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Good Horror but Not a Wolf Film
Hitoshi Noguchi26 March 2013
An airplane loaded with roughneck oilmen crashes in Alaska and the survivors trek through a snow storm to survive while a pack of wolves kill them off one by one.

Some reviewers loved it. Some hated it. Those who loved it saw a competently directed action horror film in a realistic setting filled with real people facing real threats. Those who hated it saw an unrealistic depiction of wildlife behavior and unworkable outdoor skills. People who loved it thought the movie was realistic. People who hated it thought it was ridiculous.

Without giving away the story, let me tell you that this is not a story about actual wolf behavior. This is more like the numerous movies of the produced through the '70s, '80s and '90s about a group of people picked off one by one by unseen creatures lurking in the dark. In the '70s, they were natural animals like sharks, killer whales, reptiles, furry animals and insects. In the '80s they were space aliens and robots. In the '90s they were super assassins. Lately they are vampires and zombies. Now we are back to furry animals. But the overall theme is the same.

It is refreshing to see this theme played out in the Alaskan wilderness rather than on a space ship or an underground city overrun by zombies. In that sense, this movie is realistic. But the furry animals in the movie behave more like space aliens than actual wolves. The "expert hunter" in the movie is not actually giving you wisdom that will be useful in the Alaskan wilderness. He is more of a generic zombie hunter. In that sense, this movie is unrealistic.

So whether you like this movie or not depends entirely on what you are in the mood to see. If you want Discovery Channel, look elsewhere. If you want to see good acting in a scenic backdrop with lots of scary moments, you will like this movie. You don't have to really check in your brain at the door. Like so many Ridley Scott movies, this one is also a meditation on the nature of fate. This movie is a good piece of fiction. Just a bad documentary.
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Dumbest Movie I've Ever Seen
ridge3143 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Literally every scene in this movie could be criticized. The reviews above have hit plenty of them so I'll add in some I haven't seen mentioned and even then there will be more howlers not yet mentioned, this movie is that gawd-awful.

For starters the plane never takes off, seriously (neither does the film). The guy sitting next to Liam changes seats and the plane is clearly parked at the terminal. The camera cuts to the other side of the plane with no break in continuity and the airframe is shuddering and shaking (why? Planes in heavy turbulence don't react like this) and guys are talking about assuming crash positions. Ridiculous!

We see sparks erupting from control panels in the cockpit. Why? Why would these systems be shorting out? Liam buckles himself in with 3 seat belts then we find him waking up completely alone in the snow, hundreds of feet from the fuselage. He is completely uninjured, as is everyone else who isn't dead (not counting the guy who dies while Liam is talking to him). The fuselage damage and the debris field are idiotic. What caused this plane to crash? WTF kind of plane crash was this that 7 people are completely uninjured and everyone else is stone cold dead? No minor injuries, no major injuries, only fatal injuries.

The survivors are pretty cavalier about getting and keeping appropriate clothing on - absolutely stupid. Liam's clothing layers change from scene to scene during the ordeal. When he finally gets around to putting on a coat he tugs on a big blue down jacket, and in the very next scene is wearing a beige jacket.

Storm winds howl ferociously, one second later characters are able to talk in normal voices, one second later back to howling storm winds.

Those "wolf" special effects at night - yeecccch! Looks like my 5 year old nephew got tasked to this and came up with the idea of using tiny flashlights in pairs to evoke wolves.

Altitude hypoxia is never seen below 8000 ft. Based on the terrains and landscapes shown these guys are nowhere near 8000 ft in elevation.

The scene at the cliff is as bad as everyone says it is. Utterly illogical, on so many levels. They find a single tree stump and rejoice as this is evidence of logging activity. ROFLMAO in the midst of a roadless, trackless wilderness a logging company came and cut down a single tree. Yeah, right. When the guy makes the ridiculous jump across the chasm into a tree (btw they brought a seat belt from the plane for just this reason - give me a break already) we clearly see him descending - as gravity compels him to - yet the makeshift rope he attaches is at exactly the height as the cliff he jumped off.

In knee deep snow these guys never walk single file, always they are spread out with each guy struggling to break his own trail. Yet when a wolf appears they can instantly sprint through the exact same snow.

The river they follow downstream constantly gets smaller till it is just a small creek. It should be frozen over, yet no ice is visible anywhere.

You cannot easily build and maintain a fire in a snowfield. The heat causes your fire to very quickly sink down into a hole. Yet these guys keep several going for hours.

