Summit Entertainment | Release Date: December 21, 2012
7.9
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Generally favorable reviews based on 315 Ratings
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10
csw12Jan 7, 2013
The Impossible is one of the best films of 2012. Never has a movie been so depressing and at the same time so uplifting. Naomi watts does an incredible job, but Lucas, her son, is the star of the film. A movie that should be seen, remembered,The Impossible is one of the best films of 2012. Never has a movie been so depressing and at the same time so uplifting. Naomi watts does an incredible job, but Lucas, her son, is the star of the film. A movie that should be seen, remembered, and not forgotten. Expand
4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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9
TECfilmsJan 9, 2013
As a drama film far better than Avatar & Co., mostly due to three reasons: The whole film is based on a true story and, of course, an actual event, which makes it so threedimensional. Secondly, there are amazing actors, especially anAs a drama film far better than Avatar & Co., mostly due to three reasons: The whole film is based on a true story and, of course, an actual event, which makes it so threedimensional. Secondly, there are amazing actors, especially an astonishing Tom Holland, who will surely get a row of offers after his critcally performance. And thirdly the amazing story and enactment of the fatal 26. December 2004, which is geniusly directedand well written. If you watch it, bring enough tissue with you!!! Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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8
Mabel8103Jan 20, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. No suelo ver películas que puedan estimular el fenómeno secreto-motor complejo que es caracterizado por derramar liquido del aparato lagrimal, evito al máximo la punzada en el pecho y verme ante la labor de mirar para otras partes intentando buscar fuerzas que me alejen de la escena que me acongoja, sin embargo Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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9
DollisDec 23, 2012
"The Impossible'' is a true story very intense story of family's survival against the odds.worth checking out for the acting and effects ,and is not a remake movie.
5 of 8 users found this helpful53
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10
Trev29Jan 9, 2013
Director J A Bayona's vision for this film is simply spectacular. It manages to be extremely emotionally enticing, authentic, visually brilliant, and rooted in showcasing humanity at its finest. The entire acting assemble was flawless, but itDirector J A Bayona's vision for this film is simply spectacular. It manages to be extremely emotionally enticing, authentic, visually brilliant, and rooted in showcasing humanity at its finest. The entire acting assemble was flawless, but it was the scenes between Naomi Watts and Tom Holland that made this film so beautiful and real. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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9
JohnrieberDec 22, 2012
"The Impossible" was surprisingly effective - it manages to capture what it would be like to actually experience a tsunami - but while those impressive special effects capture the carnage, the Director has also managed to sketch out vivid"The Impossible" was surprisingly effective - it manages to capture what it would be like to actually experience a tsunami - but while those impressive special effects capture the carnage, the Director has also managed to sketch out vivid characters as well. Naomi Watts maintains a focused determination amid the tragedy, while Ewan captures a father a bit more out of control - for reason clear as the story unfolds. Suspenseful and heartbreaking. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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10
hacmiu36Jan 6, 2013
Best movie i have ever seen. It's has a lot of heart touching moment that can make you cry . it's was so real that can make you believe in that movie
7 of 13 users found this helpful76
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10
RikiegeDec 21, 2012
The best Spanish film of the history of cinema.
7 of 14 users found this helpful77
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9
jordiDec 23, 2012
Por mucho que sepas lo que pasará sigue impactando. Parece realmente imposible lo que sucedió. Es difícil no llorar o al menos que se te ponga la piel de gallina. Espectacular, dramática, grandes interpretaciones.Por mucho que sepas lo que pasará sigue impactando. Parece realmente imposible lo que sucedió. Es difícil no llorar o al menos que se te ponga la piel de gallina. Espectacular, dramática, grandes interpretaciones. Arriba el cine español. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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9
BikerjamesJan 7, 2013
