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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bleakly beautiful
A terrific film that is certainly worth your while viewing. I'm not a great Liam Neeson fan, and if anything the fact that he was starring in this was a disincentive for me to watch as I had the impression this might have been a plodding action movie vehicle for an established star content to coast along and collect the cheques. How wrong I was. Neeson gives the best...
Published 21 months ago by Boswell

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wolves with Attitude.
There is an awful lot of nonsense in this tale of survival set in Alaska. Husky old Liam Neeson plays the middle aged hunter with a few demons of his own too fight. A plane carrying oil workers crashes in the remote Alaskan wilderness. Thankfully Neeson is one of the survivors, and that is good because he is a sort of cross between Ray Mears and Bear Grylls. A very useful...
Published 22 months ago by Bob Salter


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bleakly beautiful, 8 July 2012
This review is from: The Grey [DVD] (DVD)
A terrific film that is certainly worth your while viewing. I'm not a great Liam Neeson fan, and if anything the fact that he was starring in this was a disincentive for me to watch as I had the impression this might have been a plodding action movie vehicle for an established star content to coast along and collect the cheques. How wrong I was. Neeson gives the best performance I've seen him give surrounded by a uniformly excellent supporting cast in this part-thriller, part meditation on grief, loss, failure and the struggle to survive. As a thriller it succeeds brilliantly. As a human drama/ tragedy there are deeply moving scenes that will surely linger in the memory : Ottway's comforting a dying man and later his crying out to heaven, Diaz's final goodbye. I think this is probably a man's film for men, and says more about what it is to be a man specifically, and secondarily what it is to be human. But I was struck that whilst being a film about men, the mens reminiscences together, and the photos Ottway retrieves from their wallets, indicate a truth that men's most complete happiness in this world resides in their relationship with women and in having children, and that the greatest pain that men experience is to be without either.

With regard to Ottway's flashbacks/visions of his wife, pay attention to the end. All is not as it seems.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstood., 21 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Grey [DVD] (DVD)
Okay, so I see that quite a lot of people are not getting what this film is about.
Yes, it's a survival movie, no, it's not supposed to be a horror or an action flick,
though we are given plenty of action here.
Yes, the plot is predictable, yes the CGI wolves are unconvincing to say the least, though they fare far better than other recent movies which fobbed us off with a far worse version...ahem...I reveal no names!

This movie is saved by the beautiful scenery, and the way in which each shot is designed to take your breath away. It is saved by the psychological game it plays with you. It gets you tense from the beginning, and keeps you that way until the end. It is almost as though you are out in that wilderness along with them, and despite the roughness and crudeness of some of the men - you REALLY want them all to survive.
This movie makes your heart thump in your chest and want to squeeze your eyes shut when Neeson and the gang take a risk. The uncertainty is what makes this movie terrifying, and the vastness and seeming hopelessness of the situation. It is the emotion and the mindsets of the men that drives the story, THAT is what it is about.
Liam Neeson gives a very powerful performance, and so do some of the other characters.
Okay, I was a little disappointed with the ending, and I got a little bored of the flashback scenes, but this is a film that grabbed my attention and held it, and if you go into this with your eyes open,and just let the journey take you, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grey, 25 May 2012
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This review is from: The Grey [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen the plot before and it is rare that it works. And when I heard there would be CGI Wolves, I was hesitant to say the least.

However, given the right director, authentic location shooting, powerhouse performances and the IMPLIED threat of a merciless predator, this type of film can work. Thankfully, this is the case with 'The Grey'.

So the plot is really nothing new. An oil drilling team crashes in Alaska and must face a pack of territorial wolves as they struggle to make their way through and survive. So far, so simple. But the director, Joe Carnahan (showing us again the visual gritty panache and character development he revealed with subtlety in 'Narc' and less so in 'The A Team') uses the dire circumstances of his protagonists as a means to explore the emotional, psychological and spiritual consequences of confronting their eventual demise.

Purists and animal lovers will abhor the role of the wolves. They seem DELIBERATELY cruel in their hunt of the survivors of the plane crash. Both sentient and cognitive, they demonstrate a willingness to hunt the humans down one by one as if they have made a plan and are determined to execute it with ruthless efficiency. Even though cases of wolf attacks on humans are quiet rare, the movie suggests that should anyone find themselves in the middle of wolf territory, or indeed a wolf den, then ALL bets are off.

In fending off the wolf attacks, these already rough-hewn oil refinery workers have to revert back to their primitive selves and in so doing reveal their insecurities, their fears and their failures. So used to the hard but confined and secure world afforded by their petroleum employers, the disparate group of men must band together in the beautiful but desolate and unforgiving Alaskan wilderness, all the while being pursued AND devoured by seemingly ungodly assailants.

All the performances are uniformly excellent, with the standout portrayal belonging to Liam Neeson. Both reluctant action man and damaged victim, his introspective, emotionally scarred and all too vulnerable performance is heartbreaking to watch, particularly given the tragic death of his real life wife, actress Natasha Richardson, a year before filming began. He relentlessly drives the film to it's ambiguous conclusion, thus allowing you to forgive it's more unlikely moments while still celebrating the human tenacity to simply 'carry on' in the face of almost certain death. The fact his performance was overlooked at The Oscars is more than reason enough to purchase this DVD.

At least an 8 out of 10. Buy it and enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 10 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Grey [DVD] (DVD)
This film gets a lot of grief because nature fan-boys lament the "unrealistic" behaviour of the wolves.

This is a real shame because whilst there is indeed a pack of wolves chasing a group of men, this is not a film about animals chasing down humans (like the Edge for example). Joe Carnahan has actually come up with a very special film, shot carefully and developing all of the characters beautifully (almost too well).

I hate to sound like a left-wing, tree-hugging critic, but this is actually a film about life, death, fate and the human spirit.

