Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

Let's Talk About The Ending To THE GREY!

MASSIVE GODDAMN GREY SPOILERS AHEAD.

Nordling here.

This will be my last article about THE GREY, I promise.  But I've been reading the reactions online and in Talkback, and they vary from wildly enthusiastic to genuinely angry.  And I definitely have an opinion on why people are upset, and whether or not their anger is justified, but I'll get to that in a minute.

So... you just came out of THE GREY.  You saw the commercials, the trailers, and you've read about our coverage here on the site, and maybe you've read other reviews praising the movie.  Right now THE GREY is registering Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 79% rating.  So, you sit down to the movie, ready to see two hours or so of Liam Neeson in the snow fighting wolves with nothing but his badassery, some broken bottles, and his fists.

What you get is a harrowing survival drama, and you find yourself enjoying the acting and the characters.  Maybe the wolves are a bit too CGI for your tastes, or maybe you buy into the whole "wolves are a metaphor for death" thing and ride it out.  But the whole time, you're waiting... waiting for Liam to kick some canine ass.

So, the end comes.  Everyone but Ottway is dead.  He's cursed God, we know that his wife is dead, and when Ottway decides, sitting in the snow, that he's going to live, you prepare yourself, because you know that scene in the trailer has to be coming, right?  You know the movie is likely going to end with Ottway taking them all on.

Ottway unwittingly enters the wolves' den, and he had no idea that he was leading the men in the wrong direction.  The wolves surround Ottway.  You're primed.  And as Ottway recites the poem his dad wrote, the one great thing he remembers about his father and the conflicted relationship they had, he decides, once and for all, that his life is worth living, and fighting for.  This suicidal man decides to live and fight, and even though he's certain to fall, he straps on the glass and prepares.  The wolf stares at him, then lunges, and Ottway lunges forward...

And then smash to black.  No wolf punching of any kind.  The credits begin to roll, and for those of you ready to see some Neeson/wolf action, you realize... wait, that's IT?!  Where's the fucking wolf fight?  What the hell!  You're pissed off.  Are you justified in your anger?

First off, I loved the ending.  I loved how it lets the audience, or at least the audience willing to roll with the thematic punches, decide for themselves what the ending means.  For me personally, I didn't NEED to see Ottway fight the wolves.  The whole point of the film is about a man staring death in the eye and having the courage to fight when he knows he won't win.  Thematically, the smash cut to black makes complete sense and I think it makes the movie that much richer.  

I'm not exactly sure what people expected or wanted - they sat through two hours of an incredibly realistic and harrowing survival movie.  People die - some go quietly, some give up, and some die inches from salvation.  It's senseless and seemingly random, and it's enough to shake anyone's faith.  The key, and point to the film, is that for Ottway, he decides that he wants to live, and at the beginning of the film he's ready to embrace the darkness.  This life may be hard, it make not make any sense, and it may be full of loss and grief, but it's his to fight for, dammit, and he will do so knowing full well that he won't make it out.  To not try is the real failure.  Having Ottway actually fight the wolves seems anticlimactic to me.  It's not the point of the movie.

Yet... if you're angry about how the movie ends, because of what you saw in the trailers?  Yeah.  You have a right to be angry.  Absolutely.  You see, the trailers promise a completely different movie than what you got.  In those trailers, THE GREY is an adventure story, and based on the films we've seen Liam Neeson do in the past few years, it sells the movie as an action vehicle for him.  It shows scenes that are blatantly lies.  You never see the moment where Ottway runs towards the wolves, fists up, ready to fight.  That never happens.  

And because it's set up as the centerpiece of the trailer, people are under the misconception that that's the kind of film they're getting.  It's directed by the man who made THE A-TEAM and SMOKIN' ACES, after all, so it's possible that his being the director, coupled with the trailers, had audiences anticipating something other than what the movie turned out to be.  What THE GREY is is a drama about what it means to be a man when death is coming for you, relentlessly, and how men each come to death differently.  It's not an action film in the strictest sense - there isn't even much action in it.  

I think much of the marketing for THE GREY has been handled poorly, at least in regards to the trailers.  Listen, audiences today are different than in the 1970s or 1980s or even the 1990s.  Movies aren't cheap anymore.  They cost quite a bit for the average couple to see, and it's an investment of time and money for them.  So, yeah, when a trailer promises something in the movie, they expect to get it.  Those audiences angry at THE DEVIL INSIDE for copping out on the ending are justified, and I think people relying on the trailers for THE GREY, and angry at how the film ends, well, they can be justified too.  If you sell something, like a movie, you should be direct and honest about the movie we're getting.  Seeing Liam Neeson run into battle against a bunch of wolves makes for amazing imagery and helps to sell the movie, of course... the goal of those trailers is to get asses in seats and if you saw THE GREY based on those trailers, they were successful.  But it's a cheat and it's not fair to the moviegoers.

I hope that you saw THE GREY and loved it like I did, because the larger themes and characters resonated with me and I think it's an important work from Joe Carnahan. It's full of terrific performances from all the actors involved, including Frank Grillo, Dallas Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, and especially Liam Neeson.  I hope you can get past the trailers and see what's underneath the surface, and enjoy the film for what it is and not for what it was promised.  But if you're mad... yeah.  You have a right to be mad.  I just hope that you'll get over that and learn to appreciate the movie on what it does do and not for what you thought it might do.

And about that last shot after the credits?  It's a nice little treat, but thematically it doesn't register at all.  But if you HAVE to know about what happens, yeah, Ottway seemingly wins.  But it doesn't mean anything to me - it's just a nice little coda that you can take or leave.  It takes nothing away from the larger themes of the movie, and I think that's intended.  Take it or leave it.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Jan. 29, 2012, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Fade to Black

    by DARKJEDI

    You would think after the Sopranos...Hollywood would stop the Fade to Black endings...its lazy filmmaking at is best...Its Like writing a book, you can't figure out a ending, and you just say screw it, let the reader think it up....Lazy!

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 8:57 p.m. CST

    First?

    by dckilljoy

    Not sure if that really happened

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    Was "Don't Stop Believing" playing...

    by OutsideChance

    ...when that happened? I ask because that ending sounds waaaay too much like the "Sopranos" finale for my tastes.

  • That's cool.... I guess. Personally, I think I would be pissed off with that as a theater experience if I was expecting any kind of a resolution. Now that I know I'm cool with it and I'm still excited to check it out. But I can see why some people are getting pissed.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Where'd muh comment go?

    by Jaka

    Hmm.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Oh. Heh. There it is.

    by Jaka

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Everyone groaned when it smashed to black

    by jersey_d

    It was the right choice. Let it play out in the audience's mind instead. The final snippet after the credits wasn't necessary.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:06 p.m. CST

    I was mad

    by Fridge

    Because dire wolves are extinct. Easy there, CGI department.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Well...

    by Mr Soze

    Ending was perfect... Phenomenal film, a must see.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST

    THANK YOU for addressing this. Makes me feel better.

    by JuanSanchez

    I'm still really angry, but I appreciate this.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Lazy

    by DARKJEDI

    THink of: Fight Club - having a fade to black ending....Blair WItch Project - ...Fade to Black ending....Seven- Fade to Black Ending.. Really Good movies are made from beginning to end...not till almost the end....

  • That's the image that sells the film. It is sold that we will see Neeson fight the damn wolf. As much as I enjoyed the film, I never got "is he going to fight the wolves now?" out of my damn head. And when it was clear he was, finally, going to fight the wolves, they pulled the plug. I get that's what the film wanted. I get why it works in context. What pisses me off is that the marketers, by putting that scene in every damn trailer and commercial, they cut the legs out of the film and undermined that ending.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:21 p.m. CST

    Fade to black doesn't mean we don't know how it ends

    by dcut75

    Stop comparing it to The Sopranos. There is no ambiguity here. He fought the wolf, they killed each other. A ridiculous cgi wolf fight would have ruined what instead turned out to be a masterpiece.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Can they knock it off with the post-credit sequences?

    by Mugato5150

    Those are really annoying. At least Samuel L. Jackson didn't recruit him into the Avengers I guess.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Mugato

    by BlaGyver

    Although let's be fair, Liam Neeson joining the Avengers would be fucking awesome.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Having said that...

    by dcut75

    The marketing was very misleading

  • He was going to get his ass murdered by the Alpha Wolf, did we really need to see that? I didn't know aboot the post-credits scene, I had to bounce before the credits finished. Very nicely dramatic ending, that shot of his wife before he went off and the poem being read was a truly dramatic way for it to end.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST

    i had a lot of respect for this movie because of the ending

    by antonphd

    it wasn't a fun movie, by any means, but it wasn't meant to be. it was a movie about dying. it started with Liam being broken by his wife's death and ready to give up on life himself. he's about to pull the trigger when he hears the howling of wolves. he doesn't kill himself, but it's pretty clear that he hasn't yet made up his mind not to kill himself. when the plane crashes and death is thrust upon him he fights for his survival with everyone ounce of his being. even though he knows that he probably can't survive. he fights to live. in the end he faces death again. and the wolves are once again with him. as if they had been calling to him before. 'come and die a death worth dying' he faces his death with defiance. the moment where he asks god for help and then gives up and says he will do it by himself. such a powerful moment. such a powerful statement. cause he wasn't facing living without god. he was facing dying without god. this movie was indeed a poem about death. a beautiful poem. it reminds me quite a bit about the paintings in the Chauvet Cave in southern France.

  • So I wasn't expecting much, aside from people talking about wolfpunching in the talkbacks and articles, but the movie was clearly winding down at that point so I didn't feel disappointed at all.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Totally died!

    by Muldoon

    In my world, Ottway died - honestly, by the end of the movie he knows he's going to die, but says "fuck it, not without a fight - Let's go!" Even if he killed the alpha, the rest of the pack had to get him... But he went out like a complete and total badass... I SO loved THE GREY and hope it does incredibly well in theaters.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:30 p.m. CST

    The last ending that actually pissed me off was Inception

    by Jaka

    And I guess that just depends on how you interpret the events as shown. <p> Se7en has a fade to black ending? Dude. The ending is Paltrow's head in the box! Nothing really mattered after that. And I seem to recall Pitt's character being put in the back of a police car after he took out Spacey. That movie had a clear ending, for me. I don't recall Fight Club lacking resolution, either. Once you know they're the same guy, that there isn't a Tyler Durden, what else really matters? <p> Sorry for going off topic a bit.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Three thoughts

    by mastermold

    1) I agree with what someone earlier said: A cut-to-black ending of this nature most times is a cop out because the filmmakers can't decide on how to end the film. 2) If that in fact was the desired end, then I question the logic behind it. Rare is the occasion that such an ending actually is fitting. The one time I can think of is The Wrestler, and the reason why that worked is because even though you don't see it, you know that he going to die, but he's dies doing what he loved and where he belonged so it's palatable. 3) Dermot Mulroney giving a great performance? Kudos to the CGI department.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:34 p.m. CST

    how it ends

    by wickerpplking

    the Alpha wolf wins. they spit-fire roast Ottway and comment to each other (subtitles of course) how he "tastes like shit". the shot at the end is of the Alpha wolf taking a nap because he's so damn full.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Wolves get a bad press

    by Thall_Joben

    Another plot that belongs about 50 years in the past. One more ill thought out out bullshit movie - confusing the fuck out of a generation of idiots that don't know animals. If you really want to see wolves check out http://www.thewolfcentre.co.uk/ don't let this dumb piece of entertainment stunt your learning.

  • I like that I can have them live on in my head if that's what I choose. Doesn't matter what other people think, or even what David Chase says. The ending allows ME to believe that they had some dinner, went home, and kept on believin'.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Blagyver

    by ImJustSaying

    Yeah... as Doctor Strange! I'm so excited for this movie, I can't wait to see it tomorrow.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    I didn't actually see the trailer. Thought the film was excellent.

    by notspock2

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    thall_joben - Uhh, it's a movie, ya know?

    by Jaka

    They're fiction. Suspense of disbelief and all that. Nearly all of them contain factual inconsistencies. Just sayin'. However, people should definitely check out www.wolfpark.org too.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Liam didn't die...

    by Lucasblows

    ...he killed the Alpha wolf, took his place and is now running around the Alaskan wild eating people.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:43 p.m. CST

    And some people clearly have sand in their panties

    by Jaka

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Seen it twice.

    by Nordling

    Ottway's alive.

  • Haven't seen it but the ending sounds fine to me. I'd prefer that over some retarded fight with Liam and some shitty cgi wolves rolling all around the wilderness.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    lol - This is going to be an awesome talkback.

    by Jaka

    Thanks, Nordling.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    It doesn't even matter; again, you can take it or leave it.

    by Nordling

    but the fact that the wolf is lying down breathing while Ottway lives, is an indication that he won that fight. But in the scheme of the movie, it doesn't matter.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Plus...

    by Nordling

    that's not the ending. The ending is the smash to black. Whether he lives or dies ISN'T THE FUCKING POINT. Learn to read.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Wow

    by JediWuddayaknow

    REALLY glad I didn't go and pay to see that. That sounds awful.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST

    CO-STARING BRIAN COX AS THE BROKEN MINI LIQUIR BOTTLES

    by Jaka

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    The marketing isn't the film

    by Acquanetta

    I think it's perfectly fair to expect a wolf fight based solely on the trailers. However, once you've sat through two hours of the actual film, I feel it becomes harder to justify why such a scene would even occur. The movie never makes any attempt to convince you it's a straightforward action flick, and devotes its entire running time to foreshadowing death. In the screening I attended, there were one or two groans when the end credits appeared. My first thought was, "Did they honestly not see that coming?" Sure, I would love to see a movie where Liam Neeson battles wolves- and a part of me was expecting The Grey to be that film when I purchased the ticket. But it quickly became apparent the movie was going in a different direction- one in which Neeson battling wolves would've seemed both out of place and possibly a little silly. Somehow, I doubt an ending in which Neeson is swiftly and brutally taken down by the alpha wolf would've been more satisfying for audiences.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Which is what I said in the article.

    by Nordling

    Repeat.

  • Next time, let a movie stand on its own just a little bit and you won't have to backtrack so quickly.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:57 p.m. CST

    They need to stop putting important things after the credits.

    by JuanSanchez

    Marvel shit is fine cause it doesn't relate directly to the movie.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:59 p.m. CST

    There's no apology in the article.

    by Nordling

    Let me know when you find one.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10 p.m. CST

    You're a smart man, Nordling.

    by Elsewhere

    Finally someone that can fill Moriarty's empty shoes on this site. Great article, much like your reviews. I thought the film was great, loved it.

  • We all saw the same movie right? The credits was supposed to imply that he won. The wolf is dying. Hell he's probably telling it to just let the warmth wash over.

