Up 41 this week

The Grey (2011)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  27 January 2012 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 191,682 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 744 user | 402 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video


10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 05 Jan 2012
a list of 47 titles
created 18 Apr 2012
a list of 27 titles
created 11 Jul 2012
a list of 38 titles
created 20 Sep 2012
a list of 27 titles
created 21 Aug 2013

Related Items

Search for "The Grey" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Grey (2011)

The Grey (2011) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Grey.

User Polls

2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Unknown I (2011)
Action | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man awakens from a coma, only to discover that someone has taken on his identity and that no one, (not even his wife), believes him. With the help of a young woman, he sets out to prove who he is.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones
Taken I (2008)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.

Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Taken 2 (2012)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter.

Director: Olivier Megaton
Stars: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Non-Stop (2014)
Action | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An air marshal springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy
Taken 3 (2014)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Ex-government operative Bryan Mills is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed or witnessed. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.

Director: Olivier Megaton
Stars: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace
The A-Team (2010)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.

Director: Joe Carnahan
Stars: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Private investigator Matthew Scudder is hired by a drug kingpin to find out who kidnapped and murdered his wife.

Director: Scott Frank
Stars: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A CIA operative hires a team of mercenaries to eliminate a Latin dictator and a renegade CIA agent.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.

Director: Simon West
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Liam Hemsworth, Randy Couture
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married couple's life is turned upside down when the wife is accused of a murder.

Director: Paul Haggis
Stars: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson
Escape Plan (2013)
Action | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a structural-security authority finds himself set up and incarcerated in the world's most secret and secure prison, he has to use his skills to escape with help from the inside.

Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 50 Cent
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Frank is hired to "transport" packages for unknown clients and has made a very good living doing so. But when asked to move a package that begins moving, complications arise.

Directors: Louis Leterrier, Corey Yuen
Stars: Jason Statham, Qi Shu, Matt Schulze


Cast overview, first billed only:
Hernandez (as Ben Hernandez)
Peter Girges ...
Jonathan Bitonti ...
Ottway (5 years old) (as Jonathan James Bitonti)
James Bitonti ...


In Alaska, a team of oil workers board a flight home; however, they cross a storm and the airplane crashes. Only seven workers survive in the wilderness and John Ottway, who is a huntsman that kills wolves to protect the workers, assumes leadership of the group. Shortly after they learn that they are surrounded by a pack of wolves and Ottway advises that they should seek protection in the woods. But while they walk through the heavy snow, they are chased and attacked by the carnivorous mammals. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Live or Die on This Day

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/disturbing content including bloody images, and for pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

27 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un día para sobrevivir  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,665,101 (USA) (27 January 2012)


$51,533,608 (USA) (6 April 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the last moments of the firewood-search scene, Diaz holds up a book and makes a quip about it being a bestseller. This line of dialogue was added to the film in post-production. See more »


Late in the movie, Ottway unfolds the letter, which then shows a large yellowish stain. Still later, he partially unfolds it before folding it into his wallet, and the stain is gone. See more »


[first lines]
Ottway: A job at the end of the world. A salaried killer for a big petroleum company. I don't know why I did half the things I've done, but I know this is where I belong, surrounded by my own. Ex-cons, fugitives, drifters, assholes. Men unfit for mankind.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There's a scene after the end credits. See more »


References MacGyver (1985) See more »


Running A.D. Part 2
Songwriter Mark Kevin Wilson
Produced by Vintage Masters Music
Performed by Lucian Blaque
Courtesy of Fervor Records Vintage Master, a division of Wild Whirled Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Neeson and Carnahan go above and beyond the survival thriller norms
27 January 2012 | by (IL, USA) – See all my reviews

Liam Neeson the gritty action hero. How unbelievable that at nearly 60 years old, an actor can redefine his career and become more bankable. Neeson has somehow re-channeled the seriousness he brought to dramatic roles into creating utterly convincing heroes in decent (at best) thrillers.

But that's not "The Grey." "The Grey" earns marks far above decent, and Neeson's performance makes it better. I know, the calendar clearly reads January, but that's a matter of maximizing box-office potential in this case. Writer/director Joe Carnahan ("The A-Team") has turned a new leaf in this harrowing wilderness survival thriller, a film as dedicated to exploring the true extent of the human will to live as much as shocking its audience with menacing wolf attacks.

Neeson leads the pack in all manner of ways. Paid to protect oil workers from nature's dangers (especially wolves), Neeson's character Ottway turns out to be a group of drillers' best chance for survival when their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness near a wolf den. He's far from a boy scout, however, and he's emotionally wounded by the past as evidenced by visions of his wife.

Most of the early indicators in the film give you the sense that Neeson will do his usual solemn-faced hero routine that he executes to perfection, but the way the film unfolds (not in terms of plot, but in terms of the quality of the storytelling) asks him to go beyond that. He definitely responds.

When looked at in its most fundamental form, "The Grey" could be considered just another film in which a group of imperiled people die one at a time en route to finding safety. Carnahan, however, slows down that pace so that we can absorb the extent of the danger and imagine ourselves in it. When death does occur, it's visually striking, jaw-dropping and/or thought-provoking as compared to standard efforts at the genre that involve only jump-scare deaths or death by character stupidity.

Only one character, Diaz (Frank Grillo) gets a stereotype as the stubborn self-centered jerk who disagrees with Ottway on purpose. Most movies would've killed him off before he got too annoying, but Carnahan and co-writer Ian Mackenzie Jeffers (who wrote the short story the film's based on), have more interesting plans in store for him.

It's also not just a film about people being hunted by wolves in the wilderness. There's no bloody man vs. wolf climactic battle, unlike what the trailers would have you believe, so film fans prone to take misleading marketing out on the film itself, be prepared. "The Grey" is much more of a suspenseful drama with high-adrenaline scenes lurking around every corner.

As such, the visual style of "The Grey" asks for something different from Carnahan than the over-the-top high-flying nature of his previous two films, "The A-Team" and "Smokin' Aces." The overall tone is gritty and naturalistic, so snow-caked beards without the blistering frostbite makeup.

The action is also more frenetic and gripping. Rather than shooting the action scenes in a traditional sense, he wants the viewer to feel as if they are experiencing them along with the characters. If a character falls from a tree top and hits 20 branches on the way down, that's exactly what the camera's doing. This maximizes the intensity of every major sequence. As for the wolves, they're horrifying, yet never painted as the bad guys. They're just part of nature.

When it comes to issues of faith and the will to survive, that's when "The Grey" really jumps up and above the bar for its genre. The story is told in such a way that when people die, it's not for our entertainment, but to highlight the unpredictable nature of ... nature, and life and death. As Ottway wrestles with these same issues, its Neeson's performance that makes it hit home.

"The Grey" gives its audience the rare gift of genre-film entertainment with some serious food for thought and an ample dose of emotion. Carnahan's choices on how to tell the story, along with an ending not typical of genre films, only make it all the stronger. Both he and Neeson display the true nature of their strengths. Hopefully we've seen only the beginning of Carnahan's potential, and that nature is kind enough to Neeson to let him continue challenging the norm for the standard heroic performance.

~Steven C

Thanks for reading! Check out my site moviemusereviews.com

294 of 517 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Hated this movie, it was terrible! jackytfys
Wolves attack human? nedeljkodjukic88
Great Film... yinkster_140
How did the wolves cross the river? (while the 4 guys crossed) tintinherge
Fantastic. There should be more films like this. DonSE
The will to live Maverick410
Discuss The Grey (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: