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Raging Bull
Really Great 75 Points 1980

Brutally brilliant, Raging Bull grew legendary after fading from the silver screen. It remains one of the greatest movies ever made, flawed only by Cathy Moriarty’s disappointing portrayal of Vickie La Motta. Everything else – notably Scorsese’s up-close and personal filmmaking, coupled with …

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WikChip Image Jake was crazy for Vicki. Really.
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The Fighter
Really Great 88 Points 2010

New addition to the boxing movie canon? Absolutely, complete with elemental title, elemental story and devastating performances. A female power story as much as a male one, Melissa Leo, Christian Bale and Mark Walhberg’s maternal-fraternal triangle pegs the meter for codependency. When Amy Ada…

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WikChip Image All in the (dysfunctional) Family
Rocky Balboa
Very Good 71 Points 2006

Amazingly, this is the first Rocky I’ve ever sat through, even though R1 came out when I was in high school. This is certainly a grand valedictory for Sly’s seminal character.

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Creed II
Very Good 66 Points 2018

In Theaters Now

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky franchise lives on, now centered on a new generation and an African-American hero. This all works and provides a dose of social relevance, making Creed II a solid entrant in the Rocky canon. It’s also a better than average boxing movie, largely because it follows the …

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WikChip Image Behind most good men is a father figure
Tyson
Good 66 Points 2009

This well crafted biodoc provides a warts-and-all picture of boxing and cultural phenomenon Iron Mike Tyson. Given his pop prominence and the high quality of the film, Tyson will appeal to non-boxing fans, though not to many women given its subject’s twisted attitudes and rape conviction.

T…

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WikChip Image Where did it all go wrong Mike?
Southpaw
Good 83 Points 2015

Southpaw telegraphs its punches. They do connect, but lose much of their impact because you see most coming. That said, Jake Gyllenhaal is an impressive physical actor, if not an exceptionally charismatic one.

The result is a movie that’s worth a cheap’o rental for boxing movie fans, albeit …

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Creed
Good 17 Points 2015

So you didn’t think there would be more to Stalone’s Rocky franchise? Well here is Creed ladies and gentlemen! The movie was good, but not great; the ’I’ll fight (the next match) if you fight (cancer)" tugged at a few heart strings – as did the re-make of the theme song, but that’s about it. E…

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Hands of Stone
Good 66 Points 2016

Hands of Stone is a ham-fisted biopic of boxing great Roberto Durán. Raging Bull it’s not, notwithstanding Robert De Niro in a major role. That said, it does provide clear insight into Durán’s impoverished childhood, rise to prominence and fall from grace after his “No Mas” capitulation to Suga…

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WikChip Image Ana de Armas has star quality.
Rocky
None Yet Points 1976
Rocky II
None Yet Points 1979