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Reviews & Ratings for
The Impossible More at IMDbPro »Lo imposible (original title)

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

An Emotional Drama

Author: freemantle_uk from United Kingdom
25 April 2013

The 2004 Tsunami was one of the biggest and most destructive natural disasters in recent memory, creating damage from India to Indonesia and causing at least 230,000 deaths. One of the worst affected countries was Thailand and thus was born The Impossible, a film from the creative team behind the horror film The Orphanage, director J.A. Bayona and writer Sergio G. Sánchez set out to show both a personal story as well as tell a wider tale about the Tsunami affecting that area.

Henry and Maria Bennett (Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts) and their children Lucas, Tomas and Simon (Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast) are a British family who go to Thailand for a Christmas vacation. But they are separated when the Tsunami hits, with Naomi and Lucas caught in the wave and ending up seeing the chaos and the confusion that the disaster caused. As Lucas battles in a hospital to get his mother the medical attention she needs, Henry sets out to find Maria and Lucas, something that seems to be a hopeless cause.

One of the best features of The Impossible is Bayona's great ability to show both the scale of the disaster and impact it has on the landscape and people whilst still showing a personal story. Bayona recreates this with his wide shots and helicopter shots, that recreate the massive devastation the wave caused to both to manmade structures and the natural landscape, showing the large death toll and he is able to immerse you into the chaos of the aftermath of the tight hospital area with vivid detail. For a film with a PG-13 rating, it is surprisingly gory and Bayona does not put his punches when showing the extent of Maria's injuries. Bayona also gives us an instance sequence when the Tsunami waves hit as Maria and Lucas struggle to reach each with all the dirt and debris in the water. It is feat of special effects, drama and action. Bayona knew the impact of the Tsunami and brought out the harrowing nature of the disaster in its fullest.

McGregor, Watts and Holland all give very emotional performance and the trio are excellent bring out their characters in the themes of parenthood and the child-parent relationship and bond. Despite the subject manner of The Impossible the actors and the director bring out the theme of hope and how they either must keep it or how they can provide it to others.

The Impossible is a weepy of a film and it wants to brings its audience on an emotional roller-coaster, but it can be a bit manipulative at times. Bayona does this a number of times with children being put in peril and families being reunited in slow motion and sentimental music to match. This is an obvious attempt to tug at the audiences heart strings; but it is at times over done and over played as it tries to elicit as much emotion as it can muster.

The Impossible is a very actuate film that excels that showing both a personal story and the wider situation of the disaster. It is more then a simple weepy because of its themes and how it shows impact of the Tsunami. The Impossible is an excellently acted film and Bayona's direction is high hitting, even if it's occasionally a little too heavy handed.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Brutal and mesmerizing! Must see!

Author: botev1921 from Groningen
5 January 2013

I must admit I have been expecting this one from the moment Tom Holland (Billy Elliot The Musical) was cast, but never expected something so brutal and direct. The story in itself is very well developed but that comes naturally for movies based on true events. The way it is told makes the entire experience even more mesmerizing. The entire cast is exceptional and the debut of Tom Holland is one to remember. There are some scenes, which go a bit too far with regards to how graphic they are and even I felt disgusted, but they do make the movie even more difficult to forget. Although it is almost 2 hours, the experience is so demanding on the average viewer that it feels like 2 minutes have passed. Overall an amazing and must see piece of drama!

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11 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Juan Antonio Bayona knows how to make a fine film.

Author: ThePadraigMoista from Ireland
3 January 2013

Juan Antonio Bayona returns to the screen for the second time, after his first feature, the subtitled "The Orphanage." This time, he still captures a feeling of sheer terror, but from something completely different. Based on the true story of one of many families affected by one the biggest tsunamis to hit Asia in 2004. The consequences of the tsunami, and also the undying hope in a rapidly closing dark hole that they are all still alive.