  • Is the wolf Ottway is laying on post-credits the alpha? If not, then wouldn't one be safe to assume that he killed the alpha? Sooo... would that, possibly, no longer make him food to the rest of the pack? Silly, yes. And probably why it's not the pre-credits ending. But still, that's one way to interpret it.... I guess.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:01 p.m. CST

    If you found the ending unsatisfying...

    by cinemixtape.com

    ...you didn't have much of a grasp on the movie to begin with. My problem with the trailers isn't that they were misleading, but that they spoiled a few key moments of the film. Showing the last scene of any movie in a trailer is ridiculous. The ending reminded me quite a bit of The Wrestler, one of my favorite movies of the last few years. I much prefer endings like that than movies that have 5 different endings. But, to label the post-credit scene as something that "doesn't register" is really weird. It's clear that the alpha has been defeated and it certainly lends a small bit of hope to the proceedings. We can't know what happens to Neeson's character after that, but it's a nice little twist that comes full circle with the beginning of the film when Neeson has his hand resting on a different wolf. Calling the film realistic is stupid. It's a mix of seriously intense drama and CGI action film banality, but I think the former wins out in the end and gives it a level of atmosphere that is almost never achieved in CGI-heavy movies. And yes, Neeson is tremendous in the movie.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:02 p.m. CST

    I'm beginning to hear the same Sopranos type comments

    by American Mythos

    About how they "respected" the ending. The movie looks great, and I plan to get the Blu-Ray, but I'm glad I didn't pay to see it at theaters. The fade to black is so 2007. The Sopranos made it "at the moment" cool, but even die hard fans and apologists came to realize it was nothing short of robbery. I've loathed CGI wolves ever since "The Day After Tomorrow." I wonder if they skipped the fight because the effects of Neeson bashing it out with a bunch of obviously computer animated wolves was just too much to push on the audience.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:02 p.m. CST

    I interpret the coda as such:

    by DrumsInTheDeep

    Like he says earlier in the film with the Omega wolf--you defeat the Alpha, you're the new Alpha. At end, the Alpha's clearly yielded, so the other wolves won't touch Ottway. Will he still die anyway, being stuck in a frozen wasteland? Almost certainly. But he beat the wolves!

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Hah! See. Somebody else thought the same thing.

    by Jaka

    Sorry. I'm bored.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    I didn't find the movie satisfying

    by BillEmic

    but that doesn't have that much to do with the ending. If "Liam Neeson vs. the wolves" wasn't the point of the movie, why have the wolves show up every ten minutes? There are other things that can kill you in the wild. It's like the filmmakers wanted to be both a creature feature and a survival-adventure. The creature aspect dragged the movie down. The movie should have had less emphasis on the wolves, more on survival.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    I cried during this film.

    by MainMan2001

    this film is fucking intense as hell and it's extremely emotional.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    So glad I saw MI:GP instead...

    by jimmy_009

    ...this is NEVER a good way to end the movie. If you're going to do it, do it like in Inception, where they've essentially shown you all of the movie, they just leave you with a wink to let you ponder what it means. But they still showed you a beginning, middle, and end. Sounds like they left out the end, and I'm glad I spoiled it by reading this. I would have left disappointed.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Not so much mad about the ending as I am about...

    by earthlingdave

    ...the fact that this was a mediocre film, a premise more than a fleshed-out story. A meditation on death does not mean that your story doesn't need a plot, doesn't need some movement, doesn't need to "show and not tell." I'll say it again, plot and character are not separate entities, as LOST would have you believe. A plot drives the story and the consequence of a GOOD story is that it develops the characters as it goes. It doesn't need to stop, develop characters, then start up again. It doesn't need to use "character" as an excuse for lazy uninspired writing and development. This is fluff masquerading as a deep character drama filled with cardboard cutout characters. EVERY decision made after the crash was illogical... (Leave ALL your supplies and shelter among the wreckage to hide in the trees?!). Liam Nesson is excellent with what he has to work with, just wish it was a better movie.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    At some point someone needs to be accountable...

    by jimmy_009

    ...for movies being promoted as something they're not. Hugo comes to mind, now this. It sucks for movie goers, it sucks for theaters that known they're showing something that's essentially been false-advertisers. It even sucks for people who enjoy the movie anyway but have to hear all the groans and WTF's in the theater when the lights come on.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    I think it was a ballsy ending, but that doesn't mean I like it

    by DrumsInTheDeep

    If you're going to show the aftermath of the fight, why can't you just show the fight? They had to know that it would make 95% of the audience (who would never sit through credits) mad. It still could have been an effective climax. The last shot of the film could be what's now the coda. I'm curious to know Carnahan's thought process on that.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST

    idonotseekabanning, here.

    by my colon sucks

    You really banned me for joking that your new smurf name was "Damage Control Smurf"? I have no investment in whether or not the ending of the movie is good, bad, deep, or a cheat. I was just making a funny. People have been talking about how sensitive you are, but I honestly thought they were overreacting until just now. What I said wasn't incendiary or defaming. Is that it for my account? Are all those years I spent developing a name for myself and building talkback relationships no more, now, than tears in the rain?

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:13 p.m. CST

    That's on hollywood...

    by norris

    I loved this movie, but marketing and promotion in hollywood all lends itself to the same typical shit when it comes to movies. Easy, lazy, popcorn fares, trying to get 'asses' in seats, that's all they care about. Only when they realize movies with depth, a different demographic, or the unpopular concept can make money might they greenlight a trailer honestly showing a movie about death or whatever the subject might be. If something has heart that's all that matters, it could be anything, or do people want to see the same shit all the time in the same way. People ask themselves all the wrong questions. The only question in hollywood is 'how can we make the most money off dumbass people' and they do emphasize the dumbass.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    It was ok...

    by Phloton

    ...didn't love it, didn't hate it. The characters were mostly cliches. The dialogue was mostly crap. Everyone said "fuck," too much making them sound like the same person. The ending was predictable. But it was something to kill some time on a Sunday morning.

  • They sold it as a high-seas Gladiator, so the result was a bunch of pissed off action fans spreading bad word-of-mouth on what was actually a great movie.

  • They sold it as a high-seas Gladiator, so the result was a bunch of pissed off action fans spreading bad word-of-mouth on what was actually a great movie.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    jimmy...accountable?

    by Boxcutter

    I wish. The buggers who do marketing for movies don't give a SHIT how they get you to fork over your cash. And trailers are the quickest, most visceral way to whet your appetite and skew your perceptions and expectations. Whatever puts your arse in that seat. They're trying to sell a dark, relentless survival story that's a character study at heart - in January, the graveyard month for releases. Of course they amped up Liam vs the pack as the core sell. And many people would have been disappointed. Having avoided reviews, I went in a bit suspicious, but it won me over when it was clear what the real thrust of the narrative was - and where it would end. It's a gratuitous shot after the credits, true. They're both dying, I think, but it doesn't matter; it really doesn't add anything.

  • They sold it as a high-seas Gladiator, so the result was a bunch of pissed off action fans spreading bad word-of-mouth on what was actually a great movie.

  • They sold it as a high-seas Gladiator, so the result was a bunch of pissed off action fans spreading bad word-of-mouth on what was actually a great movie. They got their opening weekend, but it crashed after that.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    anyone who really thinks they missed out on Neeson fighting the wolf...

    by TheDark0Knight

    what the fuck were you expecting from it? Neo vs Agent Smith? Cutting to black is the best thing they could have done. in my mind the fight that happened is 25 seconds...& also fucking impossible to capture the way it should be. if they had shown it, it would have been neeson wrestling with a cgi wolf. yeah guys... thats real badass. lol. FUCK ALL OF YOU.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:32 p.m. CST

    NOTHING

    by Aidan

    could be as badass as the ending I had imagined after that cut. I had that tingling sensation in the final shots that I sometimes get when I know a great ending is coming. After it cut to black, I stood up and cheered. Best movie of last year.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    And what about the opening?

    by Brian Cullen

    I thought it had the best opening to a film since Up. I was going in expecting an all out action film, and that really caught me off guard.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    It Doesn't Matter What Happened After the Smash to Black.

    by LuminousBeing

    That's the fucking point. Think about the poem: "Live or Die on This Day." It suggests that each moment of our lives, or each day, or however you want to measure our time on Earth, should be compartmentalized, and then wrung for every ounce of worth it might contain. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is as dark to us as that smash cut. Ottway lived, because he CHOSE to live, literally. We saw him make that choice. And when he taped that knife to his hands, he was choosing life once again. So he killed the Alpha, and the other wolves backed down, and then there was a logging cabin a mile downriver. He lived. Or, alternately, the Alpha killed him, and in the spring, rescuers find the wallets and the letter to his wife, and they put down a plaque with his father's poem on it. Either way, it doesn't matter what happens. Ottway is merely a vessel for an idea larger than himself, the personification of carpe diem. FACT!

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    I honestly had no idea my comment would upset Nordling.

    by my colon sucks

    It was in no way slanderous or mean-spirited. I thought, if anything, he might see it and have a chuckle at it.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    not an original idea

    by JaredP

    the movie THE EDGE was about the same damn thing, only they replaced the bear with a pack of wolves

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST

    didnt see the trailer and freaking loved this movie

    by crashbarbarian

    I was bummed after he cursed God and then when he was putting all the wallets out i was like... crud he's giving up, but then he sees the alpha call off the other dogs and puts the bottles in between his fingers and wraps them up and then breaks them on the rock i was like... heck to the yeah... this guy is going to go out like a man! I loved it! Much more satisfying ending then "No Country for Old Men" and i liked that ending too! If you have to have a fight in the end to feel satisfied then you don't have any imagination or don't know how to appreciate a uniquely great ending... I wish i would've known there was a coda.. dang it!

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Ya know...

    by dukeroberts

    After sitting through almost two hours of harrowing survival and bearing of emotion from tough guys, I had forgotten all about the wolf punching. I found the movie engrossing as it was. I thought that Neeson was fantastic in the part too. And, he beat the alpha wolf. I'm sure the other wolves probably tore him to ribbons afterwards, but he beat that alpha. Again though, as Nordling said, that didn't really matter. What mattered was that he wasn't going out of this world without a fight. And, on another note, I frickin' love Master and Commander.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Agree Earthling Dave

    by mostsavage

    Maybe the mistake was going in expecting a great film... but this was extremely disappointing. The "they'll never find the crash site" line is as ridiculous as the "he wasn't on the line long enough to get a trace" contriving b.s. all these movies use. It's 20 m-fing 12 very commercial liner (which this was made out to be) has a black box, and that box has a beacon. Not to mention that the FAA would have been tracking the flight the entire time it's in the air. And how exactly are the trees better cover than the plane? <p> I usually trust the reviews on this site, but I can't believe how far off everyone was. This was a cheesy monster movie with psychotic wolves as the creatures. <p>Other glaringly stupid scenes: Why was jumping off the cliff the only reasonable choice? How did the wolves get down the cliff and across the gorge? And within moments of them crossing. Really? It's freezing cold, he's submerged in water, and just walks out of the river. Doesn't have to take off his wet clothes? Really?? Not to mention that the wolves are lightening quick and right on their heels, yet the always seem to be able to out run them. And why did the wolves stop pursuing at the tree line? And if fire is keeping them at bay, why not just build a giant f-ing fire. <p>t this film was so incredibly frustrating, even more so since you guys seem to buy it's b.s.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:40 p.m. CST

    How the script ended and what happened to Ottway.

    by jwadventure

    Surprised at the change but this is how the script ended. Ottway fights the large alpha male while the others wolves watch, he finally kills the alpha and the other wolves slink off fighting amongst each other to determine the new alpha. In the script Diaz had a GPS locator watch that Ottway took when he died. No one thought it would work. He was always challenging Ottway, the human alpha and believed the GPS watch would save them. After defeating the wolf, Ottway passes out. He is rescued as a result of the watch. He wakes in the hospital to find his wife who places his hand on her pregnant belly. Ottway's wife is still alive.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Good ol' "movie w/ a fucked up ending".

    by Xenodistortion

    I like it when they make these. Thought it was good movie. The ending didn't piss me off. But hey, I had already read (from the people on this site that already saw the movie) that the trailer was misleading and to not go into the theater expecting that. I didn't expect it to go down like that, so that was a treat for me. The end didn't feel like a total cop out like a lot of movies that do the fade to black thing. 99% of the time they do that it feels like lazy film making but for this movie I think it was the right thing. As long as it wasn't a fucking dream I'm happy. As far as if he lived or not, I don't give a shit. If he died, he went out like a bad ass. If he lived, I can't wait to see "GRAYER", where he snacks on wolf jerky and walks back home where he gets a book deal and has to fight evil wiener dogs in Manhattan. The arguments on this should be hilarious.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Also seen the movie twice...

    by DavidDunn

    And Ottway definitely wins. The wolf breathing like that is even more indication. Ottway has his head laying on the wolf as it is taking its last breaths. This is foreshadowed when he takes out the first one in the beginning with his rifle. The wolf is laying, breathing heavy and Ottway lays his hand on it (like his head at the end) until it takes the last breath. I agree with Nordling, the last snippet is not the point at all, but it still let's you know he got that fucker.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Obviously...

    by nikem3

    This movie is a prequel, they are making another movie. Liam Neeson is now the Alpha of the wolves and meets a beautiful young wolf and they mate and give birth to... The Wolfman...

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    crashbarbarian

    by dukeroberts

    I always stay through the credits for movies just for that reason. I didn't know there was one either, but I stayed and got to see it.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Nordling

    by Osiris3657

    I liked the film and wasn't bothered at all by the fact that they didn't show Ottway fight wolves....but calling the film realistic? Now I've got to argue with you on that one. The scene that takes the cake for me is when the Hendrick(who's middle aged, out of shape) manages to fucking jump off a cliff clearing a good 40-50 feet and catch onto a tree on the other side so he can extend a rope to the other side and the others can get across. An Olympic long jumper couldn't have made that jump, it was so absurd.

  • ...you're also not a real movie fan, or a real MAN. That's right. You should have weeped at all the Iron John retreat moments, cheered at the ridiculous action sequences and nodded your head in reverent approval when the movie cut to black. AICN just posted an article calling you out for being a complete waste of time and human being if you didn't do all those things. Now, excuse me as a go back to playing CALL OF DUTY, you fucking pussy...

  • I hate the end of that movie with so much passion. Absolutely LOVE the entire movie right up until the Tommy Lee Jones nonsense at the very end. "Like it was a dream." Fuckin'... what?! lol Garrr the end of that movie makes me mad.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Well done, tophat.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:49 p.m. CST

    mostsavage

    by crashbarbarian

    you bring up great points that i thought about too, but the acting and pacing was so good, and of course the movie wasn't about the fight with the wolves in my opinion, it was ottway's struggle with living or giving up... I guess i looked past those things in light of enjoying the movie but... the whole jumping the ravine and then the wolves were already on the otherside was kind of frustrating.. even ottway acknowledges how frustrating it was.. when he said something to the effect of "what are we to do" my big question was, how did the dude jump the ravine and land in the tree like it was no big deal... couldn't they all just have ran and jumped into the trees?

