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The Armstrong Lie

Directed by Alex Gibney
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
November 7, 2013

It's quite a spectacle, watching Lance Armstrong lie his ass off. And believing his own lies. Don't sociopaths do that? You be the judge. Documentarian Alex Gibney, who won an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, pedals there this time. But the result is scary, suspenseful and shockingly intense. In a sense, Gibney fell into The Armstrong Lie. He began filming in 2008, when the seven-time winner of the Tour de France and survivor of testicular cancer was prepping his return to competitive cycling after retiring in 2005. Then doping allegations spiraled into probes from the feds and testimony from friends and teammates. An idol had fallen, and Gibney and the superb director of photography Maryse Alberti were there to capture the descent, including a confessional interview in which Armstrong blames the corruption of the game far more than himself. The movie rambles at two-plus hours, but the provocation never stops.

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