Bayona really shined in this film. He knows how to direct actors, set up shots and craft a fine film. However, he was unable to salvage realism in the sappy, melodramatic scenes and more importantly the last 20 minutes. But then again, it's hard to find any director who could make those scenes any less than what they were, which is those exactly.

The dialog was gripping, there were a few unexpected developments in the screenplay, which poised a great deal of excitement. It grips you and never lets you go. I would say captivating, but that would be an understatement. Go see this film, it attained the perfect balance between being too exploitive and too childish. Not the best film of the year, due to a few scenes and maybe a bit on the children's acting side, but besides that, it is a great film.

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14 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

good but too much (?)

Author: larryssa-68-866888 from france
2 December 2012

A wonderful true story, some great actors, great music and shooting makes it a very good dramatic movie. We have to acknowledge the work of all the crew and researches for this movie as we can see it in the end titles but... But if this story is true why add so much dramatic effects to it? We already are living the drama alongside with this family; more than a nightmare it's a radical change in their personal life and in History too. I personally think that the music (a great score by the way) is just too much, and the casting is not really fair with this Spanish family... But maybe are they trying to put this story at some universal point of view? Kind of an "evry one" story and not only their?

We didn't forget the 26th/12/2004, so why push it that way? And do not write on screen "true story" on the beginning when you put at the end "inspired by" and dedicate the last minute of the end credit (a few stand to see this!) to the personal thanks of Maria...

See it as a movie, and you will enjoy your time, see it as a biography of the events and you will be disappointed. There is a line between entertainment and reality.

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19 out of 37 people found the following review useful:


Author: jacobhall-539-34758 from Cheltenham
6 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Excited as anybody here to see the film i have to say i was saddened not by the films story but the grotesque lack of reality. while i understand that when Hollywood gets its hands on any true story they will shall we say 'jazz it up' the blatant lack of Thai peoples, worse effected by the disaster then any other in reality leaves me a little on edge. worse still the few natives that you do see show zero signs of having been effected by events and go out of their way to help the family. The 4 stars i give this film go purely for the character of Lucas whom is relatable and who i actually felt emotion towards as the rest of the cast are understandably weak but to the point where it just gets annoying. A truly remarkable and inspiring story yes, a poor and unremarkable film yes.

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23 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Made for Lifetime...

Author: ( from Thailand
12 January 2013

The 3 stars are for the effects.

Dreadful "Made for Lifetime" movie. Better suited to women on a Sunday night while husbands are watching the playoffs upstairs!

No time at all was spent on the actual tsunami build up. It just suddenly happens and then it's over. We are treated to about 5 minutes of CGI effects within the opening 20 minutes. The rest of this film follows people around who are looking for other people.

How anyone could believe that the gorgeous actress had ever had three kids... well, you get the idea.

If you like overly melodramatic slush then this may hold some appeal.

Just because it actually happened and/or is true to how it went down doesn't mean that 50 million bucks should be spent turning it into movie.

This movie is awful all round and badly managed from start to finish.

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Great story except for the end

Author: Mike LeMar
18 September 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I give this one a so-so rating. The movie as a whole, up to the end, is excellent. The climax/end, though, is so typical and stupid. There's no reason for the oldest brother to close the curtain to give his mom some privacy before he wanders off and you knew that move would play a factor in a minute because of course the dad would walk by and not be quite curious enough to see who's behind it. Then, when the son sees his dad down below, walking away through the crowd, all he has to do is yell his name and his dad, along with everyone else, would hear him. Yelling "Dad" would probably work, or even better, his name. He didn't have to keep wandering around the place silently until letting enough frustration build up in him to finally do it. Once he knows his dad's there, he should just start yelling for him, calling for him, and there would've been much less suspense and worry. That's just common sense.

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It's a Movie people, not a documentary! Get over yourselves!