The list could go on and on. This was a very dumb movie. Do not waste money or time on it.
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Horrible research and writing
davidhedrick-485-14416017 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The acting in this movie is fair, as is to be expected from a well-rounded cast such as this, and the video/audio is very good.

In this bleak landscape it can be difficult to get good video footage, and they did a very good job of it.

The writing, though, is poor. ****Spoiler Alert*** The frequent flashbacks in the beginning of the movie almost ended it before the main event, and continue to annoy me throughout.

I could live with it, but the writers have absolutely no clue about wolves, and attribute behaviours to them which are simply not found anywhere in the world.

I had to turn the film off, though when Liam Neeson finds his rifle in the wreckage; the butt stock is broken, so he throws it away. Say what!? The barrel, action, trigger assembly, hell, even the scope are intact, it is 100% usable, even if you are such a sissy that you can't fire it like a pistol, he could tie or tape or otherwise attach the butt with a few minutes work.

Then he finds what? Shotgun shells. Shotgun? Really? With a light barrel like that? I mean, the writers obviously know nothing about wolves, and the characters in the movie don't either, you could ignore that and think, "hey, it's just a movie, the monster does what it does", but I think most people can figure out without much research that a rifle can shoot without a butt. Like, maybe throw it away because the strap is broken, or something serious like the blueing is fading on the barrel!
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This is the dumbest wildlife movie ever
wwilliams-307-764902 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
As I guy who has spent a lot of time in Canada's wilderness these past 40 years, most of it in wolf country, the wolf behaviour depicted in this movie is ridiculous.

It begins with a scene in which a lone timber wolf charges three grown men standing near a truck. No wolf would ever behave like this. Despite all the time I've spent in areas with large wolf populations (with lots of tracks around), I've only ever caught fleeting glimpses of three or four of them,and that's when I was by myself, unarmed and completely vulnerable.

The idea that a pack of wolves would attempt to prey on a group of men is also ridiculous. There has been only one documented predatory wolf attack in North America in the past 200 years, and that involved a large pack and a solitary hiker in Saskatchewan a few years ago.

As any wolf biologist would tell you, you can walk up to a pack of wolves feeding on a fresh kill, completely unarmed, and the wolves will scatter. They'd stay and fight a grizzly, but one whiff/sight of human and they'd quickly turn and run.

The size of the wolves in this movie is another misrepresentation. The biggest timber wolf on record, when they emptied 20 pounds of meat from his stomach, was a male weighing 120 pounds. The average male is around 90 pounds. A lone wolf would be a very poor match for a 200 pound man armed with a knife.

The plot revolved around the wolf's protection of their den. Stupid. Wolves only den when the alpha female gives birth in the spring. And they sure wouldn't be driving the men toward the den in that situation - quite the opposite. Nor do they scatter the bones of all their kills around the den - that would only draw other predators, like grizzlies. Instead, the adults eat at site of the kill and regurgitate the meat for the pups when they get back to the den.

Finally, our so-called wolf expert devised all sorts of idiotic defences against the wolves, but ignored the one thing any group of true woodsmen would do in a similar situation (i.e. facing wolves on crack). That's use their knives to make spears. A group of men with spears would be impregnable to a pack of wolves, no matter how large, as no predator likes to risk injury.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. If you're going to spend millions on a movie, wouldn't it make sense to spend $10 on a good wolf book first?
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Totally unrealistic
gstan3 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, I realize Hollywood is Hollywood and it is normal for them to bend reality a little for the sake of their art. And I can suspend belief for a few hours when necessary ... after all a science fiction movie is fiction and a fairy tale is just that. But this film didn't "bend" reality so much as break it, throw it in the mud, then trample all over it and toss it in the trash.

I could fill at least one tightly spaced page with all the things that defy reason in this film but I'll try to limit myself to just a few. I have been to Alaska in the winter. I know people that have worked the oil fields. I know that in Alaska or Northern Canada you don't wander around in near white-out conditions, with the temps below zero, without COMPLETELY covering EVERY part of your body. You don't tramp around with your ears, nose, chin, etc. unprotected, and your coat only partially zipped up, as the survivors did when they left the plane.

