7.6/10
194,056
438 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)
Reviews
Popularity
1,062 ( 421)
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:

One family's incredible true story. 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

The real color of the Ball was Yellow not Red, as shown in the film. Maria Belón said it was the "biggest lie" in the movie. 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 Saturday Night Live: Jennifer Lawrence/The Lumineers (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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User Reviews

 
An amazing story, but some questions about the telling
6 December 2012 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

Amazing effects and stunts, along with and solid performances balance out some artistic lapses and ethical questions in this true story of one family's experiences of the horrendous Tsunami that killed 300,000.

The downsides; there's something a little off-putting about choosing a white, privileged family as a focus, while at the same time showing almost exclusively other white people as suffering and afraid in a disaster that killed far more local people than tourists. The Thai's are certainly shown in a good light, kindly helping all these suffering whites, but even in the hospital, almost every face we see in a bed is a white one. That hint of odd racial insensitivity is also underlined by replacing the original family, who were Spanish and dark, and making them into a gorgeous blond English family, a telling choice in a 'true' story.

On a more general level, the film can feel manipulative, from the tear jerking score, to the multiple carefully framed "will they spot each other?" shots that feel like a horror film's self-conscious suspense fames, but that cinematic technique feels distractingly artificial in this more naturalistic setting.

There's no question it's exciting and at times quite moving, but I couldn't help thinking I might have felt even more deeply if it wasn't pushing so hard to control my emotions.


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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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