The Grey (2011)

I love cold-weather movies. Director Joe Carnahan drops you immediately into a snowy, windy, desolate landscape. The trailers seemed to lead you down a more action-packed path, but "The Grey" turned out to be much more of a survival movie, with a lot of introspective and deep ideas.

Liam Neeson is Ottway, a man hired by an oil company to hunt wolves to keep their factory safe. The men in the factory are hardened, some ex-cons, some drifters, other just jerks. During a flight home, a plane crash leaves just a few of them alive. They are stranded in an Arctic wasteland, forced to battle both the elements and the pack of wolves that finds them.

Ottway assumes the role of leader, as a never-fully-explained backstory has given him certain skills and knowledge that allow him to make decisions on how to survive. The rest of the survivors have fairly stereotypical roles at first (one hothead, one coward, one quiet guy, etc) but as the movie goes on most of the characters get a nice dose of humanity.

The trailer did seem to have more action, and I was expecting to see Liam Neeson rolling around on the ground stabbing wolves. I expected a simple unrealistic action movie; I was pleasantly surprised by the depth that I got instead.


On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "The Grey" gets a 7 out of 10.


[Each week, Varacchi explores cinema from his own perspective. From indie to foreign to mainstream, he'll watch it all. Suggestions and recommendations are welcome, leave a comment below. CLICK HERE for the Celluloid Hero archives]

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