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The 25 Best Movies of 2012

2. The Grey

Director: Joe Carnahan
Stars: Liam Neeson, Frank Grilo, Dallas Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, James Badge Dale

Fun fact: The Grey was the first screening we attended in 2012, way back in early January. Nearly 360 days later, it's still an unshakeable and profound piece of work.

The commercials promised one thing: Liam Neeson knuckling up against a pack of vicious wolves in freezing cold, snowy conditions. Action movie gold, right? So imagine our surprise when director Joe Carnahan’s remarkabe film brought us close to tears. Much like last year's Warrior, it's a pure guy-cry experience, though, in The Grey's case, the spiritual undercurrent lingers long after its bravura final scene.

Guided by an extraordinary, well-rounded performance from Neeson, The Grey is anything but a man-versus-animal smackdown. Pitting a small group of airplane crash survivors against not only the threat of malicious wolves but also ferocious weather and depleting hope, Carnahan’s uniquely solemn action film challenges feelings of spirituality, masculinity, and emotional fortitude, all with superior deftness. It’s the uncommon “guy movie” with an active brain and a big, beating heart.

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