A group of plane crash survivors led by skilled huntsman John Ottman (Liam Neeson) trek through the Alaskan wilderness in search of safety, pursued by a pack of merciless wolves haunting their every step.
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The Grey is about facing life boldly, especially when you're up against impossible odds. In those circumstances, the message in this film is not to cower or bluster in your fear. Rather, embrace your fear; don't be ashamed of it, and let it move through you. Work through it--let it propel you even--and stand and fight with everything you've got, all your wits, all your talents, all your pain, your love, and your life. For that is life: you go into the fray from the day you are born; go boldly and alive and fight for life in the face of death.
I wanted to ensure I said fictional- because I do like Liam, the plane crash was really great, but downfall is the behavior of the wolves. This movie came out at kinda of a critical point as well, when we were trying to get people to not hunt wolves and this demonizes them even further! in the last 100 years there have only be a handful of accounts of deaths attributed to wolves in the US. You are far more likely to be killed by horses, cows, and deer.
1. I can see a wolf defending it's kill ,so maybe the first encounter could have happen. 2. Wolves are very much family oriented, and wouldn't have sent their breading female in to test humans. (fun fact females are often the head of the pack too) 3. Wolves like any top-teir predator have amazing deductive skills- and probably wouldn't have followed them for so long. Most wolves die of starvation and to track prey that long is a waste for precious energy. 4. Wolves that don't see humans very often are actually quite tolerant of us. 5. Wolves are pretty easy to overcome- they are so ingrained in hierarchy, once you have it pinned down it wont fight back or bite. 6. They are dangerous wild animals, but they are not this villainous and essential to the ecosystems. The areas wolves were reintroduced had a huge ecological benefit.
If you ever find your self being stalked by wolves....simply stand up to them. Most often tail goes between the leg and they scurry off. Try that with a mountain lion and get back to me lol.
The whole reason Ottway is on the drilling site is preposterous. The assumption is founded from the very beginning of the movie that wolves are wanton man-killers. Throughout the entire film, they're focused solely on killing people. The excuses provided for that behavior are weak and unsupported. And the ending? The alpha sends away all the other pack members so he can go one-on-one with Ottway? Rubbish.
And there are so many other moments in the film where disbelief must be suspended. They have to going taering out across Alaska because no one is going to be looking for them? Wrong. "They'll only send one or two planes?" Wrong. Pure nonsense. So, they leave the one piece of shelter they have - which is the one thing searchers will be seeking and which will have an ELT -- and place themselves out in the open with no more precise purpose than "start walking south"? Just... wow. And you just have to love how the wolves roar like tigers. Rawr!!!
Near the end, Ottway has been immersed in the river, and is up and walking around. In that kind of climate, being soaked would be game over. He stumbles into their den area, and knows this because of all the animal carcasses lying about? Really? Like wolves drag their kills back to the den?
It's neither the acting or the cinematography that lets this movie down. It's the horrific writing.
I like Liam Nieson for the most part he has done alot of good movies in his career and same with alot if the actors in this movie. I just cant beleive they even took role in this joke of a movie. I understand far fetched but this is just rediculous, I mean they made the wolves to be like gangsters. LOL The crypts of the northern territory they will kill you not cause there hungry or feel threatened but cause your within a couple miles of there den "or on there turf lol" the absolute worst written movie i have seen in a very a long time and they wasted a good cast on it. I just dont understand what people liked about it I am a hunter and the Matrix would happen before this would I apoligize if you dont agree and for the rant.
This film questions the very meaning of our existence. Everything we love, everyone we love doesn't matter at the end. You might not deserve the way you die. No one may ever know how you died or the heroic efforts you put into living. You might end up stuck in a creek or scat on the side of a mountain. In 5 billion years or so, it won't matter anyway because the star that gives us life, our Sol, will become a super red giant and expand out to Jupiter. Our beautiful jewel of a planet will be a blackened rock in space. We don't have a chance. The only thing we do have is what we do with our life while we live. That is the meaning I got from this film. We are not the supreme beings we think we are. We share this existence with other mammals as this film brilliantly showed. And much of the time, it is a fight for our survival. Good movie. Beautiful scenery as a backdrop. Just the right amount of tension. Men will love this one. Women will appreciate it for its peek into a man's world.
One of my top 5 favorite movies, it is a brilliant thriller and incredibly deep. The Grey brings into question whether it is better to accept death and be at peace or to rage against it. With beautiful cinematography and absolutely astounding music. It is definitely a masterpiece.
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2018
If this is a spoiler to anyone then, you clearly haven't seen the trailer, but if you're sensitive to that sort of thing, you'll be glad I made it clear.
I get that it's cgi/actor animals, doesn't matter to some ppl.
Other than that,I watched because of Neeson. He was the only one who didn't whine the entire time. And it's predictable, which I don't always mind, I mean... history shows are still engaging, and we all know how the revelutionary war turned out, but this was just uninspired.
2.0 out of 5 starsBy half way through, I was rooting for the wolves.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2017
I bumped it up from one star to two solely because the plane crash scene is the most terrifying crash scene ever put to film. They should have started and ended the film with that. You'd have a film that was ten minutes long, but by Jove would it be good!
The wolves are well done, but everything else is complete hokum. Watch if you like forced conflict and dubious ideas about wolf behaviour.
2.0 out of 5 starsI am a great fan of his films including Taken and Walk Among ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 28, 2017
First let me say i bought this from the view of being a Liam Neeson fan, I am a great fan of his films including Taken and Walk Among the Tombstones as well as other less prominent roles such as the one in Kingdom of Heaven.
