The Grey

Out Now On-Demand

Live or die on this day.

Liam Neeson leads an oil-rig crew who are left for dead after a plane crash strands them in the wolf-infested Alaskan wilderness. From the director of The A-Team.

Ottway (Neeson) kills wolves for a living, keeping them away from the stationed oil well. After the crash, the lone huntman only has a few days to escort the roughneck survivors out of the icy elements and away from the pack of rogue wolves.

One day late-flowering action hero Liam Neeson will find his John McClane. And one day writer-director Joe will recapture the glory of his blistering debut, Narc. But though this muscular survival thriller finds both on fine form, it isn’t quite it.

We begin with a lengthy introduction to Neeson’s heartbroken hunter. He shoots wolves in the Alaskan oilfields while pining for a lost love – particularly poignant given the untimely death of Neeson’s wife, Natasha Richardson. On the plane back to civilisation there’s a horrendous crash, and he soon finds himself shepherding the other survivors across the unforgiving tundra as ravenous beasts prepare to attack.

Neeson, as usual, is magnificent. To quiet a mortally injured casualty, he whispers, gently, “You’re gonna die, that’s what’s happening… think of all the good things. Who do you love?” Ten minutes later he’s strapping shotgun shells to spears to make lethal “bang sticks”. How’s that for all-round action heroics

Carnahan’s no slouch either. The wolf attacks are sudden, frantic and terrifying, the dialogue is spare and smart, and there’s real emotion amid the machismo. While the intrusion of mundane detail – blizzards, tiredness, exposure – adds to the realism, it strips away too much of the excitement. Later, a wildly unlikely leap into the unknown does the opposite.

Pity, because as a grown-up action film about a silver fox taking down big, bad wolves, The Grey really delivers. As a bid for the major league from its star/director it snatches much-better-than-averageness from the jaws of awesomeness.

A.V. Club (USA)

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Neeson brings gravitas to the table, acting as a legitimizing counterweight to the overwrought dialogue and flesh-tearing lupine hysteria. But in a scenario this persistently ludicrous, he can only do so much.

Boxoffice Magazine

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This is admirably ambitious, but Carnahan's not nearly good enough a writer or director to pull it off: the results are portentous, muddled and not nearly as entertaining as Neeson's usual face-punching antics.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

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Sit through the entire credits. There's one more shot still to come. Not that you wouldn't be content without it.

Empire (UK)

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Carnahan’s best work since Narc, with a powerhouse performance by Neeson and real emotional heft. So, as much Gut Puncher as Wolf Puncher.

Entertainment Weekly (USA)

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As Neeson No-Brainers go, this one, directed as if on a diet of testosterone injections and shots of absinthe by Neeson's A-Team helmer, Joe Carnahan, is a reasonably entertaining, loopy blend of brawny bonding and Samuel Beckett-approved rumination.

Hollywood Reporter

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Steely Alaska-set adventure delivers the goods.

New York Daily News

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The gristle inside this movie is one of the things that save it from being simply a series of challenges.

New York Times

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It's a fine, tough little movie, technically assured and brutally efficient, with a simple story that ventures into some profound existential territory without making a big fuss about it.

Rolling Stone (USA)

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A terrifically exciting, deeply unsettling survivalist epic.

Time (USA)

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True to its grim prospectus, The Grey dwells in haunted machismo to the very end.

Total Film (UK)

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Supremely led by Liam Neeson, The Grey may be a wilderness tale, pure and simple, but it’s as compelling as they come.

Variety (USA)

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The picture's dialogue-heavy stretches and ambiguous finale could leave ticketbuyers impatient for less chatter and more chomping.

The Grey-ish

The Grey

Mr Neeson plays another good role, and the film was better than I expected. With jumping scenes like from 'Red Riding Hood' (2011) and Neeson like a 'Bear Grills' leading the pack of guys near the place 'Alive' happened. A guy that wants to end his own life, seems to hang on to it more, when something wants to take it away. This picture is quiet and sneaks up on yah, not a great watch, but a good one. Take a girl, you'l get hugs during, and later that night,but she'l never go camping with you.

Genre : action, thriller, drama

3/5 : I did really like this, and loved the ending, just felt lacking something to enable me to give it more.