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 Videos

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.
PG-13 (for intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity)
Action & Adventure , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Box Office:

Watch it now


Naomi Watts
as Maria
Geraldine Chaplin
as Elderly Woman
Samuel Joslin
as Thomas
Marta Etura
as Simone
Ploy Jindachot
as Caregiver
Ploy Jindachote
as Caregiver
Jomjai Sae-limh "Maew"
as Red Cross Nurse
Jan Sundberg
as Daniel's Father
La-Orng Thongruang
as Old Thai Man
Tor Klathaley
as Young Thai Man
Douglas Johansson
as Mr. Benstrom
Emilio Riccardi
as Morten Benstrom
Vorarat Jutakeo
as Doctor in Stockroom
Karun Konsaman
as Young Nurse in Stockroom
Nicola Harrison
as Woman in Charge of Simon and Thomas
John Albasiny
as Oliver Tudpole
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
Zoe Popham
as Tourist in Henry's Pick-up
Danny Toeng Danny
as Tourist in Henry's Pick-up
Ronnie Eide
as Tourist in Henry's Pick-up
Bonnie Jo Hutchinson
as Tourist at Bus Station
Jean-Loup Pilblad
as Loup Pilblad-Tourist at Bus Station
Franky Gun
as Tourist at Bus Station
Giovani Agresti
as Tourist Looking for Francesca
Georgina Baert
as Woman Looking for Relative
David Bruce
as Man Looking for Relatives
Natalia Lorence
as Woman Looking for Relatives
Sverre Golten
as Man Looking for Relatives
Clare Louise Plunkett
as Woman Looking for Relatives
Pisamai Pakdeevijit
as Member of Thai Family in Stockroom
Aratchaporn Satead
as Member of Thai Family in Stockroom
Jakapong Srichaem
as Member of Thai Family in Stockroom
Simon Blyberg
as Ferdinand
Namfon Pakdee
as Orchid Female Employee
Georgina Winters
as Patient in Takua Pa Hospital
Dina Kiseleva
as Patient in Takua Pa Hospital
Tan Daniel Demir
as Patient in Takua Pa Hospital
Takashi Hasegawa
as Japanese Tourist
Kristen Mandel
as Redheaded Woman
Sam Holland
as Kid in the Tent
Harry Holland
as Kid in the Tent
Mara Garcia Garcia
as Kid in the Car
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Impossible

Critic Reviews for The Impossible

All Critics (186) | Top Critics (47)

Alas, the movie tells a rather commonplace story.

January 28, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 18, 2013
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 17, 2013
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 4, 2013
Top Critic

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

January 4, 2013
Denver Post
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 4, 2013
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

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

The Impossible Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Impossible on our Movie forum!

News & Features