The Grey Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 11, 2015
Pretty interesting take on the survival genre as a group of oil workers up in Alaska crash land in the middle of nowhere, so that not only do they got cold to deal with, and that's neverending, but they got a wolfpack unhappy about their preserve being poached upon. Neeson is riveting as the leader with a twist. A good time at the movies.
Super Reviewer
½ January 31, 2012
One of the most audacious examples of false marketing ever. There are very few wolf attacks, there is very little Liam Neeson kicking ass. It's mostly existentialist drama of men trying to make it through the wild in one piece while failing in supposedly realistic and unspectacular ways. And when you think the film finally starts to deliver what you came to see it simply fades to black. Boo!
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2011
A wickedly pulse-pounding and wild ride from start to finish. An instant classic. A fresh, furious and tremendously original piece of action film. An adrenaline-charged action-packed edge of your seat thriller that will knock you out. A powerful and outstanding film. It`s gritty, authentic and feels really real with its characters and atmosphere. This movie kicks all sorts of ass and keeps your heart-pounding. A bone-chilling and exhilarating thrill-machine that never lets up. It`s loaded with non-stop action and searing suspense. The action is fresh and shocking and the character development is superb. An incredible, surprisingly moving and unforgettable movie. Director, Joe Carnahan crafts a rich, stylish, thrilling and brilliant new breed of adventure and his best film since Narc. Liam Neeson gives a raw, intense and electrifying performance. Neeson never ceases to amaze with his acting and shows he will never back down from a challenge. Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts and Frank Grillo give strong and great performances. An action film that can not be stopped and is packed with power. A totally intense and mind-blowing survival thriller that's smart, sharp, action-packed and truly compelling.
Super Reviewer
January 27, 2012
In this wilderness adventure that pits man versus nature, hunter Liam Neeson becomes the hunted as he leads a handful of plane crash survivors through the most adverse of conditions while being stalked by a pack of wolves. To be honest, I found the premise to this film to be about as promising as such films starring Troy McClure, but Joe Carnahan at the helm and Neeson's towering presence convinced me to give it a try. Thankfully, The Grey is far from the usual macho chest beating that you see in a lot of wilderness adventures, the director instead showing how man stripped of his technology is little more than one of the beasts he finds himself hunted by. Neeson once again revels in the part of a rough and tough pragmatist and it's nice to hear his native accent again, and although the supporting cast are very much playing second fiddle to the charismatic lead, they all acquit themselves well. But it is their hostile environment that is the true star of the show, with some spectacular scenery combined with nature at its most brutal. Some very atmospheric photography and excellent sound design puts you deep in the ravages of the Alaskan wilderness and despite the predictability of the plot it makes for a tense, involving thriller that ends in the perfect way.
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2013
Gritty, suspenseful flick. Overall a good viewing experience
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2012
Survival Drama with information to survive.

(+) Liam Neelson always teach me in survival situation

(-) If you curious about the trailer that he fight the wolf one on one, that's the ending.
Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2012
2 and a half
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2012
A decent survival drama/thriller as a group of men try to survive a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness with a pack of Wolves on their trail. Neeson seems to be the flavour of the year at present and does another good job here. The only problem is the story is a little bleak and tries to carry a message about death and the afterlife as well. Which starts fairly subtle before cropping up quite regularly towards the end. It has a very short scene after the credits as well. Reminded me of The Edge as well.
Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2012
Liam Neeson's odd plane-crashing, wolf-killing tale of survival is very atmospheric, and Neeson himself carries the film far, but as everyone around him begins to die, so does the film's momentum.
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2012
A great film about survival. Liam Neeson does another great job of it. Movie is action packed and worth a view in Blue Ray or on a big screen. 5 stars 6-30-12
Super Reviewer
½ November 4, 2011
"A gruesome tale. The film is nightmare worthy. The gore scenes were great and well done. I loved how you weren't quite sure how the next scene would go or who would even make it into the next scene. The movie has great suspense along with great acting and performances. I love Liam Neeson. This man can be put into any type of film and come out golden. He is just one of those actors who puts everything into his character. He never disappoints. I appreciated the ending as well. I like it when a film doesn't have the normal ending. It leaves you to play out the ending for yourself. The film seemed short. I would have liked for it to run a bit longer. Some things seemed rushed. But besides that, it was an enjoyable thriller."
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2012
Joe Carnahan's The Grey delivers no surprises in its tale of vitality.The title pretty much sums up this film's story. It's 110 minutes of man vs nature; a few minutes more for that extra something after the credits. The pacing is slow, the tone is gloomy, and all that matters is survival. There is no ups and downs and that's really all this film is; one long depressing wilderness adventure.Not necessarily a gore fest by any means, but the violence is brutally honest. The visuals are satisfying to a point, as the setting does backup the story, but it can get cumbersome.Liam Neeson is a born leader and that's what he successfully pulls off here. The rest of the supporting cast compliment each other with a variety of different characters. Frank Grillo goes through a modest transformation as the film progresses.The Grey may be tough to soak up, but it is what it is.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2011
The Gold Rush took the scenario of survivng in the brutal conditions of a frozen landscape and made it funny. With this film, we get to see the darker and more realistic, though no less entertaining side of the spectrum. Also, while the traielrs for this made it seem like a wild and frenetic action movie about men fighting wolves, it's actually a fairly deep, contemplative piece with actual characters, development, and substance. And this coming from the guy who made Smokin' Aces and The A-Team.