Author: bluekarma06 from United States
21 July 2017

I enjoyed the movie and NO, I didn't know that the original family was Spanish or that the ball was actually Yellow BEFORE watching the movie but NOW I DO!(after reading a couple dozen reviews here) And I Still Loved it! So many PC and petty people (giving 1-2 star reviews) that take a political stance about how no tsunami warnings were given to the poorer countries that suffered the most, or that a WHITE family instead of the dark-skinned Spanish were portrayed. Who cares! The movie ultimately was made for an American and English speaking audience and with it costing almost 50M to make, why not take some artistic license to make sure it is an ATTRACTIVE movie for most audiences! I get it. The movie, even with it's flaws, still works! Watts gives an amazing performance and how she hasn't won an Oscar yet is beyond me! She is astounding in her dramatic range. Ewon is good not great, and the older son Lucas also does a great job being a kid forced to grow up real fast. The movie focused mainly on this one family although a couple of other victims, a female in the bed next to Naomi and a man who lost his family at the beach and loans Ewon his cell phone are brief but good scenes. Yea, all white Euro-Americans but like I said, the movie is for middle-America so you have to dolly things up for the masses to fork over 15 dollars a ticket!

I still give it 9 stars for the ultra-realistic tsunami scenes that look so real you think it's actual news footage but it is all original and Naomi Watts performance that despite it being a pretty simple story-line of tragedy and anguish, still rings with high emotion. The final scene of her looking out the window had me in tears.

The nitpicking PC crowd can keep on bashing but it is a good movie about a devastating natural disaster.

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J.A.Bayona and Sergio G. Sanchez make The Impossible Possible

Author: orhnolivia
21 February 2017

This film told the story of a family that lived through the deadly Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 2004 that struck fourteen countries - one of them being Thailand, where this story takes place. It hit the day after Christmas without warning, killing and injuring many. From the exceptional acting to the life like scenes, this film was able to draw the audience in and make them feel as if they were experiencing the disaster first-hand. Within the first 20 minutes, producers J.A. Bayona and Sergio G. Sanchez caught my attention. They started the plot off with a seemingly happy family, who is excited to be leaving for a Christmas vacation. After they arrived at their destination in Thailand, the plot twists and the tsunami hits the resort at which they are staying. At this point the whole movie changes as the family is separated and hurt due to the disaster that struck. They are now fighting for their lives while trying to be reunited. Before the tsunami scene, there wasn't much to the film. After and during, however; the film completely changed and kept me engaged and wanting to know what would happen next. Overall I think that the film and filmmakers did an excellent job at recreating such a devastating event, especially how it affected one family in particular. They showed the daily struggles that the family faced during the days following, while also showing how the locals coped. Remaking scenes that almost seem impossible to recreate. This made the film more credible and interesting. During the tsunami scene, it seemed as if a real tsunami was there, not a fake one used for filming. From the rumbling, shaking, and sudden quietness, to the sheer terror on peoples' faces as a giant wall of water hit the resort along with the running and yelling of people as they began to realize what was happening. From that scene on, it was everything that I imagined it would be. The drowning scene made me feel as if I was actually drowning. The occasional black out of the screen helped with the effects too – it was like a screen of death and made me wonder if they were actually dying. The acting by Naomi Watts, Ewan McGreggor, and Tom Holland throughout the film was exceptional. From the beginning when the tsunami first struck and the family was separated and injured, while they were struggling to stay alive and find each other, to the end when they were reunited. They brought real, raw emotions to the screen that made it seem as if it were actually real. This film is sure to leave you feeling emotional. It has you hoping for the best, but also knowing that it might get worse. It makes you want to hug your family and remind them of how much you love them. All-in-all I thought that this film was really good and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a thriller drama and wants to shed a few tears.

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Great Movie but A lot of my friends don't know or remember this actual event?!

Author: cindysunmoon
17 February 2017

This was a great movie. I cried so much while watching this but I just had one questions. I am 22 this year and I remember clearly when this event happened and when the tsunami hit. It was a big deal especially in Aisa, however, when I told my friends about this movie a lot of them seem to not remember or didn't even know about the tsunami that happened. I was very shocked because I thought that it was such a big global disaster so I wonder if a lot of people know about this event before it this movie? I was so baffled by it.

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