The Armstrong Lie

Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    Jan 27, 2014
    60
    A documentary of two halves, Gibney's character study of Armstrong is tough and forensic. But whether through a lingering admiration or the film's origins as a straightforward celebration of the cyclist's talents, there are moments when its powder remains a little dryer than perhaps it should.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 13, 2013
    60
    It wasn't until Gibney's film was already largely shot that the truth caught up to Armstrong.
  3. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Nov 6, 2013
    60
    Given Armstrong’s squirminess on the couch, you’ll wish this profile had traded a portion of its deep background for a little in-the-moment boldness.
  4. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Sep 17, 2013
    60
    The film leaves you enlightened and disillusioned, but still furious at Armstrong, who seems to have drawn the conclusion that he is now a tragic hero.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Nov 7, 2013
    50
    The Armstrong Lie wears thin before it's over; the wafer-thin nature of the cyclist's personality can't sustain a two-hour running time.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 7, 2013
    50
    So the rhetorical strategy of The Armstrong Lie is both a strength and a weakness. Gibney’s films have always been about truth, lies and power, but for the first time he finds himself in the ambiguous philosophical terrain of Errol Morris, exploring the lies we tell ourselves.
  7. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Nov 6, 2013
    50
    Having unfettered access to Armstrong during the 2009 Tour and a face-to-face sit-down with him in Austin hours after his national confession to Oprah, The Armstrong Lie comes across more a good save than a muckraking piece of journalism.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Nov 5, 2013
    50
    There are mysteries and ambiguities aplenty about Armstrong and the current state of professional cycling, but Gibney has trouble accessing them without getting in his own way.
  9. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Nov 7, 2013
    40
    There’s so much more to this story — as any number of articles about the people he wronged attest — but this time, Gibney never really gets in gear.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Nov 17, 2013
    8
    The Armstrong Lie is an allegorical tale of America. Lance Armstrong exhibits phenomenal athletic greatness and Machiavellian villainy. WithThe Armstrong Lie is an allegorical tale of America. Lance Armstrong exhibits phenomenal athletic greatness and Machiavellian villainy. With the complicity of the media, Armstrong shrewdly sells the beautiful lie because that's what people want to believe meanwhile abusing power crushing the weak in order to perpetuate fairy tale. Gibney is a consummate story teller and provides insight into the complex relationships of big money corporate sports in an age of moral relativism. Full Review »
  2. Jan 2, 2015
    5
    Just a movie to convince us that we should forgive Armstrong even though he used performance enhancement drugs and lied about it over and overJust a movie to convince us that we should forgive Armstrong even though he used performance enhancement drugs and lied about it over and over and over. If you want to get a glimpse of arrogance, watch Armstrong in this documentary. Full Review »
  3. Jul 22, 2014
    9
    A riveting film from documentary film maker Alex Gibney about 7 times Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong. What started out as a celebrationA riveting film from documentary film maker Alex Gibney about 7 times Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong. What started out as a celebration of the man and his achievements became something else entirely when mid production it was revealed that Armstrong had used body enhancing drugs to assist him to those triumphs. The man himself comes over as a paradox, charismatic on one hand, but also Machiavellian and self serving. His life has certainly been eventful, what with his bout with cancer, and one does get a sense that he feels a deep sorrow about the lie that not only crushed him, but also affected the lives of many others. The film pertinently points out that even though his 7 championships were won with the help of drugs, this was in an era when the whole sport was tarnished in this way. It's also interesting to be privy to other smaller corruptions that were taking place on the track, with intense rivalries not just between other teams and individuals, but also between team mates! This is what documentary film making should be all about. It is both Informative and compelling. Full Review »