A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Grey -- a wilderness survival movie about oil workers who live through a plane crash in the frozen wild and must avoid being devoured by wolves -- has very strong violence, including death, gore, and blood, plus wolf attacks and a scary plane crash sequence. Though it's an action/adventure movie, it's very much geared for adults. Language is strong, with multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as other terms. Sexual innuendo pops up in the men's conversations, though there's no other sex or nudity. And there's some drinking and minor smoking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Withdrawn, sad, and stoic, Ottway (Liam Neeson) works "a job at the end of the world." He's a rifleman for an Alaskan oil drilling station, and it's his responsibility to shoot and kill any wolves that venture anywhere near the workers. A plane taking the men back to Anchorage for a little R&R crashes in the snowy wilderness; only eight survive, including the macho Diaz (Frank Grillo) and Talget (Dermot Mulroney), who has a fear of heights. Unfortunately, they land right in the middle of a den of wolves. Ottway takes the lead and formulates a desperate plan to make for the trees before the wolves attack. But even if they manage to escape those hungry predators, they're still lost ... and very, very cold.
Is it any good?
This film is more focused on raw guts than on deep thoughts. Director Joe Carnahan is probably best known for "guy" movies like Smokin' Aces and The A-Team, but now he has made a movie about men. THE GREY is a good deal more serious than his previous pulpy entertainments, but it's also a good deal less serious than many other man-versus-nature stories -- some of which can tend to get a bit metaphysical (Into the Wild, etc.). Its simple theme isn't so much man-versus-himself but man-versus-wolf.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Grey's extreme violence and gore. Does it seem gratuitous, or does it fit in with the story and themes? Does it have more or less impact than what you've seen in horror movies? Why?
What's the appeal of the "wilderness survival" genre? How do you think you'd do in a situation like this one?
Is the main character a positive role model? Could anything make him a better one?
- In theaters: January 27, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: May 15, 2012
- Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Liam Neeson
- Director: Joe Carnahan
- Studio: Open Road Films
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 117 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence/disturbing content including bloody images, and for pervasive language
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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