The 5 members of this family seem real. I teared up several times. Kudos to the director who gets realistic performances from all the actors. It is particularly difficult to get good performances from children but he managed it. It is NaomiThe 5 members of this family seem real. I teared up several times. Kudos to the director who gets realistic performances from all the actors. It is particularly difficult to get good performances from children but he managed it. It is Naomi Watts, however, that is the centerpiece. The main crux of the film follows her and the oldest son on the path to safety. The Tsunami seemed real, and there is a cast of thousands around the hospital. Not sure how they filmed it but it is quite an achievement. I'm not sure I would ever want to see the film again - much of it is hard to watch, but overall a very affective film that I thought about long after the final credits. Lastly, I would like to mention that the entire movie was given away in the trailer I saw for this movie which is a shame. There is an art to making a trailer that makes you want to see the movie without giving too much away and more and more movies are giving away too much of the plot. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
allystewJan 3, 2013
The Impossible. As close as you will ever want to get to a natural disaster let alone one of the worst in recorded history. The movie is not all about when the waves hits, with the emotional performances of Ewan McGregor and Naomi WattsThe Impossible. As close as you will ever want to get to a natural disaster let alone one of the worst in recorded history. The movie is not all about when the waves hits, with the emotional performances of Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts hitting just as hard. Some amazing visuals and sound design from an up and coming Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona. Interesting how I was left feeling at the end which I believe is the point. I would say a must see movie. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
jessof89Jan 4, 2013
Very good film, good character development, the eldest son in the film is outstanding, and as you'd expect Ewan Mcgregor and Naomi watts are very good, the scene where the wave hits is very powerful and the special effects are brilliant .Very good film, good character development, the eldest son in the film is outstanding, and as you'd expect Ewan Mcgregor and Naomi watts are very good, the scene where the wave hits is very powerful and the special effects are brilliant . Throughout the film i heard many people in the cinema cry, i didn't but i was very close, the eyes were glossing over believe me. Go and watch it, you won't regret it :) Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
movieluverFeb 15, 2013
I had low expectations going in but this movie was phenomenal. Such powerful storytelling found in very small moments and superb acting. The disaster scenes are not overdone and this movie does not contain all the cliches that you wouldI had low expectations going in but this movie was phenomenal. Such powerful storytelling found in very small moments and superb acting. The disaster scenes are not overdone and this movie does not contain all the cliches that you would expect from a movie of this subject. I don't know why Naomi Watts isn't considered a front-runner for her performance. It was breathtaking. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
poetreviewerFeb 9, 2013
This is the most haunting and realistic portrayal of a natural disaster in a movie, that I have ever seen. Naomi Watts and the young actor who plays her eldest son are wonderful. They bring such emotion to the scenes. Maybe I'm a sap, butThis is the most haunting and realistic portrayal of a natural disaster in a movie, that I have ever seen. Naomi Watts and the young actor who plays her eldest son are wonderful. They bring such emotion to the scenes. Maybe I'm a sap, but I cried at the tear-jerking parts. It worked for me and moved fast. One particular scene, where Naomi Watts' character is unconscious during surgery is amazing---how they filmed this movie astounds me. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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7
MarcDoyleJan 5, 2013
It's a much better, more emotional movie than I thought it would be. The actor who plays the oldest son is phenomenal, and he should be considered for a supporting actor nomination come awards season. Naomi Watts is excellent, as usual. TheIt's a much better, more emotional movie than I thought it would be. The actor who plays the oldest son is phenomenal, and he should be considered for a supporting actor nomination come awards season. Naomi Watts is excellent, as usual. The movie as a whole, however, is a touch conventional. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
MargateExpertJan 25, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Inspired and deeply affecting, notwithstanding some of the churlish notices the film received from snobbish, politically correct critics at the New York Times, The New Yorker et al. One suspects their Liberal dander was aroused because 'The Impossible' depicted the (true) story of a white family that survived a Third World disaster in which People of Color died by the hundreds of thousands. Ignore these intellectually dishonest reviewers. As an achievement in art, 'The Impossible' was excellent in every way -- the best film I've seen so far in 2013. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
wishmasterJan 15, 2013
I am not to mourn, and this movie tears me out. With a message of love and family, this film proves to be a jewel of the tragedy and drama; giving us harrowing scenes with Naomi Watts, proving it is an Oscar nominee.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
LeftyyJan 15, 2013
