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

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Great job on the effects and story dramatization

Author: Johan Dondokambey from Indonesia
28 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie opens up with the terribly horrifying sound effect, promising some sort of suspense thriller. The story then builds upon the characters and their time there for a while. The center theme of the tsunami comes quite unexpectedly in this movie, just like the real thing did. It's especially so if you're not counting the days and nights since the first time marker at the start of the movie. The effects really nicely grasped what the tsunami did. The makeup on the wounds are also quite exceptional that the close up shots of the wounds make me twitch my eye brows a bit. Yet the real thing is that if you think Thailand was the worst hit place, you should really see Aceh back then. Aceh now have a tsunami memorial monument, a tanker that got carried so far into the land. Naomi Watts really showed that her experience made her into a great actress, especially in acting out the pains. It's just quite strange that she didn't put in any extra weight on her to better depict a mother with three kids. Ewan McGregor really proved his class here; that he was able to act the heart touching story scene.

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The Impossible the Tsunami

Author: devesh pant from India
14 March 2013

The Impossible movie is one of the greatest ever movie over the tsunami I ever watch. In this movie actors and actress have done great work and the direction of movie is more awesome. Naomi watts and Ewan McGregor had gave there best work and they done so great work you actually can get emotional after watching the movie. You can also relate yourself to the feeling of the people about that day how can they have survived from tsunami. Its one of the great Tsunami movie I don't know how the director comes with so much water and done this fair job with movie. Movie can really show you the tsunami tragic. At last I would say that you really must watch this movie

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One family's Odyssey amidst the destruction and chaos of the Southeast Asian tsunami.

Author: fragoo0317 from United States
13 March 2013

Naomi Watts delivers a strong performance as the mother of a family torn apart by the tsunami, but Tom Holland's performance carries the movie. Holland dominates the movie throughout,subtly changing his emotions from fear, to strength, to despair. A performance overlooked by the various film awards. An actor to watch for in the future. Not an easy movie to watch, but one that speaks to the power of family. Scene with Geraldine Chaplin and a young boy is a moment of simple wonder in an otherwise chaotic time. Cinematography adds to the emotional impact of both the actual tsunami striking the coast ofThailand, and the human scope of the disaster's aftermath.

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The impossible is impossible to forget

Author: dgefroh from United States
6 March 2013

What a movie!! The scope and depth this exceptional movie undertakes in the wake of one of the worst natural disasters ever is nothing less than brilliant. To say I enjoyed this movie is like saying you enjoyed "Schindlers list", the total tragedy and human despair brought to life in this fantastic movie leaves a permanent imprint on your mind and soul. While this movie is so very hard to watch, you won't be able to take your eyes off the screen. This is an emotional roller coaster ride with an incredible cast lead by Naomi Watts in what can only be described as not only Oscar worthy, but in my humble yet accurate opinion the very best lead actress role of the nominated actresses. Her portrayal is simply stunning, and for her not to have won the Oscar is a complete farce, her fine performance is just heads and shoulders above Jennifer Lawrence. The bottom-line....this movie is emotionally draining, and one of the best movies you'll ever watch.

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A Family Survival Story

Author: Mek Torres from Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
3 March 2013

The Impossible is based on a true story about the devastating tsunami in Thailand. Many might wonder why is the film's focused victims are tourist families. Are they trying to let the audience relate to the characters since most moviegoers are probably like the leads of the film? That is my only theory, so far. At glance, it looks like a light sentimental family drama but it is surprisingly disturbingly tragic. It is surrounded by darkness and endless emotions, the overall experience is stirring and depressing. It serves an excellent direction and outstanding performances. The film can be heartwarming but it never avoids showing the most horrifying parts of the incident.

It's intriguing to know about what happened to the other victims but the movie is really about one of the families who survived from the tsunami. They are the point of view that deals with their own situations, though they get to explore around and help other people. It is ought to be a life changing journey that would inspire many, but no matter what, it didn't gloss over the terrible aftermath. It still shows the violence and the disaster that can be pretty hard to stomach to watch. The film is generally about hope and love of family. Most of the victims they show are parents and children who are looking for their missing love ones and won't give up until they find them. I guess that's the whole point of it. It leaves being intriguing to what happened to the rest of the tragedy.

The acting is exceptional enough to settle this journey. Naomi Watts gives such an endearing performance. She carries her character's pain and struggle which easily makes us care about her. Ewan McGregor also brings some real sympathy to his character. The rest keeps it compelling as well, especially young Tom Holland who shines in his role. In the filmmaking side, the direction is magnificent. The scene when they are trying to swim through the floods is amazingly crafted. It provides a lot of suspense and tension which enhances more to the experience than just showing off emotions. In other parts, it all looks decent.

