Mandatory Movies: What To Watch When You’re Itchin’ For A Fight
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Sometimes people just piss you off. It’s an unavoidable side effect of living in the modern world. While anger is a natural, normal emotion, acting on it is rarely appropriate. So as much as you’d like to say, “Come at me, bro,” it’s probably better to take a minute and a few deep breaths. If that doesn’t work, Mandatory Movies has your back.
Testosterone-fueled flicks: What To Watch When You Need To Man Up
We’ve compiled the best fight movies in cinematic history so you can release your aggression vicariously through your screen. At this fight night, no one gets hurt (except the stunt doubles maybe) and no one goes to jail for aggravated assault. It’s a win-win in what is an otherwise shitty situation, so put your dukes down and pick up the remote control.
'Enter the Dragon'
A martial arts master (Bruce Lee) uses his skills to avenge his sister’s death in this ‘70s era classic. What the story lacks in originality Lee makes up for with mind-boggling moves.
'The Last Dragon'
This ‘80s martial arts flick is so bad, it’s good. Cult-status good. Leroy Green (Taimak, a real-life karate student) wants to be the next Bruce Lee; like his idol, Leroy also has an evil nemesis, Sho'nuff (Julius J. Carry III), and a love interest (Vanity, one of Prince’s proteges) whom he must defend. The plot is cheesy and the special effects are laughable, but we bet you won’t be able to turn off this irresistible movie.
You can’t even talk about fight movies without referencing Rocky. It’s the defining boxing film of the 20th century. If you only have time for one film in the franchise, the original is the one to watch. It’s the beginning of Rocky’s story and the ultimate underdog tale.
So you’ve watched every Rocky film and are jonesing for more. So were audiences everywhere, which is why Creed came on the scene. Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never got to meet his father, boxing legend Apollo Creed, because Apollo died in the ring. But Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) knew him, so it’s Rocky – now retired and suffering from health issues – who Adonis seeks out to train him. Yes, the film is somewhat formulaic, but it’s a blast to see Rocky pass on his wisdom to the next generation.
Fighting is a way of life for the family in this based-on-a-true-story film. Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is a boxer who can't catch a win, and it might be because his trainer is his half-brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), a boxing-champ-turned-crack-addict, and his “mom-ager” is (mis)handling his career. Micky even has enough sisters for his own personal cheerleading squad. It’s all too close for comfort (or competition), so Micky fires his family and his career takes off, but as a chance at the title nears, he might find he needs them in his corner after all.
Fighting reunites an estranged family in Pittsburgh in this gripping flick. Former Marine Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) and his brother Brendan (Joel Edgerton) recruit their father (Nick Nolte), a recovering alcoholic with an abusive past, to train them for MMA fighting.
Will Smith adopts the likeness of iconic boxer and rabble-rouser Muhammad Ali in this powerful biopic.
Undefeated boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) catapults toward rock bottom following a shocking tragedy, but it isn’t until he loses custody of his daughter that he finally gets back in the ring to restore his dignity and reclaim his livelihood.
'Million Dollar Baby'
Blue-collar Southerner Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) needs a boxing trainer and Los Angeles’ Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is the best man for the job. Trouble is, he doesn’t want to do it because she’s a woman. Eventually she convinces him to take her on and the duo play pivotal roles in one another’s professional and personal lives.
News flash: women can kick ass, too. In her debut flick, Michelle Rodriguez plays Diana Guzman, a feisty Brooklyn teen trying to find her place in the world and in the ring. “You hit like a girl” will never sound like an insult again.