The Armstrong Lie With his flashy Lycra uniform and blazing speed, Lance Armstrong was the sports world's equivalent of a superhero. The dashing bad boy of cycling, who… The Armstrong Lie With his flashy Lycra uniform and blazing speed, Lance Armstrong was the sports world's equivalent of a superhero. The dashing bad boy of cycling, who… 2013-11-08 R PT123M Biography Documentary Lance Armstrong Sony Pictures Classics
Movie Review

The Armstrong Lie (2013)

MPAA Rating: R
TOUR DE FALSE Alex Gibney tackles the demise of cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Image credit: 42 West
TOUR DE FALSE Alex Gibney tackles the demise of cyclist Lance Armstrong.
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Limited Release: Nov 08, 2013; Rated: R; Length: 123 Minutes; Genres: Biography, Documentary; With: Lance Armstrong; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

With his flashy Lycra uniform and blazing speed, Lance Armstrong was the sports world's equivalent of a superhero. The dashing bad boy of cycling, who won the grueling Tour de France seven times after clawing his way back from cancer, personified an inspirational narrative that the entire world found hard to resist. Except, as we all know by now, that heroism was built on an enormous pile of lies. Director Alex Gibney's new documentary, The Armstrong Lie, details Armstrong's rise and fall from grace in the wake of his confession earlier this year to Oprah Winfrey that he had, in fact, taken performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career. It's a fascinating film that points the finger at a charismatic master of deception — as well as our willingness to buy his deceit. Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side), who candidly admits in the film that he was as suckered as anyone during Armstrong's 2009 post-cancer comeback, scores an all-access sit-down with the disgraced athlete, and it's psychologically gripping. Not just because Armstrong comes clean for the camera, but because of the emotional detachment of his mea culpa. Is he only telling the truth now because every other avenue has been exhausted? That's certainly the impression you get here. Even when the jig is up, he comes across as a man who can't muster an ounce of honesty or humility. B+

Originally posted Nov 06, 2013 Published in issue #1285 Nov 15, 2013 Order article reprints
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Weekend of Sep 1 Box Office Source: Rentrak Corp.
Rank Title Weekend Gross* Weeks on Chart Cume. Gross* EW Grade
1.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Walt Disney Pictures
$22.2 5 $280.5 A-
2. $15.7 4 $166.4 C+
3.
If I Stay
Warner Bros.
$11.6 2 $32.2 C-
4. $10.5 3 $59.7 F
5.
As Above, So Below
Universal
$10.3 1 $10.3 C
6.
The November Man
Relativity
$10.2 1 $11.9 C
7. $8.0 2 $18.7 NA
8.
The Giver
Weinstein Co.
$6.9 3 $33.1 C-
9.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Walt Disney Pictures
$6.3 4 $41.1 B
10.
The Expendables 3
Lionsgate
$4.5 3 $34.2 B
* in millions