And it is absolutely amazing!

Watch it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 Hours of pure Escapism!, 27 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Grey [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this film with a friend who is not a Liam Neeson fan. After watching this film he is now!
You have probably seen this story told before, but possibly not in this way. The cgi wolves were good enough for a film with this level of budget.
Make sure you carry on watching after the credits!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will to Live vs. Wolf, 5 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Grey [DVD] (DVD)
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
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Did you read that on the wall in the day room?...(spoilers), 22 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Grey [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The grey sees Neeson continuing his second coming, like some Hollywood Christ figure. At this point tin his career, the man can do no bad, and with this movie, he continues his run.

The man who was going to retire from acting after the haunting plays a man on the verge of suicide, a man with nothing left bu thoughts of his wife, and a rifle to shoot wolves.

After a horrific plane crash (one of the best and most frightening I have seen), Neeson and a group of men have to fight for their lives against the forces of nature, the lack of food, and of course, the wolves which are hunting them one by one.

This film is not 'alive' (Caranahan points this out by having a couple of the characters mock that film), it's bleak and relentless, and the fact that the narration barely lets them rest, you feel the urgency to it.

It's not a horror film, although it can be scary at times, and believe me, it's not for action orientated fans, when someone dies in this, you feel it, you experience it.

It's not goodbyes and close your eyes, its drawn out and the camera doesn't give you breathing space.

Wheras other films in this genre let the protagonists rest during times of relief, this is different. whenever something happens which causes some humour or lifted spirit, the wolves remind the crew that they are there, watching and waiting.

We all know by mow that the wolves are a metaphor for Neeson and the rest of the crews 'demons'. They will never let up and never give you peace until you face your 'demons' (wolves.....I don't think it would have worked with Giraffes).

But this is a great movie and a great end to an average movie month, The Grey is haunting and cold, but the script isn't as good as a similar survival movie 'The Edge'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thinking man's 'The Thing'., 17 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Grey [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Don't expect non stop, cheesy action. This is a brutal and often thoughtful rumination on man vs nature, mortality and existentialism. I've never really rated Neeson but here he fits the bill admirably with an assured, nuanced performance. A mention must also go to the Japanese cinematographer's work which at the high resolutions of blu-ray look stunning.

It's a bargain at 7. Don't be fooled by the way it was marketed - it's so much better than another simple 'Neeson-Actioner'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An oldskool thriller that will keep you entertained., 23 July 2012
By 
The Truth "How it is" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Grey [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The Grey, although not a brilliant film, was a quality film. The script was wonderfully written with real care, the story solid and well rounded, the acting was strong and the action sequences well handled.

The film itself is a survival thriller and thrill you it will. Looking back it felt quite short and a bit like not much happened, but while I was watching it was was riveted and totally sucked in. And events, although to be honest, there aren't that many do flow quickly from one to another.

Although he didn't make the most of the incredible scenery, The director has a real flair for shooting action sequences and this film features some of the most beautifully shot action I've ever seen. He had a real talent for putting you right there, in the heart of the action, and making you feel as if you were in the plane crash or being swept down river too. It was brilliant.

It's as shame the director didn't demonstrate the same talent for shooting landscapes and scenery that he did for action, because I felt this was a missed opportunity which could have really added to the film. Shot in such a beautiful snowy landscape he really could have made the film beautiful to watch, as in this film Essential Killing; but it felt like the director didn't even notice the unique characteristics and environment he was in. I was really surprised more was not made of this.

The story is a bit sentimental and predictable overall but it worked. It lent itself to this type of film well and by the end you were left feeling like you'd watched a film that was enjoyable, worthwhile and best of all, although nothing new, it didn't pull any punches and did what you hoped it would: Keep you entertained. It felt very oldskool, in a good way, and reminded me of a lot of films which I watched growing up as a kid in the 80s. Films like Midnight Run, Southern Comfort and other classic chase thrillers. If you enjoy those sort of films, you should enjoy The Grey.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Into the wild, 2 Feb 2012
By 
R. J. Harvey (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Grey [DVD] (DVD)
Hats off to Joe Carnahan for following up the breezy, barmy A-Team with a return to the grit and grime (and grey) of 2002's Narc. His latest - a survival-movie-cum-existential-drama - is so confident and sincere that one is almost convinced that one is watching something new. This is unashamedly a genre picture that hits familiar notes, but one that carries an unusual emotional gravity and psychological conviction normally eschewed in favour of action set-pieces.

Following a plane crash in the Alaskan nowhere, stalked by intelligent super-wolves, Liam Neeson's John Ottway leads a gaggle of broken souls out of the wreckage and into oblivion. Amongst the scowls and growls there are moments of genuine profundity; not least a quiet riverside death scene delivering a powerful philosophical dilemma, encapsulating the mournful rationality of self-determination.

The effectiveness of the survival thriller depends in large part on whether the supporting cast - who will inevitably be picked off in various imaginative ways - are mere dog fodder or develop as memorable characters in their own right. Thankfully, the latter is largely the case here, with backstories gradually coming into view through fireside anecdotes rather than cheesy deathbed exposition. It's all building toward an excellent climactic scene in which the flame of each character briefly flickers back to life through a series of crumpled photographs: a simple, poignant scene representative of the thoughtful screenplay.

Neeson, whose post-Star Wars emergence as a middle-aged action star has left him looking occasionally indifferent, is on top form. When he looks into the tundra sky and cries out to the Maker, this guy really means it. The poem he repeats throughout might not up to much, but Neeson delivers it in such a way that its personal resonance overpowers its contrived relevance.

For me, this is the best "big" movie of 2012 so far.
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The Grey [Blu-ray]
The Grey [Blu-ray] by Joe Carnahan (Blu-ray - 2012)
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