This is a survival film with a couple of good characters and some less enjoyable characters present and whilst the plot is not terrible the CGI for the wolves is good (not great). After sitting the whole way through the film the ending, whilst like a thriller, for me was frustrating. If yopu want a good survival against the odds in the wilderness film Im sure you will like it but it wasn't to my taste.
I'm pro-wolf and pro-Liam, and anticipated this movie for months. Here we go: 1. The sound is awesome. I pick a tiny bone that the wolves were dubbed as tigers (wolf growls not sufficiently frightening?) but the utter isolation and unsurvivable weather came across 100%. 2. The ending - wait until after the credits. 3. Liam's best performance after "Taken". No question. A must for Liam fans. 4. The wolves, whilst ever-present, don't cause all the deaths. Some deaths are due to the plane crash, the weather, the journey, or accident. So not an unrealistic wolf witch-hunt. 5. Yes, anyone connected with wolves knows how fast they can run, and therefore this film would have ended in half the time or less. It's a major flaw. 6. At times you'll find yourself screaming at the screen while the characters yap on wasting time, or make similar unsurvivable mistakes, but that's just the benefit of being at home, safe & healthy & not in shock. 7. There are one or two scenes that will stay with you for a long time. Sometimes for what is NOT shown. Heh heh. And at least one of these is genuinely moving. 8. The plane crash is one of the best I've seen since "Alive". 9. One ponders just how much good we are without guns, in an environment where other animals are adapted and we are not. 10. I would have liked to see it as an 18 cert, and more realistic wolves, but wolves aren't easy to train. They make up their own mind. And that's why this film is less outlandish than you think... wolves are canny, they plan. They track. They don't give up on a fair chance of food. And they're patient. So much respect to the wolves, this hasn't harmed them one bit. Thank you & goodnight x
"The Grey" is definitely NOT a one star disaster, as some reviewers on here have suggested. They've unfairly written off what I think is an exciting, harowing, tense and surprisingly moving film. Maybe some viewers were disappointed they weren't served up the usual generic action aventure movie, perhaps others were offended by the inaccurate depiction of the wolves. It probably is irresponsible to present these beautiful animals in such a negative and erroneous way, but surely their presence in the film is more metaphorical rather than an attempt to portray them realistically.
I think Joe Carnahan is an incredibly talented director. He has that rare ability to take familiar scenarios and breathe new life into them, making them feel fresh and exciting. The plane crash sequence is a masterpiece of controlled tension, brilliantly using silence and an insidiously creeping camera to create an unsettling atmosphere. Carnahan has only made four movies, but he's only going one way and that's up.
There are stacks of good screen actors out there, but surprisngly few have the confidence, stature, talent and presence to pull off the lead role in a big movie like this. Liam Neeson is one of those actors. Although approaching sixty when he filmed "The Grey", the man has NEVER looked better. A hugely charismatic and intelligent performer, he provides a rock solid centre, and gets fine support from a bunch of smart character actors.
Please don't be too put off by the plethora of one star reviews. It's alot better than that.
5.0 out of 5 starsI don't know why this has happened to us. I feel like it's me, bad luck, poison. And I've stopped doing this world any real good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 20, 2012
The Grey is directed by Joe Carnahan who also co-writes the screenplay with Ian MacKenzie Jeffers, based on Jeffers' short story Ghost Walker. It stars Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie and James Badge Dale. Music is scored by Marc Streitenfeld and cinematography by Masanobu Takayanagi.
Seven men led by suicidal John Ottway (Neeson) try to survive in the Alaskan wilderness after their plane crashes. A wilderness of extreme weather and hungry grey wolves...
A lot of people didn't get the film they were expecting when they trundled into the theatres to see The Grey. With a shifty advertising campaign suggesting it was an action adventure movie, one where fisticuffs with wolves was a draw card. What resides in Carnahan's movie is however very different from those expectations, for The Grey is a deep movie, a profound movie in fact, one of mythical leanings, strong in philosophical outlooks and spiritualisation, a meditation on grief as well. That it is also an excellent survival thriller is a bonus, so make no bones about it, the film deserved the $50 million profit it made; even if a lot of those original ticket buyers were kind of duped into the theatre admission!
Undeniably the film packs a big emotional punch, you have to expect that to some degree, because only the most virginal of film fan wouldn't be expecting deaths in this type of film. But there is a strong affinity to the group dynamic here that really pulls the mature viewer in to the fold. Early on you think it's standard stuff, one of the guys is a macho a-hole, one of them is cowardly etc etc, but with each passage in the story the mood and characterisations change. Introspective analysis comes into play, conversations spin to a higher level, and with Carnahan smartly able to make us feel their isolation, their terror, their conflicts and will to survive; even if that will simply will not suffice, it's very much a picture that gets under your skin and into your brain for all the right reasons.
Led by a powerhouse and intense Neeson performance (who better to have on your side in such circumstances?), with Mulroney also excellent, film is perfectly photographed by Takayanagi on location in British Columbia. His photography at times does blend beauty and terror, but mostly it keeps it harsh in colour tones as the cold bites hard and the peril of the journey unfolds. The ending undoubtedly will infuriate many, in the same way as it has proved divisive with those who have already seen it (for the record I love it, think it's perfect, even in conjunction with the ambiguous end of credits mini-coda), while some of the Wolf effects are at times iffy. But all told, this is one of the unsung treasures of 2012, a film of unexpected depth and boasting a myriad of cinematic pleasures. 9/10