Critic Reviews

73

Metascore

Based on 42 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
The Impossible is one of the most emotionally realistic disaster movies in recent memory -- and certainly one of the most frightening in its epic re-creation of the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
100
Here is a searing film of human tragedy.
90
Yet it's not just the visuals that make the movie what it is, a thrilling, if also punishing, tale of heroic endurance. The Impossible, based on a true story, derives most of its impressive power from two remarkable performances: Naomi Watts as Maria, and Tom Holland as Lucas.
88
The go-for-broke intensity and emotional layering Watts brings to her role is an acting triumph. And McGregor matches her in a performance of ferocity and feeling.
88
This is a tale not only of epic disaster but also of resilience. The Impossible is a nimbly acted drama that is at once a stellar visual achievement and a life-affirming story of familial love and courage.
88
Watts is extraordinary - she manages both the physical and emotional demands of the role, with soul-deep conviction.
83
It's agony, in a rewarding way, to squirm and cringe and groan through an ordeal so realistically re-created.
80
Bayona achieves a rare sense of balance between the big and the powerful as well as the small and the intimate in the family's survival against impossible odds, no doubt the inspiration for the title.
80
The most memorable turn, however, comes from young Holland. There is not a moment in which Lucas' fear, or unexpected courage, feels less than real.
75
If one person survives and 6 million are killed, or one person gets out and 3,000 are crushed, it's not really a happy ending - or even an adequate representation of the larger event. This is precisely the challenge that The Impossible faces and never quite overcomes.
65
Starring flying debris and surging walls of water, The Impossible takes the template of the old-timey disaster movie, strips it to the bone and pumps what's left up to 11.
65
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.

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