7.6/10
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383 user 378 critic

The Impossible (2012)

Lo imposible (original title)
Trailer
2:17 | Trailer

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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)
Reviews
Popularity
1,121 ( 141)
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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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Spain | 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:

€8,930,116 (Spain), 14 October 2012, Wide Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$143,818, 21 December 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,019,882

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$180,274,123
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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The crew filmed partially on location at the actual resort, since rebuilt, where the Belon family was vacationing when the tsunami hit. For the tsunami destruction scenes, a scaled model of the resort was used. 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

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.75 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Kamalani
(Rivera, Larry)
Performed by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
©1995 by EMI Music Publishing Ltd. / Mountain Aplle Company
EMI Music Publishing Spain S A
All rights reserved.
International Copyright secured.
Use under kind permission by B1M1 Recordings Lda / Mountain Apple Company
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Spectacular as well dramatic story based on facts and masterfully directed by Juan Antonio Bayona
25 November 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

In 2004 , a devastating tsunami hit southeast Asia , this is one family's true story of survival . The story of a tourist family (the family on which this story is based upon were present during the whole shooting process) in Thailand , they are an ordinary family called Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts previously had an on-screen relationship in ¨Stay¨, 2005) and their three kids travel to Thailand to spend Christmas . Then they are caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami . It follows Maria and her son Lucas (Tom Holland) , not knowing where is the father and if two younger sons are dead or alive . However , nothing is more powerful than the human spirit. Who will survive ?

It's a grade A picture , a gem , absorbing , riveting , highly moving , incredibly tense . This is a psychological/survival/thrilling drama in which a family enjoying their holiday become involved into a terrible tragedy . It is a smart and sensitive thriller filled with intense drama , thrills , emotion , tear-jerker and pretty entertaining though overlong . This nail-biter is a tightly-knit drama centered on the relentless survival-fight , as it follows the seriously wounded Maria/Naomi Watts and her eldest son Lucas/Tom Holland , as they struggle to safety . The picture makes up for it with an evolving atmosphere of anxiety and fear . Everything in Juan Antonio Bayona 's impressive film looks so real that you might think it's a high resolution videotape of a tsunami . The crew filmed partially on location at the actual resort, since rebuilt, where the Belon family was vacationing when the tsunami hit ; for the tsunami destruction scenes, a scaled model of the resort was used . Interesting screenplay by Sergio G. Sánchez from a story by María Belón and being based upon on true events , as the real family that the main characters are based on are in fact Spanish but living in Japan at the time of the Tsunami and many of the extras are actual survivors of the tsunami . Lavishly produced by Enrique López Lavigne , Jaime Ortiz de Artiñano , Javier Ugarte and Belen Atienza, in fact , the producers of the film heard an interview on Spanish radio where the family told their story of surviving the Tsunami and decided to make a film based on it. Top-notch acting by Naomi Watts , for the underwater scenes, Naomi was strapped in a rotating chair , while filming, Watts couldn't hold her breath any longer and she gave the 'stop' sign. Instead of stopping, the chair started spinning the other way around . Later it was revealed that it was a technical error and Watts stated the she felt very scared and hated the chair for that reason. There is the urgent hand-held camera-work, a trademark refined and perfected by cameraman Oscar Faura , which lends an air of pseudo-documentary authenticity to carefully staged reconstructions, putting us right there in the huddle of the action . Furthermore , an emotive as well as enjoyable musical score by Fernando Velazquez .

The motion picture was compellingly directed by Juan Antonio Bayona who proved his usual aesthetics and nail-biting filmmaking as well as he formerly made in ¨the orphanage¨ . In this excellent film of 2013 , Bayona has directed 1 actress to an Academy Award-nominated performance: Naomi Watts (Best Actress, Lo impossible or the impossible (2012). Rating : Above average , a magnificent film . Essential and indispensable seeing . The picture will appeal to Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor fans .


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