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Picks and Pans Main: Movies

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The Grey

Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, Frank Grillo | R |


So perpetually engaged in mortal combat is Neeson that the wisest course, should you ever encounter him, is to scream, “I love your work!” while running in the opposite direction. Fortunately, fellow humans, we’re safe this time-it’s the wolves he’s after.

Neeson stars as Ottway, a sniper for an Alaskan oil company charged with shooting the wolves who wander into camp. So it’s only fair that the canines become the predators when he and six other men survive a plane crash in a crippling blizzard. That promising setup leads to a standard-issue disaster plot that picks off the nearly indistinguishable survivors one by one. Even Ottway, with his flashbacks to an absent wife and occasionally dubious logic about pack behavior, isn’t that compelling. The wolves, however, are the stuff of nightmares. With their clever hunting techniques, they’re Neeson’s best adversaries yet. Don’t get me wrong-he’s still the toughest guy in the room. But The Grey is what happens when there is no room.

Albert Nobbs

Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska | R |


Albert was born a girl and lives as a man, but he’s never truly been human. Close plays Albert, a role she’s nursed since a stage run in 1982, as a nonentity. Desperate not to be discovered, Albert gingerly pursues a crush on maid Helen (Wasikowska). How refreshing, then, is Hubert (the electric Janet McTeer) a painter who’s made the same choice as Albert but lives boldly. This quiet, slow film needs more of Hubert’s panache, but Close’s affecting turn is a triumph.