Marcus Reviews The Grey

5 Feb


 In The Grey, Liam Neeson leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements – and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt – before their time runs out.

What I Liked:

Several reviews for The Grey called it “heavy handed” with it’s central messages but I for one don’t see it that way. I feel like The Grey does a great job of presenting the message in a way that it’s easy to figure out but still quite impactful. Without giving anything away, it’s a very simple message but a message that packs a punch nonetheless. I left the theater feeling enriched and satisfied on a philosophical and emotional level

Liam Neeson is amazing in this. He’s always had a knack for playing hardened and intense characters with a certain sensitivity and grace that makes them sentimental and this is no different. His onscreen presence in this is so strong that I was hooked from the moment his voice over monologue started in the beginning on the movie. While his character is an enigma to begin with, Neeson somehow gives him an almost mystical quality that I found really intriguing and had me fully invested in seeing how his character would fare.

Joe Carnahan (who wrote and directed the movie) did a great job of fleshing out the rest of survivors and giving them each their own identity so it didn’t ever feel like it was all about Liam’s character. While they may not have been good people, you found yourself caring for their well being and it made it that much more sad when they started dropping like flies.

Speaking of death, this movie is relentless. The Grey is very much a survival film and it never succumbs to the normal survival/thriller format where the people you expect to die die first. The wolves weren’t their only enemies, it was nature itself. No one was safe and I appreciated the varied and unexpected ways that the characters got picked off.

There was an interesting parallel between the wolf pack and the human survivors that I appreciated. You’ll have to see the movie to know what I’m talking about

Visually The Grey is strikingly beautiful in an almost post apocalyptic way. What The Book of Eli did cinematically with a barren desert, this did with a frozen tundra. There were moments in the movie where I felt like I was looking at a wallpaper or a screensaver on a laptop because the scenery was so gorgeous.

The scoring of the film was very strong and very mood appropriate. It really made some of the more emotional scenes in the film that much heavier.

While there will be people that will disagree, I thought the ending of the movie was perfect.

What I Didn’t Like:

I found myself wondering why Liam Neeson’s character was the only one who was thrown from the plan seemingly unharmed. While I have a bit of an idea why it might have happened that way I still feel like it’s a bit ridiculous.

After how strong the first half of the movie was, it begins to drift off course a bit towards the middle and really loses some of it’s impact up until the final act.


The Grey, while not a perfect film, packs one hell of a punch on a visceral, psychological and emotional level. With fleshed out characters, striking visuals, realistic peril, a strong message backing it and a strong turn from Liam Neeson holding it all together, The Grey is definitely a movie to remember. If you can deal with gore and intense situations I’d definitely encourage you to go see this with some friends or family members. It’ll definitely provide some nice conversation material afterward.

P.S. Stay after the credits for a little treat if you weren’t satisfied with the ending

Rating: B+


2 Responses to “Marcus Reviews The Grey”

  1. movieswithjdizzle February 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    Agree with everything you said. Great movie. Neeson was awesome in it.

  2. CMrok93 February 6, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Great review. Neeson is out-standing here and gives probably one of his best performances that we have seen from him in a very long time. The rest of the film also works because there’s not only this certain paranoia going on but even when the “action” comes, it’s tense, brutal, and surprising. Best film of the year so far even though that’s definitely not saying much.

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