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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'The Grey': A Gripping and Darkly Existential Treatise on Endurance and Survival

Movie poster for the film The Grey starring Liam Neeson

“The Grey” (2011) is a gripping and foreboding thriller about a group of six oil workers who survive a devastating plane crash in the remote Alaskan wilderness, and must attempt an arduous trek to safety while be hunted by a pack of vicious timberwolves.

John Ottway (Liam Neeson) is a professional marksman assigned by the oil company to protect his fellow crew members from wolves that patrol the perimeter of their refinery site. At the conclusion of their 5-week posting, the crew are resting aboard a return flight to civilization when they crash horrifically in the Alaskan Interior, leaving only six of their ranks alive. Forced to trek across the frozen wasteland in a desperate bid for salvation, a fierce pack of the same wolves that Ottway has held at bay for five weeks now begin to track and hunt them ruthlessly. The besieged survvors' frantic attempts to avoid, elude and ultimately confront their unrelenting aggressors constitute a tense and utterly thrilling survival quest.

Based on the novel "Ghost Walker" by Ian MacKenzie Jeffers and directed by Joe Carnahan (“Narc”, “Smokin' Aces”), “The Grey” is a fierce and emotionally compelling creation that delivers a stirringly existential treatise on endurance and survival. It’s weighted by Neeson’s soulful, no-nonsense performance and impressive supporting work from Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo and Dallas Roberts. A real surprise from a filmmaker more akin to Hollywood escapism—this one is intelligent, well-crafted and thoroughly captivating. It’s an underrated gem that’s well-worth newfound consideration.


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