The Neeson character is shown at the beginning of the film using a high-power rifle, which he carries in a distinctive case. After the plane crash he finds his rifle case and his broken rifle, but he also finds shot gun shells in the case. ???? He didn't even have a shot gun; why would he carry shot gun shells? We later find that they are a contrivance -- tossed in only to foist an completely unrealistic plot element on us. (I guarantee that using those shells the way the movie tried to would result in MAYBE 1 in 100 of them firing. I can explain why if you can't figure it out yourself) Again, the weather. After spending a night in a blizzard ... a night in which their fire goes out (at least there is no fire in the morning scene), at least two of the characters are shown waking up bare-headed, their coats partially unfastened and no sign of blankets but, miraculously, they are bright-eyed,almost chipper and ready to go after their hours long ordeal in sub-zero weather.

The wolves. What can you say about the wolves except that real wolves act NOTHING like those depicted in this movie. No real, wild wolf would go anywhere near fire the way these mutts do. Real wolves don't hunt humans over miles and miles of territory like the movies unless MAYBE ... PERHAPS ... they are near starved and ready to eat anything. Real wolves don't normally kill unless it's for food. And how did those wolves get down that massive cliff anyway? And how did they know in advance where the humans were going? They must have known since they were there waiting for them. If you want to know what real wolves act like, read Farley Mowat.

I didn't have time to try and enjoy this movie as art because every few moments My reason was assaulted with totally contrived, totally unrealistic plot elements. I kept finding myself shaking my head and telling myself, "That's not remotely close to reality." As I said, I could fill many lines with similar discrepancies. I wouldn't be so critical if this movie was marketed as a survival FANTASY, but it's not. It's presented as a straight forward survival movie with some attempts at mysticism and philosophy ad nauseum thrown in. Don't waste your time.
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Horrible- Unrealistic
atp11831 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I am in utter SHOCK of the 9 and 10 ratings for this movie. I just saw this movie and thought it was HORRIBLE. I use to have so much respect for the ratings system on this website This is a complete outrage that people are giving this a 10 star. Warning- do not read if you haven't seen the film and wish not to hear major spoilers. However, continue reading if you want to save $10. Im going to start by saying, the trailer for this film totally throws the viewer off and doesn't follow up with what is promised. For all of the people that thought this was a 9 or 10, i encourage you to write me back and i challenge any of you to explain yourselves. The following is my list of events that made this movie as bad as it is.

1) The movie is so unrealistic its funny. 7 people survive a plane crash in the middle of Alaska. They sleep outside for days- with little 2 foot fires they made. ARE You SERIOUS you would be dead or frozen within hours . The so called killer wolves. I've seen my fair share of animal shows- wolves kill things to eat them. Not just to kill something. All of the people killed in the movie are killed and never eaten. Here is the big one- Liam is still alive after being outside in ALASKA for three days, Blizzard like conditions, probably negative temps, a massive wolf bite to the knee and guess what he does on the third day. He jumps into an Alaskan river for 3 minutes. And walks away completely fine. After being in the Alaskan wilderness for days jumping into water that is 32 digress would give you instant hypothermia- and you would be dead in about 30 minutes.

2) THe premise of the story is so bad and makes no sense. In the start of the movie we are believing that Neesen is some master wolf killer and survival expert. Guess what this expert wolf killer manages to do. He doesn't kill one frigging wolf the entire time they are out there. He convinces the remaining survivors to flee into the woods or they will die. Guess what happens- EVERYONE DIES. He didn't protect anyone let alone use any expert survival knowledge at all. He lit all the fires with the oil and matches. For all these people who say this is a "Survival Movie at its Best" in there reviews. Are you serious. what does he do throughout the movie that you think he is a survival expert.

3) I found myself laughing out loud in the theater at some of the scenes. - Because they were so out of control and unrealistic. 1) I found it funny that the guys were gathered around a fire laughing and joking when 20 minutes earlier someone just got killed by a WOLF. 2) The guys decide there best way of survival is to get down to a river they can hear. SO they decide to jump of a CLIFF with some rope/bed sheets they miraculously found in ten seconds. Are you kidding Me. Oh yeah the last guy falls to the ground and is killed by 3 wolves waiting for him down there. Did the wolves transport down the 100 foot cliff. Some of the wolf scenes were LOL funny. They would be chasing the people and Liam would say "RUN" the survivors would start running in 3 feet of snow going 1 mile an hour but the wolfs never could keep up.

Movie was horrible
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ddeclue28 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Whatever they are doing to survive in this movie you should probably be doing the opposite.

