The Armstrong Lie


Action / Biography / Documentary / Sport

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 84%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 6284


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February 13, 2014 at 07:22 PM



Lance Armstrong as Himself
720p 1080p
871.91 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 4 min
P/S 2 / 18
1.85 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 4 min
P/S 0 / 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by l_rawjalaurence 8 / 10

Fascinating Example of How Filmmakers Can Become Implicated by Their Subjects

THE ARMSTRONG LIE is a fascinating documentary. Shot over a period of four years, it purports to investigate the oft-repeated claim that cyclist Lance Armstrong was a cheat, and that every single one of his Tour de France wins were achieved by taking drugs. Alex Gibney's narrative begins as a defense of Armstrong's behavior, but as different elements of the truth emerge, so the filmmaker has to keep readjusting his position. Gibney is obviously a fan of Armstrong (as many people still are), but as the seamy details of what the cyclist did in order to win his races gradually emerge, so the filmmaker gradually understands how wrong-headed he has been give his unquestioning support. Armstrong emerges as a thoroughly unsavory character, pathologically unwilling to acknowledge the truth about himself, and always looking to manipulate the media so that he emerges in a positive light. Even his so-called 'confessional' interview with Oprah looks like a deliberate attempt to rescue his reputation. As the narrative unfolds, so Gibney gradually comes to understand the truth about his subject, and realizes to his cost that much of the film has unwittingly helped to obfuscate that truth, portraying Armstrong instead as a man more sinned against than sinning. It is only right at the end that Gibney admits the truth of Armstrong's motives, and how Armstrong himself has deliberately duped the filmmaker. As a result THE ARMSTRONG LIE is a film that is more about media manipulation than anything else, revealing just how persuasive - and dangerous - a person Armstrong actually is. There's no guarantee that he might not manage to clear his reputation in the future, despite what he has done.

Reviewed by baron_genitalstrassen 10 / 10

A disturbing journey through the mind

I think, at least for many of the reviews posted here, that this movie is being misunderstood. Mostly, the negative reviews focus on deconstructing the theories that this movie puts forth, which totally misses the point.

I found this whole movie extremely disturbing. It's a masterpiece in terms of execution, cutting and sound. On it's own, it's a strangely unique sports-doc that will, if you surrender to the feeling, have great potential to move something within you.

In connection with the movie's subject, Lance Armstrong, it gets even more weird. People present their theory about the movie and its meaning, leaving behind a strangely vague sense of mystery to these people and their offbeat theoriums. This is something the movie does very well - it constantly forces you to create theories, cuing you into considering everything it puts forth and creating an imaginative image of the people behind the faces and tying the pieces of their stories together.

Next, there is the cutting. Images, special effects and clips from old bike races dominate the screen, side by side with clips of Lance Armstrong. There is a strange, unexplained relation between the theories about Lance Armstrong and the old footage, to Lance Armstrong himself. Special effects are utilized mostly to explain the rather complicated points of the interviewees, and a haunting, mostly electronic soundtrack creates a sense of unrest that permeates the entire movie.

None of these elements function on their own, but together they create the perfect atmosphere for the presentation of these theories.

What you must ask yourself before viewing this film is: can you surrender to the feeling of a film without necessarily finding the material entirely plausible? If so, I think the movie will convince you and it will be a haunting experience. Don't watch it if you're just looking for theories about Lance Armstrong's criminal deceptions - this movie is not an academic analysis of the laws of biking, it is an elevation of simple theories into a profoundly disturbing feeling; it is a journey through the mind of obsessive fans that leaves you understanding their passion, and with a sense of dread that I have don't have the adequate words to describe.

And this, not having words to describe a particular emotion, sense or... sensation, whether good or bad, is exactly what a good art film should do to your mind. There is the sense that something "clicked", that something was learned, that something moved. If it does not have the same effect on you, too bad - but it's certainly worth a shot if you haven't seen it!

Reviewed by muffo 9 / 10

No answers but compelling viewing

This documentary film isn't going to give you the answers to the questions we all have. Why did he come back in 2009? Was he really riding clean in 2009? How did he manage to hide the truth for so long? I went into this film hoping for answers to some of these questions, I didn't get them, but what I did get was a riveting documentary film. By the end of this film you'll have more unanswered questions than you went in with.

The first half of this film is just information anyone following this story already knew. Although the interviews with Dr. Ferrari are particularly interesting. It's the second half of this film that makes it a great art documentary. The footage taken during Lance's comeback in 2009, in conjunction with the interviews following the doping revelations make for discomforting viewing. You can tell even in the post-revelation interviews that he is still manipulating, still telling half-truths. I came away with the impression he's spent so long lying he doesn't know the truth himself. There is certainly a lot more to this story than has been told.

I left the cinema with this uncomfortable feeling in my gut. A feeling that there are no great sporting heroes, just people who haven't been caught yet, perhaps that feeling in my gut is disillusionment.

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