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A Gray State

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Erik Nelson

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About the Movie

In 2010 David Crowley, an Iraq veteran, aspiring filmmaker and charismatic up-and-coming voice in fringe politics, began production on his film Gray State. Set in a dystopian near-future where civil liberties are trampled by an unrestrained federal government, the film's crowd funded trailer was enthusiastically received by the burgeoning online community of libertarians, Tea Party activists and members of the nascent alt-right. In January 2015, Crowley was found dead with his family in their suburban Minnesota home. Their shocking deaths quickly become a cause célèbre for conspiracy theorists who speculate that Crowley was assassinated by a shadowy government concerned about a film and filmmaker that was getting too close to the truth about their aims. Directed by Grizzly Man producer Erik Nelson and Executive Produced by Werner Herzog, A Gray State combs through Crowley's archive of 13,000 photographs, hundreds of hours of home video, and exhaustive behind-the-scenes footage of Crowley's work in progress to reveal what happens when a paranoid view of the government turns inward - blurring the lines of what is real and what people want to believe.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 17
  • Fresh: 17
  • Rotten: 0
  • Average Rating: 7.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Engrossing for the reasons it's also unsatisfying: As Adam Shambour, a friend of Mr. Crowley's, says, it's a mystery that answers all the major questions except "Why?" – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, Nov 2, 2017

Fresh: This well-crafted doc makes for an absorbingly bizarre footnote. One suspects we are living in a historical epoch that is going to provide many such footnotes for some time to come. – Dennis Harvey, Variety, Nov 4, 2017

Fresh: Unfolding like a more intricately plotted installment of "48 Hours," Erik Nelson's "A Gray State" is a genuinely unsettling examination of a 2015 murder case. – Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times, Nov 22, 2017

Fresh: A riveting combination of political commentary and true crime story. – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter, Apr 26, 2017

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


A bit long for the story involved. It could have been summed up within an hour. Good story though.

No conspiracy here

A poignant portraiture of a deeply disturbed and troubled, possibly hypomanically driven individual and one clearly haunted by the demons of war and then the pressure to deliver a product that ultimately he likely felt himself incapable of producing. His wife also likely was plagued with her own hidden and undiagnosed psychopathology, as you will see.

But let’s be clear: There was no assassination by The Powers That Be.

The protagonist’s movie was he was making was a totally crackpot whack job affair and invariably destined for the dustbin of NetFlix after it flopped in the theater.

I watched this movie solely because Werner Herzog was involved in the production. You can usually count on the goods being delivered when he’s involved.

White Guys with Heavy Weapons

Yawn. A time-wasting marathon about white guys with guns.

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A Gray State
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2017

Customer Ratings