1) Wolves are NEVER that large NOR that aggressive. Wolves are afraid of people and fire even in large packs. BEARS on the other hand you should be worried about.

2) Never EVER leave the crash site unless your plane ditches in the ocean and sinks. The aircraft has an EPIRB transmitter that will begin transmitting your location the moment it detects a 6G or worse crash. It will survive much higher G impacts than you will so unless it sinks to the bottom of the ocean it WILL be relaying your location to SAR (Search and Rescue). These days there does not need to be a plane overhead – satellites will pick up your crashed EPIRB signal and alert the authorities.

3) You should also never leave the crash site because it is visible from the air and easy for SAR to spot in most cases. You on foot however are much harder to find.

4) You should also never leave the crash site because it provides you with ready made shelter which you are going to need in an arctic winter.

5) The aircraft contains radio transmitters, maps and location equipment which could be useful in figuring out where you are and calling for help. 6) The aircraft contains supplies for survival. DON'T leave the aircraft!

7) Guns will not break that easily in a plane crash. Sorry but that is just ridiculous. Even if they did a broken or empty gun still makes an excellent club.

6) Learn what pressure points are and how to stop arterial bleeding Liam! Don't let people bleed out like that.

7) The things you need in arctic survival are: deal with medical emergency first, shelter/heat/fire second, water third, and food fourth. 8) You can build shelter from snow – ever hear of an igloo Liam?

9) Trees actually help camouflage the wolves by breaking up their silhouettes. You are better off in a wide open space where they cannot sneak up on you.

10) Never ever try to cross a 1,000 ft deep gorge on a rope made from sweaters in someone's luggage. You are going to die.

11) Don't clod through 2 foot deep snow if you have a knife – make yourself some SNOW SHOES from tree branches.

12) If you are going to be in an airplane crash movie (Flight of the Phoenix, Castaway, the Grey) please be sure to pack a fully charged GPS, Iridium satellite cell phone, a zippo lighter, a K-BAR knife, appropriate clothing, some water, a Colt 1911 0.45 ACP, a high powered rifle with a scope and some ammo.
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Existential allegory
lhhung_himself11 March 2012
This is a really depressing and disturbing film - almost certainly a bust at the box office but "The Grey" is really really good - an existentialist parable - in wolves clothing.

Life is nasty - it is a struggle without meaning except for the struggle itself and the nobility in having done that well regardless of the end result. That's what the film was about - not an action picture - not a scientifically accurate portrayal of wolves but an allegory - a metaphor about the existential view of life.

The circling and relentless wolves - the beautiful yet cold and uncaring Siberian landscape - the different attitudes of the participants to the pointless struggle yet heroic effort which no one will ever know about - succinct, powerful and poignant.

One of the few films that will be remembered in future decades in what has been a especially weak year. "The Grey" is not for the faint of heart or those looking for cheap thrills - but it is an unusually brave and beautiful exposition of an unpopular and depressing philosophical view of life...
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The Grey, so full of anomalies
petralyn29 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I had to laugh at several scenes. Finally, while the credits were rolling, it was all i could do to not let out a wolf yell. A plane loses power and everyone's breath is visible but no one is concerned. The plane is going down and the flight attendant is still walking the isle? After the crash, is a clearly snow covered, desolate area there are several survivors. All of a sudden the first wolf scene has trees magically appearing in the barren landscape. Next one of the most outlandish scenes has the few remaining fashion a rope from whatever then ask a volunteer to jump 30' from a cliff, across a river, and land in trees without injury. These guys are not Rambo, and no way can one jump from this cliff and make it to the other side, in a tree.

Then there is the scene in the river where Liam is trying to rescue a drowning victim. There is no way one can survive the frigid river then walk out, lay down and then get up again without sever hypothermia.

And, last but not least, Liam stumbles upon the wolf den. My question is: are these new wolves who've changed color or did the pack following them manage to jump of a cliff, swim across the river and beat Liam to their den?
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Once more into the fray
Alan Wake3 April 2012
This is my first review ever, so please pardon me.

I won't talk about the plot in order not to spoil it but i'll just say it's not just another chick-flick/action movie nor a documentary one It's a man vs nature kind of movies like you've never seen before.

I saw the movie, blew my mind ,then-as usual- I came to read some reviews about it on here .Then i saw many "hated it" reviews. So i decided to say something about it

I think many people hated it or didn't even see it because they thought it's another Taken/Unknown Liam Neeson's "action". Hence, the movie got the wrong audience and the low ratings. Yes it has it's flaws, but if you can see what this movie is you will definitely overlook it. But the thing is, not everyone can, not the ordinary audience. You would know what i mean if you already saw it.

