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The Grey

3.5 4
Director: Joe Carnahan

Cast: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney


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Liam Neeson stars in producer/director Joe Carnahan's tense adventure thriller about a group of tough-as-nails oil rig workers who must fight for their lives in the Alaskan wilderness after their airplane crashes miles from civilization. With supplies running short and hungry wolves closing in, the shaken


Liam Neeson stars in producer/director Joe Carnahan's tense adventure thriller about a group of tough-as-nails oil rig workers who must fight for their lives in the Alaskan wilderness after their airplane crashes miles from civilization. With supplies running short and hungry wolves closing in, the shaken survivors face a fate worse than death if they don't act fast. Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, and Frank Grillo co-star.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Director Joe Carnahan delivers a masterful existential thriller draped in the warming cloak of a snowbound survival story with The Grey. For audiences willing to wrap their heads around its provocative yet bleak premise, the result is completely transfixing from the opening image of the monolithic Alaskan mountains to the profound final moment. By spending as much time subverting macho movie tropes and exploring the psychology of survival as they do ratcheting up the tension while the ranks of the desperate men slowly dwindle, Carnahan and co-screenwriter Ian Mackenzie Jeffers (who also penned the short story on which The Grey was based), offer a poignant meditation on the indifference of nature in a world where mankind often (falsely) believes that he is in control of his own fate. The story begins as solitary oil-rig employee and expert marksman Ottway (Liam Neeson) carefully takes aim at a wolf charging his co-workers, and pulls the trigger just as the beast prepares to pounce. Tormented by vivid memories of a long-lost love, he writes her a heartfelt letter before boarding an airplane for a flight that will never reach its destination. When the plane crashes deep in the most remote reaches of the Alaskan wilderness, Ottway and a handful of survivors -- including Diaz (Frank Grillo), Talget (Dermot Mulroney), Henrick (Dallas Roberts), Flannery (Joe Anderson), Burke (Nonso Anozie), and Hernandez (Ben Bray) -- must fight for their lives against not only the harsh arctic elements, but a pack of viciously territorial wolves. The eternal struggle between man and nature has been a prominent theme in popular literature ever since the invention of the printing press. Later, with the advent of film, storytellers began dutifully inventing ways to translate this conflict to the big screen by placing moviegoers in the position of those unfortunate souls who must face their own mortality without the comfort of loved ones or the convenience of modern medicine. Carnahan and Jeffers not only accomplish this feat with striking intensity in The Grey, but ambitiously delve even deeper by exploring the resulting issues of faith and morality that can arise under such dire circumstances; as thrilling as some of the scenes in The Grey are, Carnahan and Jeffers aren't simply interested in the mechanics and dynamics of survival, but in presenting the harsh realities of nature without pulling any punches. Meanwhile, by featuring a character who openly admits his fear early in the film, a pivotal scene in which three characters reveal their first names, and a quiet moment of reflection involving a stash of salvaged wallets, Carnahan and Jeffers cleverly undermine the gung-ho machismo in a way that favors humanity over clichéd storytelling. Yes, the wolves in The Grey are positively terrifying as they methodically stalk the survivors from just outside the light of dying fires, and when the massive alpha male reveals himself, even John Landis and Joe Dante's lycanthropes would run for the trees. But it's the ever-encroaching internal darkness that the storytellers are ultimately concerned with, and it's this aspect of the film that lingers with us long after the eerie memories of snarled teeth and gleaming eyes fade. It's easy to view nature as purely vicious, yet to recognize the savage beauty in the way that the cycle of life unfolds can strangely be somewhat comforting. Depending on your ability to see the story from this perspective, Carnahan's gripping yet grim thriller is either a masterpiece of reflective cinema, or a bleak, inexcusably nihilistic bid to transcend movie tropes by alienating the audience. But while watching The Grey, it pays to remember that wherever we may roam, we're all heading for the same destination. If you find comfort rather than consternation in that fact, odds are The Grey won't leave you cold.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Deleted scenes; Feature commentary with Co-Writer/Director Joe Carnahan