Absolutely stunning. It was the first film I saw to be released in 2013 (in the United States) and already I can see it as being the best. Many times, I don't fall for attempts for sympathy in movies. This was entirely different. Prior toAbsolutely stunning. It was the first film I saw to be released in 2013 (in the United States) and already I can see it as being the best. Many times, I don't fall for attempts for sympathy in movies. This was entirely different. Prior to seeing this movie, I watched a documentary about the Tsunami which primarily seemed to primarily focus on various people who were vacationing to various countries in the Indian Ocean. It was brutal, sad, and disturbing. This movie being based on a true story of a foreign family that visits a resort in Thailand, it was like I was watching a dramatized version of the documentary all over again, and because of the reality of the situation, the movie was incredibly powerful in its emotion. I can easily say that this may be the saddest movie I've ever seen, and also one of the most tense. There isn't really a moment in the movie past the twenty minute mark where you won't feel at least a decent urge to cry, and honestly I'm surprised I didn't show as much outward emotion as I did - When I left the theater, I had a headache because of it. Every actor and actress in the movie did a stunning job in portraying realistic emotion and desperation, creating a sense of real fear, grief, loss, and sorrow. This movie will affect you. It certainly affected me. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
hoops2448Feb 13, 2013
One of the most harrowing natural disasters in recent history forms the basis for The Impossible, the most recent film from director Juan Antonio Bayona, the acclaimed director of the Orphanage. The film follows a family vacationing inOne of the most harrowing natural disasters in recent history forms the basis for The Impossible, the most recent film from director Juan Antonio Bayona, the acclaimed director of the Orphanage. The film follows a family vacationing in Thailand for Christmas back in 2004 when the Boxing Day tsunami hits. the film tells the true story of a families struggle to survive in the most shocking of conditions following an unspeakable horror. Much like The Orphanage, The Impossible is a story more about reconnection than survival as this family of five struggle to find each other in a country that is completely alien to them, in a place where almost everyone is trying to find someone and has no time for others. Films like this have the tendency to over sentimentalize the material and its true that the film loses its identity in favor of a big dose of cheddar as the film draws to its conclusion but it almost doesn't matter after the ordeal that is the first hour. The Impossible is a grueling watch in its unbiased depiction of a people and a country ravaged by an unapologetic ocean of water. The cast is led by Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, who both give give stunning performances as Henry and Maria, parents to children Lucas, Thomas and Simon. Watts deserves her recent Oscar nomination for her all in performance as Maria, a woman with great courage and conviction tasked with the unbelievable task of keeping Lucas safe even though she doubts she will make it. Mcgregor's worried father Henry is equally as affecting as Watts is because he is exactly the opposite of Maria, he doesn't know how to hide the fear he has for his family, especially Lucas and Maria. Lucas is played with great skill by child actor Tom Hollander who shows the heart of the character even when the script forces him to film flop from a teenager to a child and back again. The characters are the best thing about the script by Sergio G Sanchez but Lucas seems to regress into a 5 year old boy half way through the film to service a side plot that is thoroughly irritating. The script itself is absolutely woeful, in fact the only reason the film isn't a 9 or a 10 is because the script is so bad it ruins both the opening and the end with the opening being unnatural and stiff and the end being over the top and borderline offensive. The actors struggle through lines about leaving the alarm on, something that in a better script would seem like a perfectly normal thing to talk about but this script is so dreadful it makes the lines seem like comedy, something you really don't expect from a film with graphic content and highly distressing themes, it just feels wrong. Overall though the film is saved by some fantastic direction through the initial wave right up to the uplifting finale, as well as by some devastating performances, none more so than Ms Watts, an actress I had not rated until this film. It's fearless and powerful and for that reason alone it will make most people bawl their eyes out in the most cathartic way possible. An emotional roller coaster of a film. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
aozetaJun 17, 2013
A total "wow!". This film touches the deepest of emotions when it comes to family and love. This is unforgettable in every aspect. Best performance from Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. Excellent screenplay, cinematography, sound, and editing.A total "wow!". This film touches the deepest of emotions when it comes to family and love. This is unforgettable in every aspect. Best performance from Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. Excellent screenplay, cinematography, sound, and editing. Possibly the best film of 2012 and the-one-to-beat for the decade.