It's kind of funny how people dislike this movie because of the unrealistic events while they enjoy movies like mission impossible or Sherlock Holmes moreover ,they praise them. are those realistic ? Well, no. are they bad movies ? actually not at all for that type of movies. So my point is that's not a reason for disliking a movie and as i said before it's a movie not a documentary one.

My advice ,if you appreciate extraordinary movies and sick of the way the they are heading nowadays, Just ignore the Critics and see it and have a different experience.

P.S. I chose Sherlock Holmes and Mission Impossible as they were released at nearly the same time as The Grey was and they got higher ratings
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Simply Awful
candus_p31 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
One of the worst movies I have ever seen. I just made no sense whatsoever! (Possible spoilers!) Why would they leave the plane, which I'm sure had a GPS locater and instead go run into the wilderness where they have little possibility of ever being found? Why would they not use the parts of the plane to build a barrier and ring of fire around themselves? Why did they not scavenge the plane for any and everything useful (i.e., extra clothes, food, those mini-liquor bottles to fuel a fire, sharp pieces of broken metal to fight the wolves, etc.)? What happened to those bullet sticks they all once had? Why would you trudge through knee-deep snow, knowing that wolves were around without at least a big stick? And once you did find a river, why would you not try to construct some sort of raft, being that most rivers flow to some sort of civilization? And how could you just leave someone alone to die? And really? That river wasn't that deep--he couldn't have figured out that his foot was stuck? And then afterward, main character who just came out of the freezing river, is running around without a jacket and gloves and is not yet dead of hypothermia? Just seemed to me to be about perfect candidates for the Darwin awards.
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Darwin's Theory of Nature eliminating the stupid is true!
ivandster2 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Don't waste your time or money on this stupid movie. The ending alone is enough to anger and frustrate any normal blooded viewer, but add to that all the foolishness the characters display and you have to have no intellect to enjoy this movie. Let me list the stupid things the characters do: 1. They leave the downed plane to head off on their own without a clue where they are or where they are headed. When someone says that a search and rescue will be coming, Neeson's character flatly denies that they will be able to find them. His remarks are supposed to indicate the stupidity of the rescuers but only confirms his own. 2. They leave the plane, which could have easily been converted into a formidable protection for the group and head out into the open to be picked off by deranged wolves that think smarter than the humans. 3. They all seem to have knives and duct tape, why not cut off some branches from the trees and tape the knives to the ends of them and then spear the wolves instead of that cockamamy idea of trying to set off shotgun shells at the end of sticks. 3. In the wild, with predators lurking, you never walk empty handed. You would make a spear and walk with that. These fools wander around without so much as a club for protection. 4. When they finally kill a wolf, Neeson's character tells them to eat up as that is the last meat they will have. It seems they cant think well enough to pack up the rest of the meat and carry it with them! 5. Anyone who would consider a plan of jumping off a cliff in the hopes of landing in the opposite side trees has got to be suffering from brain damage. 6. In the end Neeson prepares to square off against alpha male Wolf and tapes airplane liquor bottles between his fingers as a sort of mace. The only thing that will do is cut his own hand to ribbons when the glass shatters in the fight. 7. Neesons' character has his meltdown moment and rails at God for not helping him...I couldn't help but smile at what God's reply might have been, "Have you considered using the brain I gave you?!"

No but he tells God, 'f*@K it. I'll do it myself..." and promptly walks into the middle of the wolf den. Good job on the DIY Neeson!

8. And of course the finale. What a let down by the director. To get us all prepared for the final battle and then fade to credits is simply fraudulent. I understand that filming a battle scene like that would cost a lot of money, but the movie is so cheaply made to begin with that you'd think they had enough to film it. This is touted as an action survival movie not an art house 'life is like that' crap. So forget the arty ending and give us the beef (no pun intended). And it does not do to have to wait through 15 mins of end credits to just have a flash of an exhausted and bloody Neeson and wolf sprawled on the ground. If this is a set up for a sequel, then that is just plain not good form.

My suggestion, rent the Edge with Anthony Hopkins for an intelligent and credible survival tale.