Don't get me wrong, I would have been happy had this been primarily a nutty action packed survivalist thrill ride. But, since it through me for a loop and surprised me in a good way, I was able to end it as entertainment that was also stimulating.

What we have here is the story of a lonely, suicidal sharpshooter named Ottway whose works for an oil pipeline company in the far northern part of Alaska. He patrols the area and protects the roughnecks by sniping wolves who roam the area. Basically, he's a less crazy, though still troubled version of Martin Riggs, except that he's not a cop. As the season ends, Ottway and others all board a plane to return to civilization. Along the way, their plane crashes during a blizzard, and the survivors are forced to stick together if they want to live. Survival isn't such an easy thing though. They've got the harsh winter elements in general to deal with, their own egos and issues plaguing them, a lack of resources, and, to top it off, they find themselves being hunted by a pack of fierce gray wolves who don't take kindly to territorial invaders.

Ottway becomes the de facto leader due to his knowledge of wolves and rudimentary sense of wilderness survival. The rest of the survivors are made up of what are ordinarily portrayed as shallow cookie cutter characters types of mixed backgrounds, with most of them being thugs, ex cons, and drifters of varying ethnic origins. Here though, they become fleshed out (to a degree), and they are real characters who actually have many quiet and contemplative moments. All are flawed, and some of them actually grow and change.

There's action in this, yes, but a lot of it is over really quick, and it doesn't happen too often. It's mostly a variation of the essay on Man Versus Nature, and Man Versus Self, but with cursing, a fair amount of realism, and some slightly heavy, though mainly melodramatic psychodrama. This is a movie where the attacks a quick, brutal, and kinda graphic. The editing is a little too choppy, and it's hard to clearly tell what's going on at times, but the scenes are no less riveting and gripping. Also, you really feel these guys suffering. I started to feel cold myself watching this, and it was about 100 degrees outside. Nice job.

The cinematography is great, there's some wonderful location shooting which really helps the film a lot, and the acting's good too. Neeson is awesome, but he's not a clear hero. He's troubled, reluctant, and complicated. He starts the film off lonely and suicidal (and has many, many visions of his wife throughout which plague him), but the threat of death actually makes him more willing to fight tooth and nail to keep it from happening. Or maybe he just wants to die on his own terms. You want ot root for him, but he needs to really earn it first. The other guys aren't as developed, but they're still pretty interesting, and the interactions with one another, and the situations they are put in are enjoyable to watch. My favorite other than Neeson would have to be Frank Grillo as the defiant jerk Diaz.

The film, despite some surprises here and there is still rather formulaic, and the supporting roles could ahve been a lot more developed, but even then, as I mentioned before, they aren't quite as bland and generic as they might have been. There's a fair amount of suspense and tension, but I was kinda wondering more than once why I should ultimately care what happens, especially given the ending, which I won't say, but will admit that it threw me off given the build up to it.