The Impossible didn't forget about the heartbreaking realities of the events. It's fortunately not one of those true stories that makes it all light for a safer family fare. This film is actually good for the family even if it gets pretty sad and violent. Well, that is what that incident really is, but even though everything may seem hopeless, there will always be that powerful love that will motivate someone to have the courage to reunite their love back. That is probably the only point of the story and we could deal with that. It still concerns about the land that was destroyed by the tsunami. Too bad there isn't enough information about it. Overall, The Impossible is a spectacularly compelling cinematic experience.

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The true story of a family caught and separated in the 2004 tsunami of southeast Asia. Emotional but unbelievable. I say B

Author: Tony Heck ( from United States
1 March 2013

"You've got to go and do something. Go help people, you're good at it." This is a true story of a family that went on vacation to Thailand during the Christmas of 2004. The same time the massive tsunami struck. The family is separated and lost in a strange country wishing and hoping they will find each other again. First off I will say that this is very emotional so be prepared for that. Also I know Naomi Watts was nominated for an Oscar for this but the kid that played Lucas should have been the one who was nominated. As far as the movie goes it was good, and I know it is a true story but it was really just too unbelievable for me to really get into. When the super emotional parts happened I was thinking, yeah right rather then tearing up. That is just me and maybe I am heartless but I couldn't get past the totally "impossible" aspects of the movie. All that said though this is a good movie and if you can handle it I would say watch it. Overall, a good true story that was just a little to unbelievable for me to get fully invested in. I give it a B.

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The Impossible

Author: lasttimeisaw from Cairo, Egypt
27 February 2013

Naomi Watts just seized her second Oscar nomination (ended with an inevitable lose though) in this tsunami catastrophe survival drama which happened in South Asia 2004. Directed by Spanish young director Juan Antonio Bayona (yes, it is a Spanish production in spite of its mainly English-speaking cast), which marks his comeback after the internationally-accoladed debut THE ORPHANAGE (2007, 8/10), an ingeniously orchestrated horror-fest.

The film's first half is a lip-smacking triumph not only for the special visual effects simulating the walls of water and its overwhelming impact, it's like HEREAFTER (2010, 6/10) meets 127 HOURS (2010, 8/10), vividly renders a kindness of faithful vicariousness on viewers through the white-knuckle self-salvage from the mother-son dyad. And if HEREAFTER could nab an Oscar nomination for BEST VISUAL EFFECTS, THE IMPOSSIBLE easily trumps it. But for the second half, the storytelling adopts a middle-of-the-road sentimentality, it is all about the reunion, still, there is a remarkable achievement for the editing team (and the cinematography group as well) to interlace Watts' flashbacks under the water with the operation she is undergoing, which is done with an eye-opening flourish.

Adapted from a true event, from one hand, it affirmatively obviates the barbs like what's the odds the entire family (one couple with 3 son, age 12, 7 and 5 respectively) could pull through the calamity, it is a genuine miracle literally had happened (as far as the denouement concerned), so just deal with it! But from the other hand, the film shamefully sacrifices the accuracy for the sake of the emotional climax, which is a prerequisite for selling the tickets I suppose, and it worked (my eyes swelled with tears for many occasions), even simultaneously there is a tint of bathos ascending when the five of them finally find each other altogether at one place one time, it is so lame!

Anyway, the film is also a victory for the cast, although Watts is bedridden for half of her time on screen, her hard-earned Oscar nomination is well-deserved, an impeccable endeavor out of the mundanity of her character (a woman try to survive under a dire circumstance). Tom Holland, the true leading man and great discovery from the film as the eldest son, has a stunning resemblance of a young Jamie Bell (what a coincidence, Tom was actually had a stint in BILLY ELLIOTS the musical to play the titular role in 2008, and call it sexism, academy never nominates teenage actors for their leading roles), most of the time he is the audience's proxy, we see through his eyes, his precocity and gallantry dominates the most chunk of the film's narrative and it has been executed unimpeachably. Ewan McGregor, absent for a disturbingly long time in the film, can only descend himself in a supporting part, he is a consistent great player in the race who is unfortunately always falling under the Oscar radar by only a notch, his cellphone-calling scene should be inscribed in every Oscar voter's mind, so next time, his glory will be duly justified. Also, the great Geraldine Chaplin, delivers the punchline "the impossibility of death stars" in her unforgettable cameo.

