7.9/10
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86 user 44 critic

Icarus (2017)

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2:03 | Trailer
When Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller... See full summary »

Director:

Bryan Fogel
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Popularity
3,068 ( 30)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Thomas Bach ... Himself - President, International Olympic Committee
Sebastian Coe Sebastian Coe ... Himself
Bryan Fogel ... Himself
Nikita Kamaev Nikita Kamaev ... Himself (archive footage)
Vladimir Putin ... Himself
Grigory Rodchenkov Grigory Rodchenkov ... Himself
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Storyline

When Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller involving dirty urine, unexplained death and Olympic Gold-exposing the biggest scandal in sports history.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Truth is the new banned substance See more »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

Russian | English

Release Date:

4 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Icarus See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A hit at the Sundance Film Festival, there was some speculation that the reason the festival was hacked was because of this film's presence in the line-up and the Russian authorities' need to suppress the revelations contained in the film. See more »

Goofs

Whenever race results were displayed for the Haute Route, the country flags for the French riders are ALL backwards. Blue/white/red is correct; they're displayed as red/white/blue. See more »

Quotes

Grigory Rodchenkov: Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involves the use of doublethink. I was doing in parallel two things which cancelled out each other and being fully contradictory. Doping and anti-doping.
See more »

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User Reviews

A deliciously brilliant sucker punch
7 August 2017 | by garcianc2003See all my reviews

Icarus starts naively enough, like most documentaries with a desire to learn something. A "what if" that could make a good story; perhaps an episode-long piece on "60 Minutes" or "20/20".

Bryan Fogel, who directed it, is like a man wanting to learn what is like to be a tiger and, in wanting to get closer to the truth, inadvertently locks himself in the tiger's cage.

Icarus is like two stories. The silly, and somewhat egotistical quest of Bryan Fogel to prove that doping is rampant and easy to get away with (duh!) while helping himself win the amateur race that has eluded him for years. It is difficult to find a way to sympathize for any person during this part of the story. Then Bryan meets a very amusing and very cynical Russian scientist named Grigory Rodchenkov, who is going to help him. They talk via Skype frequently, and even their dogs participate. We then go into the obligatory montage of training, preparation, and failures that seems all too familiar. That is, until something changes.

There is a marked and brilliant turning point in the movie when Grigory, a smiling and joking class clown up until that point, faces directly at the camera in a Skype conversation with Bryan and asks "have you seen a movie about me?" From that point on, the story's point of view changes from Bryan to Grigory and we learn something that we cannot unlearn, and realize that there is no going back. We learn that Grigory is the real protagonist and we are heading in a very dark and dangerous direction for Grigory, for Bryan, and for those around them.

One cannot blame those viewers who, prior to that point, were bored and wondered if this would be yet another expose on how privileged guys like Bryan were cheating the system for a moment of temporary glory and how doping had permeated into the weekend warriors scene. One cannot blame those viewers for walking away (I almost did), if they thought that's where we were going. I am sure that's where Bryan thought he was going too. That is, until the cage locked behind us...

What I call the second story in Icarus is based on terror; a terror of the light, not the dark, to borrow a line from Grigory. Real people get killed (allegedly) - this is a documentary, so death is very real. The ride is frantic, claustrophobic, and bitter-sweet. There is an ending but, then again, there isn't one. At the end of the story, we care deeply for Grigory, Bryan, and even Max the dog, and continue to wonder "what if".

Icarus is one of the most brilliant documentaries that I have ever seen.


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