All in all, this is a surprisingly solid adventure thriller that was far better than I figured it might have been. It's flawd yeah, but Carnahan shows that he's not completely an edgier less monied Michael Bay, and that, like with Narc, he can make a compelling genre film with a bit of thoguht and care if he wants.
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2012
I'm honestly a bit confused by the unexpected praise that this film has been getting. What starts out as a surprisingly intense survival tale turns into a ridiculous monster movie. One that isn't particularly scary, or interesting. Most of the film felt like it was a horror version of Meet the Parents. Pretty much anything bad that can possibly happen, happens. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this.
Super Reviewer
½ July 15, 2012
As much as I was a big fan of the TV series in my childhood, I was never really drawn to the recent film version of "The A-Team" - which was the previous outing for director Joe Carnahan and star Liam Neeson. If truth be told, I wasn't really drawn to this film either but for one reason or another I found myself giving it a chance. As it turns out, this wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be.
On a return flight home, a group of oil drillers find their plane having problems mid-air. It crash lands, leaving a small number of survivors stuck in the Alaskan wilderness. The conditions they face are treacherous; it's freezing and they have no food or shelter but their main concern is the pack of hungry wolves who are aware of their exposure and weaknesses and begin to pick them off one by one.
Neeson continues his emergence as an ageing action star and churns out a good performance here. He delivers his tough guy schtick with admirable ease, firing off some no-nonsense lines - ??I??m going to start beating the shit out of you in the next five seconds,?? and is a convincing and commanding presence. He also shows a bit of heart and vulnerability despite the film being quite thin on characterisation. This is most apparent in the supporting characters who basically serve as no more than fodder for the big bad wolves. They introduce enough of a background to make you almost care but this would definitely have benefited from a bit more focus on the supporting roles. Maybe even throwing in a couple of familiar faces to make it less predictable and more able throw us off the scent as to who might be the next one for wolf meat. An almost unrecognisable Dermot Mulroney makes an appearance and an impressive performance from Frank Grillo aides Neeson's plight in trying to shoulder a routine and formulaic script that's been stretched from a short story into a two hour movie.
There's not enough material and it shows. Despite this, Carnahan and Neeson still manage to keep you watching. I found myself more involved in the second half of the film where it became more methodical and even existential in it's approach but ultimately, this is an action/survival tale and despite attempts at something deeper and more meaningful, it remains what it is really; a thriller. Still, it's a good thriller that benefits from a solid lead performance.
If you don't expect too much from this, you might just find yourself having fun. It's a film that, surprisingly, manages to have both a deliberate pace and a eye for action set-pieces. It's not as purposeful as it would have you believe but it's worthy on a suspense level.
Super Reviewer
½ February 6, 2012
Good enough, I guess. Trouble is, there are so many movies just like this. Nothing much to make it special. Liam Neeson is really good, as usual.
Super Reviewer
½ May 25, 2012
A thrilling, exciting survival horror thriller, The Grey is brilliantly directed by Joe Carnahan. This is a film that has a lot of tense, thrilling, horrifying moments. The Grey is a slow paced film that takes time to build up, but every moment is harrowing and it makes The Grey a unique tale of survival horror, one that is designed to give the viewer an intense viewing experience. Liam Neeson is always great to watch on-screen. What made this film so good were the tense, harrowing sequences of survival that elevated the film significantly. The film is constantly entertaining, although slow, there's always a sense of uncertainty that lingers throughout the film. The Grey is a terrific survival horror thriller with a good cast of actors, an engaging story and very good directing, The Grey is a must see for horror fans. What makes this film really stand out is that there's never any point throughout the film where the characters feel safe and get a break. There's always that feeling of dread throughout the film, and it leaves you on the edge of your seat till the very end. If you're looking for an effective survival horror film, The Grey is the one. Although not perfect, this film still has enough good elements to thrill you for two hours. An intense ride from beginning to end, The Grey is a well made survival horror film that delivers nonstop thrills. The Grey is a different type of survival horror, and is a welcome addition to the genre.
Super Reviewer
May 25, 2012
Very white, very cold and very boring. Liam Neeson seems to spend all of his time remaking "Taken" but in a different setting. This time it's the Wolves who are the badies he must punch. Should have been better, could have been good. In the end it's just dull.
Tired of Previews
Super Reviewer
February 18, 2012
Question: Does anyone know why Liam's Neeson's latest movie is called The Grey?