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0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
StevenFSep 1, 2013
There's a feeling of triumph and bittersweet emotion when watching 'The Impossible', tragic yet triumphant on various levels of filmmaking, acting and adapting a true story of one of the most tragic events in history, the Indian Ocean tsunamiThere's a feeling of triumph and bittersweet emotion when watching 'The Impossible', tragic yet triumphant on various levels of filmmaking, acting and adapting a true story of one of the most tragic events in history, the Indian Ocean tsunami that changed the lives of many caught off-guard in this natural catastrophe. We hear the story of Maria Bennett, who is based on survivor María Belón, who recounted her story for the film, where we see Maria and her family visiting Thailand on their Christmas holiday, their common worries and life problems are swept away as the family is torn apart by the devastating tsunami. Naomi Watts gives a spellbinding performance as Maria, who manages to find her eldest son, Lucas (Tom Holland) nearby, but cannot see her husband or other two boys anywhere. From here we see the brute force and devastation that an 'Act of God' can deliver, injuries and sickness aside, the destruction of family is an act that is beyond repair, especially when nothing can be done to stop it.
It's Watts and Holland who masterfully command the screen as a mother and son brought closer together by loss, young Lucas must bear seeing his mother in some very vulnerable situations, but manages to help others around him, accepting that his father and brothers may be dead.
But it has been shot with such clarity and depth that we get one story after the other, where Lucas is in a terrible place, but his father Henry (Ewan McGregor) is also in a terrible place, more so because of how helpless he feels that he cannot find his wife and eldest son, these three stars each give performances that demand perfection and respect.
The film shows how a situation brings the common man together, through hope and sometimes heartache, the film is a testament to the good inside everyone, something we see throughout the film as strangers from various parts of the world band together in the face of danger, and it is also a testament at how differences and problems are put away when something natural can affect the lives of everyone in the same way as the person next to them. The title hold relevance to many aspects of the film, the unlikelihood of survival, the mission of finding survivors, the devastation caused, but also the bond that can be shared in times of need, highly improbable, but not impossible.
This is an honest and detailed film, which is shot in an emotional sense of being there, where we can relate with terror and angst with these characters, and revel in their hopeful good fortunes, the film takes pride in cataloging an horrific incident with such force and thrill, but also showing human nature winning out.
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8
quincytheodoreJan 15, 2013
Focusing heavily on the human aspect, The Impossible is on the other end of disaster movie spectrum, and one born of true struggle. While the first half has plenty of carnage, the latter shows its terrible repercussion. Acting from everyoneFocusing heavily on the human aspect, The Impossible is on the other end of disaster movie spectrum, and one born of true struggle. While the first half has plenty of carnage, the latter shows its terrible repercussion. Acting from everyone is incredibly solid, it appeals dearly to audience by showing the family's struggle in such vivid fashion and without overselling the already grandiose effect of the tragedy.

