A great leap forward for the talented action director Joe Carnahan, this old-fashioned suspense tale builds on and yet subtly criticizes the slick violence of his Smokin' Aces
(2006) and The A-Team
(2010), culminating with a meditation on death that's uncommonly grave for an American movie. Liam Neeson is a tough loner who rallies a group of strangers after their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness; the other survivors include Frank Grillo, James Badge Dale, and Dermot Mulroney in a stunning performance. Like Anthony Mann's The Naked Spur
(1953) or Man of the West
(1958), the movie draws on the terrifying beauty of the natural world and generates tension from the volatile dynamics of a carefully observed group.
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In The Grey, Liam Neeson and company face death in the Alaskan snows