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Liam Neeson Ottway
Frank Grillo Diaz
Dermot Mulroney Talget
Dallas Roberts Hendrick
Joe Anderson Flannery
Nonso Anozie Burke
Ben Bray Hernandez
James Badge Dale Lewenden
Anne Openshaw Ottway's Wife
Peter Girges Company Clerk
Jonathan James Bitonti Ottway (5 years old)
James Bitonti Ottway's Father
Ella Kosor Talget's Little Girl
Jacob Blair Cimoski
Lani Gelera Flight Attendant
Larissa Stadnichuk Flight Attendant
Ben Foster Conductor

Technical Credits
Joe Carnahan Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Roger Barton Editor
Howard Berger Makeup Special Effects
James Bitonti Asst. Director
Nancy Anna Brown Set Decoration/Design
Marc Butan Executive Producer
Leah Carnahan Associate Producer
Jules Daly Producer
Courtney Daniel Costumes/Costume Designer
Ross Dempster Art Director
Ross Fanger Executive Producer
Ben Foster Musical Arrangement
Lynn Givens Associate Producer
Jason Hellman Editor
Ian Mackenzie Jeffers Screenwriter
Bill Johnson Executive Producer
Mickey Liddell Producer
Jennifer Hilton Monroe Executive Producer
Gregory Nicotero Makeup Special Effects
John Papsidera Casting
Brian Leslie Parker Production Manager
Douglas Saylor Co-producer
Tony Scott Executive Producer
Ridley Scott Producer
Jim Seibel Executive Producer
Adi Shankar Executive Producer
Spencer Silna Executive Producer
Marc Streitenfeld Score Composer
Masanobu Takayanagi Cinematographer
John Willett Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Grey
1. Chapter 1 [7:25]
2. Chapter 2 [4:26]
3. Chapter 3 [6:17]
4. Chapter 4 [5:48]
5. Chapter 5 [7:05]
6. Chapter 6 [4:42]
7. Chapter 7 [7:59]
8. Chapter 8 [3:38]
9. Chapter 9 [3:48]
10. Chapter 10 [8:07]
11. Chapter 11 [3:13]
12. Chapter 12 [1:47]
13. Chapter 13 [7:24]
14. Chapter 14 [3:22]
15. Chapter 15 [4:58]
16. Chapter 16 [4:22]
17. Chapter 17 [9:16]
18. Chapter 18 [5:27]
19. Chapter 19 [2:09]
20. Chapter 20 [8:11]


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The Grey 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
SleepDreamWrite 9 months ago
The winter locations, the suspense and tension were good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
Here’s the issue with “The Grey”—either you buy into the idea that this movie is in fact more than just a poorly executed tale of wilderness survival, that it is actually an existential consideration of the human condition and the significance we must extract from our struggle to defeat the absurd obstacles life throws in our way.  I don’t buy it. Perhaps it’s the choice of the villain in this film. Wolves already get a bad enough rap in our culture. Here they are cast as bloodthirsty predators who hunt humans for sport (but wait—maybe they’re metaphors for humans…the only species that hunts for sport…nah, that doesn’t work either). To confuse matters even more, some attacks that are filmed to look brutally deadly turn out to be anything but. And then there’s the confusing matter of Liam Neeson’s lost love. I don’t begrudge a film its effective use of ambiguity, but when that ambiguity turns to obscurity and seems to unnecessarily complicate the plot and the protagonist’s character development…well, then I take issue. “The Grey” has actually turned up on a few critics’ end-of-year “Best of” lists, so I took a chance and watched it in spite of the panning it had received from so many other critics. I rarely regret my cinematic choices, but “The Grey” is one that I do wish I had opted against.
Brian-Jezuit More than 1 year ago
An amazing, well-made, exceptionaly directed, & very emotional piece of filmwork. Neeson leads an exceptional ensamble cast throughout a well written, perfectly paced story with a picture-perfect ending that stays with the viewer for quite awhile after the credits roll (& watch for the scene after the credits finish rolling)! If you're a film collector like myself, than this one needs to be included in your film library.