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    I've stayed through the credits since The Phantom Menace

    by Jaka

    Kind of sad that that's something I remember about that movie, but somebody told me I had to stay through the credits, without telling me why. I sat there as people filed out in bunches, then in a trickle, then there was just me and one other couple. Darth Vader breathing... I got up and turned around to walk out and the couple were grinning from ear to ear. <p> I've stayed until the very end ever since, but I don't really dig the concept. Don't mind it so much when they run something next to the credits, but cutting back to the movie after the scroll is done just seems kind of silly.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Osiris

    by nikem3

    Actually, Liam said that he would drop around 30 feet. The jump would be difficult, but makeable considering the height of the tree. Plus, he didn't have to necessarily make it all the way cleanly because they were holding him up.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:57 p.m. CST

    My point

    by DARKJEDI

    My point is that you had a great movie that had a chance to end on a strong note, and it took the lazy way out.... Seven, the Fight CLub, Blair Witch, DID NOT take the lazy way out and had memorable endings.... Just think of those movies if the key ending was a lazy fade to black.... Sopranos did it too no matter how you try to rationalize it.... I look at it as writers that shot their wad early... The movie was ..great..but it deserved an ending...just like many of the other fade to black endings in the past...Stop being lazy Hollwood

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Ya know, I was cool with Nordlings ender spoilage

    by Jaka

    But some of the questions people are raising in this talkback are making think twice about paying to see this sucker. Leaving the supplies and protection behind and ravine jumping into trees has my bullshit meter rising.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    The thing is there WAS an ending - they just cut it out.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Cause they sold the movie on it.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    darkjedi - Got it. I TOTALLY misunderstood your first post.

    by Jaka

    Although I still disagree about The Sopranos. I've grown to really, really appreciate that ending.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:02 p.m. CST

    The same people who booed the end in my theater

    by GhostDad

    Were the same people who were on the edge of their seats the entire movie and loving every minute, but somehow threw the entire experience out because a man didn't punch a wolf in the face like they thought he would. It reminds me of the people that say they hated Drive because they were expecting a Fast and The Furious type movie.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Jaka

    by nikem3

    They didn't leave everything behind they all had bags full of certain supplies. The ending was fine. He died. They didn't have to show him dieing or fighting. He fought until his last breath. Live AND die on this day. Like Nordling said, he stared death in the face and took it on. Each person took it different, he went down fighting.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:03 p.m. CST

    and as for the post credits

    by GhostDad

    I took it as Liam and the Wolf, both the Alphas, killed each other.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:04 p.m. CST

    by DARKJEDI

    My only thing with the SOpranos is that was such a GREAT flippin series...I mean some seriously great moments and the ending just left me.... I could of taken it as an ending for one of the earlier season, but not for the whole series..... Like going through the most amazing foreplay with the most beautiful woman, and right before the sex is about to happen...you wake up the next morning.......

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    I don't buy this.

    by Paul Dronet

    First of all, I loved the film. Even though I was misled by the marketing, I really enjoyed the survival aspects of the film. Loved the characters, loved the filmmaking, loved the wolves. But I do hate the ending. You can't sell me on the idea that the story is a man slowly deciding that his life is worth living and fighting for. He's been doing that the whole damned movie! Why get up after the plane crashed? Why try to survive in the wreckage? Why lead the others in a quest for safety? If your answer to these is "He was trying to save the other men," then I need to ask why he continued onwards after the last guy died in the water? If he was truly a man who desired death, and only accepted that life was fighting for at the VERY last moment in the film, why did he not give up the hundreds of other chances he had to let go? He determined that life was worth living long before his tender moment with the mens' wallets. I'm not saying that I needed the wolf fight either. But I needed some sort of conclusive moment that would make the journey mean something. The cut to black made me just feel empty.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Sopranos cont.

    by Jaka

    I honestly think that was intended. Over the course of the series we grew to genuinely care for these completely fucked up people. In the end, they let us down, repeatedly. Almost everybody died, except for the series namesake, the guy who fucked up more than anyone else. Screen goes black, "Don't Stop Believin'". Really? <p> I don't know man, I just dig it. I just re-watched the entire series a couple months ago and I liked it even more this time. It's so frustrating that it feels right. If that makes any sense.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:13 p.m. CST

    nikem3 - Good to know

    by Jaka

    I was planning on catching this in a theater on a weekday in the next couple weeks. Be interesting to see which direction the word of mouth goes before I see it.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:14 p.m. CST

    I came out of the theatre, seriously wanting my 1:45 min back.

    by Yamato

    The first 25 min were good, once the first wolf appeared the whole movie went in the toilet. Freakin bad.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:16 p.m. CST

    The ending was perfect!

    by j-bot

    The movie ended with the audience feeling the exact emotion the story wanted them to.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    lord punch

    by j-bot

    it did have that conclusive moment. It was "I'm probably going to die, but fuck it, not without a fight."

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Also, when I die, I want Liam Neeson

    by BillEmic

    to coach me into the afterlife. That was probably my favorite scene in the movie, with the guy bleeding out on the plane and Liam being like, "Look at me. Look at me." What a powerful moment.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    j-bot

    by Paul Dronet

    How is that mindset any different than the couple of hours that preceded it? Was not the entire film Liam Neeson saying "Not without a fight?"

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Nordling, I think you misinterpreted that post credits shot

    by Duke Hitchcock

    I don't recall seeing Ottway at all, but instead just the wolf taking a (final?) breath, a callback to the scene in the beginning when he shoots a wolf. I don't think he lives at the end and I do think it impacts the film differently if he does.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:51 p.m. CST

    The Ending

    by Andrew

    Loved it, loved the entire film. I also think the last shot after the credits isn't necessary. Even if The Alpha was dead, there was still the rest of the pack. I don't think Ottawa makes it out alive. And of course, if the wolves didn't get him, the environment would've. This is a film that will stay with me for a while.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Just seems like a disconnect between the director and studio

    by DougMcKenzie

    On the Marketing. I'm sure looking at the reaction that Carnahan might be mildly disappointed the studio marketing arm advertised the movie hinging on the fight when he never intended to include it. Wouldn't be the first time a director complained about the trailer (which they often have no input on), misleading the audience as to the movie's content.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Flashback

    by filmfanman

    I'm completely happy with Ottway dying. I think it's the perfect ending to a perfect poem of a film. That being said a thought occurred to me. What if Ottway is the one on the morphine drip and what we, the audience, sees as the hospital being a flashback is really the present? I love the ambiguity of the film and the ability to find so many different meanings in it. Coda did nothing for me. Thank god for the lack of a wolf brawl though.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CST

    I can't wait to see it, but it is my hope that *Wolf Punched*

    by gotilk

    will live on to describe the feeling you get when a film's trailer sells a completely different type of movie than what it turns out to be. *Dude, I can't believe Albert Nobbs Wolf Punched me like that, it wasn't torture porn at all.* *First of all, don't call me dude. Second, we must have seen 2 different films. I felt tortured the whole time.*

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CST

    OTTWAY DIED

    by barryallen77

    in the post credits scene his head is resting against the dying alpha male. unless hes taking a nap?...

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:04 a.m. CST

    So glad I didn't pay theater ticket prices for that ending.

    by Orbots Commander

    And seriously what's with the inflation in theater ticket prices? I went to a movie about a month ago, and it was just shy of $13 and with a small coke and a child size popcorn, $25 fucking dollars. For a movie.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:05 a.m. CST

    gotilk - that's awesome. Should totally become a saying.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Remember when...

    by Orbots Commander

    ...not too long ago, going to the movies was a fun, but economical night out? Now, for a family of four or five, tickets plus concession stand prices equals about the cost of an iPhone.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:14 a.m. CST

    SICK

    by filmfanman

    of everyone saying they hated the ending or that they're glad they didn't go see it... I only wish there were more films as good as The Grey. To get one this good in January I consider a gift to movie lovers everywhere. Sad that many people would rather see yet another rehashed Fast and Furious sequel than an original and thought provoking film like this one.

  • I take beef jerky, chocolate, candy, bottled water and/or soda, whatever. If you're going with a woman have her stuff her purse or bag with stuff, too. Screw the overpriced crap concessions. At least that way if I catch a matinee during the week I can avoid most of the annoying kids and see a movie for a reasonable price.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:15 a.m. CST

    We even took in Subway sandwiches a couple weeks ago

    by Jaka

    We were polite enough to eat them before the movie, though.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:19 a.m. CST

    film-fan-man, ehhhh, not sure it's "most"

    by Jaka

    More like, "some". Seems like a good number of people really like it to one degree or another.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Seeing a movie isn't an economical night out for ONE person anymore.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST

    how did no one see

    by barryallen77

    liam neesons head resting on the wolf in the post credits clip

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Unless it's an Avengers-connected Marvel film....

    by Orbots Commander

    ...nobody is going to wait around to see if there's a post credits scene. Most sane audience members are more concerned about getting out of the parking lot without getting bogged in traffic. The post credits scene fad needs to die a swift death. It was a neat gimmick with Iron Man, but it's been stretched too far.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:32 a.m. CST

    John Sayles' Limbo ending...

    by Embeedeuce

    ...except no one saw Limbo.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:32 a.m. CST

    1st post credits scene you remember?

    by barryallen77

    masters of the universe?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST

    You're right Jaka

    by filmfanman

    It just seems like the trash talkers are much more vocal in the talkbacks. I struggle to see how anyone could POSSIBLY think the movie would be improved by a CGI wolf fight. I get the whole pissed off by the marketing of the film. I personally wouldn't have seen it based on the trailers since I don't consider myself a "mindless action" fan but I know a lot of people felt the opposite. Just don't see how once you've gotten on board with the movie and watched the preceding 115 how you could believe the movie could be made better by a full out brawl. It would have cheapened everything that was built up to that point. I LOVED THE HELL OUT OF THIS MOVIE.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:41 a.m. CST

    jaka i ate subway in the theater while watching the grey

    by jsfithaca

    i brought it in a subway container too with a drink that subway on it in my other hand. nobody at my theater gives a shit. i loved the ending and the film. the only reason i saw it was because of the relentless pimping by this site. and im soooo glad i did. i guess i should get around to attack the block, but that more strikes me as a scott pilgrim, which wasnt that good of a movie

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    @ tallboy6t6, I said bullshit after the credits rolled lol.

    by cgih8r

    It would be funny if that was me you heard, I saw it friday in riverside, but I'll bet alot of guys have said that already after seeing this movie. It was funny how every guy in the audience let out a sigh of disappointment after the credits rolled, simultaneously! I love moments like that.

  • ....I DESPISE Scott Pilgrim and totally dug Attack The Block. It's definitely something you need to see for yourself, just so you can get past the hype, both positive and negative.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Yeah, my theater doesn't give a shit, either

    by Jaka

    But I try and keep it cool anyway so it doesn't become an issue down the road.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:48 a.m. CST

    The Grey ending

    by John Zick

    First off, I would like to say that I have been following this site from 2003 and I have now decided to write a post on a movie whose viewing was quite frankly an afterthought, for me. It must be the Old Style I'm drinking here in Chicago... With that said, I enjoyed "The Grey." Yes, the movie, especially the ending, wasn't what I expected to be because of the way it was marketed, but you know what, I'm fine with that. I don't know if we are told this, or expected to know this, but it is ingrained into our minds that we always need to see a final ending to our entertainment. Whether it is watching Tony Soprano get is brains blown away or watching Liam Neeson kick some wolf ass, we need to know how it ends. I would rather leave it up to my imagination as to how the ending plays out. When I read a book, this is what happens to me. Each person views their entertainment in different a different way, but that is my opinion. This is what makes movies, TV, books a great experience. With this said, I enjoy reading all of the debates on AICN and will continue to read all of us "entertainmentphobes" discuss what we like or don't like for our entertainment.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Glad this site is defending what shiftyeyeddog did yesterday

    by Jared Bond

    I didn't think it was inappropriate to reveal that what happened in the trailer doesn't happen in the movie. He felt cheated. That said, it seems like it was a much better choice for them to cut the ending the way they did. Who knows if the marketing team made the right decision.

  • it was his last, but didn't say it was AICN's last (Harry's incoming pondering article is near), I now feel that I have seen the entire fucking movie, thank you very much. And don't give me that crap about spoilers alerts because when you post over eight articles on the same overhyped movie, readers are bound to read them, so am I. Now that I understand it is a basic action flick with predictable action wrapped up in a pseudo life & death philosophical approach in order to pretend it is not the watchable and entertaining B Movie that it is, I'll just wait for the DVD and will watch it like an entertaining B Movie, knowing not to expect much from its ending so I can make a few trips to the fridge by then.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Really solid point about books, jzick1972

    by Jaka

    But they can be subjective from page to page, paragraph to paragraph. Much more is open to personal interpretation when reading the written word. I mean, it could come down to something as simple as a person misreading a line, or not understanding the meaning of a single word. <p> Film on the other hand, particularly if you're expecting a mainstream "American" action movie, tends to blast exactly what they want you to get right into the back of your head. At the end, they tie everything up and send you on your way, feeling complete. <p> I'd wager the lack of those easy to swallow normalities is a big part of what's bothering some people about "The Grey".

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Wolf punched in the face. Seriously, people?

    by Franck

    Is it just me or an entire audience waiting to see a wolf punched in the face sounds like a bunch of retarded morons ?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Anyone going to care about this film in a few months?

    by kevred

    No...no, probably not.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Haven't seen it

    by Mondo_dismo

    Sounds like I could save some money by watching the Neverending Story and turning it off when Atreyu challenges Gmork.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:10 a.m. CST

    The Sopranos shouldn't

    by ndally

  • Unless I psychically heard it at approximately 4:40 EST in my head. Which may mean that we're destined to fall in love or something. So, uh, yeah, that's awkward. I like long walks on the beach, anyway.

  • The whole sixth season is riddled with foreshadowing and clues to the ultimate fate of Tony Soprano. The only people who were robbed we're those who think David Chase left it up to the viewer to decide what happens when it cuts to black. Its called subtext, metaphors and/or symbolism people! It what makes art...art. I just hate when people shit on the finale because they didn't understand what David Chase was trying to do. I know this talkback is about The Grey but I read some Soprano trash talk and I can't let that stand. The audience wasn't "whacked" nor was it about life going on. He got a bullet to the back of the head. Read the masterofsopranos blog so I don't have to spell it all out. Google that shit. Enlighten yourself. This way I don't have to come on here and act all condescending to audience members who take everything at face value instead of reading between the lines.

  • http://masterofsopranos.wordpress.com/ It's long, take the time then rewatch the series and everything will click and make sense.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Tallboy your in Hamilton? Ever go to Hess?

    by ndally

    I probably know u somehow in this small Canadian world we live in.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Buried has also an =unsuitable= ending imho.

    by KilliK

  • You just sound so damn smug. To me, it doesn't sound like the movie lacked an ending to challenge you spiritually or intellectually, it sounds like it was shot and cut out because of shitty FX. The post-credits tacked on footage of Neeson and the wolf, plus the script's reported ending (of Neeson fighting the alpha and winning, then passing out and being rescued), lend credence to that point. So, don't get comfortable in any false sense of enlightenment or superiority just yet. The Grey wasn't going for some nuanced, complex, mysteriously vague ending like a Cohen brothers film -- it was just avoiding some shitty CGI wolf punching. The director's cut will most likely include the intact ending -- or even the rumored October re-release, which will probably use the new ending as a selling point.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Nah, Hess is too damn downtown / damn expensive for me

    by Al

    I'm in the Creek, I just work / sometimes see movies in The Hammer (Jackson Square has a digital screen now, at least I'm fairly certain The Grey was a digital show cuz it looked real pretty and I didn't notice a single reel change). Nice drive to work downtown tonight in the snow, boy howdy!

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 2:09 a.m. CST

    this movie is a masterpiece

    by Pixelsmack

    You're not a fan of story telling otherwise.

  • but only if he had some giant eagle friends who could swoop in and save him

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 2:32 a.m. CST

    american mythos - you are talking out of your ass

    by antonphd

    let me guess... you think that the only reason the little girl was wearing red in schindler's list was because they ran out of money to turn the whole movie black and white?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 2:36 a.m. CST

    jzick1972 - nice comment :)

    by antonphd

  • U MAD BRO?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3 a.m. CST

    False Advertising

    by estacado1

    They should've never put the final scene in the trailer. It's very misleading. It creates more haters than lovers. If the advertising was honest, it would be the other way.

