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A documentary chronicling sports legend Lance Armstrong's improbable rise and ultimate fall from grace.

Director:

Alex Gibney

Writer:

Alex Gibney
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Reed Albergotti Reed Albergotti ... Himself
Betsy Andreu Betsy Andreu ... Herself
Frankie Andreu Frankie Andreu ... Himself
Lance Armstrong ... Himself
Johan Bruyneel Johan Bruyneel ... Himself
Anderson Cooper ... Himself / Interviewer (archive footage)
Daniel Coyle Daniel Coyle ... Himself
Michele Ferrari Michele Ferrari ... Himself
George Hincapie George Hincapie ... Himself
Sophie Karl ... Bernadette Nun
Linda Armstrong Kelly Linda Armstrong Kelly ... Herself / Mother (archive footage)
Larry King ... Himself / Interviewer (archive footage)
Phil Liggett Phil Liggett ... Himself
Steve Madden Steve Madden ... Himself
Scott Pelley ... Himself / interviewer (archive footage)
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Storyline

A documentary chronicling sports legend Lance Armstrong's improbable rise and ultimate fall from grace.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On October 22, 2012 Lance Armstrong was stripped of the 7 Tour de France titles he won from 1999-2005.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 2013 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Lance Armstrong: The Road Back See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,992, 8 November 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$381,703, 16 February 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmmaker Alex Gibney followed Lance Armstrong for four years with the intent of chronicling his return to cycling after retirement as Armstrong tried to win his eighth Tour de France. Unexpectedly, Gibney was also there when Armstrong admitted to doping, which resulted in the film being retitled from "The Road Back" to "The Armstrong Lie." See more »

Quotes

Lance Armstrong: I viewed my battle with cancer as an athletic competition. But in that, you either win or you lose. When you lose, or if you lose, you die. So I took that perspective, which is a little dark, and I put it into everything I've done since then. I like to win. But more than anything, I can't stand the idea of losing, because, to me, that equals death.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film '72: Episode dated 21 January 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

El Viento
Written by Manu Chao
Performed by Manu Chao
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Narcissistic Personality
20 March 2016 | by kdavies-69347See all my reviews

Many were shocked when Lance Armstrong (finally) admitted to his use of steroids, which assisted in his 7 Tour Du France wins. Stripped of his titles, dumped by his multi-million dollar sponsorships, banned from all World Anti-Doping Agency governed sports, and literally taken out of the record books for all 7 years he won, most expected him to experience a deep shame and regret over his actions. Most of us, upon revealing our deepest secrets, and the lies that we chose to live, might respond in that way, but Lance Armstrong is a different kind of person, and perhaps doesn't function in the same capacity.

Oscar winning documentary film maker Alex Gibney tackles another societal dysfunction, in his attempt to tell the story of why one of sporting world's most famous names, would come out to admit his fraud to the world. It's an absolutely spellbinding story, and doesn't tip-toe around the subject. Rather, it opens up at his most publicly shameful moments, when he told Oprah Winfrey on national television (in yes / no fashion) that he had been cheating the whole time he was winning one of the most grueling competitions in the world. But there is a great deal more to this story, and Gibney delves into some of the bigger problems surrounding the sport, his issues with bullying team mates, the nature of cheating, and most importantly: Why Armstrong acts the way he does.

The American Psychiatric Association defines the narcissistic personality as:

"In which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and/or vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and often others."

Whenever I think of this personality, a few names come to mind (Donald Trump, and Kanye West are just a few), but I think Lance Armstrong fits this description well. I don't particularly think that he, and others who share these traits, are necessarily terrible people, but it does make them capable of some truly awful actions. It's a remarkable study into this type of personality. Armstrong admits to wrong-doings, but never feels remorse for his actions. It's remarkable how he treats his own teammates throughout his career, and forces us to see him as a very driven man, yet at the same time, one capable of very criminal action.

At this time, in 2016, Armstrong faces a 100 million dollar lawsuit brought forth by the federal government for defrauding the U.S. Postal service (the main sponsor during his tours). It's expected to ruin him financially, but many don't expect a decision requiring a full penalty. Perhaps his actions do have consequences, but he's apt not to let that bother him. That being said, Alex Gibney narrates and describes the situation facing him and sport of cycling rather well. I would recommend this documentary to anyone who was interested in Armstrong as a competitor, but also to really let the depth of his actions sink in with the viewer.

One of Gibney's best, and more personal documentaries.

8/10


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