Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 250 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jan 3, 2013
    Perilous incidents have riveted audiences since Pauline was tied to the railroad tracks, but in the hundred-year history of cinema, few thrillers have been as emotionally compelling as The Impossible.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jan 3, 2013
    An extraordinarily gut-wrenching, intense story of survival against all odds.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 20, 2012
    Watts is extraordinary - she manages both the physical and emotional demands of the role, with soul-deep conviction.
  4. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jan 4, 2013
    First, to dispel the two talking points attending The Impossible, Juan Antonio Bayona's dramatization of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami: No, it's not racist, and no, you don't have to be a parent to feel the film in your bones.
  5. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 12, 2012
    The film's adult leads, Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, give powerful, natural performances.
  6. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Dec 6, 2012
    The latter half of The Impossible is so disappointingly movie-ish, tying a bow on the events after portraying them too vividly to allow them to be wrapped so neatly. It wrings out tears with an industrious efficiency that leaves you feeling manhandled after the exhilarating, terrifying footage that's unfolded before.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Nov 22, 2012
    A sham realist's disaster movie, tackily insulting the deaths of 300,000 people by reducing the horrors of the Indian Ocean tsunami to a series of genre titillations.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 71
  2. Negative: 5 out of 71
  1. Jan 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. Expand
  2. Jul 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.... Expand
  3. Jan 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
  4. Jan 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 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.
  5. Jan 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 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
  6. Jan 17, 2013
    Great film. It´s not a masterpiece by any means, but the acting from all the cast and the way they recreated the tsunami alone deserve the 8 I´m giving it. Naomi Watts is really into the character and gives one of her best if not her best performance to date. The kid is also great for his age and the few scenes in which Ewan McGregor takes the lead are also really well made, very realistic. After the big tsunami happens I thought I was going to be a little bit bored but it managed to keep my attention. Its flaws: it´s not original, it´s a little bit cheesy at moments and bases it´s strength in playing with the audience. It´s predictable but you don´t mind. The tsunami scenes are so realistic. 8/10 Expand
  7. Apr 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There is no way this movie can have a 73 rating on here. The movie is just so agonizing to watch. To start out with, there is no way the entire family could have survived this, as they show the guy and his two sons taking the full impact of the huge wave at the beginning of the movie. The boys don't even have a scratch. Just ridiculous. The endless sequence of the mother and the other son is just that...never ending moaning and screaming. They show a wound in the mother's right leg that is so huge that there is just no way she could walk, let The blood loss would kill her in less than two minutes. The young boys say things young boys would never say in real life, it is way too obvious that they are just saying memorized lines. There is no character development whatsoever. The father leaves his two young boys, possibly all he got left, in the middle of the night to search for his wife and other son who are likely dead He doesn't even know where the boys are going. No father would do that.
    Even the only possibly redeeming scene, the wave hitting land is, cheap and bad. This could easily be Ewan McGregor's worst role. Almost two hours of agony.

See all 71 User Reviews


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