My final thought, I hope Bear Grylls does a send up of this movie by doing a show showing all the stupid things these guys did that ensured none of them survived.
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The Way Back was better and it didn't have wolves
ed_edd_and_eddy9 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed the first half of this movie simply because I wanted to enjoy it. I went into the theatre having really liked Taken and Unknown and was expecting to feel the same about this. But after about halfway I was getting more and more desperate, and I knew deep down in my heart it had failed.

Here is a rambling of some of the problems:

I did not care about the characters, the movie certainly tried to make me feel for them but it just didn't work.

I felt nothing for Neeson and his flashbacks, they, along with a few other scenes, were just annoying and made me feel the film was trying too hard to be deep and emotional. There was no surprise when it was shown to us at the end that his wife had been dying, it was guessed she was most likely dead during the opening scene.

I felt nothing while Neeson was comforting the dying man on the plane - there was a similar scene in TV series Birdsong which almost had me in tears. I felt nothing when the camera repeatedly showed Neesons hand laying down and patting the wallets of the fallen. When there was only two survivors left I found myself asking 'who is this other guy? Has he been here the whole time??' Again, I did not feel what the director was probably wanting me to feel when it was his turn to be knocked off.

When Neeson was shouting to the Heavens - a moment which could have made me believe and actually feel for this character a little - it was ruined as I was too busy being annoyed by the fact he had not suffered a single shiver after emerging from the frozen river! I was especially disappointed with this as earlier in the film I had been impressed by the lengths Neeson had went to to convey the cold - after awakening from the plane crash his face was red raw, clearly he had actually exposed himself to freezing temperatures in order to be realistic. So I was only left to wonder how many body heaters he had under his jacket when climbing out of the river.. Now had he been screaming at God whilst suffering severe uncontrollable body spasms, that would have been something! Instead I was half expecting God to appear in the sky, that's how nonsense this film is.

The wolves.. I was uncertain if these wolves were meant to be supernatural or not. They did not act like I thought wolves would act. The way they were purposefully taking their revenge etc. However, Neeson's inside knowledge of the wolf's behaviour and instincts helped. This should have been built on, with other reviews hitting the nail on the head so I won't repeat.

The impossible jump and the rope which appeared out of nowhere..

Who was logging a single tree at the top of a cliff?

The chances of stumbling into the wolves den? Really?

By the time Neeson finally got ready to kick some ass I was too far gone to care, and I wasn't bothered when they cut to the credits without showing any action, it summed up the whole film for me. Promising, but did not deliver.
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Worst Movie in the last year (maybe more years)
benzir138 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I would start from the positive. Excellent playing by Liam Neeson. Great photography and great editing. Some parts are scary as intended. That's the reason I gave it two stars and not one.

Now to the plot. That's the most implausible plot I have seen in my recent memory. Starting from their decision to leave the crash site with the lame excuse that nobody will find them there. This is really stupid. They found the plane of JFK Junior in the bottom of the sea within 24 hours of the crash. His airplane had less sophisticated equipment and for sure they had a transponder that was constantly in radio contact especially in a place like Alaska.

Then the wolves' behavior. It looks very childish. It looks totally wrong from my low level knowledge of pack animal behavior. I am not going to give readers much more spoilers, but one of the decisions of jumping off a cliff to tie a flimsy rope to a tree is totally ridiculous. There was no point in doing that since they could have continued to walk along it until the cliff is more manageable and then there is the impossibility of a normal human being actually doing that. Maybe I don't get this and this genre is like those impossible mission impossible where the acrobatics is the essence here. Sorry. The IMDb scoring normally correlates with my taste. Not this time.
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Survival tale goes against the grain
rumbleinthejungle4 March 2012
I'm surprised to see the number of negative reviews here and also surprised as to the number of comparisons to Lee Tamahori's 'The Edge'; a completely different type of film in my opinion despite the similar locales. Unrelentingly bleak with almost no glimpse of warmth ( both literally and figuratively!) during the whole running time it's easy to see that this film will not be for everyone. The absence of a heroic ending and the depiction of the absolute fragility of man (and futility of machismo) will also serve to divide audiences even further. But, if you can get past these things and can overlook a couple of plot points that might seem illogical you are in for one heck of visceral cinematic ride. The story is simple - Liam Neeson is a distraught widower contracted to shoot Wolves in the Alaskan oil fields. On a flight to the mainland for R&R the plane goes down in the middle of nowhere and he and six other passengers are the only remaining survivors. The motley group must contend with a grim situation that see's them dropped in a freezing barren wasteland with no food, shelter or weapons and a pack of hungry Timber Wolves keen to pick them off one by one. I liked the AO Scott review for this film in which he pointed out that the film posed and answered a number of theological and existential questions in a very quiet and dignified way. Quite un-Hollywood. This is no Tom Hanks picture and unlike the aforementioned The Edge it's never for a minute considered an option for the men to make a stand against the Wolves in the way that Charles and Bob did with Bart the Bear in that film. They are completely at the mercy of the environment and it's predators whilst also being aware of the increasing futility of their plight. The film goes against the grain right from the outset and it's a stylistic decision from the creators that simultaneously elevates it above many of it's counterparts but also probably limits it's broader appeal - an early scene immediately after the crash where Neeson comforts a dying man is one of the most powerful and beautiful pieces of acting I've seen in recent years. To summarize, I found the film a very intense watch and it stayed with me for long time afterwards. Surely the hallmarks of a great picture?
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save yourself 2 hours
paulclaudia19994 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
OK this contains spoilers!!! Airplane crashes in icy cold land.Seven survivors, loads of wolves (and lots of plastic wolves). Survivors leave safety of plane and wander off into the icy cold land. Yum yum say the wolves "let's gradually kill off these men" And so by varying means the clever wolves gradually kill off the stupid men.

