The Armstrong Lie (3 stars)

The Armstrong Lie

Alex Gibney finds an interesting resonance in the story of disgraced athlete Lance Armstrong

Alex Gibney delivers another smart and enthralling documentary with The Armstrong Lie, a look at cyclist Lance Armstrong and his spectacular fall from grace following confirmation, after many years of allegations, that he had been involved in doping.

In 2009 Gibney began to document Armstrong as he prepared for the Tour de France, a race which he had already won seven times previously. During this time the cyclist vehemently protested against repeated allegations of doping. However in 2013 he would go on to admit, in a now-famous interview with Oprah Winfrey, that he had indeed been involved in drug-taking. Astonished that Armstrong had lied so convincingly to his face, Gibney returns to interview the athlete again.

The Armstrong Lie doesn’t just record one man’s attempt to prevent the truth from being uncovered, it also reveals something about human nature more generally. Why do we lie? And why do we sometimes choose to believe lies? Gibney’s latest doc might not have the impact that some of his most acclaimed films do, but he manages to find an interesting resonance here that goes beyond Armstrong’s sorry tale.

Selected release from Fri 31 Jan.

The Armstrong Lie Official HD Trailer

The Armstrong Lie

  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • US
  • 2h 4min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alex Gibney
  • Cast: Lance Armstrong, Reed Albergotti, Betsy Andreu
  • UK release: 31 January 2014

Documentary chronicling the spectacular rise and ignominious fall of cyclist Lance Armstrong.