It's emotionally moving as each member of the family tries to overcome the peril and find strength to do so in midst of the wounded. Naomi Watts (Maria Bennett) gives a fantastic performance, she really portrays the pain and helplessness, but still a mother who has to comfort her child. She displays such rivetingly agonizing grace beyond what make-up, while it helps, could possible show visually.

Tom Holland (Lucas Bennett) is equally impressive, he's so young but already performs such mature role as a child who needs to not only cope with the catastrophe but stay firmly strong for her mother. It's one of the best performances from young actors to date. Ewan McGregor (Henry Bennett) plays the kind father convincingly, who is torn in the overwhelming circumstance. He looks weary, tired and knows he most likely will not succeed, yet marches on staggeringly for his family in daunting shattered scenery.

This family of five endear to audience, especially the children, it's really easy to invest in their story. However, the dialogues are very plain. It's somewhat emphasized on the real life as it
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10
Bruce722Jul 21, 2013
The Impossible was one of the most suffocating and powerful emotional dramas I've ever seen and the fact that it is a true story constantly plays in the back of your mind while watching, effectively multiplying the emotion and drama evenThe Impossible was one of the most suffocating and powerful emotional dramas I've ever seen and the fact that it is a true story constantly plays in the back of your mind while watching, effectively multiplying the emotion and drama even more. The acting was incredible and the special effects, especially the tsunami scene in the beginning, were fantastic. Having seen almost most of the critically acclaimed films in the 2012 year, I can now say that they made a mistake in giving the Best Actress in a Leading Role to Jennifer Lawrence for her role in The Silver Linings Playbook. That award should've gone to Naomi Watts for her incredible and moving performance in this film. Lawrence did great but Watts was amazing, key difference in my opinion. The Academy's blunder aside, The Impossible is a movie that is definitely worth a watch. Expand
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7
lasttimeisawFeb 27, 2013
Naomi Watts just seized her second Oscar nomination (ended with an inevitable lose though) in this tsunami catastrophe survival drama which happened in South Asia 2004. Directed by Spanish young director Juan Antonio Bayona (yes, it is aNaomi Watts just seized her second Oscar nomination (ended with an inevitable lose though) in this tsunami catastrophe survival drama which happened in South Asia 2004. Directed by Spanish young director Juan Antonio Bayona (yes, it is a Spanish production in spite of its mainly English-speaking cast), which marks his comeback after the internationally-accoladed debut THE ORPHANAGE (2007, 8/10), an ingeniously orchestrated horror-fest. The film’s first half is a lip-smacking triumph not only for the special visual effects simulating the walls of water and its overwhelming impact, it’s like HEREAFTER (2010, 6/10) meets 127 HOURS (2010, 8/10), vividly renders a kindness of faithful vicariousness on viewers through the white-knuckle self-salvage from the mother-son dyad. And if HEREAFTER could nab an Oscar nomination for BEST VISUAL EFFECTS, THE IMPOSSIBLE easily trumps it. But for the second half, the storytelling adopts a middle-of-the-road sentimentality, it is all about the reunion, still, there is a remarkable achievement for the editing team (and the cinematography group as well) to interlace Watts’ flashbacks under the water with the operation she is undergoing, which is done with an eye-opening flourish. Adapted from a true event, from one hand, it affirmatively obviates the barbs like what’s the odds the entire family (one couple with 3 son, age 12, 7 and 5 respectively) could pull through the calamity, it is a genuine miracle literally had happened (as far as the denouement concerned), so just deal with it! But from the other hand, the film shamefully sacrifices the accuracy for the sake of the emotional climax, which is a prerequisite for selling the tickets I suppose, and it worked (my eyes swelled with tears for many occasions), even simultaneously there is a tint of bathos ascending when the five of them finally find each other altogether at one place one time, it is so lame! Anyway, the film is also a victory for the cast, although Watts is bedridden for half of her time on screen, her hard-earned Oscar nomination is well-deserved, an impeccable endeavor out of the mundanity of her character (a woman try to survive under a dire circumstance). Tom Holland, the true leading man and great discovery from the film as the eldest son, has a stunning resemblance of a young Jamie Bell (what a coincidence, Tom was actually had a stint in BILLY ELLIOTS the musical to play the titular role in 2008, and call it sexism, academy never nominates teenage actors for their leading roles), most of the time he is the audience’s proxy, we see through his eyes, his precocity and gallantry dominates the most chunk of the film’s narrative and it has been executed unimpeachably. Ewan McGregor, absent for a disturbingly long time in the film, can only descend himself in a supporting part, he is a consistent great player in the race who is unfortunately always falling under the Oscar radar by only a notch, his cellphone-calling scene should be inscribed in every Oscar voter’s mind, so next time, his glory will be duly justified. Also, the great Geraldine Chaplin, delivers the punchline “the impossibility of death stars” in her unforgettable cameo.