To get away from the wolves at one point the men jump off a cliff into trees about 30 feet away. Amazingly only one doesn't make it. Oh dear I think the fall will kill him. Luckily he just about survives but , wait for it...Oh yes! here come the wolves to nibble and gnaw at him to finish him off. Talk about unlucky!

At the end all the men are dead ( you want me to wait until after the credits PERLEASE!)

I honestly felt it reminded me of th old Hammer film Theatre Of Blood whereby an actor kills off his critics one by one by different means.

Maybe if it had been played for laughs it would have been good.
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Watch The Edge Instead
stravsky1 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"If they send fifty planes, maybe they'll find us. But they won't send fifty planes, because it won't matter, because…we won't have time to wait for the one or two that they will send." That was the flimsy basis to explain why a bunch of professionals should decide to wander of into the frozen tundra and certain death rather than build a shelter and wait for an imminent rescue attempt. ERGH, wouldn't the plane have stuck to a well laid out flightpath since leaving base and had a GPS locater on on-board? Besides, wouldn't wouldn't heading off to the forests be like entering the natural hunting ground of wolves anyway? This film left me rooting for the wolves (bigbadmoviereviews)
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Neeson and Carnahan go above and beyond the survival thriller norms
Movie_Muse_Reviews27 January 2012
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

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Such potential this movie had! Unfortunately it fails miserably
jeffroy42-291-3305113 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a big fan of Liam Neeson, but come on now... you must admit this movie was horrible. Probably the biggest contributor to the failure of this movie is that they showed the ENDING SCENE IN THE PREVIEWS!!! Since when is this OK??? I went to this movie to see a Glass-Fist-Wolf-Fight, and it never freakin' happened!!! The wolves were quite fake looking, not even close to realistic, and the whole movie dragged on 'til the end when I thought I would finally see the battle I came to see, and then.. the screen goes black and credits start to roll!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!?? You don't tease people with a hand to hand wolf fight in the preview if the movie never actually shows the fight. Big disappointment!! This movie was pure crap in my opinion.
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Would you watch it if it weren't for Liam Neeson?
enilenis24 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The problem with this movie is that it is completely generic and predictable. A story that did not have to be told. If it wasn't for Liam Neeson, few would watch it. He is the only asset of this film, which is the reason his face is as big as the movie poster. It's an actor notoriety flick with no substance.

Take the number of characters, divide it by the number of minutes in the film and you'll have your action schedule. The formula is as follows: "Present a death. Travel to a different setting. Present the next death. Rinse, lather, repeat." Take the main character and the main villain and reserve them for the end of the movie. Give a meaningless task to a secondary character (collecting wallets), putting him second to last in the sequence of potential casualties. Proceed with murdering characters from the least to the most developed. Partially incapacitate each group member who is about to depart offering hints to events that are already beyond obvious.

There was absolutely nothing interesting about the film, and I feel saddened by the fact such a great actor would reduce himself to acting in made-for-TV class movies.

Would you watch the movie someone else played the main role? Would you even notice it? Would you pay money to watch Linden Ashby (or someone equally recognizable) portray Ottway?

