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The Program (2015)

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An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong's performances during the Tour de France victories are fueled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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David Walsh
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Medecin Michele Ferrari
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Johan Bruyneel
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Frankie Andreu
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Bob Hamman
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Betsy Andreu
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Emma O'Reilly
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Sunday Times editor
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Charles Pelkey
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John Wilcockson
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Rupert Guinness
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Lance's Doctor
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Storyline

An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong's performances during the Tour de France victories are fueled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Champion. Hero. Legend. Cheat. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 March 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Lance Armstrong Biopic  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Frears told The Hollywood Reporter that he cast Guillaume Canet - a French actor who barely speaks English, to play Italian doctor Michele Ferrari because he couldn't find an Italian actor who speaks English. See more »

Goofs

A number of The Sunday Times newspaper front pages on display around the office were published after the time the scenes are set. Most notably, the front cover depicting English Rugby player Johnny Wilkinson winning the 2003 World cup in a scene set in 2001. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Lance Armstrong: I have never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
See more »


Soundtracks

Mr. Pharmacist
Written by Jeff Nowlen
Performed by The Fall
Courtesy of Beggars Banquet Records Ltd
By arrangement with Beggars Group Media Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A solid sports drama flick.............but it's better to watch the documentaries
24 February 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

We pretty much know the story of the biggest con in sports history.

A 7-time Tour De France winner after recovering from quite severe level of testicular cancer, to be then stripped of everything he had ever achieved in the sport of cycling due to the use of performance- enhancing drugs.

With all that being said, what could this movie do to give us something different to be excited about?

We have director Stephen Frears (Philomena, Dirty Pretty Things, The Queen) exploring the biggest rise and fall probably by anyone in the history of the world.

I'm afraid that despite the solid pace to it, good performances and pleasing visuals, this only really skimmed the surface of the entire story.

Ben Foster plays Armstrong and it is quite un-nerving how much his likeness is uncanny to the man himself. He was a strong lead and definitely made this film watchable and interesting. Chris O'Dowd as hounding sports journalist David Walsh was solid. But I felt he was massively under-used. I think the makers of the film could have better by going down the route 'Rush' did by having two big characters facing-off throughout the feature. All the performances were fine and noticeable in terms of down- grading the film. The only stand-out worth mentioning was Jesse Plemon's portrayal of Armstrong's main team- mate Floyd Landis. He had moments that got me engaged and made it interesting viewing. One casting choice that I was confused about, was the addition of Dustin Hoffman as we see very little of him. Someone that big in the film industry should not be part of a film if he is going to be in there for very short amounts.

The race scenes look well made. Cinematography is a big high point in the film, especially in the opening scene. And finally, the soundtrack fits in the well with the story despite not being quite a captivating one for re-listening.

However, I cannot ignore the safe route this film went. It always went over the important issues quite casually and quickly went on the next one. It seems Frears wanted to throw too much into film and forgot to focus on keeping one angle to the story. I really felt we should have seen more of the journalist pursuing the star type of film which would have made it a great and enjoyable watch.

Connecting to the film was hard as well. It reminded me of The Wolf Of Wall Street as we are trying to connect with a guy we know has bone really bad things. But unlike the Martin Scorsese flick, the style of film-making is nothing remarkable, just passable.

It is still a well-acted drama flick. For those people that don't know a lot about the story, they will get the most enjoyment out of it. But if you want to a good film about Lance Armstrong and how he became the man he is today, watch the two film documentaries 'The Armstrong Lie' and 'Stop At Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story'. They both go into much more detail on how big of an idiot Armstrong is.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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