Juan Antonio Bayona has warranted his craftsmanship in dealing with spectacular sensations, so Hollywood might beckon him to their wonderland, even if not, I daresay the next big thing is on the rising.

ps, I guess Seth MacFarlane did see this film since apart from MULHOLLAND DR. (2001, 9/10) we also saw your boobs here, Naomi, but this time we are in a rueful mood.

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A tear-jerking tale but I would have preferred to see more.

Author: pocky fdadada
25 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off, I would like to say that Ewan Mcgregor, Naomi Watts and the child actors in particular, were fantastic in this movie. The original Spanish mother chose Naomi Watts to play her in her tale, so this explains how a darker Spanish family becomes blonde and blue-eyed in this retelling. What it does not explain is the focus on only this family and white people in the background. I feel like the media is constantly pandering to us by assuming that we can only feel emotion for people of our own race, or from our own country.

I live in Ireland, and when 9/11 happened, the newspapers here went with headlines about how 11 Irish people had died in the tragedy. It was a horrific event that killed thousands, and I felt for every one of them, regardless of nationality or race. I dislike Hollywood's "dumbing down" of cinema for it's viewers, remaking fantastic foreign films like The Girl with the dragon tattoo for American viewers.

They assume that Americans and perhaps all English speaking Caucasians cannot feel for other races, connect with their story, or be bothered reading subtitles. Perhaps this is true of a small minority, but by continuing to pander like this, it breeds even more people to close off their minds. I enjoy the story of the human struggle in any language portrayed by any race, I'm perfectly capable of crying when a non-Caucasian experiences pain, and I would be willing to guess that most people would be the same as myself. Hollywood gives it's viewers no credit and treats them like dummies.

As I stated before, the original mother of this story picked Naomi Watts herself to play her in this movie. They all do a fantastic job of portraying one families struggle to find one another and to survive. However I would have preferred maybe a dual story, one following these unfortunate holiday makers, and one following a native. I think this would have given a much well rounded story of the event as it happened, and impress a greater impact on the audience.

It was quite unsettling that few natives were even involved in the story at all. You see them as the white family drive past to the hospital, and as they are going towards the plane at the end. They are crying and huddling around lost pictures of their loved ones. I found it hard to fully commit to being relieved for the one family that escaped when they are walking past so many that are suffering, who's stories are not over.

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The Not Impossible

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
22 February 2013

The best things about Juan Antonio Bayona's 'Lo Impossible' is the beautiful cinematography and the performances. The start is quite the cliché: 'pretty' blonde tourists enjoying a Thai beach resort but once the catastrophe takes over the film takes a different turn. This is when Oscar Faura's photography shines. Credit must be given to the visual effects, art, makeup, costume, sound and lighting departments for doing a terrific job in creating the authentic look. The score is effective in most places. Naomi Watts delivers another transcendent performance. Great acting is expected from her and she does an amazing job. Tom Holland completely holds his own especially in the post-catastrophe scenes with Watts (notably the one where mother and son are wading through the bamboo trees). Ewan McGregor does a decent job and the two other child actors are great.

Based on real survivor Maria Belon's story, Sergio Sanchez's screenplay does reflect the stories one has heard from survivors. Bayona mostly does an adequate job. I did find the reunion sequence a bit too dramatic, slightly unrealistic and a tad rushed (as if Bayona was pressured to finish the film here). Even though the film runs longer than the traditional 2 hours, it moves at a fine pace (with the exception of the aforementioned sequence).

In spite of the flaws, 'Lo Impossible' is certainly worth the viewing for the performances, the way its filmed and for telling the story of survivors (albeit that certain liberties were taken - presumable to draw a more global audience).

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Remarkable story of celebrating struggles

Author: Varun Singh from Gurgaon
17 February 2013

The kid says, "I am scared", mother whispers in his ear, "I am scared too son". Having gone through the devastation of tsunami and having lost the family in destruction, perhaps, being scared was the only option left. Or not! The Impossible collects threads from all the lives and connects them to form strong bonds - of support, of love, of smiles in despair, of beaten yet strong enthusiasm, of innocent courage, of broken happiness, of countless tears and of human spirit. Cinema is a powerful medium. One could choose to create something that contributes in making lives beautiful or choose to create something meaningless or just "entertaining". Both have their places but unfortunately the latter has a more prominent presence. This movie chooses to reemphasize that every moment has many lives present in it and the beauty is in recognizing and celebrating all of them at all the times. Emotionally stirring!

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