The Grey a 'Lyrical' Thriller

Liam Neeson stars in survival thriller
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2012 9:16 AM CST
The Grey a 'Lyrical' Thriller
In this film image released by Open Road Films, from left, Dallas Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Liam Neeson, and Nonso Anozie are shown in a scene from "The Grey."   (AP Photo/Open Road Films, Kimberley French)

The Grey, a survival-in-the-wilderness thriller starring Liam Neeson, is earning a wealth of literary comparisons. The film tells the story of a group of men stranded in the snow after a plane crash, and critics are mostly impressed.

  • In the New York Times, AO Scott applauds the "fine, tough little movie, technically assured and brutally efficient, with a simple story that ventures into some profound existential territory without making a big fuss about it." The film is "as blunt and effective—and also, at times, as lyrical—as a tale by Jack London or Ernest Hemingway."

  • The Grey is "in the best sense, like a men’s adventure magazine splashed on the big screen," notes Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News. "With a bellyful of lite Hemingway and a heavy soul that never drags it down, director Joe Carnahan’s great adventure follows Neeson’s lead and stays steely to the end."
  • But in USA Today, Claudia Puig isn't particularly wowed. "With its reliance on jolts, sudden movements, and thunderous sounds, The Grey is more startling than frightening," she writes. "What starts as a tense and moody survival thriller fairly quickly becomes tedious, forced, and far-fetched."
  • "Some of The Grey is phony," agrees Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. But "there's an actual human element to go with Carnahan's Jack London-inspired depiction of humans against the elements."
Click to see why Slate's Dana Stevens thinks the movie is "almost haiku-like." (More movie review stories.)

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