With some notable exceptions, the best boxing movies are epic, rags-to-riches tales of redemption. The boxer is usually some down-and-out palooka who finds salvation in the "sweet science" aided by trainers/ex-boxers/girlfriends with their own issues. Somewhere in the final act, there's a Big Fight against an Imposing Opponent who must be conquered if the boxer (and the audience) is to walk out happy. The movies that don't subscribe to this formula are no less compelling.
Hopefully The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg as an underdog who fights his way to the top of his division with the help of troubled half-brother Dickey (Christian Bale), follows in this tradition. If not, we give you these boxing films designed to inspire you to lace up the gloves. Or, at the very least, spring for the next big bout on pay-per-view.