Summit Entertainment | Release Date: December 21, 2012
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 305 Ratings
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Positive:
257
Mixed:
34
Negative:
14
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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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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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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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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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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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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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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10
RikiegeDec 21, 2012
The best Spanish film of the history of cinema.
7 of 14 users found this helpful77
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10
foxgroveJan 8, 2013
A harrowing account of one family's desperate attempts to survive a devastating Tsunami. Based on true events that happened on Boxing Day in Thailand 2004, The Impossible offers an almost unbearably realistic depiction of the catastrophe.A harrowing account of one family's desperate attempts to survive a devastating Tsunami. Based on true events that happened on Boxing Day in Thailand 2004, The Impossible offers an almost unbearably realistic depiction of the catastrophe. Director J A Bayona utilises a variety of camera set ups to immerse us into the heart of the story, whilst at other times allowing us to just observe the resultant chaos. The cinematography and special effects are amazingly good and the music score and sound stirringly compliment the visuals. Heartfelt performances by Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland add pathos to the proceedings. On the evidence I'm now totally convinced that this wonderfully intense movie experience is as close as I ever want to get to a real Tsunami. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
M4U93Jan 21, 2013
This is my first movie review I have ever done. I watched the film looking for a "normal" movie. Instead of that I Realized that this is one of the best movies I´ve ever seen in my life. Very touching and breathtaking.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
DanieJan 22, 2013
The movie was gripping from the start. The acting was so incredible. I could easily connect with the characters. Definitely a must see movie, one of the best I have ever seen.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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
xangJan 9, 2013
WOW! 10/10 Such an emotionally evocative film.. I love all the actors! by watching this movie you can feel that your lucky that your in safe now and you should value every moment in your life..perfect for me 10/10...
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
MHillJan 13, 2013
Very Gripping movie, will bring tears to your eye's ! i was hooked from start to finish. a must watch for 2013 !!!!! its unbelivable this actually happened to this family
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
vaughanJan 16, 2013
"The Impossible" is based on a true story of one family's battle for survival against all odds. The intense tragedy that leads them to this point has changed the way it is now portrayed and thought about. Its a deep insight to what really"The Impossible" is based on a true story of one family's battle for survival against all odds. The intense tragedy that leads them to this point has changed the way it is now portrayed and thought about. Its a deep insight to what really went on in Thailand back in 2006. There are many scenes throughout that really pull on your heart strings. The iconic acting from Naomi Watts makes the audience deeply sympathise with every victim involved. However, there is a happy ending to the film, that really is the impossible. Not once has a film been so depressing and so uplifting at the same time. Leaving a lasting effect on each audience member. I'd recommend this film to everyone, as its one you will never forget. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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
nikriticJul 14, 2013
The impossible is just one of those films that reminds us of how small our lives are and how important it is to not take it for granted with pride,greed ,cruelty... but to be good, love....
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
JohnnyStephensAug 31, 2013
WOW!! Awesome!!! It's one of the best films I have ever seen!! I was ready to cry in the end. I enjoyed it!!! Bravo!! Excellent!!! Epic and stunning!!!!!
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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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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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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
beingryanjudeSep 1, 2014
This film made the impossible actually possible for us. This is one of the most moving films I've ever seen. Naomi Watts and her son, played by Tom Holland, give truly gifted performances.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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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
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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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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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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9
aaronmwolfordJan 20, 2013
"The Impossible" had me so emotionally invested that I felt I was witnessing the 2004 tragedy first hand. J.A. Bayona has successfully directed the greatest disaster film to date.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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