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The Impossible (2012)

Lo imposible (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Thriller | 4 January 2013 (USA)
2:17 | Trailer

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The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.



, (story)
1,420 ( 221)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 27 wins & 65 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jomjaoi Sae-Limh ...
Johan Sundberg ...
Jan Roland Sundberg ...
La-Orng Thongruang ...
Old Thai Man
Tor Klathaley ...
Young Thai Man
Douglas Johansson ...
Mr. Benstrom


A regular family - Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three kids - travel to Thailand to spend Christmas. They get an upgrade to a villa on the coastline. After settling in and exchanging gifts, they go to the pool, like so many other tourists. A perfect paradise vacation until a distant noise becomes a roar. There is no time to escape from the tsunami; Maria and her eldest are swept one way, Henry and the youngest another. Who will survive, and what will become of them? Written by Ronaldo Ferreira

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Nothing is more powerful than the human spirit.


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




| |

Release Date:

4 January 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Impossible  »

Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$143,818 (USA) (21 December 2012)


$18,996,755 (USA) (12 April 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film takes place from December 24 to December 27, 2004. See more »


When Lucas is speaking with the Swedish man who is desperately trying to find his son, he grabs a pen and starts writing the boy's name with his left hand but in the next shot he is writing with his right hand. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: On December 26th, 2004,the deadliest tsunami on record hit the South East Coast of Asia. The lives of countless families all over the world changed forever. This is the true story of one of those families.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title and the rest of the credits do not appear until the end of the film. The only credits that appear at the beginning are the production companies' logos and an explanation of how the Tsunami came about. See more »


Featured in 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2013) See more »


(Rivera, Larry)
Performed by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
©1995 by EMI Music Publishing Ltd. / Mountain Aplle Company
EMI Music Publishing Spain S A
All rights reserved.
International Copyright secured.
Use under kind permission by B1M1 Recordings Lda / Mountain Apple Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Tearjerking; The Impossible
11 February 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

On vacation at an exotic resort in Thailand, a family of 5 are torn apart by a large tsunami that rips the island apart. The mother, played by Naomi Watts and oldest of the three sons do their best to survive while the father, played by Ewan McGregor, juggles between the safety of his two boys and the search for his wife and missing son.

Director Juan Antonio Bayona vividly shares the shocking and yet, miraculous story of the Alvarez family. The cinematography when the tsunami sweeps in is nothing short of stunning and captivating. A glimpse of the sheer force and destruction behind this natural disaster will undoubtedly leave you breathless. Watts delivers a strong performance as does McGregor but the stand out here, besides the cinematography, is the brilliant and mature portrayal of the oldest son by young, Tom Holland.

An emotional tearjerker, The Impossible is a brilliant film, which will have you glued to the screen as you root against the odds while simultaneously fearing the worst. The fact that it's based on a true story is a testament of the human spirit and the bond of a family.

The Impossible is definitely one to watch.

33 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The Empty Plane afn16755
The kid ruined this movie with his awful acting ryan_crummack
Am I the only person totally unmoved by this movie? DarlingDaintyfoot
What parts made you the most emotional? aries_angel_4590
One of the best movies I've ever seen. Tri-State_Skater
How did they not KNOW the Tsunami was coming? ellison33
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