6.5/10
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48 user 174 critic

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.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

John Hodge (screenplay), David Walsh (book)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Foster ... Lance Armstrong
Chris O'Dowd ... David Walsh
Guillaume Canet ... Dr. Ferrari
Jesse Plemons ... Floyd Landis
Lee Pace ... Bill Stapleton
Denis Ménochet ... Johan Bruyneel
Edward Hogg ... Frankie Andreu
Dustin Hoffman ... Bob Hamman
Elaine Cassidy ... Betsy Andreu
Laura Donnelly ... Emma O'Reilly
Peter Wight ... Sunday Times Editor
Nathan Wiley ... Charles Pelkey
Chris Larkin ... John Wilcockson
Mark Little ... Rupert Guinness
Michael G. Wilson ... 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:

Lance Armstrong couldn't be beaten. Except by the truth. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 March 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Lance Armstrong Biopic See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Foster admitted the emotional storyline about the disgraced cyclist took more a toll on him than the physical demands of the role. See more »

Goofs

In many of the scenes showing Armstrong riding in his early tour wins he is seen wearing Oakley Radar Sunglasses that were not yet released. See more »

Quotes

Lance Armstrong: I'm the most tested athlete on the face of the planet.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Projector: Suffragette/The Program (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

No Surprises
Written by Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood (as Jonathan Greenwood), Ed O'Brien (as Edward O'Brien), Phil Selway (as Philip Sellway), Thom Yorke (as Thomas Yorke)
Performed by Radiohead
Courtesy of Warner Music UK Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
solid acting and functional
1 May 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's 1993 and Lance Armstrong (Ben Foster) is in his first Tour in France. Irish sports journalist David Walsh (Chris O'Dowd) is both following and rooting for the competitive new American wonderboy. After initial losses, he and his teammates start using enhancements. The team starts winning but then he's diagnosed with cancer. After his tiring treatments, he gets help from Dr. Michele Ferrari who is experimenting outside the ethical lines. Bill Stapleton (Lee Pace) organizes the deal with US Postal. Walsh starts to suspect that something is amiss. God-fearing Floyd Landis (Jesse Plemons) is hired to help Armstrong and he takes over after Lance. Betsy Andreu recounts a moment with Armstrong and her husband. Armstrong decides to defend against his detractors by attacking them.

Despite the great actors and solid work, this still has a biopic feel in the structure of the movie. It follows the story faithfully. The truthfulness seems to be there. Ben Foster does nice work inhabiting the role although I'm not sure if it dives into his mind enough. It would be helpful to add something from before his Tour and doping life. Walsh's crusade is more compelling. The second half of the movie is more compelling. It is generally missing the drama and the thrills. I'm also not certain if this gets any special insight into Armstrong's character. It's a functional biopic but the material is ready for much more.


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