The Grey



                         Live or die on this day


John Ottway works in Alaska killing the wolves that threaten an oil drilling team. On his last day on the job, Ottway writes a letter to his wife Ana (Anne Openshaw) that he plans to commit suicide. While holding the barrel of a rifle in his mouth, Ottway hears the howl of a wolf, and pulls the trigger, but the gun doesn't fire. 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, 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 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 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 wolf. 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 stops 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 states that he believes in God, but Ottway confesses that he too is an atheist, but that he wishes he could believe. Burke awakens and he begins to hallucinate from hypoxia. He goes back to sleep in front of the campfire. The group bonds over personal stories. Ottway tells the group about a poem that is hung above his father's desk, a poem that contributes to the film's major theme. 

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 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, 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. Diaz understands that if Ottway and Henrick dragged him along, they would be more open to attack. Thus, he decides to come to terms with death. 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.

Ottway then stops and pulls out each wallet collected from the dead, examining the mementos they contain. He places them on the snow, in the shape of a cross. He then adds 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 the other pack members back off. Ottway sees another vision of his wife, which now reveals that she died on a hospital bed. Deciding to make a final stand, he puts on the emergency wristwatch, tapes miniature alcohol bottles to his fist and breaks them on a nearby rock and also tapes a knife to his other hand. He quietly recites his father's poem to himself, then charges the alpha wolf before the screen goes black.










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Directed by

Joe Carnahan

Produced by

Jules Daly, Joe Carnahan, Ridley Scott, Mickey Liddell

Written by

Joe Carnahan


Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, James Badge Dale

Music by

Marc Streitenfeld

Distributed by

Open Road Films

Release date(s) 11/12/2011
Running time 117 mins.
Language English

$25 million