  • It's the director's job to set up fight scenes, so it's absolutely not laziness or a lack of imagination to come up with an ending like that. Would The Sopranos have been better if we saw Tony get shot in the back of the head? Would we still be talking about the finale if it ended in such a predictable way, or is that something we've seen a million fucking times before? What's one more dead fat fuck mobster, really? Really, what value would it add to your life to have seen Tony Soprano get whacked like you were expecting to see from the very first second of the very first episode?

  • The black might be his POV or it might not. What it means for me is that The Sopranos is over, the future is always uncertain, and nothing ever wraps up neatly. It's more than a metaphor for his death, it's a metaphor for the existential angst he's been feeling through the whole show, and that resonates a lot more deeply with me.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:16 a.m. CST

    antonphd

    by American Mythos

    The facts are all pretty laid out. The script's ending has Neeson fighting the alpha wolf, passing out, and being rescued. The movie itself has Neeson ready to fight the wolves, but fading to black before he does. The post credits clip is of Neeson passing out on top of a dying wolf. The post credits clip is not necessary if it's supposed to be as complex and mysteriously ambiguous as some people want to believe. The Grey sounds like a great bit of popcorn fun, but it also sounds like a creature feature with a lot of irrational characters, super smart but fake looking wolves (why nothing can be practical in movies these days is beyond me) that show up every ten minutes, and an ending that tried to make the movie more than what it is. I really believe the original ending will show up in future releases (either a DC or theatrical re-release), which will kind of debunk the smug posturing of pseudo-intellectuals trying to mine deep meaning from a movie that was marketed as an action flick. And comparing this to Schindler's List? It looks good, but, come on, Schindler's List? Haha.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:20 a.m. CST

    So glad I didnt go see it. Id been really pist.

    by Saen

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:25 a.m. CST

    AICN should apologize for shilling this film.

    by SpaghettiWall

    Did Scott Pilgrim mislead anyone about what type of movie it was? No. Did it have an ending? Yes. Now ask yourself the same questions about 'The Grey' and you'll get an opposite answer for both questions. That 'ending' was nothing more than lazy screenwriting.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:28 a.m. CST

    Liam Neeson's career might be hurt from this film too.

    by SpaghettiWall

    Because everyone will think about, 'that last film he was in was a waste of time so this will be too' Joe Carnahan's lucky the mainstream audience doesn't know who the fuck he is, and dollars to donuts his next film won't have a single word mentioning 'From the director of The Grey' Guaranteed.

  • I'm looking at you...Attack of the Block.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:29 a.m. CST

    The problem was the advertising

    by melonman

    You've literally got the final shots in the trailer. So naturally people would expect something more. Massively underhanded marketing. It's led to a good opening weekend but waves of ill-feeling that the audience has been conned again. They should have never included the final fucking scene of the movie in the trailer.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:32 a.m. CST

    When ya find out the wife dies

    by Brian Cullen

    and the fact Liam Neesons wife died tragically in real life, it made the film more powerful for me. Espescially him reading the letter at the start, and the reveal at the end. The more I think about this film, the more I love it.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:34 a.m. CST

    'The Grey' is something so uncreative it should've been DTV

    by SpaghettiWall

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:37 a.m. CST

    This article really was a spoiler btw

    by SpaghettiWall

    If you looked at that picture and then clicked the Red X in the top right corner, you've officially seen the ending to 'The Grey'

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:52 a.m. CST

    FILM OF THE YEAR

    by TommyGavinsEgo

    and if you needed to see Neeson pummel a CGI wolf in smash-cuts (the only way it could've been accomplished), you're an idiot. As for the post-credits coda - did he survive or not? It's immaterial. He stood and fought. He didn't give up. That's the whole point. Phenomenal movie. And yes, the trailers mis-sold it... but so have plenty others lately. I can't wait to see it again.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:52 a.m. CST

    Well, Film of the Year SO FAR, it being January and everything.

    by TommyGavinsEgo

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:56 a.m. CST

    saying that "it was perfect conclusion to the theme" is nonsense

    by HELLSFOXES

    all films have themes, subtext and drama. just cos the ending was a perfect realization of the theme doesn't mean those other bits are irrelevant. what if john mcclane arrived to face hans gruber, we see the gun taped to johns back, realize his strength and tenacity, then just as he's about to reach for it SMASH TO BLACK! now i know thats of course more of an action film, but theres enough elements in The Grey to make me dramatically underwhelmed with the symbolic ending. let me ask you.. would showing his fight with the wolf contradict the thematic arc? NO. so not showing it is just pretentious. saying "the theme wasn't just the most important thing, it was the ONLY important thing". btw i love Narc. much better.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:01 a.m. CST

    The kind of Ending...

    by Con Shonnery

    I wanted to see in Heat. DeNiro and Pacino see each other, raise their guns, screen goes black and we hear one shot...

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:04 a.m. CST

    'Before Sunset' shout-out!

    by Derek

    Great fade/cut to black ending in my opinion. Ottaway's will to continue living amongst all the uncertainty that had already presented itself was enough of an ending for me. No amount of on-screen action was going to represent that desire better than his last lunge forward into battle. Besides, the film is called 'The Grey'. In as many different ways as there are to interpret the title, I see the sum of those different ideas as a representation of how vague and ambiguous life can seem. There weren't any clear answers to Tommy Lee Jones at the end of 'No Country For Old Men' (which is why he was struggling to find meaning in his life at that point, and which is also why the cut-to-black worked for me there. Because regardless of how lost you may feel, it just keeps. on. going. without a single answer anywhere in sight). There weren't any clear answers presented to Ottaway after losing his wife, the remaining survivors, or calling out to God (and still wouldn't be whether he defeated the wolf/wolves, or not). His will to continue living, despite the lack of answers, is something everyone faces on a daily basis, even if it's not in such dire black-and-white terms (the wolves and weather). The film could have ended with Ottaway putting his head down in acceptance of death as the alpha wolf approached for the kill (as Diaz did). It might have been more accessible to more people because of the outcome would have been clearly stated at that point. However, that's not often how life works, and as such, the motion to survive is all that was required for 'The Grey' to end in a fitting fashion in my book.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:35 a.m. CST

    I think he died

    by Tangent

    But not before taking down the Alpha. I think they died together. He knew it was a fight he couldn't win, but damned if he wasn't going to take the leader of the pack down with him.

  • .....the movie has only been out for a few days. Give the rest of us some to time to see this motherfucker before you start analyzing the fucking ending.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 5:43 a.m. CST

    Best SMASH TO BLACK* ending ever is...

    by JIMBOCOP

    MONTY PYTHON & THE HOLY GRAIL. That film didn't even have end credits. There were people sat in their seats for 4-5 minutes after the lights went up still expecting more to happen. ]!MB0[0P *Technically it was a smash to WHITE, but you know what I mean.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Anyone mentioned BLAKE'S 7 yet?

    by JIMBOCOP

    Drop the gun! Smile. Smash to black *BANG!*

  • 2 things really took me out of the movie.1 30 feet of of different jackets coats sleeping bags used as a horizontal rope?NOPE first guy would of fell to his death when the jackets ripped apart.2 The wolves are immdediately at the bottom of the tree after they jumped.WHAAAAAAAAAT?The whole point of them doing that was to get away and put distance between them and the wolves.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:15 a.m. CST

    A trailer misrepresented a film? Tell me it isn't so!

    by Dolmes

    Great film. Shit trailer.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:19 a.m. CST

    I have a suspicion...

    by Hipshot

    That age will play into the reaction to "The Grey." That under-40 audiences, who still operate under the emotional illusion that all battles can be won, were more attached to the image of Liam going all mano y lupo. Suspicion is that over-40 audiences who have lost parents and more loved ones, grasp that "the Grey" is coming for all of us, gasping a bit knowing Liam's personal history (just as Bruce Lee fighting the demon to save Brandon in "Dragon" was given special resonance because Brandon had died only about a month before "Dragon" came out. Jeeze) surrendered. As I've said, my wife's mother is dying, probably this week. My poor baby sat in the theater with tears streaming down her cheeks, watching this man preparing for the fight he could not win. And for days after she's been saying "the Grey is a great movie." I get it. I'm sorry for those who don't. One day, unfortunately, you will.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Thanks all for hyping this film.

    by LordVonPS3

    First of all, thanks to everyone for hyping this film. Not spoiling myself, I went in with some anticipation of seeing a good movie and I enjoyed it. Here are my thoughts... 1.) For the most part, I was accepting of the wolves as real - whether they were CGI or trained - it worked. Only the initial meeting with eyes in the dark felt fake. 2.) Like many, I was ready to see the big fight at the end and wondered why I didn't but I could not see Ottway making it out alive. 3.) Post-credits, no other wolves were ripping him to shreds so Ottway likely did more than kill the Alpha. Wolf-a-la-carte = probable survival. Walking out of the cinema I thought the movie was a more realistic take on Predator minus the big ending. I am now left wondering whether an "Extended DVD / Blu-ray" will feature the fight... A tacky idea perhaps, but it could be one way to ensure a second round of sales "Now with wolf-punching!". Alternatively, if the final fight was indeed made, it may have been cut if it simply didn't stand up. I'm not sure watching a man fight a wolf (or 10) would indeed be as awe-inspiring as - say - Arnie Vs Predator, so it is not a fight I needed to see but it leaves me thinking the director couldn't decide whether The Grey should be an adventure movie or a philosophical take on death. I noted Producer roles from Ridley Scott and Tony Scott in the credits and now cannot help but think they had something to do with the genre-mix.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:34 a.m. CST

    And WTF--is everyone here too blind...

    by Hipshot

    To read the closing credits? There were indeed real wolves in "The Grey." The credits "wolf wrangler" and "wolf trainer" were right there. So the effects were achieved with animatronic, CGI AND real wolves. Not a single person here has acknowledged that, and it is disturbing. Does your anger really blind you so deeply?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Nordling lost me at 'incredibly realistic'

    by barnaby jones

    Seriously WTF

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:47 a.m. CST

    Neeson's next film

    by In Action Man Reborn Requiem

    "Battleship" is actually a melancholy meditation on man's inhumanity to man. The Battleship is a metaphor for masculinity bristling with phallic guns. The Alien force field represents womanhood's impenetrable mysteries. In the end we realize that the Aliens are in fact ourselves. People who have been excited by the trailer depicting a non-stop action film will be totally disappointed.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:56 a.m. CST

    But, it is lazy writing!

    by zinc_chameleon

    If you work with a writing group, one of the first things that you will learn is never, never allow your character to fall unconscious during a pivotal scene. Rowling fails in this respect, and it dooms her work to less-than-classic status. We paid to see Liam Neeson face off against wolves; if he dies, well, it's Leonidas against the Persians. But fade to black is the same mistake as losing consciousness in an action sequence, it must never happen to the chief protagonist, because it immediately disconnects the reader/audience.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 7:04 a.m. CST

    So it ends like the Sopranos

    by rakesh patel

    thanks for letting me know.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    wow, two AICN writers posting regularly in the same talkback

    by Wookie_Weed

    Is anyone at all suspicious at how hard they're trying to convince you The Grey is the greatest film ever? The Grey may be a good film, I don't know, I won't be seeing it because Carnahan could have used his PR to promote wolf conservation instead of bitching about how wolves really do kill people (yet could only ever offer one very suspect example). But it is so fucking obvious AICN is the payroll to promote this film.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 7:41 a.m. CST

    =Masterpiece= =brilliant= =best film ever= Plant Plant Plant

    by Wookie_Weed

    Anyone at all suspicious at the number of never before seen AICN talkbackers claiming The Grey is a masterpiece?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Ending sounds similar to The Wrestler

    by Richard

    which i loved. actually, it's kind of the same, but the opposite. Neeson dives into a fight with a wolf because he's realized he wants to live, while Rourke delivers an elbow drop from the top rope, realizing that wrestling is what he wants to do, whether he lives or dies in the process. my wife hates endings like that. the only one like that I hate is BROTHERS which was great until a very flat ending.

  • That having been said, I still wanted to see that fight. This is different than people being upset about Drive. The Drive trailer looked very artsy, strange and hyperviolent. The Grey looked like exactly what it was until the end. If they couldn't viscerally approximate that fight without CGI or arch music cues, they weren't trying hard enough. I intellectually appreciate the ending and it certainly works, I just didn't pay 30$ for me and my wife to NOT see that fight. There's no way it would have strained credulity as much as that ludicrous crossing to the trees sequence. Still, very nice film, but fraudulently advertised.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:06 a.m. CST

    the ending

    by brandonbreaks

    I loved the movie & the ending. Plus the scene after the credits confirms that he was still alive. It leaves the rest to the viewer. However, the other wolves WOULD NOT have attacked him after he killed the alpha INSIDE the den. The wolves would've retreated & some scatter. Some would stay together, & would attack Liam later possibly, but not inside that den. Plus, he could've cooked, eaten, & even warn the fur of the super sized wolf. I like how the movie ended(before & after the credits). He had led himself & the others in the direction of the den, but they were headed south(which is the way they had to go regardless). Liam lived, & had survived that much, that I believe it was likely that he would have found safety. Either way, the movie was incredibly shot, & it had a solid story. It was advertised as something different though, but that would be the only complaint I can see as valid about this movie.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:11 a.m. CST

    WookieDickWeed

    by Mr Soze

    Go watch Glee and eat a dick

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST

    no interest in this before,Even less interested now

    by j2talk

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Loved the ending

    by Jason

    I think that most people in the theater wanted Liam Neeson to look the wolf in the eye and say, "I have a particular set of skills..." I loved the entire movie, up to and including the ending. The post-credits scene was cool, but unnecessary. The CGI wolf effects drew some complaints, but this adds to the movie in a strange way by showing the wolves as blatant metaphors, instead of attempting to be 100% authentic on the subject of wolves and wolf hunting habits.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST

    I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!!!!

    by MainMan2001

    My god! The more the movie settles over me..the more I love it. I feel most people who didn't like the ending was from a crowd that would normally not see the movie that this movie actually was. The trailers were misleading but this film was a powerful experience. And that plane crash was the best one I've ever seen. I was terrified. At first I was depressed and drained when I left the theater but the more I thought about the film the more I get a positive experience out of it. It's about life. It's about living. It's about taking risks. It's about going all the way. Don't be afraid.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST

    team wolves ftw!

    by vulturess

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Two issues I had.

    by vadakinX

    1. Ottway is not an Irish name. Nobody in Ireland has ever had that name. His father is Irish and Neeson himself maintains his Irish accent so the likelihood is that the character is full Irish, not Irish American. I know it's a small thing, it just bugged me. I guess Ottway could be his mother's name but given the Irish accent I would think that Ottway would have grown up in Ireland and had an Irish mother. 2. Some people just don't shut up. The cinema where I was the film was terrible. People behind me seemed to think that quiet, dramatic moments were an excuse to have conversations. Almost ruined the experience for me. SHUT UP PEOPLE!!! As for the ending, I liked it. Missed the post credits scene though. Didn't know there was one. So for me the ending was the smash cut to black.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Saw it yesterday and i loved it

    by lookylookymoontard

    My only Gripes were the over stylized wolves (understand why they did it though) and the line "i've only ever seen that look on a man's face once before,you in the bar the other night"...a bit cringe worthy imo........the rest was brilliant though,the grainy picture really added to the atmosphere as well,kind of looks like a movie from the 80's Essentially The Grey story wise isn't anything we haven't seen before but it was told brilliantly if you ask me. Considering 2011 didn't produce one film i'll ever watch again or buy,my first film in 2012 hopefully speaks of the year to come

