"The Grey" is about a group of explorers on their way to an expedition when their plane crashes and they have to fight for survival. The movie deals with several themes, one of which is about survival, to what lengths would one go to survive. The desperation, the fearfulness, all coupled with the unknown makes for one interesting survival thriller. Another theme the film tackles is a little less barbaric, it is more philosophical. The main characters question religion and their own beliefs. For some it is useless, but for others it is the only thing keeping them going.
The film is shot and directed fairly well. We get some really nice views of the surrounding. I really like the ambiance the director creates. It's very cold and I felt it. The unknown is frightening and there is a lot of shock value, but it doesn't use it cheaply to get a reaction. I have a problem with the beginning, it just didn't capture my interest. It is slow and poorly paced and the monologue is cheesy with nothing truly interesting to say. It comes off as deep, but in actuality it is fairly shallow. The movie is also paced very awkwardly, just when things are getting interesting it slows down, mostly in the middle where they have a philosophical chat.
The characters are good and the acting is decent. However, this is Liam Neeson's show. He is wonderful to watch and his character is a total "badass." He's strong and smart, but isn't totally fearless, he just makes it seem that way. The thing I like about the characters are that they start off as nobodies, but as they open up we beginning to care for them. I really got attached to the characters and it was unfortunate when they some of them meet their ends.
Overall, "The Grey" is a good movie. It isn't a great one, but it is time well spent. The story maybe a bit choppy and oddly paced, but the characters and the sheer ambiance make up for it. I wish there had been more action though because the film does build to a big confrontation or some serious action sequences, but it doesn't become fully realized. And another let down is the end, which is abrupt and could have been one hell of a final confrontation. I give it a solid 3.5/5, great ambiance, with characters I care for, but a choppy story.