I recently saw The Grey and usually I write my reviews on the same day or relatively close to the viewing. However, this film, although excellent, is a hard one to write about. Why? Well, I ask the first question above. There is no mention on the color grey in the movie so there is not an immediate reason on why it's called that. So I have a theory that took me a while to construct in my mind. Indulge me for a moment...

The film starts out with Liam Neeson's character writing a letter. His words are softly spoken in his native Irish accent. There is a deep emotional tone to the letter that drew me right into the story. Who the letter is to exactly is unclear, but it is obviously to someone he loves dearly. (I read later that the director asked Liam Neeson to write the letter in real life - use his own words to tell how much he loved his real life wife - the late Natasha Richardson). There is a longing and sadness connected to his words but yet still no mention of the color grey. I really thought I was about to see just a wilderness survival story according to the previews but The Grey, as I found out very quickly, had a profoundly different message.

There are two things certain in this world: You are born and you die. That is it! Everything in between is really a toss-up. Life and death are the only black and white things in this world; and since I studied a lot of color theory being an interior designer for two decades, color or the lack of color takes on deep meaning to me. You are born pure and innocent. As you age, the innocence becomes muddied with life experiences. Is that a bad thing? Well, it depends on how you live your life, I suppose. Everything then fades to black when life ends. I guess you could connect evil and good to black and white but that is not what I found to be hidden in the film.

The Grey represents life when you are faced with death and surviving is all that matters. Well, I should tell you a bit more about the film. After the letter is written we find out the story takes place in Alaska with oil-drillers and their exit out. A band of rough-around-the-edges crew all board a plane but there is a crash and the survivors are faced with the task of surviving the cold, injuries and a pack of wolves that have no fear of humans.

Some of the story was predictable - the group of men that survived had to figure out who was the leader (alpha) and who should follow him (omega). Just like the pack of wolves that surround these men, in the hierarchy in any group someone steps forward to lead and some always fight or disagree because they do not want to be led. Animals and humans are very similar and The Grey equates the two species just trying to survive, mentally and physically.

Yes, the movie had some extreme violence, strong emotional moments and harrowing details that make you squirm. I had my hands over my eyes a few times, and felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up, but when the movie comes to the conclusion I was left emotionally drained. Not so much with the blood and guts of the film but the meaning of this film that was conveyed. The Grey is NOT a typical Hollywood film and you must keep your heart open to obtain the message.

Liam Neeson was fantastic in The Grey - maybe his best acting to date. Yes, I mean it. When you watch this film, pay close attention to the opening letter and keep it in the back of your mind throughout the film. As I already mentioned, this movie was not just a plane crash/survival story but a human struggle fable. Based on the short story, "Ghost Walker" by Ian MacKenzie Jeffers, who also co-wrote the screenplay with the director.

Last point: I loved the ending. With some of my research I discovered many did not, but for someone who sees a lot of films I felt this was the appropriate way to end the story. Well done.

My favorite part: Liam Neeson.

My lease favorite part: Not sure I can pinpoint anything.

Directed by Joe Carnahan, 1984 Private Defense Contractors, 2012

Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Dallas Roberts, Nonso Anozie, and Joe Anderson.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Rating: R

Length: 117 minutes

Review: 8 out of 10
Super Reviewer
May 22, 2012
The Grey is a very gritty survival film. But who knew it would have such an emotional lift underneath? With a premise such as "survive wolves and the cold" you'd think thats all there is. But no. The film has more to it. The characters are really well written and Liam Neeson's character is straight forward yet believable. Everything is going against these group of people, as it does in every good survival thriller/drama. It's slow and tense. The film shows that the survivors can not underestimate the wolves. Which creates intense scenes full of suspense. The film balances character development while focusing on survival, which makes it feel real. The gritty shooting of the film works, but at times the cinematography can be a bit confusing and overbearing. But at least there isn't too much shaky cam. Overall- Great characters, well written and intense, yet slow. The Grey is a powerful film of survival and not losing hope, even in the darkest of situations.
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