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The Impossible (2012)
"Lo imposible" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  4 January 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 134,838 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 315 user | 366 critic | 42 from

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



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 27 wins & 61 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


€30,000,000 (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 scene where the tsunami hits the resort could only be filmed once. It would have cost too much money to rebuild the set. See more »


After the tsunami subsides, as Maria and Lucas are climbing up into the tree, a man briefly appears from behind some branches just above them in the background. 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 »


Referenced in Maltin on Movies: Awards Special 2013 (2013) See more »


Composed and Performed by For Fiesta
Voice by Lluís Segura (as Lluís Segura)
Guitar by Marc Prades
Solo Guitar by Marc Gómez del Moral
Bass by David Gallart
Drums by Bernat Vilaplana
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Emotional and Epic
6 January 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With it being a New Year, I thought I'd go and see a comedy to kick off the 2013 film season. Unfortunately there wasn't any comedies showing at my Cinema so I ended up seeing this film about the 2004 South-East Asian Tsunami which killed over 250,000 people and displaced millions. Not what I had in mind as a cheery film, but oh well....

So basically we have a family that include married couple Henry and Maria Bennett (played Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts), a classic middle- class couple, as suggested by the fact they spend most their time on the plane travelling to Thailand worrying if they set the alarm to their house back in Japan, and also their three sons all string sentences together without saying ''Bruv'' or ''Innit'', so they must be Middle- Class. Anyway the family arrive at their resort in Thailand, and all is going pleasantly when.....yes arriving in spectacular fashion, almost like the rise of Godzilla, the Tsunami arrives and decimates everything in site. The family is split in the wreckage of it all and the film then deals with them all trying ti locate each other, if they all managed to survive that is....

The film was actually very good, a simple search story made gargantuan by the amazing effects used to portray the actual Tsunami, it literally comes at such a speed and power that leaves you in bewilderment and gives you a better idea that news reports of what it was all like at the time. They also have the classic ''Titanic'' Hollywood orchestra as the soundtrack whilst this is happening just to add to the emotional intensity, alongside top notch acting from McGregor, Watts and Tom Holland as 12 year old son Lucas. The main complaint, and flaw of the film, however lies in the fact we hardly see any actual Asian people, in a film about an Asian tragedy. The main Asians in the film are tribesmen and doctors who seem unable to apply composure or logic to any of the hectic situations occurring, we don't see any Asian characters searching frantically for loved ones or showing pain at losing those they love, unlike our Western Heroes here.

So overall, aside from the debatable premise of casting for the film, which you'd expect from Hollywood, it remains a good, epic, emotional film if you watch it for what it is.


40 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The kid ruined this movie with his awful acting ryan_crummack
What is it with all the racism??? JaneNg
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. Katelyn_A
For all those who claim 'racism...' TheDroidURLooking4
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