The Grey Zone (2002)
The story of five prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp as told through the memoirs of Dr. Miklos Nyiszil, a Hungarian Jew chosen by Josef Mengele to be the head pathologist at Auschwitz.
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Critic Reviews for The Grey Zone
Even in its darkest moments, a heartening defiance underlies gut-wrenching calamity.
The Grey Zone isn't for everyone, but its riveting power constitutes a stunning (as in it leaves you shattered and shaken) achievement.
[Nelson's] movie about morally compromised figures leaves viewers feeling compromised, unable to find their way out of the fog and the ashes.
Like the Ancient Mariner, Nelson grabs us by the collar and says, You must know about this. You must bear witness. And so you do.
This is a masterpiece and yet another chapter of the dark period called: "The Holocaust."
So many incredibly raw, wrenching--and, crucially, unsparingly unsentimental--scenes and moments that it's impossible to not be haunted by the film.
It unsuccessfully tries to bridge the gap between pathos and establishing a sense of realism, coming across as forced. Overweight prisoners and Harvey Keitel's German accent distract from the mood of the film.
Filme trágico, complexo, difícil - e que pode ser assistido em sessão dupla com O Pianista.
Roman Polanski's The Pianist may have been showered with Oscar glory ... but the best Holocaust film of 2002 was actually The Grey Zone.
Unlike Schindler's List, ... this uses history to remind us of the tenuousness of our own morality, to remind us that ... most of us will never have to know what we might be capable of in certain circumstances.
The effort is sincere and the results are honest, but the film is so bleak that it's hardly watchable.
An intelligent and deeply felt work about impossible, irrevocable choices and the price of making them.
It's hard to imagine anybody ever being "in the mood" to view a movie as harrowing and painful as The Grey Zone, but it's equally hard to imagine anybody being able to tear their eyes away from the screen once it's started.
Brings light to a little-known facet of the Holocaust in a way that does justice to its moral ambiguities.
If this story must be told and retold -- and indeed it must -- then The Grey Zone is to be lauded for finding a new and ingenious angle.
Effectively feeds our senses with the chilling sights and sounds from within the camp to create a completely numbing experience.
If stars could be awarded on the basis of good intentions, The Grey Zone should be king of the galaxy. Unfortunately, it lands on earth with something of a thud.
As bold and unyielding as The Grey Zone stands with its historical subtext, there are a few factors detracting from the powerful message.
The Grey Zone is powerful, mesmerizing and disturbing.
An uncomfortable movie, suffocating and sometimes almost senseless, The Grey Zone does have a center, though a morbid one.
Audience Reviews for The Grey Zone
I'm sorry, but I have a real hard time watching movies that are based in other countries, and the people do not even have accents. The guards did, but not the prisoners. It was as if they all were American prisoners. I have seen soooo many outstanding Holocaust films. This one not included...More
Based on a play based on a book, this is Tim Blake Nelson's harrowing look at the innerworkings of moral issues within a concentration camp. The story is focused on a group of Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz who are tasked with cleaning out the ashes of their dead comrades from the crematoriums. When they realize they are next on the list to die, they decided to have an uprising.
This is some very hard stuff to watch, but it is also phenomenally amazing. It finds the right note between exploitative and overly emotional sentimentality, and despite being something hard to watch, it's also very hard to look away.
The films boasts a talented cast who all give some really good performances. Well, okay, Keitel's accent is a bit iffy, but he's great at being a really cruel antagonist. David Arquette is surprisingly really good in a dramatic lead role, and it's nice seeing him step away from comedy once in a while. Other supporting roles are filled by the likes of Natasha Lyonne, Mira Sorvino, and Steve Buscemi among others.
It's up there with Schindler's List and The Pianist as some of the best films about the Holocaust, and the direction is hauntingly effective. This isn't an uplifting film as you might have guessed, but it does really give you a lot to think about, mostly because of the issues it raises.
Give this one a watch. It's something quite special.
A group of Hungarian jews who work in a death camp plan an uprising to destroy the crematorium when it becomes clear that they are next on the death list. Based upon an eye witness account, The Grey Zone is a harrowing story of life in a concentration camp where all human morality is abandoned in the attempt to stay alive. The characters are all regular people who are forced to choose between collaboration and death and in turn have to live with the consequences of their actions and it makes you wonder what you would do if you were in the same position. Great performances all round (Harvey Keitel's Hogan's Heroes accent notwithstanding) make for an intelligent and affecting story that maybe is not on a level with Schindler's List or Downfall, but it's still a powerful and thought provoking film about what happens when human life loses all value. Grim but in good way.More
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