This year, I saw two of the best sports films ever made, according to most people anyway. Both films happen to be set around the sport of boxing, which happens to be a sport I don’t like at all.

The first film that I saw in the middle of this year was 1976’s Best Picture Oscar winner, Rocky. The second film was 1980’s Best Actor Oscar winner for Robert De Niro, Raging Bull. I much preferred Rocky, which I find to be not only the better film but one that has more excitement and interest. On the other hand, Raging Bull might be one film that critics and film school students would call a masterpiece but I didn’t find it to be that interesting and quite frankly, I found Raging Bull to be dull and uninteresting.

Why Everyone Loves Raging Bull…

As I just mentioned, ask film critics worldwide which of these two films they would most likely see in a film school lecture and the answer will be Raging Bull. Raging Bull is considered by many to be the better film and a work of art. Many feel that it epitomizes the boxing lifestyle, including the struggles therein, and that it told the life story of boxer Jake LaMotta in a deeply honestly way. Add the fact that Raging Bull was shot masterfully, through in the score, the fact that it was mostly shot in black and white and I’ve just made most people’s arguments for why Raging Bull is the superior film. However and surprise, surprise on my end, but I didn’t like Raging Bull and feel that it’s highly overrated.

Why Rocky Is The Better Film…

Talk about excitement, talk about a true underdog story. Rocky starts off as a boxer who gets kicked out of his own training gym and ends up the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Sorry for the spoilers but it has been for almost 40 years and we all know what happens.

Rocky is the better film, at least in my opinion, because it’s more interesting than Raging Bull and I cared a lot more about the ups and downs of Rocky’s life than I did for Jake LaMotta’s. I didn’t once feel for the wife beating LaMotta but I did for Rocky, who is a sweet, innocent man that sometimes might say the wrong thing even though he means well.

Now I understand that these two films are both about boxing but after that they’re very different films. For one, Rocky is about the rags to riches American dream story and it ends a lot happier than Raging Bull does. That film is a grittier, darker, more dramatic film that ends up in a much different place than Rocky does. A good comparison would be seeing these films as light (Rocky) verses dark (Raging Bull) or Rocky’s ying to Raging Bull’s yang and so on.

Ultimately, I much prefer the story and the character of Rocky. His character ache might be less believable since Raging Bull is a biopic but I had a lot more fun and was much more invested in seeing Rocky succeed against all odds. I did not like Jake LaMotta as a person and while I know that was the point of the film, I also felt that Raging Bull was a slow and very underwhelming film from start to finish. While I wanted more out of Rocky, and it did produce a bunch of sequels, I was looking at my watch wondering when Raging Bull would be over. While Raging Bull isn’t a bad film what-so-ever, I was quite disappointed in the fact that not much actually goes on and also thought the boxing scenes were shot a lot better in Rocky.