The Grey Zone 2001

Critics score:
68 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: The Grey Zone should be seen: It's a worthy ordeal, with flaws that, ironically, make grist for later arguments. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: The cumulative effect of the relentless horror on parade numbs the movie's power as a work of drama. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: A bleak, difficult and stunning film. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: One can't deny its seriousness and quality. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: The more realistic The Grey Zone pretends to be, the more its unrealistic elements stand out. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Easier to respect than to love. Read more

Manohla Dargis, Los Angeles Times: It isn't just that there's something unsettling about a film that aestheticizes a crematorium; it's that there's something trivializing about the very effort. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: Even in its darkest moments, a heartening defiance underlies gut-wrenching calamity. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: No dramatic feature has ever come quite this close to the matter-of-fact ugliness of the Nazi crimes. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: The film ... presents classic moral-condundrum drama: What would you have done to survive? The problem with the film is whether these ambitions, laudable in themselves, justify a theatrical simulation of the death camp of Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Read more

Matt Weitz, Dallas Morning News: The film's sense of imagery gives it a terrible strength, but it's propelled by the acting. Read more

John Patterson, L.A. Weekly: Unlike the nauseating fictions peddled by such 'Have-yourself-a-happy-little-Holocaust' movies as Life Is Beautiful and Jakob the Liar, The Grey Zone is honest enough to deny the possibility of hope in Auschwitz. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Holocaust films are problematic, period. The Grey Zone is, sadly, more evidence of the qualities of silence. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: From both a great and a terrible story, Mr. Nelson has made a film that is an undeniably worthy and devastating experience. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The Grey Zone gives life and meaning to an event that is little more than a footnote in history books. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I have seen a lot of films about the Holocaust, but I have never seen one so immediate, unblinking and painful in its materials. Read more

Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle: Nelson's work is relentless, grueling and courageous. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: Although the movie takes us further into the actual process of industrial death at Auschwitz than any American movie has yet dared, The Grey Zone never stoops to sensation or melodrama. Read more

Derek Adams, Time Out: Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: Nelson ... invests this unusual Holocaust drama with dramatic intensity that in no way cheapens its subject matter. Read more

David Rooney, Variety: Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Read more

Leslie Camhi, Village Voice: Re-creating Auschwitz somehow domesticates it; the smokestacks look like pieces from an infernal Monopoly board, while the extras appear suspiciously well-fed. Read more