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:57 a.m. CST

    The Ending.

    by TheCrouton

    Personally I didn't think the film is as good as some have said, but I did like the way it ended, with Ottway running at the wolf as it cuts to black. Having said that, had I known there was a scene after the credits I would have stayed for it. But i do agree with the point on the marketing and trailers. I was expecting a different film from the one I got, as the trailers implied a more action-minded film. Maybe that's why I didn't enjoy it was much as others have.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:57 a.m. CST

    The people complaining about the ending...

    by lookylookymoontard

    I feel for you i really do,people asking for a refund even though they were on the edge of there seats the whole time??,give me a fucking break. Its like wanting your money back because the last corner of the rollercoaster you just went on wasn't scary enough. Idiots with no imagination

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST

    I don't think Ottway decided to live...

    by Blu Gilliand

    ....so much as he realized he was going to die, but he didn't want to go out without a fight. This was his "last good fight" and even though he knew what the outcome would likely be, he wasn't going to give up. I didn't know about the after credits scene, and I'm glad I didn't see it. It would have cheapened the ending for me.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:16 a.m. CST

    One of the Most Frustrating Movies Ever

    by CaptainKirok

    The Grey was one of the most frustrating movies ever. Ever. It made no sense to leave the airplane when they did. The airplane would have had a black box, and there is a chance that it would have been found by search crews. But even if the survivors had no chance of being rescued, they had good reasons to stay with the plane. First, the airplane provided them with a shelter. This is protection from the elements, and also protection from the wolves, which had just attacked and killed one of the survivors. Also, many of the survivors had cuts, bruises, and various other injuries. They should have rested until they were stronger. There were trees and various other things near the plane that could be used to create fire. Food? They had three sources of food back at the airplane. First, the remaining food from the airplane – though admittedly not much – and it wouldn’t have lasted long. Second, the wolves. They should have readied themselves for another wolf attack, and killed one and ate it. Not only would this be a source of nutrients, but it would also begin to teach the wolves not to attack them. Third, the unmentionable source of food. Not very nice, but acceptable in a life or death situation. BUT NO! The wolf expert tells them they need to make a run for the trees. Why? Why did the wolves stop chasing them at the treeline? Are these wolves tree-phobic or something? That was ridiculous. After getting to the trees, the wolves wouldn’t have paused for an instant. And really, where are wolves more likely to have a den… in the trees, or on a barren flat frozen field? On at least two occasions, when the wolves appear, Ottway shouts “RUN!” If he were a trained wolf expert, he would know that wolves like to attack from behind, but hesitate to attack animals from the front. Ottway would have known that, and he would have been far more likely to yell at the others to “STOP RUNNING!” and stand their ground. This insane command to run was even more outrageous since they generally had nowhere specific to run to. If I shouted at you to run into the house to avoid a wolf, that would make sense, but if I tell you to run across the frozen TUNDRA to get away from a WOLF, then it makes no sense. Our hero, Ottway, was just about the worst leader imaginable, and his absurd decisions led to death after death. It wasn’t just that he made a dumb decision, and people died as a result. Rather, he made a dumb decision and then another independently dumb decision, and so on and so on, each time leading to more death. Let’s review some of the doozies… (1) HE DECIDES TO LEAVE THE SAFETY OF THE PLANE…leading to one immediate death and all deaths eventually. And after one person dies, he decides that they should continue. (2) HE DECIDES THEY SHOULD LEAP OFF A CLIFF… leading to one immediate death, one more death shortly after, and causing them to get closer to the den. (3) HE SHOUTS “RUN!”… leading to one immediate drowning death and him getting soaked. This drowning death just felt so meaningless, especially when caused by such stupidity. THE WOLVES Wolves are extremely hesitant to attack people. Even before the plane crash, there is a scene where two or three guys are working with some pipe and Ottway shoots a wolf that is about to attack them. Again, wolf attacks just aren’t that common, and the notion of ONE wolf running up to TWO or three men is unrealistic. And later, when the first guy is killed by a wolf while on lookout, the wolf smashes into him and sends him flying. Right here, it seems that the wolf fights more like a super-villain than a wolf. If it were a real wolf, it would not have hit him hard. Rather, it would have pounced on him and bit down hard. And the wolves are at the TOP of the cliff and at the BOTTOM of the cliff, grabbing the falling guy the instant he hits the ground … (where did all that rope come from anyway?). So the wolves have a route to descend and ascend the cliff, but the people can’t come up with any method other than leaping off? Wolves weigh 120 pounds or so, with the biggest on record being about 190 pounds. A grown man with a knife stands a very good chance of seriously wounding or killing a wolf. And yet, the survivors never actually bother to stand their ground and fight … well, not until the end, and that we don’t get to see. If I had to fight a wolf, I would take a good knife over a MacGyver boom stick any day. The scene where they leave the guy behind to sit by the river and watch the mountains was okay, except I kept wondering how he would feel when his pretty view gets spoiled by the pack of insane super-wolves coming to chew on his face. The fact that the climax of the movie was not shown is intolerably ridiculous. Yes, I have read all your posts and I realize that some of you think that the fight would never have measured up, or that it would have somehow spoiled the depth and meaning of the movie. Wow. First, any movie that is as UNREALISTIC and illogical as this one just isn’t that deep to begin with. Second, if you really think that the scene is best left to the imagination, then why don’t you avoid movies altogether and just stay at home and imagine your own stories? If I go to a movie to see a story played out on screen, I would like to actually be able to see that story played out. Don’t build up and build up to one scene and then go to black when that moment arrives. It is absolutely a cop-out. And please, don’t assume that I (and others) don’t understand what symbolism is. I know what symbolism is, and I know that it can enhance a great story, but it cannot take the place of a good story. Symbolism on its own doesn’t make a good movie. Neither does a nice poem.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    No the ending was lazy and crappy to an otherwise good film.

    by The Founder

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    the movie was sold on that scene and it let us down, every one booed

    by The Founder

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST

    I'm a little angry about the apparent portrayal of wolves.

    by hst666

    Unless they were portrayed as desperate or starving, wolves don't generally attack humans. I know, it's just a movie and I might like it any way, but there's a lot of rednecks and other idiots who want to hunt these animals. Same reason I could not get into shows like Medium. I like sci-fi and fantasy, but there are too many idiots who believe that shit is real.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST

    roller-coaster

    by CaptainKirok

    You wrote: __________________________________ Its like wanting your money back because the last corner of the rollercoaster you just went on wasn't scary enough. Idiots with no imagination ___________________________________ No, it's like being on a rollercoaster, and instead of a scary final corner, going down a long boring tunnel and being told that we should just "IMAGINE" that the long boring tunnel is a super-awesome final corner!

  • That's what Mark Miller comic books are for.

  • It made total sense for them to leave the plane. No one was going to find that plane wreckage in those conditions before they all froze to death anyways...they took all the food there was with them...and the wolves would keep coming at them and they wouldnt last long in a stationary place where the wolves would keep coming. Ottway knew that they HAD to get OUT of their area in order to survive. Of course....which way to go he didn't know...but when they started attacking more...he saw the tree line as the only choice b/c it was all open field in every other walking distance. So, they headed that way...and that was the bad gamble. It was right toward's the wolves' den....that's life...and death. You win some you lose some. As for the end....I TOTALLY beleive that Ottway didn't die at the hands of wolves....and while even the post-credits scene doesnt give you indication that he is going to be found and rescued....WHY put on the beacon watch?? Why would the director who has thus far been meticulous in the directorial choices he has made do that for no reason? He even GIVES us a post-credit scene with the Alpha breathing his last (a callback to Ottway killing the wolf in the beginning) and an exhausted Ottway next to him. So, you have to assume that the beacon gets him saved.....the FAITH aspect for me. Stumbling into the Wolves' Den for me WAS the sign from God he needed while also being a bit of "Hey, I got you to this place moment...now fight for your life" message from God. Which he recalls the positive memories of his life to get up the gumption to do. And that's ALL he needed to do....KILL the Alpha. THAT is pack mentality. If he were to kill the Alpha all the other wolves would have then been intimidated into leaving him the crap alone.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:33 a.m. CST

    I liked the movie, but didn't see the post credit clip

    by Russman

    I was annoyed that the guys and girls in the marketing department lied (surprise!!) again with the trailer. But I did enjoy the movie and with an adjusted lens, I can appreciate the ending. Had an interesting discussion with a co-worker, who didn't like the movie and picked at it for cgi and lack of depth with Liam's character and the glaring mistakes about the outdoors since he's a camper. Dude, completely missed the point, but he's 26 and healthy. I told him to watch it again in 15 years and he'll see it and may appreciate it with a different point of view. Did anyone else have a reaction when the 2nd to last guy's foot got stuck? What a shitty way to go out - esp after surviving that jump.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Inuit People Live in These Conditions

    by CaptainKirok

    They did not need to leave the plane when they did. I'm not saying that they should NEVER have gone exploring, but they shouldn't have just rushed out. The proof that I am right about this is THAT they started dying one after the other as soon as they left. This proves it was a bad idea. If they had stayed with the plane, they would have still been alive for weeks. Inuit people live in these conditions. But they uses shelter and don't just go out on crazy expeditions. To DOGMATIC... You can't have things both ways... if you think that the beacon watch got him saved at the end of the movie, then it makes no sense for you to say that no one was going to find the plane wreckage. If the beacon watch works, it works just as well at the wreckage site.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST

    The ending was perfect

    by rf900rrr

    This movie was an amazing experience. It has a tonal and emotional consistency and honesty that really works. When the end came and Ottway was preparing to take on the Alpha, I was hoping they would cut to black. It was the right call for this film. There are events in the movie that are unrealistic, but they are unrealistic to further the dramatic arc of the film. The character suffering from altitude sickness was unrealistic. They were below the treeline - you have to be much higher than that to get altitude sickness. The wolves were sometimes too large and their behavior was not always based in fact. But these niggling details don't spoil the movie. It's a film about how people cope with tragedy, and fighting to your last breath regardless of the odds. I'm amazed that anyone could see the whole thing and be disappointed with the ending. It had to end that way.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I just don't get how people can complain about the ending

    by lookylookymoontard

    You saw the trailer and imagined what happens next in that scene,you see movie and the scene doesn't play out how you imagined.... so its shit? I'm not saying its a perfect film by any mean's but people need to actually think about why the director chose to end it like that,yes a man vs wolf fight would have been "cool" but personally i didn't need to see it,the film worked for completely...each to their own i suppose,and i respect your right to be wrong ;)

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:47 a.m. CST

    the only place that hyped up wolf-punching was AICN

    by zom-bot.com

    - and you guys had even SEEN the movie already. Entertainment Tonight, any of the other herd-mentality shows that hype movies, none coined the term wolf-punching, just this place. sure the trailer showed a snippet more fight than the movie did, and kind of misrepresented itself, but no other movie news source continued to actually, verbally misrepresent the movie's battle to be more than it was. so this article acts as apology whether it wants to admit it or not. maybe not an apology and more of an excuse. because it's certainly not an explanation as to why you guys kept burping up the term wolf-punching around here, knowing full well it wasn't actually a scene.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    The ending just reminded me of The Wrestler

    by Samuel Fulmer

    You know the main character died, but you didn't actually see it. I didn't know about this little bit after the credits, but my assumption would be even if he killed the wolf, Neesen would get killed by the other ones. All and all a preaty good movie. The only bits I didn't care for were the over-reliance on flashbacks to Nessen's past life, and some of the wolf effects looked Muppet quality. The score was a little over intrusive at times to.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST

    It was the perfect ending to the movie it was.

    by HoboCode

    In my opinion anyway. The shot after the credits was great but ultimately inconsequential. It was a dying wolf. That doesn't mean Ottway "won." It means he got some licks in before he probably got killed by the rest of the pack. That's the assumption before and after that shot. It means nothing. As for the CGI. Seriously? That's your gripe? I'm pretty sure 90% of the shots were animatronics first of all. Second of all it was barely noticeable. The bigger problem with the film is that it's characterization of the wolves borders on the hokey at times, especially the first night in the woods which was near laughable. I get that the wolves are a metaphor, but it was about as subtle as a roundhouse kick to the head, which is the weakness of the director's two extemely poor previous outings. Still though it was a good movie (not as great as some think i.e. Harry), but a step in the right direction for Carnahan.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    sopranos!?

    by mcgillj

    Haven't seen it yet.. but the cut to black and idea of certain death reminds me more appropriately of Angel's finale "Do Not Fade Away".

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    I never saw the trailer for The Grey going into it

    by Samuel Fulmer

    But I too would be pissed if they showed a climatic fight that never happened. With The Grey it does look like we're getting more of the Joe Carnahan that did Narc (not the one that did shit like Smoking Aces) so that's good. I hope this Joe Carnahan makes another movie soon.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 9:52 a.m. CST

    hst666

    by HoboCode

    I feel your concern and think there is problems withthe wolf charcaterization, but the film makes it pretty clear that the wolves attack because they are close to their den and within their hunting/kill radius, which is accurate I believe.

  • some confused souls lasted a little longer, got a little farther. they all died in the plane crash. Liam personally called me and left this message on my cell phone.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST

    haven't seen it, but- was there anything around to make armor?

    by zom-bot.com

    i mean, even makeshift, shitty, apocalyptic armor? bark? wood? plane wreckage? something protecting around his neck, wrists, legs- the things an animal goes for first? just tied and bundled, doesn't have to even look like armor. even more layers of fabric could win him a few more minutes of fight. again, i haven't seen the movie, but you figure a survivor type would even go so far as to take extra clothes and supplies from him fallen comrades- it's honorable in this situation. i just can't imagine he scavenged up some little glass liquor bottles but didn't protect any other part of his body with anything else from that wreck.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:10 a.m. CST

    The Book of Job

    by 5minutes

    Honestly, what I'm seeing in the movie is an ongoing fight between life and death, faith and faithlessness, survival and surrender. The movie isn't about the big fight at the end - it's about the characters and the journey they take to the end. That's half of what's wrong with Hollywood today - it's forgotten that movies are about 1. stories and 2. characters. It's not CGI and 3D and visual "wows" - it's about telling a believable story about people I can identify with. And "The Grey" has done so marvelously. Having said all that, I see the ending as sort of the anti-Book of Job thing. In Job, after he faces all the hell of life coming down on him at once, Job's wife tells him to curse God and die - which he refuses to do and is ultimately rewarded by God with the restoration of his life, wealth, and prosperity. In The Grey, Ottway's wife tells him to not be afraid - to trust and have faith - and yet, in the end, he succumbs to his fear that he's the only one left to help him, he curses God, and, in response, God allows Ottway to experience the consequences of his decisions to "do it himself". But that's just me.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    The Grey is good, not great. And certainly not a masterpiece.

    by Brian Hopper

    AICN has done a good job (that it's getting paid for?) of hyping the shit out of this thing. Other thoughts: 1) The ending (with or without the post-credit shot) is really not ambiguous. He's in an unsurvivable situation and knows it. He died. 2) Structurally, it's a remake of Alien. Set-up --> 7 survivors --> down they go, one by one --> lone survivor. 3) This is Carnahan... so try as he does to elevate this thing with big ideas and metaphysics, it still mostly comes off as workmanlike and superficial. I won't waste time pointing out Carnahan's occasional directorial missteps (one too many scenes of the guys gazing fearfully with the sound of howling wolves in the distance ... missed opportunities to flesh out a few of the minor characters ... unnecessary flashbacks ... etc.) 4) Any depth the film has is because of Neeson and his performance. He soars way above this material, and his incredible soulfulness carries the whole film. The startling scene in which he tends to the man on the plane (easily the best scene in the film) is a perfect example of that. Still, a worthwhile movie elevated to another level by Liam Neeson. Absolutely not a great film or masterpiece, but worth seeing.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Pointless film, pointless ending.

    by theBigWasted

    No reason to see this movie. The secondary characters are all cliches, who develop in cliche ways. The movie is basically this. 7 people survive a plane crash. Every 15 minutes or so, one of them dies. If Ottoway does survive the fight, the movie is as absurd as it is cliche. NO ONE BELIEVES THAT A MAN CAN FIGHT OFF AN ALPHA WOLF IN HIS DEN AND WALK AWAY. I don't care what the stupid post-credits shot implies. IT DID NOT HAPPEN. JOE C., PLEASE DON'T TREAT US AS IF WE ARE STUPID.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Blame the marketing...

    by DEX

    I liked the ending but as soon as it ended, I thought, "People are going to be pissed!" The trailer and commercials showed footage that was cut from the film (of Neeson running toward the wolf)! The marketing was success in building an almost iconic image of Liam Neeson with bottles taped to his hand but it also built up expectations to see this moment. P.S. I don't get people commenting on this article who haven't seen the movie.