Juan Antonio Bayona has warranted his craftsmanship in dealing with spectacular sensations, so Hollywood might beckon him to their wonderland, even if not, I daresay the next big thing is on the rising. ps, I guess Seth MacFarlane did see this film since apart from MULHOLLAND DR. (2001, 9/10) we also saw your boobs here, Naomi, but this time we are in a rueful mood.
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9
KissellianJan 7, 2013
The Impossible is based on a true story of a family who were vacationing in Thailand during the 2004 Tsunami. From everything I've read, other than changing their nationality from Spanish to British, the story is almost spot on as told by theThe Impossible is based on a true story of a family who were vacationing in Thailand during the 2004 Tsunami. From everything I've read, other than changing their nationality from Spanish to British, the story is almost spot on as told by the mother of the family. That's why accusations of coincidentality I've heard leveled at this movie are far off base. After a few scenes setting up a loving although imperfect family dynamic, the movie veers headlong into tragedy. The minutes picturing the tsunami and family members dragged along by its force are incredibly visceral. I found myself wincing multiple times. However, after these harrowing minutes, the movie goes on to show the incredible will to survive and how tragedy can bring out the best in people. The story that unfolds is both emotionally satisfying and bittersweet. Before seeing The Impossible I had mostly heard the acting was wonderful and the politics execrable. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor both do great work, but the real star is Tom Holland who also has to hold up for more screen than any other character. As for the politics, the goal of the film is obviously to tell the story of a single family who were vacationing in a resort area of Thailand. Therefore, it is unfair to accuse the film of not showing the thousands of Sri Lankans who were also killed. That being said, because of these accusations I expected to only see whites almost throughout the movie. However, this was not the case. One of the most heart-wrenching scenes in a heart-wrenching movie were the scenes of lost children without parents who were a mixture of races. How could anyone see this and accuse the movie of thinking only whites were the only victims of the disaster?

While not a movie for people with weak stomachs, The Impossible is well worth the time of anyone who is interested in the triumphs that can come out of tragedies.
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10
theahsanhaseebJan 9, 2013
Beginning with a terrifying dramatization of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which is considered to be one of the worst disasters of the history, The Impossible is an uplifting and exceptional story of a family that survives the disasters but theyBeginning with a terrifying dramatization of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which is considered to be one of the worst disasters of the history, The Impossible is an uplifting and exceptional story of a family that survives the disasters but they lose each other for some time, they don't know where to find each other, obviously, because of large casualties and also because one cannot think properly after encountering the most shocking thing they would haven't even imagined. The story of Belon family is based on a true story of the survivors and I must say that this is an exceptional piece of story penned into the film. The cast members especially Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor give phenomenal performances, so powerful that it makes you cry at times. Their characters seem believable, you can get inspired by them, it doesn't feel like there is no development in their characters. Hats off to Juan Antonio Bayona for such an outstanding direction. From beginning to the end; everything from the occurrence of the disaster to the reunion of the family; everything from the screenplay and camera work to the editing; everything is flawless, perfect, emotional and motivating. The Impossible is clearly one of the finest and the best films of 2012. IT IS AN ABSOLUTE TEARJERKER. A MUST WATCH! Expand
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8
SpangleJun 10, 2016
A powerful and truly emotionally harrowing drama, The Impossible is a stirring and inspirational film about the human spirit, survival, and love. Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, and Tom Holland, are all incredible and emotionally powerful in thisA powerful and truly emotionally harrowing drama, The Impossible is a stirring and inspirational film about the human spirit, survival, and love. Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, and Tom Holland, are all incredible and emotionally powerful in this film about a true story set in the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. While it was criticized for being whitewashed, the film's story is simply too powerful to be constricted by race and instead it is a truly human story. Additionally, the cinematography and special effects are truly breathtaking. From beginning to end, I was struck by the beauty of this film and it really contributed to the overall inspiration and feel of the film. The direction from JA Bayona was very good and it reinforced my belief that he is a guy to watch and keep an eye on. Overall, The Impossible is a truly harrowing film that both breaks and warms your heart with ease thanks to its powerful premise and effective approach to its true material. Expand
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7
SeriosityJan 12, 2013
Naomi Watts' moving performance is only surprising because she spends much of the film very weak and comatose. The story is life-affirming, but it is hurt by the pounding orchestra that accompanies most if not all of the more emotionalNaomi Watts' moving performance is only surprising because she spends much of the film very weak and comatose. The story is life-affirming, but it is hurt by the pounding orchestra that accompanies most if not all of the more emotional scenes. The direction is incredible. A visceral experience, never more so than during the impressive tsunami which is more impressive than anything out of a disaster film. Expand
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7
ME_SaysDec 25, 2012
If you've been to the movies in the last couple of months chances are you've seen the trailer for The Impossible. You know pretty people on vacation, the tsunami hits, nature at its worst, tears, screaming. The most manipulative sentimentalIf you've been to the movies in the last couple of months chances are you've seen the trailer for The Impossible. You know pretty people on vacation, the tsunami hits, nature at its worst, tears, screaming. The most manipulative sentimental crap ever. It dared me not to tear up. Forget about that; the actual movie is very good, and while I cried many times it was not manipulative at all but rather a sobering horror story about the dark side of nature and human connection and survival.

