The boxing film that saves its worst blows for outside the ring was both fashioned and perfected here. A viscerally violent, ruthlessly gripping, adrenaline-soaked depiction of one man's self-destructive spiral, Raging Bull represents what can happen when a star believes in a project enough to fight for it, and when a director believes he's down to his last chance at redemption. De Nero's insistence Scorsese take the helm quite literally saved his life from his own depression. This is a movie that presents a protagonist who is essentially unlikable and wholly relatable in equal measure, and dares the viewer to look away. Raging Bull is a bruising, beautiful and a never-bettered showcase for De Niro's once-legendary physical immersion into a role. And I'm not just talking about the weight gain: look into those eyes and try telling me they're anyone else's but Jake LaMotta's.