Critic Reviews



Based on 42 critic reviews provided by
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.
Wrenchingly acted, deftly manipulated and terrifyingly well made.
Put a staggering accomplishment called The Impossible, from Spanish director J. A. Bayona, at the top of the season's must-see list.
The Guardian
Part of the appeal of this affecting and powerful drama is that it puts the viewer right in the moment at every stage, using authentic locations and tsunami survivors to hammer home the reality of this tragedy.
Marshalling formidable technique and force of feeling, Bayona's tale of courage and empathy in the face of catastrophe fulfils his debut's promise, its harrowing conviction hammered home even harder by the spot-on casting.
The Impossible looks back at a natural calamity with unflinching honesty. It sees fear and pain, it sees fortitude and bravery, but mainly it sees this: In that raging instant when the sea becomes its own monster, there's precious little to separate the devoured from the spared – nothing but the thin wedge of luck.
The film's adult leads, Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, give powerful, natural performances.
It suffers from the greater problem of emphasizing a feel-good plot within the context of mass destruction.
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.
Slant Magazine
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.

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