Film Review: ‘The Grey’ With Liam Neeson Chills to the Bone

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CHICAGO – Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey” might cause you to think that the multiplex in which you’re seeing it has started skimping on the heat. As wind whips snow in below-freezing temperatures, Carnahan deftly conveys what it’s like to be trapped in a natural nightmare. There are no men in hockey masks or found footage, but “The Grey” is essentially a horror movie in which the standard array of victims is replaced by seven grizzled workers sent to the edge of the world and forced to fight to survive.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Relentlessly bleak, “The Grey” is a remarkable accomplishment in sustained dread. It is a film with almost no hope and each moment of survival feels like merely delaying the inevitable. Carnahan holds nothing back from his modern take on Jack London, making viewers question how they would respond in a similar situation (personally, I think I’d probably curl into a fetal position and freeze to death even if I’d like to think I’d start punching wolves). Driven by a fully-committed performance from the great Liam Neeson, the most-unexpected late-career action star of all time, “The Grey” is a solid piece of filmmaking that could have been a little bit tighter and a little more effective but it gets the job done.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Grey” in our reviews section.

After an unusual, poetic prologue that I expect will seriously throw viewers who thought they were in for a more traditional action blockbuster, the plot of “The Grey” kicks in as a group of oil company workers take a bumpy flight deep into the Arctic Circle. The plane rips apart in mid-air, resulting in one of the most memorable crash scenes in the history of film. People scream, plane parts fly, and the sound is deafening – it is a truly terrifying sequence that really sets the stage for what’s to come.

John Ottway (Neeson) wakes up covered in snow, one of eight survivors of the crash. He is a natural leader, in no small part due to the fact that his job with the oil company is to protect the men from one of the most dangerous elements of their work – the wolves that surround them. One can pretty easily assume that if Ottway had been one of the two dozen or so people who died in the crash that the other survivors wouldn’t have lasted long. After a wolf attack, the emotionally unstable Ottway tells the other men — including the annoying Flannery (Joe Anderson), quiet Talget (Dermot Mulroney), loyal Henrick (Dallas Roberts), and the aggressive Diaz (Frank Grillo) – that they could have had the incredible misfortune of crashing in the kill territory of a pack of wolves. If the wolves feel like their space has been invaded, they will stop at nothing to tear the men apart. Not only do they have to fight the frostbite and other natural elements, but another wolf attack could come at any minute.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The Grey” review.

“The Grey” stars Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dallas Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, and Joe Anderson. It was written and directed by Joe Carnahan. It will be released on January 27th, 2012.

The Grey
The Grey
Photo credit: Open Road

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