Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jan 26, 2012
    90
    It's a 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 25, 2012
    88
    Sit through the entire credits. There's one more shot still to come. Not that you wouldn't be content without it.
  3. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jan 26, 2012
    83
    Genre movies are often mere excuses for shows of gore and tricked-up suspense, and while The Grey should satisfy anyone who seeks only that there's something more profound and pure at its heart, making it a genuinely entertaining thriller that puts a chill through you in more ways than one.
  4. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 26, 2012
    80
    I pretty much loved this movie from start to finish - risible implausibilities, insufficiently explained premise and all. An admirably spare survival thriller, The Grey (nice title!) abounds in qualities that are rare in movies of its type. It's quiet, contemplative, and almost haiku-like in its simplicity.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jan 26, 2012
    80
    What is surprising is how poetic the movie is, partly thanks to its high-lonesome sound design and the desolate beauty of its visuals, but mostly because of its star, Liam Neeson.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jan 26, 2012
    80
    The gristle inside this movie is one of the things that save it from being simply a series of challenges.
  7. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Jan 26, 2012
    80
    Like Anthony Mann's "The Naked Spur" (1953) or "Man of the West" (1958), the movie draws on the terrifying beauty of the natural world and generates tension from the volatile dynamics of a carefully observed group.
  8. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Feb 1, 2012
    78
    The film is an intelligent study of the will to live. It's so strong that even a suicidal man rises to the occasion.
  9. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jan 31, 2012
    75
    There's an almost poetic quality to the way things develop, with characters becoming increasingly introspective.
  10. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jan 27, 2012
    75
    Forsaken in a cruel wilderness, a man looks to God and pleads for help. Receiving no answer, he says, "F- -k, I'll do it myself."
  11. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jan 26, 2012
    75
    The setting and fatalistic musings of The Grey invite comparison to Sean Penn's stirring 2007 ad­ven­ture "Into the Wild"; in its more metaphysical moments, told in impressionistic flashbacks, it recalls last year's "The Tree of Life."
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jan 26, 2012
    75
    A terrifically exciting, deeply unsettling survivalist epic.
  13. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 26, 2012
    75
    Call The Grey "Deliverance" Lite, with snow, and wolves. And call it a solid January surprise.
  14. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jan 24, 2012
    75
    The Grey avoids smug clichés, takes you to places you least expect and settles for no comfortable solutions, while it explores the dark shadows of the male psyche and finds more emotional fragility there than you find in the usual phony macho myths from Hollywood.
  15. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Jan 23, 2012
    75
    There's little in Joe Carnahan's previous films, marked by their frenetic, fanboy-friendly overindulgences, to predict the cold blast of The Grey, an old-fashioned, neatly arrayed survival story that almost reads like a reaction to the excesses of his past work.
  16. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Jan 26, 2012
    70
    Mr. Carnahan has till now been pigeonholed, and rightly, by comedy shoot-'em-ups like "Smokin' Aces" and "The A-Team." But here he is with The Grey - certainly an adventure film but one with a spiritual ingredient that is both surprising and fiercely resonant.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jan 26, 2012
    70
    True to its grim prospectus, The Grey dwells in haunted machismo to the very end.
  18. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 25, 2012
    70
    Don't be mistaken -- this isn't an artsy thriller. It is still, at heart, men vs. wolves, and the wolves definitely have the home-court advantage.
  19. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jan 19, 2012
    70
    The Grey, a man's-man of a genre picture that will satisfy the action audience while reminding more discerning viewers what they saw in director Joe Carnahan's decade-old breakthrough, "Narc."
  20. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Jan 27, 2012
    65
    The movie might not be a vengeance-driven wolf-man cage fight, but in subverting those escapist expectations, it sinks its teeth far deeper and more memorably.
  21. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jan 26, 2012
    63
    The film sustains some suspense and brooding atmosphere for its first half, but eventually the clichés of character and dialogue drag it struggling to ground.
  22. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jan 26, 2012
    63
    The Grey, whose clipped title, grim swagger, and lost-in-the-outback themes conjure up visions of that Alec Baldwin/Anthony Hopkins classic, "The Edge," devolves into a predictable man-against-nature, and man-against-fellow man, affair.
  23. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jan 26, 2012
    63
    At times, the animatronic effects used to create the wolves are too obvious, and the one-by-one kill-off plotline employed in so many horror films gives The Grey a plodding predictability. At nearly two hours, it's also too long.