  • ...chances are you're a stupid fucking teenager.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    yeah i shouldn't comment without seeing it, but-

    by zom-bot.com

    this talkback kind of makes me not want to see it. i didn't need to see an old man fighting wolves, either... guess i shouldn't open things and spoil so many points, but i was never going to see this in the theaters, it seemed like a good sick-day-man-cave sort of rental right off the bat.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    woah bro

    by CT1

    nordling taking care of some business, mul-who?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Kind of reminded me of The Edge

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Maybe not quite as cheesy as The Edge, but did anybody else think of that movie while watching The Grey?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Just saw this yesterday. The ending was great. (SPOILERS)

    by frank

    There was no reason to show the fight with the wolves, other than that it would have been some cool action. The story was finished at the point where the movie ended. Liam died fighting the wolves, probably taking at least one with him. Presumably his body and the wallets would have been found eventually due to the wrist transmitter he was wearing (Or maybe not. I like to think that they were). If they had showed the fight it would have weakened the movie overall. The parting image of the film would have been his corpse being torn apart by wolves rather than him resolving to go down fighting and taking one final action. It’s like he told God in my favorite scene in the movie: ‘Fuck it. I’ll do it myself.’ The movie ended with him railing against the cold, cruel indifference of the world, rather than with him being beaten down by it, as would have been the case if they had showed the fight. The current ending is therefore much more satisfying and uplifting to me. This was an awesome, intense movie, and I would say it was nearly flawless. Highly recommended.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:49 a.m. CST

    when did it become cool to cheat the audience out of a satisfying ending

    by gun_will_travel

    Sure, it's formulaic. The Hollywood ending: action movies have a climactic battle and the enemy is eliminated. Dramas and rom coms have a confrontation and end with an embrace. Get away from this formula and your film becomes edgy, sophisticated, avant-garde, even important. But not satisfying. OK, we all need some occasional mental health food. But when I see a trailer for a film like The Grey and I don't get my damn elimination battle, it's like going into McDonalds, ordering a Big Mac, and getting a wheat grass shake. Thank you AICN for ensuring that this product is properly labeled as a character study, rather than an exercise in CGI wolfpunching. I'm off to see the new Underworld now.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I disagree, my6.

    by frank

    I agree with your points 1 and 2. I also don’t think there is anything wrong with having the Alien-style plot structure you mentioned in point 2. I thought The Grey was one of the best examples of this type of film that we have seen since Alien. I disagree with your third point. This is a simple, severe film and does not have any delusions of grandeur. It embraces its workmanlike approach and makes it an attribute. The message is basic: life is hard. The film demonstrates this concept admirably. The direction is excellent in terms of pacing, editing etc. Any complaints about excessive flashbacks etc. are just nitpicks. For your point 4, I agree that Neeson is awesome in this, and the movie would have suffered greatly had pretty much anyone else played his role, but I disagree strongly that his performance is the only thing this film has going for it.

  • You guys are acting like Neeson fighting a wolf would have been cheesy, I think the complete opposite. Him fighting and us seeing his final struggles for life would have been amazing, brutal and maybe one of the coolest fights ever. Cutting to black isn't new anymore, too many people have done it now, there's nothing about it that is profound An ending much more like Descent would have been interesting, where the chick sets there with the image of her daughter as we find there is no hope left. Imagine the descent if it ended with her getting ready to fight and running at the creatures and it cutting to black, fucking stupid.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Did Liam really "win" in the post-credits scene?

    by Sam Lloyd

    It looks like he killed the Alpha, yeah, but I mean, he's still inches away from death himself...

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 11:25 a.m. CST

    the end debate leaves it open for a sequel The Grey 2: Darker Grey

    by zom-bot.com

    or warm grey..cool grey? putty grey. the greyening. in any case, the wolves kidnap Liam's daughter and all hell is to pay.

  • like it or not, the ending has split you all into 2 camps- he lived and he died, and you both have a right to it. the best works often do this. on another note, i'm stuck using -dashes- and shit because i'm afraid to ever enclose anything in quotes or an apostraphe outside of a contraction because THE CODING ON THIS SITE SUCKS AND I'M TIRED OF LOSING ENTIRE PARAGRAPHS TO IT!!!!!!! seriously how does banning the use of quotes protect AICN from spamming? seems like it protects them from us quoting thier mistakes and words against them, and if we try, the quoted stuff is automatically eliminated and we are too frustrated to retype it. so, for that i guess they win.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Anyone have a link to the original spec script?

    by kolchak

    Please.

  • This is the same chicken-shit cop-out we got with the Sorpranos. You get an audience (based on false advertising in this case) to invest all this time on your character study, only to have the creators weasel out of giving you a complete arc without any sort of resolution. It's like that couldn't commit to anything that test audiences approved of, so they took the easy way out. Actions and decisions have consequences. We saw Ottway's decision, but never the consequence. It's lazy, hacky storytelling, but then again I wouldn't expect any less from Joe Carnahan. You can justify it all you want, but this is a cheap way to disguise creative bankrupcty. Smash to black. Embarassing.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Man...

    by Blue_Demon

    Ottway sounds like the dumbest character Neeson's played since that idiot Qui-Gon Jin. Nice try, Nordling.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Take the movie The Edge

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Add in some Alive, a dash of Jaws, a sprinkle of Peckinpah, and a smidge of The Wrestler, and there you go, The Grey!

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Just because it looks like the wolf is dying . . .

    by MoaKaka

    doesn't mean Ottway lived. Either the Alpha killed him, or the rest of the pack did, or the bitter cold will. I saw it as both alphas killed each other. They both lived and died that day, by defeating their opponent but also being killed in the process. Besides, even if Ottway lived, what kind of ending is that? He condemned the other men to death by leading them away from the airplane and into the wolves' den. How's he gonna explant THAT to himself and everyone else. What I don't really care for is the superfluous extra shot after the end credits, which I suspect was required by studio execs who said "the audience will want to see a happy ending," but the director nevertheless didn't want to completely shit all over what came before it. So they ended up with this ambiguous compromise.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    Well I saw this in a theater with Kurt Russell

    by trafficguy2000

    and he was laughing and smiling the whole time so I guess it was okay

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    the real ending revealed:

    by millermeusa

    The wolf looks at Lial and says: " your wife's death was not your fault.............it was your fathers!"

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST

    oops "Liam"

    by millermeusa

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    captainkirok's comments are DEAD ON

    by Mattman

    You can't claim to be some deep, philosophical movie... and then have the supposed leader be a total incompetent who leads every character to their death. That cliff leaping scene was insanely illogical. ''It's either the cliff or the wolves!" And then the wolves are waiting for them at the bottom!! Which means they found a much safer route down than Neeson's retarded plan.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    This movie had PLENTY of dumb action and CG wolves

    by Mattman

    So don't tell me I didn't like it just because I wanted an action movie... because that's exactly what it is, an action movie that awkwardly transitions into pensive philosophizing every once in a while. Did we really need the guy to say, "I'm gonna fade away!" after the camera lingers on him taking in the view? Stupid.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Why people were upset about the ending:

    by Andrew

    I think we can blame marketing. The trailer gives too much away and is out of context. The studio was trying to sell this as something different than it was. Shame on them, not the director. They aren't the ones who put out the trailers. This isn't the first time a great film has had a crappy trailer.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Even Conan runs from wolves.

    by kirttrik

    Until he stumbles upon a weapon of Crom. Wolves are badass.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:36 p.m. CST

    you can't expect these low IQ morons to "get it".

    by Rupee88

    They are the ones who pay to go see Transformers movies and every bad superhero film even if it sucks. I haven't even seen this film and don't know if I would enjoy but I like how it is pissing off the dumb people.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Fade....

    by Dead_Geek

    ... to my Cock Nordling.

  • ...then I suggest you leap off the first cliff you come to. It's either that or the wolves!

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    re the end of The Sopranos, specifically ndally

    by Jaka

    I think we may have had this conversation before. If not, I've definitely mentioned this in other talkbacks. <p> I don't have a problem with the end of the series. Even if I did, I don't want or need anybody to tell me what the Sopranos is about. I'm aware that there's symbolism and metaphors in the show. But after eight years of watching it I had my own interpretation of what was happening. I had my own ideas, understandings, attachments, likes and dislikes, just like everyone else who watched the show. As such, I have my own interpretation of the end. Reading this talkback shows quite clearly that many people have their own, differing interpretations. That, is what makes art, art. Not some guy telling me how I'm supposed to understand, interpret or "get" the show.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    But, everyone knows Tony dies at the end of The Soparnos though

    by shitstorm23

    Right? The "fade to black" lasts 10 seconds and Chase wanted it to go on for at least 30, but HBO said no. HBO never shows replays of the show out of order EXCEPT after the replay of the finale they showed the episode where his cousin says when you die, everything just does black. The show always had existential shit going on, so the fade worked. <p> Granted, it would have been cool to hear a gun shot or the beginning of a gunshot at least. Shot in the back at some diner with his family there? That's a shitty way to go. <p> On topic, I for one, think Liam fighting a wolf would have been fun. When people asked me what the movie was about (prior to me seeing it) I said it was Taken, but with wolves. That's how it looked from the trailer, but it's about as far from that synopsis as you can get.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Reading this review,

    by t_allen

    My wife and I are going to see this tonight, makes us more excited after reading this. I was afraid it would be another lame action film with no substance. Great article Nordling, thank you! And Liam Neeson joining the Avengers would be freaking amazing!

  • A carnivorous raptor that spares dying prey is about as believable as a man-eating wolf.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Here's the thing(s)...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...although I accepted the wolves as a metaphor, the wolves in this film do not act in the way...well, that wolves act. The silly thing about how if you kill the leader the other wolves will leave you alone...well, it reminded of old, terrible westerns where if you killed the Chief the tribe would stop fighting...but it also destroys the wolves as...the very metaphor they are meant to be. So now that I've beaten cancer heart disease and Alzheimer's are my bitches! Which is why I hate the after credit stinger. I sort of thought of it like the after credit stinger that followed the seventies movie Frogs, where the animated frog hops out and swallows a human hand. It makes no sense, but it's a cute little bit. Simply put, I discount it, because if you accept it the central conceit of the entire movie is minimized. If anyone remembers Unforgiven you'll recal that the central theme to the movie is that everyone has an image of themselves (which echoes the legendary as opposed to the actual old west) and their true nature. The movie hammers this theme home through the denouements of nearly every character. Then we get the last, heartbreaking truth, which is that Eastwood is every bit the mad dog killer he had tried so hard not to be. At that moment Unforgiven has succeeded as completely as it could. And then came the text crawl after, which told us that some guy a lot like Eastwood had collected up Eastwood's kids and maybe opened up a hardware store or some such bullshit. The Unforgiven Grey. This movie needed to end with that fade to black. If it had it would have been a very good, nearly great movie. And anyone with an IQ in triple digits would have known how it ended. When a movie fades to black and that movie has been made by competent filmmakers it isn't because they didn't know how the movie ended. It's because they did know how the movie ended. And it has.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST

    That's why...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...they're only a metaphor.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Sometimes...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...graduation is used as a metaphor for death. And sometimes it's been a promotion. But playing Chess in Sweden with a guy in a big black robe isn't. Because that guy is Death.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Wait...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...I thought Elle McaPherson was the metaphor for death in The Edge. Oh...

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:10 p.m. CST

    U MAD MOVIEOGOERS?

    by KilliK

    Joe Carnahan is reading this talkback and laughing because no matter what you say about the ending,the movie is no1 in the last weekend's BO, grossing 20m dollars. so yeah you got rick rolled.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Actually...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...my favorite metaphor for death in frozen North America would be wendigo...followed closely by a brooding, always present snow owl. And yes, what I mean is a wendigo with a snow owl sidekick.

  • That is, after all, exactly how they were presented.

  • Because it's a metaphor!