The film tells the true story of one European family of five during the 2004 Tsunami in Thailand. They are British in the movie although Spanish in real life, as is the director J A Bayona (The Orphanage). The set up from the family plane trip to Thailand until the waves hit is intense and scary using horror genre techniques to get you on edge of your seat. Bayona builds up the tension using every trick in the book; the plane turbulence, the distant rumbling sounds of the waves - all serve as ominous signs for the horrors we are about to see. The immediate aftermath is also depicted effectively particularly the confusion, panic and disoreintation and the very horrific loneliness of separated people against nature.

Bayona has several tricks up his sleeve to keep us entertained and scared. There is a thrilling set up piece in the hospital as the separated family members search for each other. Another is a subplot about a young lost boy found by the family that pays off in a major way both emotionally and as an engrossing plot device.

Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor play the parents and Tom Holland is the oldest son. All three dig deep to expose how fragile we all are in the face of nature. Watts' character suffers the most both physically and emotionally. The physical part was very hard to look at; her body is battered, bruised and purple all over. However she is magnificent at portraying pain, anguish, resilience and utter and complete fear without resorting to sentimentality. I was mesmerized whenever she was on screen.

McGregor gives a fully emotional performance;only a hardened soul would not be moved by his break down scene. It is particularly effective because men are never really given a chance to get this emotional in movies. If George Clooney almost won an Oscar for one lousy tear in The Descendants, McGregor should get some hardware for this performance too.

Holland acts the audience surrogate and we are with him every step of the way. And what a harrowing journey it is. But it's also a very human experience as we watch the young man mature and understand what's important in life.

Some people may have issue with the movie concentrating on one family's story when the devastation was all consuming. Particularly because said family is white. It's not an issue since the movie does not pretend to be anything but this one family's amazing story of survival. Yes there are millions of similar human stories that happened during the Tsunami and maybe one day we'll see some of them on screen. And if we are lucky maybe one will be from a Thai filmmaker.

The movie works because of the performances and the genre elements that keep the viewer engaged. Because this disaster was felt in every corner of the world, there might be expectations put on the movie to tell a grander story. It does not but what it tells is interesting and moving.
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BshopJan 18, 2013
Visual and hits you right in the feels. It is during the times without dialogue where it really strikes an emotional chord. The unreal situation that surrounds this family is unbelievable, them surviving is seemingly impossible (hence theVisual and hits you right in the feels. It is during the times without dialogue where it really strikes an emotional chord. The unreal situation that surrounds this family is unbelievable, them surviving is seemingly impossible (hence the title). I imagine this is one of those "only good in theaters" movies. It demands, nay, it deserves your undivided attention. As far as acting/directing goes, one of the best of the year. The performances rank up there with other diasaster flicks, although this one is real, and raw. Brilliant performance goes to the son, Lucas in the film. He stole the show from Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Expand
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