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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.


Stephen Frears


John Hodge (screenplay), David Walsh (book)





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


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


The legend. The truth. The source. The science. See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



UK | France



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


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film is based on Walsh's book "Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong". See more »


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 »


Floyd Landis: I want to be in your team! I want to be in your team... again.
See more »


Featured in The Program: Behind the Scenes (2016) See more »


Spread Your Love
Written by Robert Turner (as Robert L Been), Peter Hayes (as Peter B Hayes), Nick Jago (as Nicholas Jago)
Performed by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Courtesy of Capitol Records Inc.
Under licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

An interesting, if not plain, biopic
19 October 2015 | by themadmoviemanSee all my reviews

This is a pretty interesting biopic, with strong performances across the board and a pretty engaging story. However, it's nothing particularly outstanding, due to its evident holding back against really going after Armstrong. Yes, this is still a pretty scathing story, but it still all feels far too plain and simple, and there's never any real gusto in the writing to make you passionately dislike Armstrong, which the movie is trying to do.

But before we get into that, let's look at the most impressive part of this film, which are the performances. Ben Foster, as Lance Armstrong, is brilliant, and often terrifying and hateful to the extent that you really want the movie to show you, and without him doing such a good job in the role, this film would have been at a loss, given his incredible acting.

In the side role as the journalist determined to take Armstrong down, Chris O'Dowd is also pretty good. It's not a world-beating performance that makes you want to whole-heartedly will the man onto revealing Armstrong's lies, but he is a likable character, and one of the only ones that can firmly support in the whole film.

The way that this film tells the history of Armstrong's deception is also very interesting. Although it's all in recent memory for most of us, there's still a lot of information here that you didn't know about, particularly revolving around the inner workings of Armstrong's United States Postal Service team and how he was the ring leader in the world of doping in cycling.

However, that's about it. This film is definitely interesting and well-acted, but it's not an outstanding, memorable biopic. It feels more like reading a very interesting textbook cover-to-cover, full of fascinating information, but with no real high drama or emotion to fully show the significance of what's going on, and to really pull you into the story rather than just observing it.

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