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Metaphorpunching!

    by Mattman

  • starving snowbound Mormon cannibals in the Sierra Nevada.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Metaphors: 0, Neeson: 1

    by Mattman

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Yeah...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ....like Phantasm, or Motorama. Although in seriousness I will say that I've always enjoyed movies where the leader guy (dare I say alpha male) is consistently wrong in the choices he makes. The original Night of the Living Dead is probably my favorite example of this, where the guy we like turns out to have been absolutely wrong while the horrible selfish little coward had precisely the right idea.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Taken 2: "I will find your metaphors. I will kill them.''

    by Mattman

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:29 p.m. CST

    ''Training is nothing! Metaphors are everything!"

    by Mattman

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Good movie, good ending

    by Robert

    The Grey is excellent and ended well. I would have been disappointed with a fight scene at the end and let me tell you why. I believe the movie was about death, not man's will to survive. The movie offered only glimpses into the men's lives. Not nearly enough background for the audience to understand each character's responsibilities in life, their motives to live. We therefore have no hope for each character - no sense that they still belong to this world. The effect is we feel no sense of loss when each man dies. This is why I largely disagree with Nordling's assessment. How can the movie be about the value of life when the audience so willingly accepts each death? Instead, we witness each man's death objectively - without emotion, only somber understanding. Each man faces his death differently. The first dies with peace and acceptance. The next dies suddenly, alone and terrified. One man reflects on his daughter, the good in his life, and dies happily. The man who stops walking decides to face his fear, established earlier. Ottway faces his death twice in the film. In the beginning of the film he is suicidal. He is in despair. The woman he loves has left him and will never come back. Though I am not sure, I believe it is heavily implied that she has passed away, leaving Ottway nothing to live for. He is stopped only by the howl of a wolf, suggesting only a tenuous commitment to death. In the film's conclusion, Ottway meets his end with dignity instead, readying himself for the "last good fight he will ever know". His father's poem meant something to him. Something we as an audience do not necessarily understand. But that is the point, right? Each of us will face the ultimate and mysterious fate of death our own way, good or bad. Something will be the last thing we ever know - a memory, a dream, a feeling. Ottway accepts that his final moments will be a battle and it comforts him to simply gain an understanding of his father before death. Now consider what the movie would have been if we had been treated to a fight between Ottway and the wolf. The entire movie this wolf has stalked these men, sending waves of murderous Omegas after them. This wolf is death itself, the realest real reality of life. So what would the filmmakers accomplish by showing us battle? Something fake. Really? You needed to see a CGI cartoon Liam Neeson/wolf-creature fight scene (If so I highly recommend another film that came out this week)? You needed to prop up the notion that Liam Neeson is a God and can take on death mano a mano? What are you out of Chuck Norris jokes or something? You need Liam Neeson to be the guy you and all your friends agree is a badass? Ottway is facing DEATH like a MAN. Not a God (or Jedi for that matter). Each of the other characters has faced death, and now it is Ottway's turn. His choice was to fight at his end, but he was certainly not under the impression that he would live. It was to be the "last good fight he would ever know". "Live and die on this day". The fight would have effectively accused the deceased characters of cowardice and weakness for their inability to be Liam Neeson. Ottway's triumph is not to fight for survival. Everyone does that. His triumph is to face his death with dignity and bravery. This is Ottway's story arc. When he was suicidal, he was lamenting his life. Throughout the film he was looking for something "real". He could not find it in his memories. The past is intangible. He could not find it in his future. He has nothing left and is isolated from the world around him. He could not find it in a hope for an afterlife or in God, who is unresponsive to his calls. Ultimately, the only thing to give him comfort is the fact that we all live and die. He realizes this when going through the wallets of his fallen comrades, seeing their lives in old snapshots. He never knew any of them, except in death. And the last comfort, the last thing he will ever know, is hid father's poem and this truism. This gives him what he needs to face death, and that should be all we need to appreciate the film. I suppose this is a reiteration of what I wrote earlier, but I believe it is important. We will all die, and no one you know today knows what it will be like. There is no promise that you will live till you are eighty or even tomorrow. There is no promise that you're struggle to survive will pay off. There is no promise that your death will mean something. There is no promise of an afterlife and no promise of God. This film wisely avoids suggesting any of these notions are or should be real and is atheistic in that sense - hence the smash cut to black. But the film is not nihilistic. Who's to say what the hallucinations of the dying men were? Certainly not the filmmakers. A good move on their part. Death is the only promise in life. I am sorry, but it is true. It's hard to imagine that Liam Neeson did not think of his late wife during the filming of this movie. She passed away in only 2009. Maybe this movie means something more to him than id does to the rest of us. I loved the movie, and I am only realizing as I write this essay how much I lived the movie. To me, it is a comfort that we all face the unknown, even if we do so alone. I am glad the filmmakers managed to acknowledge that without presuming to tell me otherwise. Overall, a fantastic prequel to Ra's Al Ghul. 10/10

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    All the wolf attacks were quick cuts/shaky cam

    by Samuel Fulmer

    It's not like you would've seen anything anyway had they actually put the last fight in the film.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:33 p.m. CST

    This movie..

    by scors54

    ...was about way more than punching fucking wolves or how wolves actually behave (as if sharks actually behave like the one in Jaws--guess that film sucks too) and I for one, was pleasantly surprised to discover it was. If you have ever read any Jack London or Ernest Hemingway, the point is what each of the men has most to try to survive for--ironically,the one who has the LEAST to survive for is Ottway, and we find out exactly why at the end.Yet he ends up the lone survivor as the film ends. I also thought he was giving up as he laid the wallets down in the snow, but then he faces the alpha and decides to fight. Does he live? Does he die? Thats the discussion and it allows the movie to end in our minds, where it should for anyone who likes to actually think. For those who need every fucking thing spelled out, I guess it sucked for you. Oh well. Hopefully, you haven't ever sat through a Michael Haneke film. It reminded me of the ending of the Wrestler in a way, for those who have seen that. I loved the film and was happily surprised by something deeper than just wolf punching. For those that weren't, Fine. That's why ice cream comes in different flavors.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    muldoon your wrong

    by BERSERKR

    If he killed the Alpha the others would have most likely let him be. Anyway loved the film, last shot or not it was awesome.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    See...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...the thing that puzzles me the most...not about the movie but this dicscussion...is that we're now supposed to act like Liam Neeson is a tough guy actor. And to the point where that's what we're supposed to expect out of a Liam Neeson movie. Hell, I'm puzzled that there is such a thing as a Liam Neeson movie. And then I looked at his credits and realized that...yes, starting way back with Excalibur (admittedly Gawain was of debatable toughness, but still...) Liam Neeson has been playing mostly tough guys. Kind of snuck up on me, somehow. Maybe he should have punched out the wolves.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Okay, choppah...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...on those grounds it is pretty substandard. I liked it a bit more than you because...well in part because of things I know about Neeson that weren't in the movie, so probably not for a very good reason. But on one score you can go straight to hell. Robert Shaw was the hero of Jaws and every other movie he was in. Yeah, even From Russia With Love.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Shaw wasnt the hero of Jaws.Wtf are you talking about?

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    berserkr, when one alpha wolf dies, another takes over

    by Mattman

    And since Neeson himself says in the movie that wolves are "man-eaters" (he even says he has been hired to protect the workers from wolves). So if we take the movie at its own dumb logic, Neeson is fucked even after he kills the alpha.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Why do the wolves have to be a metaphor?

    by frank

    I see The Grey as a very literal movie. It is easy to get and unpretentious. Why does that diminish it? It’s just a badass, gripping movie about people trying to survive under extreme circumstances. (SPOILER) They don’t do a very good job. In real life, people often fail. The major theme of The Grey is that the world is a harsh place to live, and there is ultimately no one looking out for us. Maybe it is that idea that is bothering some of the people in this thread and causing them to dislike the movie over something more comforting like Tree of Life.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    The G'Mork in NEVERENDING STORY...now THERE'S a metawolf.

    by FlickaPoo

  • It has meaning for Neeson’s character. It isn’t supposed to be an original work of genius.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST

    The ending was in no way a cop-out.

    by frank

    The guy was torn apart by wolves. How is that a cop out? The movie had a definite resolution. It was unnecessary to show it play out and would have detracted from what we were supposed to feel about Neeson’s character. And why does The Grey have to be as good as Jaws to be a a good movie? By that standard there are like a dozen or so good movies in existence.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:28 p.m. CST

    franks_television... there's another scene after the credits

    by Mattman

    Where Neeson is shown to have defeated the alpha wolf.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:28 p.m. CST

    killik...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...he was to me. Have you noticed my screen name?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Frank's Television...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...because the movie is foolishly unrealistic as an actual survival movie, unless it takes place on an alternate world where man eating wolves exist. To use Jaws as an analogy...that's analogy, chop, not metaphor...it would be as though they went out to catch a killer tuna.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:32 p.m. CST

    And Chop...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    Artax was a conservative who refused to believe in climate change. It couldn't be more obvious.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:32 p.m. CST

    So what, Mattman?

    by frank

    He kills one wolf, then is mauled by the forty or however many others in the immediate vicinity. I didn’t see the scene after the credits, but it doesn’t change anything. I assumed he was going to take at least one wolf with him before he died.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 4:34 p.m. CST

    You have to see it twice to appreciate his character...

    by ShavedLeatherPig

    The movie works better when you know that he is grieving his dead wife and that his life had lost any type of meaning without her. The movie is more of a love-story than an action film. I think that a lot of sheltered suburban middle-class male minds will sit there and try to project their own insecurities on to the screen and interperet Ottway as being an ex-Special Forces / SAS commando bad-ass rebel who feels guilt for his violent past and his wife had left him because of some type of PTSD..... As for the ending - he just swam in icy water for at least five minutes and with no change of clothes or ability to make fire, regardless of the outcome of the final battle, Ottway will be DEAD from exposure in a very short time.

  • and symbolically becomes the leader of the metaphor pack.

  • It’s a fictional story. One of the premises of the story is that wolves will kill humans under the circumstances presented. It is stated that they are killing for reasons of competition rather than for food. Whether or not that could be true is also irrelevant. It is plausible enough that I can suspend my disbelief. If I were a park ranger, maybe I would be annoyed.

  • If so, I eagerly await the sequel.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 5:09 p.m. CST

    I loved the ending, heres what I think...

    by Josh

    I believe he died, he fought the wolf and won. I can see people hating it I knew what I was expecting and I surely got it. That plane crash was the scariest thing I've seen on film in quite some time. The scenes to follow are scary, intense and so real. Never once did it feel like I was watching a movie. Mark my words this will be a film you look back on in 20yrs and go holy shit that was amazing. I thought the wolfs looked quite real. And I think they even used some real trained one too :)

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 5:52 p.m. CST

    my thoughts (and you better read it since Im liked X3)

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    so after seeing this article pop up I decided to watch the Grey (illegally, because fuck sopa) to see why an ending has its own article so, i watched it and was fast forwarding a lot thru it. then when Liam was the only one left, I kinda figured he wasnt going to fight wolves. then when the end actually, i liked it. it was beautiful. sure i wanted to see liam uppercut and jab the wolf, but i still liked how it ended regards to Liam's character, am I the only one who thought he didnt know shit about wolves? when he only mortally wounded that wolf, I was thinkin "shouldnt he have instantly killer it? why is it still breathing?" also, it was evident that Liam's wife was dead. the white she was wearing, the single location shot of her all in all, the only good thing about the movie is when liam gives up/accepts his fate, so just watch the last minute and you wont miss a thing PS: i dunno why I added the X3 part...

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 5:59 p.m. CST

    The ending of The Grey...

    by Sithtastic

    ...is the uncertainty of nature and death. While I had Ottway pegged for a goner in the final frames, I don't think I was really that disturbed by the cut/smash to black, once I was past the initial jarring. Death is waiting uncertainty which in the instance of this film is represented both by the wolves as well as indifferent elements. It's material right out of Jack London, only this time there's no survival. Death is inevitable and with that in mind, I saw Ottway as defiant, even in the face of the pack at the end. The only other way I could have ended the film would be with the character killing the Alpha, but slowly being rended and torn, through protracted attrition by the herd, while the music plays over the carnage...but then this too might be considered too cliche. Either way, I was satisfied with the film and would gladly watch it again.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Mattman is correct.

    by CaptainKirok

    There were some good things about this movie, and maybe that's why I found it so frustrating. I could suspend my disbelief and accept that these wolves act nothing like real wolves. But I have a problem with the hero being a wolf expert and still leading the other characters down one stupid path after another. Man, at least if he had at some point admitted that he screwed up, then maybe I could deal with it! But no, the movie proceeds as though he is a good and heroic leader. When challenged, he puts his challenger in his place and then proceeds as the leader to makes more horrible choices. Neeson is a great actor, and the character is likable, but then seeing him doing the dumbest stuff imaginable is just ultra-frustrating. Again, hearing him shout at the others to RUN from the wolves was just crazy. He thinks they're going to outrun wolves?!?! And where are they running to? And.... did it work? Once, our hero panicked his buddy into falling into the river and getting his boot caught in a tree. The other time, though, running did work, because when they reached the trees, the wolves were afraid of the trees, quite understandably. Not. By the way, why didn't he at least try taking the other guy's boot off? People keep talking about how real the movie was, and how beautiful it was. Did I feel like I was there? Yes, the movie felt cold and dark and windy. But I felt like I was following a dumbass lead a group of guys to their avoidable doom. It was like watching those stupid kids in Jurassic Park do exactly what they shouldn't do. And would they really have over 30 feet of clothes that could be tied together to form a makeshift rope? Come on! It would have been more real if each guy had just made the jump on his own. Although there was no pressing need for them to make the descent in the first place. I was expecting them to get chased off the cliff, which would have made more sense, but no... But as many of you have said, the movie is about one man's journey to his own death, so it doesn't matter that the wolves act like crazed mutant wolves with super powers. Nor does it matter that the protagonist makes dumb choices even though he is supposedly well-trained. Nor does it matter that the movie builds up to a climax that is not shown. None of this matters because it's a metaphor!

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:41 p.m. CST

    "To Build a Fire" by Jack London

    by seansarto

    This film, in what I've read, seems just to be copping it's idea from London's story for the most part...Which happened to be one of my best PPT presentations in my Oral English classes here in China..Along with the "Lone Ranger"..Two movies that curiously were suddenly greenlighted after my presentations here..And yes I was circulating the idea of wanting to update the two ideas..and yes, curiously here in China, there happens to be a guy named Dave Scott, themaninchina.com, who is a Hollywood representative working undeer a false name in my immediate vicinity...For me there seems to be way too much collusion...and of course it is hard to make a direct link..therefore, I get nothing....But then again look how they f'cked Harry over...What I don't understand is why Harry would continue making nice with such larceny..Makes no f'n sense to pay for something that was stolen from you...Not even the American Indians have to do that.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    The good things

    by CaptainKirok

    The scene where Neeson talks the guy through his own death was quite well-done and powerful. The scenery - great. Totally made it feel cold and harsh and dangerous. The God stuff - I really liked that Neeson was not a believer in God, and when he felt that he had no hope, he begged for some help, challenging God. And then, of course, when God's lack of action confirms Neeson's original atheism, he says screw it, he'll do it himself. That was very good. So no, I am not hating on the movie because I wish it had been more positive about God. I am all for survival movies. I can even accept the cliche of the characters being picked off one at a time every twelve minutes. But what really happened was that these guys saw some wolves, and then panicked themselves into finding newer and dumber ways of either killing themselves or serving themselves up as easy pickings to the wolves!!!

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Evil Trees

    by CaptainKirok

    I just figured out why the wolves were afraid to chase the guys into the woods. It's because of the evil branches. You see, the wolves knew the secret - that branches will grab and drown you when you go too close to them.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Post credits

    by Guy Grand

    I didn't stick around for the final post credits shot. Is there anyone here that can describe exactly what that shot is? (I know, now there'll be a dozen wiseass responses, but maybe there's one of you that can give those of us who didn't get to see it a strong idea of what was shown...thanks).

  • want in one small and dreadfully convincing (attempted) act of survival. This movie sounds like the exact opposite.

  • Where's "Occupy Hollywood"?

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Post credits is not a throwaway

    by b3guy1

    To me the tag after the credits is incredibly important. Ottoway beat death at its own game the only way we really can...by fighting. He wasn't about to let jack shit slide over him. It was important to show that his decision was the right one. If not then it's just a throwback to those nihilistic films from the 70s where the protagonist ALWAYS died at the end. It doesn't matter if he lived or not-it mattered that he chose to fight. That's why Ottoway is not the focus of the tag. That's why a death rattle from a big hairy metaphor for death itself was so damn satisfying.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 7:34 p.m. CST

    guy grand: here's my wiseass response

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    read the fucking tb. it's been said.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Liam fights a wolf timeline

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    Movie Announced: Liam Neeson has to survive against wolves? Trailer Debuts: Liam Neeson fights motherfucking wolves! Interviews with Cast and Directors: Liam Neeson doesnt fight wolves for the whole movie, FYI... Commercials Debut: Liam Neeson is gonna fuck up at least one wolf! Movie Premieres: Liam Neeson does not fight a wolf. Not at all. The Movie Marketing Awards: And the winner for "Best Misleading Ad Campaign" goes to... Liam Neeson fights a wolf!

