The best boxing movies on Netflix
Sports movies have been around almost as long as film itself and boxing is one genre that has received tons of recognition over the years, with films like Million Dollar Baby receiving the Best Picture Award at the Oscars, and Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull ranked as one of the greatest films of all time.
While there are many films that fall into the sports genre, boxing has proved over time to be one of the most popular. Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky is one of the most recognizable film characters ever, and the film of the same name is regarded as one of the greatest sports films in history, spawning eight sequels. For those interested in enjoying the genre on Netflix, here are 10 boxing films, both old and new, to catch on the streaming platform.
Released in 2010 to positive critical and commercial reception, The Fighter is a biographical drama that stars Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale as real life half-brothers Micky Ward and Dick “Dicky” Ecklund who team up to achieve success in the world of boxing. Melissa Leo and Amy Adams also star in the film, with the former taking home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, alongside Bale for Best Supporting Actor.
CounterPunch is a 2017 Netflix documentary film that takes a deep dive into the world of the sport boxing. Following the lives of three boxers at different stages in their careers, the film covers all aspects of the sport, from the good, to the bad and terrifying parts. There are certain politics involved in boxing that many are not aware of, and CounterPunch delivers an in-depth look into the lives of boxers and why many take up the sport in the first place. It features several notable former professional boxers, like Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya.
Another biographical sports film on the list, Mary Kom stars Bollywood veteran Priyanka Chopra as the eponymous boxer and the journey to her historical win at the 2008 World Boxing Championships in China. Shot entirely in Hindi, this was the first Hindi film to be screened on the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival. Chopra’s performance received very positive reviews and accolades in India and the film was a box office success.
Serving as both a sequel and spin-off to the famous Rocky film franchise, and with Sylvester Stallone reprising his role as the iconic character Rocky Balboa, Creed stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s former rival and later friend. In the film, Rocky takes Adonis under his wing and mentors him on his journey to becoming a professional boxer. The film also stars Phylicia Rashad, Tessa Thompson, and Anthony Bellew and was a huge success. Stallone earned an Academy Award nomination for his role, which was his first nomination since the original Rocky in 1976.
The sequel to 2015’s Creed and the eighth installment in the Rocky franchise, Creed II saw the return of Rocky Balboa and Adonis Creed as the latter gears up to take on Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, who took his father Apollo Creed’s life 33 years prior. Dolph Lundgren reprised his role as Ivan and Florian Munteanu joined the cast as Viktor. Much like the first film, Creed II received critical praise and was a commercial success, grossing over 200 million dollars against a budget of 50 million dollars. A third sequel, Creed III will be released on November 23 and will serve as Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut. It is the first film that will not star Sylvester Stallone as Rocky, though he remains on as a producer.
Southpaw stars Jake Gyllenhaal as boxer Billy Hope, who falls into a deep depression after losing his wife in an accident and his daughter to child protective services. He finally decides to get his life back together after an encounter with former boxer Titus Wills, portrayed by Forest Whitaker. An emotional and moving drama, Southpaw shines due to believable performances from its cast, which includes Oona Laurence, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris, and Miguel Gomez.
When former marine Tommy Riordan visits his estranged father, he enlists him to help him train for an MMA competition, but things take an emotional and defining turn when his estranged brother enters the tournament as well and the two must face off against each other. The film stars Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte, and received praise for its cast’s performances, although it failed to perform well at the box office. Nolte also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film.
A Finnish-Mexican film, Bayonet stars Mexican actor Luis Gerardo Méndez as Miguel “Bayoneta” Galindez, a retired boxer who has settled alone in Finland after a devastating match. He finally has a chance to redeem himself from his daunting past by fighting again. The film received positive reviews from critics, especially for Méndez’ performance.
Halle Berry’s directorial debut is Bruised, a sports drama about disgraced MMA fighter Jackie Justice who is filled with unending anger and regret following her defeat and is stuck scrubbing toilets. When her estranged six-year-old son emerges on her doorstep, she finally gets a chance to redeem herself, not only in life, but in the ring. Berry’s directing and acting were praised, and the Netflix film will be the first in a multi-deal partnership with the actress.
Fighting with My Family
Written and directed by Stephen Merchant and featuring an ensemble cast consisting of Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden, and Vince Vaughn, Fighting with My Family is a biographical sports drama about the life of English professional wrestler Paige and her journey to the WWE, as well as her brother Zak’s attempt to achieve similar success. Doubling as a comedy, and featuring hilarious appearances from notable wrestlers Big Show, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, among others, Fighting with My Family is easily the lightest boxing movie on this list.