fighter who trains the city’s toughest amateur boxers. With his future on the line, Hope fights to reclaim the trust of those he loves the most.

“Believe in Hope.”


R2 hr 3 minJul 24th, 2015

4. ‘Creed’ (2015)

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).

“Your legacy is more than a name”


PG-132 hr 13 minNov 25th, 2015

It’s 1974. Muhammad Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Foreman is ten years younger and the heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight one another, and when they accept, King has only to come up with the money. He finds a willing backer in Mobutu Sese Suko, the dictator of Zaire, and the “Rumble in the Jungle” is set, including a musical festival featuring some of America’s top black performers, like James Brown and B.B. King.

When We Were Kings

“The untold story of the Rumble in the Jungle.”


Not Yet Rated1 hr 29 minOct 25th, 1996

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro), whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

Raging Bull


R2 hr 9 minNov 14th, 1980

1. ‘Rocky’ (1976)

United Artists

United Artists

When world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) wants to give an unknown fighter a shot at the title as a publicity stunt, his handlers choose palooka Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), an uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Rocky teams up with trainer Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith) to make the most of this once in a lifetime break.



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