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Limbo...

    by Gatsby2000

    Thanks to the poster who mentioned Limbo. Similarly-themed classic film from the late 90s that had a tight ambiguous ending (fade to black about 30 seconds before the resolution) long before The Sopranos even started, let alone ended. In my world, that's how The Three Musketeers should have ended as well--"All for one, one for all" and then they charge the musket fire, knowing they're about to die, but going out like men nonetheless.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 8:21 p.m. CST

    "To Build a Fire"

    by Jaka

    Great, great short story. I was in an advanced high school lit class in the 8th grade and the first two months of it were just awful. Nobody was interested and the teacher was frustrated. Then we came to class one Monday morning and "To Build a Fire" was on all of our desks. It grabbed everyone and kept us talking all week. By the end of the school year that ended up being the best public class I would ever attend. I still talk about it to this day, obviously. That same class introduced me to Richard Adams, Orwell and Shakespeare. Good times.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 11:45 p.m. CST

    I LOVED the way the movie treated God, or the lack thereof

    by Mattman

    I wish more movies had that kind of balls. It's my favorite thing about The Grey. And it makes its legion of flaws all the more infuriating.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 11:51 p.m. CST

    To Build a Fire (redux) or "Batard"

    by seansarto

    Yeah...I would have like to have seen it recast in perhaps the same vein of "127 Hours" or "Into the Wild"..Even though those films do an excellent job with that same theme...I would have probably had a man have his car break down somehweres off the grid in the Alaskan Wilds..Cellphone is dead...etc.....Thinking about the dog/wolf symbol..It would be interesting to have made the dog..one of those little toy dogs..and completely inept in the wild...Here, they seem to take the dog/wolf symbol of "subservience to man" and set it loose on the man..In the short story that conflict is always hinted at...This film obviously chooses to make that unfettered wild one of vengence akin to one of my other favorite London great short stories, "Batard" .

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 11:52 p.m. CST

    franks_television

    by Mattman

    You mistakenly said the ending is not a cop-out because Liam was killed by wolves in the end. He was NOT killed by wolves, so based on your original argument, it's a cop-out.

  • Jan. 30, 2012, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Yeah

    by Jeff

    Thanks, Nordling. Good commentary on the film. I saw "The Grey" on Sunday and was blown away by it. For me this was completely unexpected since the trailers made it look like an action-thriller. It's so NOT an action-thriller. It's a brutal, emotional dirge of a film that'll keep you thinking for days afterward about it. Whether or not Ottway is shown fighting the wolves doesn't really matter. It's an examination of "How would you go out? With a whimper or a boom?" I found myself astonished to feel the question being asked of me by the film. Honestly, I still don't know. But I think Joe Carnahan has definitely made the best, most intensely dramatic film of his young career, and I can't wait to see what he'll do next.

  • Despite the constant wolf attacks/chases, a plane crash, dudes leaping across cliffs, falling in rivers, impaling wolves with sticks with bullets on them, running, running, running. Hilarious.

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST

    It's The Return of Qui-Gon

    by dukeroberts

    Remember all of the poor decisions Qui-Gon made in Episode 1? They are revisited in The Grey. It's a good thing he didn't play Lincoln after all. We would have lost the Civil War!

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Re: mattman

    by Jeff

    Good points you make, but "The Grey" is not an action movie. You can think it is, if you want, but you'd be wrong. Action movies are fun, fantastical flights into constructed realities of some kind. Wikipedia writes, "[In action films] Story and character development are generally secondary to explosions, fist fights, gunplay and car chases." Doesn't sound like "The Grey," does it?" There IS action in the film and lots of it, sure, I'll give you that. There's a plane crash. And wolves. And weapons. Sure. But the plot of this film was much more than just an "action film." Would you agree? This was a drama, focused on character, that contained action. Huge difference. Action films also don't get actors nominated for Academy Awards. Liam Neeson's performance is already being thrown about for a possible one of these.

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 2:30 a.m. CST

    the Grey isnt an action-movie

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    if it is then you could say Titantic was a action movie with all the running and shooting

  • I'm actually glad that the ending was spoiled for me. I would have been pissed to not get to see Liam kick some wolf ass as promised in the trailer. I agree with Choppah that cutting to black is for pussies. If it was the first time this gimmick was used, it would be ok, but after the Sopranos ending, what's the point. Been there, done that. That said, I am still going to see this because I would watch Liam Neeson in anything. I would watch a movie of him just taking a shit. I still have high hopes for the film. But, I still want a movie of Liam kicking wolf ass.

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    GPS Watch

    by Ed

    Why didn't that thing work? They had it on for 2 full days and Liam clearly strapped it on his wrist before he took on the Alpha, signaling his intent to live. If he did kill the Alpha, wouldn't the other wolves have backed down maybe? I likt to think he had the chance at living. The Grey 2 - Greyer

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Carnahan said Ottway died

    by MoaKaka

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Sorry, posted too soon

    by MoaKaka

    http://www.moveablefest.com/moveable_fest/2012/01/carnahan-grey-alternate-ending.html The marketing people changed the "live and die" line to "live or die" on the posters, because they didn't want to tell the audience that Neeson dies in the end before they even have a chance to see the movie. There's also something about Neeson's last note being a suicide note, etc. He also described how a Neeson-wolf fight would have been silly: "I'm gonna get you wolf!" "No, I'm gonna get YOU." He said he felt like an asshole just saying that. But he did film it will include it on the DVD extras. Anyhoo, seems like Ottway does die at the end. Unless you disagree with the Director.

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Carnahan is silly

    by CaptainKirok

    The whole movie is building up to this fight and I want to see this fight with these guys. How come you didn’t show the fight? We all wanted to see the fight!’

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST

    last post

    by CaptainKirok

    Now I see what you guys mean about quotation marks messing things up on this site. If Carnahan thought it would be so absurdly silly to actually show the climax of his movie, then perhaps he shouldn't have made a movie that builds up to such a climax. Hmm, I'll make a movie that leads up to an absurd climax and then avoid any absurdity by just not showing the climax.

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Why Carnahan didn't show the fight

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Because going off the other wolf attacks in the film (mostly done in the dark or heavy snow cover with fast edits/shaky cam) it probably would've looked laughable.

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Ill take the pink elephant, ... if you please!

    by IamZardoz

    I am really digging Liam Neeson now.

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    lisab

    by b3guy1

    I love it. Yep...dead on! For me a cut to black beats the hell out of seeing Ottoway win or lose the physical fight. Doesn't matter. Although it would have been worth it to see the wolf rip off his own face to expose himself as a robot. Wolfpuncher 2: Robowolf Boogaloo! Hmmmm...

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Bitching about marketing or fade2black...

    by RRL

    misses every point! I just saw this movie today, twice. Tuesday, 2pm, packed house. Tuesday,5pm, packed house. This is a word of mouth film at this point, and for good reason. A rich, thoughtful, multi-layered film with a good-sized budget, high-ticket effects, beautiful cinematography, and a major star- we just don't have this kind of quality popping up every 5 minutes. If slightly over-blown marketing got people in the seats, and subsequently got the word of mouth happening, good. We need more films of this caliber, and the only way we'll get them is if they make money. And, yes, after two viewings- it's some kind of masterwork indeed, including the fade-to-black ending. And credits (and scores) merit attention, so post-credits scenes in any good film should be welcomed by so-called film fans... BTW- the wolves looked great (both CGI and animatronic versions), and were actually only slightly exaggerated in size (wolves of this size were quite common in Russia in the recent past- and Russian wolves are American wolves, via the once-frozen straight). Once again- so-called film fans should be marveling at the fx, not saying "oh, gee, they aren't real wolves". What's next- bitching about Rick Baker's work for "Gorillas in the Mist"? If any recent under-dog-ish film deserved surprised love, it's this one- from the director/writers/cast right down to the grunts.

  • Jan. 31, 2012, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Nordling - such a dickhole

    by Rex Carsalot

    Your reviews are pure shit, you write like a child, and no matter how man times you ban me I keep getting back on. MAN THE FUCK UP.

  • Feb. 1, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Dead Either Way

    by Bald Evil

    As soon as he goes in the river after Henrich, he's a dead man. Soaked to the bone in freezing water with no way to make a fire, he will die of hypothermia, no if's and's or but's. With death inevitable, he chose to face it on his feet, which is worth something, if only to him in his last moments. I thought the final revelation about his wife was sad and touching, they did a good job of misleading me into thinking she'd left him. I took the post-credit shot to mean they'd done each other in, which was fine by me. I enjoyed the movie a lot.

  • Not saying Carnahan is Hitchcock. It's just modern audiences need everything spoon fed to them.

  • Feb. 2, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Some great visual flourishes

    by high_as_in_berg

    I loved how he pokes a hole in the side of the plane to collect some fuel, and he watches the dripping fuel fall on the face of a frozen corpse. Then we see the drip of the IV near the end and it confirms that his wife actually died. I wasn't sure whether she left him or not, since he sounded apologetic about "poison" in the letter he was writing at the beginning, suggesting his alcoholism may have been the cause of her leaving. But what a great visual motif to reward viewing it a second time. Also loved the blood filling in the wolf paw print after killing the first victim of the group.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 10:18 p.m. CST

    This will be the best movie to come out this year

    by transparentman

    What I love about joe carnahan is that he doesn't really do subtlety. The thing about THE GREY is that it's a universal story. Every man dies, not every man truly lives... You know, all that. And it succeeds because of the lack of subtlety. It's aggressive, grime frame one, to the very bitter end. And as a man, it spoke to me. But I also liked The A-Team, so take that for what it's worth. What really stood out to me was Liam, obviously drawing on his emotions from losing his real life wife. That screamed at me through the whole movie. Here's a man, dealing with some serious shit for the whole world to see. And sure, many actors could have pulled off Ottway, but Liam was so vulnerable in this role of obvious strength. He should win more than a stupid award. He just schooled us on grief. It was painfully beautiful to watch. And whoever played Diaz....shit. The devices are so secondary to this story. It could have been bears. I half expected that at some point. Some real grizzly shit. I think this movie connects to men who have at least an approaching awareness of death. It's not for the guys who's idol is The Sutuation. And the score...hot damn....not since The Book Of Eli has a score been so perfect. A character unto itself. I'm just rambling now, but seriously... This film affected me. And I don't see that happening with The Avengers.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Umm Nordling, not sure...

    by Dan Halen

    how you get that neeson wins teh fight from the "bonus" shot. The only information in that shot was teh wolf is breathing. And what kind of a strange decision was that bonus shot anyway? If they felt so strongly about that cut to black ending why include it? Both endings defeat each other. I enjoyed parts of this film. But to say this was a realistic survival story is hysterical. At one point they have spears... then they are gone. You'd think you'd have a weapon to fight off a wolf? Nah. Why couldnt' they have been located? The reason given in the film was absurd. If this had been set in the 50s or 40s it would have made much more sense. Then they jump across that ravine only to have a guy fall out of a tree and have wolves jump out and eat him. These are wolves, not pirahna. The worst and most unbelievabe thing was the scene when they fall in the river. Liam Neeson just hangs out in the water after the guy dies. No shivering. Forget that's that water is cold enough to kill you in five minutes. Then he gets out of the water and shows no signs of hypothermia and doesn't even take his wet clothes off or start a fire. As a realistic survival story this film is a failure. As a rousing adventure story this film gets a D. As a college film student level meditation on life and death it's like a C-. The one unique thing that truly impressed me was that a main character prounounced his atheism in Act II and kept it all the way through. I've never seen that in a movie. Hurray.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 10:49 a.m. CST

    bleh

    by Soxfan893

    I actually just got out of this film and Neeson was the only thing that kept it going at all. The concept was great, and I like what they were going for, but the execution was very lacking. Spoilers The things that are getting panned on here are actually the only things I didn't dislike. The way it just cut out fits the movie very well. I for one didn't mind the CGI wolves...it didn't really make much of a difference to me, and I usually hate too much CGI. The issue to me was the acting really. There are only two characters you really kind of care about...Neeson, and Joe Anderson who was in Across the Universe who dies early on. outside of those two characters, there are six other men or so that you are supposed to care about. The problem is that you don't. There are two death scenes right at the end of the movi that are supposed to be very gripping. You should be sad for these two, and you should feel the pain of their deaths as much as the men they have been surviving alongside do. Absolutely none of that comes through. The other thing that bugged me was the sheer disregard to the physical limitations of a human being. The whole point of the movie was to see how much human will can, or in some cases cannot, endure. And they go through some grim detail in showing you what is happening to them physically. There were two examples that really irked me. One was toward the end when one character falls from a tree and you clearly hear a sharp snap as he hits the ground. He's writhing in pain, complaining about his now injured knee. You then see him walking with barely a limp. Now that one I can forgive, but toward the beginning Neeson is attacked and bitten in the leg badly just above his knee. They zoom in with detail to show the arterial bleeding coming out in short spurts, and they quickly put a bandage around, as you should. They actually did a great job with this part, showing very good detail. The problem comes with the rest of the film. If that bandage is supposed to be a tourniquet as it should be, he can't do anything the rest of the film and he loses the leg in about 13 hours or so. Either way he has no feeling and can't walk let alone run. If it's just a ban dage, then he bleeds out in less than an hour and dies. Either way...he doesn't just keep acting normal for 4 days like they do here. The easy fix is just to show a good bite that's bleeding a little bit. There are other little things like when a pack of wolves is at their heels, they suddenly have the time to stop, gather wood and build a campfire to keep from being attacked. I understand it's a movie, but this one is supposed to be realistic. That's the very basis of it. You feel the human emotions because they're human, and they're in a real situation that could happen to you. This one loses you even when it never really had you to start with.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    by Soxfan893

    The ending really doesn't matter. It's supposed to be a character driven piece where you feel for these people. You connect with them and feel their pain, anguish, will to live, defeat, etc. While Neeson was Neeson which is always a good start, the only other character you connect to and really even care if he lives or dies is Joe Anderson, and they take him out of the equation early. This should be an emotional wave when it gets down to the final 3, and the only thing I could think of during what should have been an intensely gripping speech was "he doesn't wanna go, just leave him there", and the only thought I had in the river was...."wait, don't forget to grab the wallets". There wasn't even a moment of "aww, he's dead" or "he really developed into someone I could like. He just never had anything to live for". I feel like I would like the short story it's based off of, because that's what the film feels like, a story that never develops.

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 8 a.m. CST

    Thou doest protest too much

    by Bickle-T

    Sorry, but the whole damn movie was most indeed about Liam/survivors versus the wolves. It was all buildup, especially at the end. I live in Tampa, so next time I want all buildup with no climax for 20 bucks, I'll buy a lap dance at The Dollhouse. And yeah, I like "intelligent" movies too...especially ones that don't hit me over the head 50 times about living and dying everyday. This was a good movie, not great, and not the best of the year.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:19 a.m. CST

    fuck ambiguous endings.

    by shogunshin

    to me, the ending was a cop out. carnahan could have shot it weird so you did not see the fight, or panned away or something. but barely showing that snippet at the end cemented the cop out. what if you were reading a book, and someone ripped the last 15 pages from the book? i invested two hours to see the journey of ottaway. then carnahan stopped short. again, i can maybe understand he did not want to shoot some wolf vs man fight. but it is a MOVIE, i am there to SEE a story. i am not there to 'invent' an ending. i am not there for the audience to 'figure' out an ending. that is the story teller's job. i know a bunch of pussy film makers want you to determine the movie, and i avoid those movies. then again, maybe there was supposed to be a sequel, like 'taken.' and neeson is now the pack leader of those wolves in the grey II attack of the black [bears] or something.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 3:55 p.m. CST

    The Grey

    by denise

    Just saw the film. I thought it was great and the ending was brilliant!

  • Come on Ottway you should know better.