16 Movies Similar to Rocky – Get Ready for an Epic Fight!

Get ready to step into the ring with these 16 movies that pack a punch just like Rocky! From underdog tales to epic fights, these films will have you on the edge of your seat.

1) Rocky II

Rocky II, the follow-up to the iconic movie Rocky, continues the story of Rocky Balboa as he navigates his way through the challenges of family life after his epic bout with Apollo Creed. This film cleverly picks up right where Rocky left off, showcasing the aftermath of the fight and the impact it has on Rocky's personal and professional life. Unlike its predecessor, Rocky II delves deeper into the character development of Apollo Creed, giving viewers a chance to see what he's like beyond the boxing ring. The movie brilliantly explores the emotional turmoil faced by Rocky as he contemplates accepting a rematch with Apollo, despite the health risks involved.
Rocky II maintains the humor that made the first film so enjoyable, showcasing Rocky's hilarious attempts to find a job despite his lack of education and his struggles with reading cue cards. The training sequences in this film are truly epic, with Rocky pushing himself to the limit and engaging in iconic activities like chasing chickens and lifting lumber.

Release date: October, 1980
IMDB Rating: 7.3

2) Rocky IV

"Rocky IV" is reminiscent of the original "Rocky" in many ways. Both movies center around the world of boxing, with the main character, Rocky Balboa, facing a formidable opponent. However, "Rocky IV" takes the intensity to a whole new level. While the first movie focused on Rocky's personal journey and his fight for self-respect, the fourth installment shifts its focus to the global stage, with Rocky defending his heavyweight championship against Ivan Drago, a fighter backed by the Soviet Union. The stakes are higher, the fights are more intense, and the music, oh, the music! The 80s soundtrack in "Rocky IV" is absolutely electrifying and sets the tone for the adrenaline-fueled action. Sure, "Rocky IV" may not be as classic as the original, but it still packs a punch (pun intended) with its drama and heart-pounding moments.

Release date: November, 1985
IMDB Rating: 6.9

3) Rocky III

Rocky III is reminiscent of Rocky because it continues the story of the beloved boxer, Rocky Balboa. In this third chapter, Rocky faces a new challenge from a powerful contender, Clubber Lang, and must seek help from a former rival to regain his throne as the undisputed fighting champion. While Rocky has been homaged as one of the greatest boxing champions in history, he is also panned as a down-and-out fighter. Despite being almost retired and hitting rock bottom, Rocky rises from the ashes to fight against a daring opponent. Just like the first film, Rocky III features intense training montages and a climactic final bout that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. Although the movie follows a familiar formula, it still manages to entertain and evoke a sense of nostalgia. Sylvester Stallone, who wrote, directed, and starred in the film, continues to deliver a heartfelt performance as the iconic Rocky Balboa.

Release date: May, 1982
IMDB Rating: 6.8

4) Rocky V

Rocky V is reminiscent of the original Rocky because it returns to the more personal story of the character and explores the aftermath of loss and the dark side of professional prize fighting. Unlike the previous film, Rocky IV, which focused on a comically oversized Russian boxer and government-funded doping, Rocky V brings the story back to a more grounded and realistic level. The relationship between Rocky and his son, played by Sylvester Stallone's real-life son, is one of the best father-son relationships ever portrayed on screen, adding an extra layer of authenticity to the film. Although there are flaws, such as the casting of Tommy 'The Machine' Gunn and the dated rap music soundtrack, Rocky V deserves a fair viewing before judgment. It may not be as bad as people say, and with the sixth installment on the horizon, it's time to get back into the Rocky spirit for one more round. So, grab your boxing gloves and prepare for an emotional and realistic journey with Rocky V.

Release date: September, 2022
IMDB Rating: 5.3

5) Creed

Creed: The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.
In "Creed," we see a fresh take on the Rocky franchise with a new protagonist, Adonis Johnson, who is trying to step out of the larger than life shadow of his father. This film captures your attention from the opening scene, giving us a glimpse into the life of a fighter. Director Ryan Coogler expertly mixes old techniques from the previous Rocky films, such as the famous slow-motion sequences, with newer and intimate fight sequences that make you feel like you're standing in the ring. Michael B. Jordan's performance as Adonis is powerful and relatable, making him an excellent anchor for the film. And let's not forget Sylvester Stallone, who returns to form as Rocky Balboa, reminding us why we fell in love with the character in the first place.

