THE GREY ZONE (2003) Phone-service pitchman Arquette surprises with an actorly seriousness as a Sonderkommando, one of the Jews who helped run Nazi death camps in exchange for privileges…
Video Review

THE GREY ZONE (2003)

MPAA Rating: R
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Mar 18, 2003; Movie Rated: R; Genres: Drama, Historical; With: David Arquette, Harvey Keitel and Natasha Lyonne; Distributor: Lions Gate Films

Phone-service pitchman Arquette surprises with an actorly seriousness as a Sonderkommando, one of the Jews who helped run Nazi death camps in exchange for privileges and a few extra months of life and who, in October 1944, staged a partly successful rebellion at Auschwitz that destroyed one of the camp's four crematoriums. Despite some forced dialogue that betrays the film's stage origin (actor-writer- director Tim Blake Nelson adapted his play for the screen) and uneven accents (Keitel's German officer at times verges on caricature), Grey, with its unsparing vision, poses a maddening question: If you are, for all intents, already dead, do your actions matter?

Originally posted Mar 21, 2003 Published in issue #701 Mar 21, 2003 Order article reprints