By Harry Snell
Let's admit it, we all love sports movies. Despite the fact that they are becoming overdone, who doesn't enjoy watching epic stories of the underdog going up against all odds and winning? They inspire and challenge all of the competitors among us. Within sports films, one could safely say that boxing films have almost developed their own subgenre. We seem to get a couple high profile boxing flicks each and every year. Sure, they might be getting overdone themselves, but we've had some absolute gems over recent years - including some memorable oscar caliber films that are enjoyable for all. Just what are the best of the boxing films of the 2000s? The following is a look at some of my favorites (in no particular order) so go grab a snack and enjoy one of these great boxing films on the next rainy day.
Headlined by Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg, this is a heavy hitting film (yes, pun intended) on multiple levels which works for fans of cinema and boxing fanatics. Bale finally earned an oscar win for his emotionally supercharged performance of Dickey Eklund. Top to bottom, this was a stellar cast performing at an Oscar level with great performances by Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, as well.
Believe it or not, Clint Eastwood's masterpiece of a boxing film came out ten years ago already. This is not only one of the best boxing films ever, but one of the best films of Clint's entire legendary career. If you haven't seen this by now, it should be on the top of your list.
We all love some Russell Crowe. The man has played some of the most memorable characters of our generation and his turn as James Braddock just might be one of his more underrated roles. Ron Howard always seems to turn out some good dramas, and this one has its way of pulling at the viewers heartstrings.
For whatever reason, Gavin O'Connor's Warrior seemed to fly under the radar. The entire film is great, but the ending is on a different level altogether. If you have a pulse, you'll either be crying or your skin will be tingling full of goosebumps. Warrior illustrates some of the inner struggles we all face as people - specifically for brothers and fathers. Fans of Tom Hardy have to see this one.
Sure, the original was a classic - even a few of the sequels were good, too. However, no one really gave this movie a chance when it came out because the world thought they had seen one too many films about the Rocky character already. Sylvester Stallone proved most of us wrong and showed that he had enough in him for one more turn as Rocky as this film delivered a good throw back to the glory days of the 80s predecessors. At the very least, Stallone showed the world that he is still the most built old man in Hollywood.
Before you say it - I know it came in 1999. But it was close enough to the 2000s that I had to include it in this list. Starring a much younger Denzel Washington, this is a story of a man who comes from nothing to stardom and then gets charged with murder. Touching on racism and the difficulties African Americans often run into, this is as much of sociological of a film as it is a boxing flick.
I hope this list helps make your search for a great boxing film a little bit easier. What makes boxing films so appealing anyways? What's your favorite? Make sure and leave a comment with your thoughts on the matter. Thanks for reading and let me know if you think I left out any that should be on the list.
This guest post was contributed by Harry Snell, owner of Bigfreebet , the sports betting blog.