Release date: January, 2016
IMDB Rating: 7.6

6) Paradise Alley

Paradise Alley is reminiscent of Rocky, but with a twist. Just like Rocky, it's a movie about a fighter, but this time the focus is on wrestling instead of boxing. Set in the slums of 1940's New York City, three Italian-American brothers band together to help one brother's wrestling career. They use a combination of promotional skills and con-artist tactics to outsmart a sleazy manager. While Rocky focused on the love story between Rocky and Adrian, Paradise Alley is more about the bond between the three brothers and their dreams of escaping their dreary surroundings. Sylvester Stallone, who also directed the film, shows his versatility as an actor, delivering funny one-liners and displaying wit, warmth, and charisma as the conman-with-a-heart, Cosmo. The wrestling sequences are well-handled, with plenty of blood and pounding flesh.

Release date: September, 1978
IMDB Rating: 5.7

7) Aryan: Unbreakable

Aryan: Unbreakable is reminiscent of Rocky, but with its own unique flair. Both movies revolve around the theme of boxing, showcasing the struggles and triumphs of the main characters. However, while Rocky focuses on the journey of a small-time Philadelphia boxer who gets a rare chance to fight the world heavyweight champion, Aryan: Unbreakable tells the story of a young boxer who gives up the sport after getting married, only to be forced to revive his career years later to win back the respect of his loved ones.
Rocky is a classic drama with a famous score and a low-budget film charm, while Aryan: Unbreakable infuses elements of action and romance into the mix. The Indian film captures the essence of Bollywood, with captivating emotions and a gripping plot. Although the people's vote average for Aryan: Unbreakable is lower than Rocky, don't let that deter you.

Release date: December, 2006
IMDB Rating: 4.4

8) Creed II

Creed II: Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, newly crowned heavyweight champion Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago. Creed II delivers the punch but doesn't quite land the knockout. While the familiar formula still works as inspiring as ever, it is mainly good ol' Rock that steals the protagonist's spotlight. Without Sly's solid rock performance, this movie would have been just another fight movie. And although the Creed saga reaches new heights in storytelling, we must admit that Adonis just isn't as charismatic as Rocky or as his dad, Apollo. This time he can't even step out of his opponent's shadow, who has a far more compelling story to tell than the one Adonis brings. So, this might not be the fight of the century, but there is certainly some rumbling in the jungle. Hopefully, we haven't seen the last of Rocky Balboa because he still knows how to bring magic to the big screen.

Release date: November, 2018
IMDB Rating: 7.1

9) F.I.S.T.

F.I.S.T. is a movie that takes us back to the late 1970s, just like Rocky. While Rocky is about a boxer chasing his dream, F.I.S.T. tells the story of a rebellious warehouse worker who rises to become a labor leader. Both movies delve into the lives of determined individuals facing their own challenges. However, F.I.S.T. takes a different approach by exploring the world of labor unions and organized crime. It showcases Stallone's versatility as an actor, as he takes on one of his most atypical roles. Although F.I.S.T. loses some steam towards the end, it is still worth watching for its solid portrayal of a charismatic leader. So if you enjoyed Rocky's underdog story, F.I.S.T. offers a unique perspective on the struggles of a different kind of hero.

Release date: April, 1978
IMDB Rating: 6.4

10) Staying Alive

Staying Alive is reminiscent of Rocky in several ways. Both movies revolve around determined individuals pursuing their dreams against all odds. While Rocky focuses on the world of boxing, Staying Alive explores the world of dancing. Just like Rocky, the protagonist in Staying Alive, Tony Manero, faces significant challenges on his journey towards success. The movies share themes of self-respect, perseverance, and the pursuit of a dream. However, there are notable differences between the two. Rocky is a low-budget drama that delves deep into the character's personal struggles, while Staying Alive is a flashy, '80s musical drama with a touch of romance. The movies differ in tone, style, and genre, but they both captivate audiences with their engaging stories and inspiring characters. If you enjoyed Rocky, you should definitely give Staying Alive a watch to experience another tale of determination and triumph, this time set in the glamorous world of Broadway dance.

Release date: July, 1983
IMDB Rating: 4.7

11) The Graduate

"The Graduate" is reminiscent of "Rocky" in its ability to captivate audiences with its portrayal of complex human emotions and life issues. While "Rocky" explores the indomitable spirit of a fighter, "The Graduate" delves into the disillusionment and uncertainty of a college graduate. Both movies use their respective protagonists to draw the audience into their personal journeys, making us empathize with their struggles and root for their success. However, "The Graduate" differs from "Rocky" in terms of genre, as it combines comedy, drama, and romance to tell its story. Additionally, "The Graduate" takes a more introspective approach, requiring viewers to engage with their own inner selves to fully appreciate its charm and depth. This movie is a must-watch for those seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant cinematic experience.

