The Grey (2011) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • 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.

  • This film is about a group of oil workers in Alaska who are all catching a flight home. While on the flight they go through some bad turbulence and then the plane crashes. There are some survivors including John Ottway (Liam Neeson) and they band together to try and survive the harsh cold conditions. But they soon find that there is a pack of Timber Wolves stalking them. They can either stay at the plane crash site and risk getting attacked or head towards some tree's in the distance to save themselves. But things don't work out the way they'd planned and slowly but surely the wolves try to pick them off one by one. Can they survive and make it to safety?

  • A crew of Alaskan oil-drillers find themselves in the wilderness after their plane crashes. As the crew tries to make a camp around the wreckage of the plane, they discover that they are being watched. The plane has crashed near a wolf den, causing these creatures to aggressively attack the survivors. As the wolves follow them, John Ottway (one of these survivors, played by Liam Neeson) starts to see these people as actual people (as opposed to "assholes...men unfit for mankind"). Separated from society, we start to see these characters for who they are instead of what they were made to be by their circumstances. As Ottway sees his (now) companions picked off one by one, he questions himself, his companions, and the God he didn't use to believe in.

  • Crude oil workers in Alaska are heading home for a 2-week vacation, after working grueling shifts. On their way home, they encounter a vicious storm that brings their plane crashing down in the Alaskan tundra. 8 survivors must find their way to civilization. They are hampered by mysterious wolves.

  • 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.



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • John Ottway (Liam Neeson) works in Alaska killing the wolves that threaten an oil drilling team. We see a scene of him shooting a wolf and then watching, with his hand on it almost as though he's sorry for it, as it breaths more and more slowly and finally dies. On his last day on the job, Ottway writes a letter to his wife Ana (Anne Openshaw) who has left him, that he plans to commit suicide. While holding the barrel of the Winchester Model 70 in his mouth, Ottway hears the howl of a wolf, which stops him.

    Upon completing the job, the team and Ottway head home on a plane that crashes in a blizzard. Ottway then sees a vision of his wife but awakens to find one of the team, Lewenden (James Badge Dale), mortally wounded. Ottway calms him, letting him know that he is going to die, and then Lewenden dies peacefully.

    Ottway sets the survivors to task collecting material for a fire. He sees a woman in need of help, but finds her being eaten by a gray wolf who also attacks Ottway. He is rescued by the others and explains that they are most likely in the wolves' territory. After starting a fire, the survivors take turns keeping watch. While urinating, Hernandez (Ben Bray) is killed by two wolves. The remaining survivors find his body in the morning and Ottway suggests they leave the crash site because they are wide open to attack. Diaz (Frank Grillo) questions Ottway's leadership and begins defying his orders. Before they leave, Ottway and the others remove the wallets from many of the bodies with the intention of returning them to surviving family members. Hendrick says a prayer and thanks to God for allowing them to survive the crash and then the survivors leave the crash site.

    While hiking across the snow, Flannery (Joe Anderson) falls behind and is killed by three wolves. The remaining survivors continue on and make camp in the woods, where tension between Ottway and Diaz comes to a head as the survivors create makeshift weaponry. Diaz threatens Ottway with his knife, but is disarmed by Ottway. The survivors meet the alpha wolf, who sends an omega to test Diaz. However, the survivors are able to kill the wolf and eat it. Diaz severs its head and throws it back as a symbol of defiance.

    The group stop to build a campfire at night and they start a conversation. Diaz tells the group how the men who died aren't in heaven and there is no god, Talget admits that he believes but Ottway confesses that he too is an atheist, but he wishes that he could believe. Burke (Nonso Anozie) awakens and he begins to hallucinate from hypoxia. He goes back to sleep in front of the campfire. The group bonds over personal stories. A blizzard approaches and they try to preserve the campfire to prevent hypothermia. Despite their best efforts, Ottway finds Burke's frozen lifeless body in the morning.

    Further in their travels, the survivors come across a high canyon wall within which, screened by trees, they identify a river. Hendrick (Dallas Roberts) jumps to the trees to secure a line as a means of traverse. Diaz and Ottway make it across the line to join Hendrick, but Talget (Dermot Mulroney), who is afraid of heights, loses his glasses on the way and freezes out of fear. He reluctantly continues across, but soon finds his injured hand has begun bleeding and he gets caught up in the makeshift rope. Talget struggles to untangle himself, but the line breaks and he crashes through the trees to the ground. Wounded, Talget sees a vision of his daughter and is dragged away by the wolves. While attempting to save Talget, Diaz falls from the tree and injures his knee.

    The three remaining survivors continue their trek and make it to the river, but an exhausted Diaz can make it no further, preferring to stay and die than go on. Hendrick tries to convince Diaz to carry on, but Ottway tells him it is futile. They give each other final goodbyes and Ottway and Hendrick leave Diaz on the riverside, as the crackling of branches caused by wolves is heard.

    Ottway and Hendrick continue, but are soon chased by wolves again. Fleeing, Hendrick falls in the river and he gets his foot stuck between underwater rocks. Ottway jumps into the river to attempt to save him but Hendrick drowns in the river. Freezing and alone, Ottway then curses God and asks for His help with no response.

    Ottway continues on without his wet coat but he is eventually dazed from hypothermia taking effect. He then stops and pulls out each wallet collected from the dead, examines the mementos they contain, and places them in a pile on the snow, adding his own wallet as well. Suddenly, the pack of wolves surrounds him, leading Ottway to discover that he has walked right into their den. He is soon spotted by the alpha wolf and realises that it is female while the other pack members back off. Ottway sees another vision of his wife, which now reveals that she was dying on a hospital bed, and suggests the reason for his earlier attempted suicide. Deciding to make a stand, he tapes broken miniature alcohol bottles to his fist and a knife to his other hand. He recites his father's poem aloud to himself, then charges the alpha wolf before the screen goes black. In a post-credits scene, the back of Ottway's head is seen laying on the side of the presumably dying Alpha wolf's stomach, as it breaths more and more slowly, a bookend to the similar scene at the beginning.

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