Hemingway might have enjoyed The Grey. The story concerns a man, Ottway (Liam Neeson), returning home from a job around an oil rigger in Alaska shooting wolves. The plane crashes, stranding Ottway and a handful of others in the wild. Shortly, though, the surviving men learn that they are being tracked and hunted by a large pack of fire-eyed wolves. Ottway more or less takes charge and tries to save the men and himself.
The Grey has a cast of dependable character actors (Dallas Roberts, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney) but you can't recognize them beneath the beards and frost so it is almost like have a cast of unknowns. The screenplay is credited to Ian Mackenzie Jeffers, from a short story called "Ghost Walker," and Joe Carnahan, who also directed. Mr. Carnahan has a checkered cinematic career, going from the truly independently made Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, a "calling card" movie that I haven't seen, to the intelligent and gritty Narc, which was one of the best movies of 2002. His Smokin' Aces was widely ridiculued but this reviewer liked it a lot, and it was a film that showed early the range of Ryan Reynolds, before that a TV sit-com player. His The A-Team was widely misunderstood and mocked for its betrayal of the physical laws of nature, but in fact there was clarity to the action in defiance of recent trends in cinema (Michael Bay) and an undercurrent of seriousness beneath the defeated mockery of the source TV show. The Grey is a 180 from the comical violence of some of his earlier films. It's a deadly serious existential drama and a fully satisfying adult tale.