After their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, a group of
oil workers must fend off a pack of wolves in order to survive.
The Grey (2011)
Directed by Joe Carnahan
Written by Joe Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
Starring Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney,
Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie,
James Badge Dale, Ben Hernandez Bray
Based on the short story "Ghost Walker" by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
The Grey forever changed the way I look at wolves. This film is brutal, vicious, and one of the finest man vs. nature films ever made. Faced with disturbingly low odds of survival, six men must face a vicious pack of wolves who have targeted them for extermination. This pulse-pounding thriller humanizes its characters and makes the wolves much more than a natural threat. It's almost like they're the reapers targeting the men who have escaped death, but these men aren't going down without a fight.
Liam Neeson shines as the unofficial leader Ottway, a man with suicidal thoughts who now desperately clings to his dwindling life. Neeson gives one of his most dramatic performances in a long time, showing how slowly it takes for a man to truly break. His relentless attempts to ensure the group's survival make it all the more heartbreaking when each man inevitably faces Mother Nature and loses. Every scene is enhanced by a beautiful score by Marc Streitenfeld and some gorgeous cinematography work as well.
This film reminds its audience how life is both fragile and resilient all at once and the human will to survive is the strongest piece of the human experience. As the film progresses, we are treated to bits and pieces of these men's existence. Who they were back in the world, who their families are. Unlike many films in the same category, The Grey continually reminds us that these are people with lives who will be missed. This ruthless determination to toy with our emotions is one of the many things that makes The Grey a great movie.