Release date: August, 1973
IMDB Rating: 8
15 Must-Watch Movies Similar to The Graduate

12) Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Jonathan Livingston Seagull is reminiscent of Rocky in the sense that both movies depict characters who are driven by their dreams and passions. In Rocky, we see a small-time Philadelphia boxer who strives to go the distance and prove himself in the ring. Similarly, Jonathan Livingston Seagull follows the story of a rebellious young seagull who is kicked out of his clan but instead of feeling sad or lonely, he embraces his newfound freedom and explores the world around him. Both movies showcase characters who are willing to defy expectations and pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles they face. However, while Rocky focuses on the themes of determination and the indomitable spirit of man, Jonathan Livingston Seagull takes a more spiritual and introspective approach, delving into themes of self-discovery and the pursuit of personal fulfillment. The differences in genre and tone make Jonathan Livingston Seagull a unique and thought-provoking film that complements the uplifting and inspirational qualities of Rocky.

Release date: October, 1973
IMDB Rating: 5.9

13) Driven

Driven is reminiscent of Rocky in its attempt to tell a more complicated story within the sports movie genre. While Rocky focuses on the portrayal of a man who never had it easy in life but keeps his heart, Driven aims for a similar emotional depth but falls short. The female characters in Driven are underdrawn and mostly unnecessary, and the dramatic structure feels unfocused. Sylvester Stallone, both the writer and star of Driven, seems to overreach in his attempt to juggle multiple plot lines and character arcs, resulting in a lack of cohesion. However, where Driven succeeds is in its thrilling and harrowing race scenes, which are shown in a heightened manner. The crashes, although unrealistic, are quite exciting. Yet, the digital effects used in the last race fall short and resemble video game shots. Overall, Driven tries to capture the essence of Rocky, but it doesn't quite reach the same level of depth and emotional resonance.

Release date: January, 2002
IMDB Rating: 4.6

14) The Champ

The Champ. The Champ is reminiscent of Rocky in many ways, but with its own unique charm. Both movies fall under the genre of Drama and Sport. While Rocky is about a small-time boxer who gets a rare chance to fight the heavyweight champion, The Champ tells the story of Billy Flynn, an ex-champion boxer who returns to the ring to provide for his son. Both films delve into the world of boxing, showcasing the physical and emotional struggles faced by the main characters. However, The Champ takes a different approach by focusing on the relationship between a father and his son, adding a heartfelt and emotional layer to the story. The performances of Jon Voight as Billy Flynn and Ricky Schroder as his son are truly remarkable, capturing the pain and love between the characters. The Champ, like Rocky, will leave you deeply moved and reaching for the tissues. So, if you loved Rocky and want to experience a touching story of sacrifice and love, The Champ is a must-watch.

Release date: April, 1979
IMDB Rating: 6.8

15) Penitentiary

Penitentiary, released in 1979, is reminiscent of Rocky in many ways. Both movies are set in the world of boxing, but where Rocky is a story of an underdog fighter trying to prove himself, Penitentiary tells the tale of a convict who joins the prison's boxing team to gain an early parole and establish dominance over the toughest gang. The two films share the theme of perseverance and the pursuit of dreams, but Penitentiary takes a grittier approach, showcasing the harsh realities of prison life. While Rocky focuses on the love story between Rocky and Adrian, Penitentiary dives into the complexities of its characters, with realistic portrayals that transcend the usual blaxploitation stereotypes. With impressive cinematography and moments of both humor and seriousness, Penitentiary offers a unique and engaging viewing experience for fans of blacksploitation or cult movies.

Release date: December, 1979
IMDB Rating: 5.7

16) Body and Soul

Body and Soul is reminiscent of Rocky in its portrayal of a young man striving to become a boxing champion. Both movies explore the theme of boxing as a metaphor for personal growth and self-discovery. However, while Rocky focuses on the determination and heart of its protagonist, Body and Soul delves into the consequences of success and the importance of staying grounded. Rocky's love story between the titular character and Adrian takes center stage, while Body and Soul highlights the role of the protagonist's girlfriend in bringing him back to reality. Despite their similarities in genre and subject matter, the movies differ in their critical reception, with Rocky receiving numerous nominations and awards, while Body and Soul garnered only one win. Nonetheless, fans of Rocky will find Body and Soul to be an engaging watch, as it offers a fresh perspective on the boxing genre and delivers a compelling story of personal redemption.

Release date: October, 1981
IMDB Rating: 4.5

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