The Impossible (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Impossible2012

The Impossible (2012)



Critic Consensus: The screenplay isn't quite as powerful as the direction or the acting, but with such an astonishing real-life story at its center, The Impossible is never less than compelling.

The Impossible Photos

Movie Info

Maria, Henry and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her.

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as Caregiver
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as Caregiver
Jomjai Sae-limh "Maew"
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Jan Sundberg
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La-Orng Thongruang
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Vorarat Jutakeo
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John Albasiny
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Gitte Witt
as Norwegian Patient
Bruce Blain
as American Tourist
Cecilia Arnold
as American Tourist's Wife
Peter Tuinstra
as American Tourist on Orchid Roof
Esther Davis
as Volunteer in Children's Tent
Dominic Power
as Tourist Near the Orchid
Sarinrat Thomas "Jia"
as Operating Nurse
Keerati Sivakuae "Oak"
as Orchid Male Employee
Vipavee Charoenpura
as Woman in Childen's Minibus
Laura Power
as Young Nurse in Airplane
Kovit Wattanakul
as Henry's Pick-up Driver
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Danny Toeng Danny
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Ronnie Eide
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Bonnie Jo Hutchinson
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Jean-Loup Pilblad
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Franky Gun
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Giovani Agresti
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Georgina Baert
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David Bruce
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Natalia Lorence
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Sverre Golten
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Simon Blyberg
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News & Interviews for The Impossible

Critic Reviews for The Impossible

All Critics (191) | Top Critics (47)

Alas, the movie tells a rather commonplace story.

January 28, 2013

The tsunami sequence is amazing, right up there with the one Clint Eastwood staged in Hereafter.

January 18, 2013 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

This is an unforgettable tribute to the determination of a very special family.

January 17, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Unlike some films that have become critics' darlings, 'The Impossible' has no pretensions. It isn't edgy and I don't think it has a hidden subtext.

January 4, 2013 | Full Review…

Naomi Watts gives one of her finest, most physically commanding turns.

January 4, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4

Although it's ostensibly based on true events, The Impossible is not so much an inspiring tale of survival as it is an action flick.

January 4, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Impossible

With wonderful acting, "The Impossible" tells a captivating true story in which survival impulses, society, family ties and human kindness all shine and inspire. This is a very well done film.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

I was perhaps not very emotionally attached to the characters in this one, but it is undeniable that the performances are brilliant all around.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer


"The Impossible" is a film that has a moment every watcher awaits from the moment the screen credits begin to roll - the tsunami. These "moment" films have a major obstacle to clear as the expectation for that moments gives the film the pressure to live up to that "moment". But thanks to those high expectations films that are able to live up to the promise transcend. Some examples are "Jaws" where everyone in the audience is on the edge of their seats waiting to see that shark and when it does appear, boy does it meet expectations. And then the film itself continues to build on that momentum and before you realize it you are experiencing a special kind of magic. When it's done poorly - say like 2004's "The Day After Tomorrow", it's a disaster. This film marketed world destruction and the special effects delivered but the film itself was tedious and idiotic. When the tsunami arrives in "The Impossible" - it is terrifying. Just like advertised the moment that is the nucleus to the film is visually stunning but also a horrifying thing to witness. Juan Antonio Bayona does an incredible job at not just stopping at the huge wave that overcomes the resort but the unknown dangers it continued to unleash on our protagonists. Thanks to strong performances by Naomi Watts and the incredible Tom Holland, "The Impossible" comes close to being a home run, but the moment that action shifts to Ewan McGregor's side of the story it deflates. The script in its attempts to depict moments that occurred over a long period of time into a compact 2 hours becomes hard to swallow. Coincidences abound - one moment in the hospital (will avoid divulging spoiler) is particularly Hollywood. For about 3/4 of its length, "The Impossible" is a hell of a film but it ultimately begins to falter. Luckily for us the promise the movie made of exposing you to the horrors of the tsunami and surviving it is fulfilled. Too bad the human element didn't equal that promise.

Tony Gandía
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

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