  24. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jan 24, 2012
    60
    Moment to moment, the film is gripping and beautiful to behold (props to cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi for the mesmerizingly grainy, achromatic visuals). But caveat emptor to those expecting a hinterlands gloss on "Taken" with rapacious curs in place of nefarious Albanians.
  25. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jan 25, 2012
    58
    Neeson brings gravitas to the table, acting as a legitimizing counterweight to the overwrought dialogue and flesh-tearing lupine hysteria. But in a scenario this persistently ludicrous, he can only do so much.
  26. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jan 25, 2012
    58
    You see the pattern here? Winter-release slot + travel budget + Liam Neeson = slightly preposterous, routinely violent, apparently lucrative action movie in which the Irish-born star signals inner emotional conflict with his handsomely mashed boxer's face while settling outer physical conflict with his boxer's fists.
  27. 50
    Neeson's gravity elevates the action, and there's a fine, prickly performance by an actor new to me, Frank Grillo, as the asshole of the group. But The Grey, despite moments of sublimity, is as predictable as a funeral. When Ottway angrily calls out to God, the nonanswer is sadly redundant.
  28. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jan 26, 2012
    50
    The computer-generated wolves have more personality than any of the dull characters in The Grey.
  29. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Jan 26, 2012
    50
    It's cheap the way The Grey wants to be both a Liam Neeson "Quit Taking My Stuff'' movie and an existential thriller about survival.
  30. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Jan 19, 2012
    50
    The picture's dialogue-heavy stretches and ambiguous finale could leave ticketbuyers impatient for less chatter and more chomping.
  31. Reviewed by: Brian Miller
    Jan 24, 2012
    40
    There's too much Jack London, and, as they systematically pick off the stragglers, too many CGI wolves go unpunched.
  32. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Jan 19, 2012
    40
    This is admirably ambitious, but Carnahan's not nearly good enough a writer or director to pull it off: the results are portentous, muddled and not nearly as entertaining as Neeson's usual face-punching antics.
  33. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Jan 26, 2012
    25
    A handsome but gabby take on the standard survivalist thriller that's more concerned with lofty metaphysics than which poor blockhead is about to bite it next.
  34. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 25, 2012
    25
    Carnahan didn't make a movie unfit for mankind but it certainly isn't worth mankind's money.
  35. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jan 25, 2012
    25
    Neeson is always compelling, even in a movie as ridiculous as The Grey.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 379 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 136
  2. Negative: 24 out of 136
  1. Feb 1, 2012
    10
    Closer examination of this movie seems to indicate that it is an analogy. It is really about man facing his God and his fear of death in a dignified fashion...which is what Liam Nesson does. As proof I offer the 4 line poem the main character's father wrote and posted on his wall. It is repeated several times so you can't miss it...you're not supposed to. It is the last thing Liam Neeson's character thinks of before....well you know. The message is quite clear. Live to fight another day, die with honor, strength, bravery and above all dignity. I think the movie was beautifully done and superbly acted. Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2012
    6
    I appreciate the spare, gritty look and feel of the movie. No, the wolves didn't look 100% realistic with Jurassic Park-style CGI, but it doesn't matter. What's here is certainly convincing enough. The relationships between the men, they way each of them reacts to the crisis, and their journey have a very real texture to them. In some way that I can't specifically articulate, it reminds me a bit of Meek's Cutoff (a film I don't care for), though this film is much more entertaining. The characters are a bit flat, and given the way that some of the dialogue was written, it also reminds me of more off-the-cuff, found-footage films like Blair Witch and Paranormal 3. Which worked for me - it all sounds very natural. And as Ebert suggests, you have to sit through the credits if you want to see the final shot of the film. Full Review »
  3. Jan 27, 2012
    5
    THE CONS Wolves just don't LOOK or behave like that. Period. The process of suspending my disbelief was continuously interrupted by these wolves on steroids. Kept waiting to learn they were the progeny of some escaped military experiment. That would have actually been more believable. Please stop maligning our hapless wolves (the REAL ones)! Only Neeson saved this from being a silly fairy tale. I was very highly upset by the abrupt ending. I mean, we expect to be rewarded for tagging along on a perilous journey with the characters of a suspenseful story in the first place, right? THE PROS *Great performances. Neeson at his best, as usual. *Awe-inspiring visuals of misty mountain ranges. *Crash seemed horrifically realistic. Full Review »