7.6/10
191,634
428 user 384 critic

The Impossible (2012)

Lo imposible (original title)
Trailer
2:17 | Trailer
The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Director:

J.A. Bayona

Writers:

Sergio G. Sánchez, María Belón (story)
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Popularity
1,078 ( 129)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Naomi Watts ... Maria
Ewan McGregor ... Henry
Tom Holland ... Lucas
Samuel Joslin ... Thomas
Oaklee Pendergast ... Simon
Marta Etura ... Simone
Sönke Möhring ... Karl
Geraldine Chaplin ... Old Woman
Ploy Jindachote Ploy Jindachote ... Caregiver
Jomjaoi Sae-Limh Jomjaoi Sae-Limh ... Red Cross Nurse
Johan Sundberg Johan Sundberg ... Daniel
Jan Roland Sundberg Jan Roland Sundberg ... Daniel's Father
La-Orng Thongruang La-Orng Thongruang ... Old Thai Man
Tor Klathaley Tor Klathaley ... Young Thai Man
Douglas Johansson ... Mr. Benstrom
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Nothing is more powerful than the human spirit. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the extras were actual survivors of the tsunami. See more »

Goofs

When Daniel meets with his father, he says in Swedish - "vad tung du är Johan (how heavy you are, Johan)" instead of the character's name Daniel. This is because the real name of the character Daniel, is Johan, and it's his real father Jan. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Iylm
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 »

User Reviews

 
Realistic, bleak, but ultimately life-affirming.
5 January 2013 | by CelluloidRamblingsSee all my reviews

Disaster films have an odd reputation, often merely dismissed as popcorn fodder, so it's strange to have a film billed as such but to put character and drama over spectacle. Then again, as it's based on a true story, it's probably unfair to label 'The Impossible' as such a movie because the plight of the characters is at its heart throughout the entire duration. Perhaps this film is best described as a family drama with elements of disaster, then.

The Boxing Day tsunami was one of those events that put our lives into perspective, and the film achieves the same feat. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts play the parents of three children who decide to spend an exotic Christmas in Thailand. Suitcases are unpacked, presents are exchanged, but the sense of impending disaster is overwhelmingly unsettling. When the inevitable does happen, the following 15 minutes are intense, realistic and terrifying; an onslaught of terrific practical effects and incredible sound design. However, after that concentrated outburst, the drama shifts down a gear to a more intimate, personal level, which is no less frightful.

That is why this film shines; it's about the smaller picture. By focusing on the survival of this one family rather than the scale of the event itself, a better, and more human, representation of the disaster is displayed. The performances from the central cast are nothing short of spectacular, especially Tom Holland, who carries the film for a hefty chunk of the running time with a gravitas that many older actors would fail to achieve.

Many criticisms have been made in the press about the anglicisation of the story; in reality, the family was Spanish. To me, that seemed to be a decision to globalise this story to the maximum amount of people, a decision that was warranted in my eyes. Thus, the main issue with the film was the score to be unnecessarily overriding in certain scenes, adding an unwanted sentimentality to the film. The scenes which worked best were confrontational, uncompromising and, you guessed it, without a swelling orchestra. Nevertheless, this is a minor gripe considering that this is a film where tears are wholeheartedly justified.

My Blog - Celluloid Ramblings . blogspot. co . uk


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Spain | Thailand | USA

Language:

English | Thai | Swedish

Release Date:

4 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Impossible See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$143,818, 23 December 2012

Gross USA:

$19,019,882

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$198,087,212
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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