Nevertheless, if you're into these kinds of flicks, I'd highly recommend Frank Marshall's "Alive". A much more engaging story based on actual events, which sadly rates lower on IMDb than this soulless production.
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The Grey
mcraig-9-51134827 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Plane crash in Alaska. Eight survivors. Lots of hungry wolves.

Instead of staying with the downed plane, they decide to cover about five miles of open ground and head towards a forest.

Most of the survivors are equipped with knives and a human brain, making them smarter (one would hope) than the wolves. Not one of them sharpened along stick for defence purposes. Any fire they built was tiny, no thought was given to making a defensive structure.

Seriously, do they think the watching public are so dumb?

1/10 for this awful movie - the only reason it gets one point is for the acting of the Wolves - they were excellent.
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Just not very good
guy_r4 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I would give it 3 stars if every other word in the movie wasn't and F- bomb. I'm not a prudish person, but it got very annoying hearing one in nearly every sentence.

They jump over a huge cliff above a river into the tops of 100 ft tall trees and the wolves are waiting for them at the bottom? Did the wolves jump down the cliff too? Way too many dumb things like that in this movie.

I was rooting for the wolves, every time someone died it was one less guy I had to listen to swear. Wish I wouldn't have wasted my afternoon at the theater today.
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Some truth
keithan-rogers24 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I had to create an account to comment on the top few reviews about this movie. The people who wrote them are not very informed on what they speak.

Everyone says the movie is unrealistic. People surviving plane crashes: Really happens; Sleeping outside in the cold: Really happens, in fact I have been to several winter survival schools, we do it all the time, it happens without fire too; Wolves: if you are threatening a wolf it will kill you. "Animal shows" are a horrible source of information. It is downright ironic you quote animal shows as your source to discredit a movie; Doubt anyone has been to Alaska, because you can survive outside much longer than 3 days. Not to mention all of the people who were there had been working many years and had all their luggage. "probably sub zero" is idiotic. It was MAYBE close to zero in real life. Regardless, not that cold. Then you say he would be dead in 30 minutes after jumping into the river. Don't know if you looked at your watch but it wasn't 30 minutes until he died. He also stripped clothing off between those scenes, which is what you would need to do to survive.

Neeson didn't seem like a survival expert to me, wolf-killer sure. His rifle broke in half, and he knew more about surviving than anyone. Example, they would never have been found in reality, in a situation like that escape is your only option and you are a fool if you think otherwise. RULE 1 in survival is USE WHAT YOU HAVE. Why the hell would you make your life harder trying to start fires with a homemade bow when you have airplane fuel and lighters with you? Are you kidding me?

Hilarious that they were laughing around a fire? You lose hope and you die. Humor is the easiest way to promote unity and instill hope. Miraculously found sheets? It looked like shirts to me, and they all were carrying full packs of salvaged things from the plane. If you knew an ounce about survival you'd know rope is one of the most useful tools and could be made with almost anything. Wolves travel much faster than humans.

You people giving negative reviews need to give good reasons, like the acting sucked. It was a movie, and movies are made a certain way, to make money. Shrek is much more unrealistic but I doubt you are giving that negative reviews huh.

All the BS aside from reading the first few reviews, the movie was very well done. Liam Neeson is as badass as always, the realism is there for the most part. The one thing I noticed is night is not that long in Alaska. Several hours at most where they were. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Do not ruin your night out!
Brad Soltani31 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It all depends on why you go to the movies. Camera, sound, special effects and casting seems to be working fine. (Not excellent though) However, story line does not have a straight line. It's a circle. (Spoiler: Do not read if you want to go and see the movie) Suicidal man sits on a plane. The plane crashes into the mountains. A few survive and try to find their way out. Some meaningless conversations and then they all die.

Really! there is absolutely nothing to enjoy about this movie, except if you are a critic, looking for something slightly different.

Go have a nice dinner instead!
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Worst Liam Neesum ever
nkbrgs30 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
My son really wanted to see this move because of the previews. I caved in and took him. The movie was very slow at times and kept you waiting for something to happen. There were times I kept thinking it was going to turn around but it just never happened. As for the was very disappointing to sit through two hours and not have one person make it out alive. At the end of the movie in a theater that was could have heard a pin drop. The only noise were comments of you've got to be kidding... Not good at all. The preview was pretty much the movie. Save your money and if you are really into survival movies then get it on video for a buck.
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