The 18 best sports movies and documentaries of 2018

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creed 2 mgmMGMMovies like "Creed II" and "Uncle Drew" rocked the box office this year, but neither topped our list of best sports movies and documentaries of 2018.

  • Each year, Hollywood comes out with a new crop of gripping, thrilling sports films, and 2018 was no exception.
  • Movies like "Creed II" and "Uncle Drew" rocked the box office, while "The Miracle Season" stole viewers' hearts and "Free Solo" took their breath away.
  • Check out INSIDER's rankings of the best sports movies and documentaries of 2018.

The same core components that make a great movie - likable and relatable characters, inspiring storylines, remarkable underdogs, and more - are some of the many reasons fans are so drawn to sports. It's no wonder, then, that Hollywood comes out with a new crop of movies centered around sports year after year.

2018 was no exception.

Movies like "Creed II" and "Uncle Drew" rocked the box office, while "The Miracle Season" stole viewers' hearts and "Free Solo" took their breath away.

We ranked the top sports movies of 2018 according to their IMDb Rating. If two movies had the same IMDb Rating, the movies with more reviews were given the higher ranking. In each slide, we also included the film's Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer Score, Audience Score, and Critics' Consensus when they were available.

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18 — Alex & Me

18 — Alex & Me

IMDb Rating: 5.5

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 71%

Summary: After failing to earn a spot on the soccer team, middle schooler Reagan Willis trains with USWNT superstar Alex Morgan for a chance at redemption.

17 — Uncle Drew

17 — Uncle Drew

IMDb Rating: 5.7

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 51%

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: "Kyrie Irving's crossover to comedy is amiable enough to score with basketball fans, but Uncle Drew is held back by formulaic plotting and too much product placement."

Summary: Legendary streetballer Uncle Drew — played by NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving — makes a long-awaited return to the Rucker Classic tournament in Harlem alongside his old squad, including Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie.

16 — Amateur

16 — Amateur

IMDb Rating: 5.9

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 70%

Summary: A 14-year-old basketball prodigy navigates the dark underbelly of amateur athletics as he is recruited to play for an NCAA prep school.

15 — Swimming With Men

15 — Swimming With Men

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46%

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: "Swimming with Men touches on thought-provoking themes surrounding modern masculinity, but ultimately never manages to do much more than tread water."

Summary: An accountant who has not seen much success in his professional or personal life turns to an all-male synchronized swimming team for fulfillment.

14 — First Match

14 — First Match

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 82%

Summary: A teenage girl who spent years in foster care joins the boy's wrestling team in a bid to reconnect with her estranged father.

13 — The Miracle Season

13 — The Miracle Season

IMDb Rating: 6.5

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 86%

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: "The Miracle Season has a worthy real-life story to tell, but one-dimensional characters and aggressively maudlin storytelling undercut any emotional uplift."

Summary: After losing its star player and team leader to a tragic accident, the Iowa City West High School volleyball team bands together to vie for a state championship against all odds.

12 — John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

12 — John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

IMDb Rating: 6.6

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 78%

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: "John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection offers a compelling analysis of what made its subject special - and gives audiences a courtside seat to a pivotal match."

Summary: Set at the 1984 French Open final between John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection shows the left-hander's tennis brilliance and emotional pitfalls through 16-mm-shot footage.

11 — Don't Cry for Me England

11 — Don't Cry for Me England

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Summary: A General introduces Buenos Aires to the game of soccer during the 1806 British invasion of the city.

10 — The Last Race

10 — The Last Race

IMDb Rating: 7.0

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Summary: A local stock car race track and the blue-collar workers who call it home face the financial duress of a real estate development boom.

9 — Zion

9 — Zion

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 86%

Summary: Based on a true story, Zion follows Zion Clark, a wrestler born without legs, as he uses wrestling with and against his non-disabled peers as an outlet while enduring the trials and tribulations of living in foster care.

8 — Back to Berlin

8 — Back to Berlin

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Summary: In the summer of 2015, the Maccabiah games — otherwise known as the Jewish Olympics — were hosted in Germany for the first time since World War II at the same site as Hilter's infamous 1936 Olympics. Back to Berlin follows eleven motorbikers as they carry the Maccabiah torch alongside the Israeli flag on a journey from Tel Aviv to Berlin.

7 — Trautmann

7 — Trautmann

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Summary: A German POW, goalkeeper Bert Trautmann refuses repatriation at the end of World War II and instead settles in Lancashire. He eventually overcomes his villainous reputation by valiantly defending the goal during Manchester City's FA Cup Final victory in 1956 despite breaking his neck mid game.

6 — The Merger

6 — The Merger

IMDb Rating: 7.8

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 95%

Summary: A former Australian professional football player returns to his hometown to coach the local footy team to help bring together an otherwise run-down town.

5 — Andre the Giant

5 — Andre the Giant

IMDb Rating: 7.8

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 90%

Summary: A look into the life and career of André Roussimoff — a 7-foot-5 professional wrestler better known as Andre the Giant.

4 — Creed II

4 — Creed II

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 88%

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: "Creed II's adherence to franchise formula adds up to a sequel with few true surprises, but its time-tested generational themes still pack a solid punch."

Summary: Against the advice of trainer Rocky Balboa, heavyweight boxer Adonis Creed prepares for the fight of his life against Viktor Drago, the son of his father's killer.

3 — Basketball: A Love Story

3 — Basketball: A Love Story

IMDb Rating: 8.3

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 100%

Summary: Some of the biggest names in basketball discuss their love for the game and its intersection with topics such as race, class, politics, media, and business.

2 — Glass Jaw

2 — Glass Jaw

IMDb Rating: 8.3

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 99%

Summary: Former champion boxer Travis Austin seeks to redeem himself both in the ring and outside of it after losing everything and going to prison.

1 — Free Solo

1 — Free Solo

IMDb Rating: 8.6

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 95%

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: "Free Solo depicts athletic feats that many viewers will find beyond reason - and grounds the attempts in passions that are all but universal."

Summary: Free soloist climber Alex Honnold attempts one of the most daring athletic feats in history by becoming the first person to scale El Capitan — the 3,000-foot vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park — without a rope or protective gear.

The 18 best sports movies and documentaries of 2018

The 18 best sports movies and documentaries of 2018
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