The Impossible - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Impossible Reviews

January 28, 2013
Alas, the movie tells a rather commonplace story.
January 18, 2013
The tsunami sequence is amazing, right up there with the one Clint Eastwood staged in Hereafter.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
January 17, 2013
This is an unforgettable tribute to the determination of a very special family.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
January 4, 2013
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
Naomi Watts gives one of her finest, most physically commanding turns.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 4, 2013
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
While it may have been changed for the screen, this story of a family's ordeal is one from which any parent - any person, really - can't turn away.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 4, 2013
This is a movie about the will to survive that physically acknowledges that will may not be enough.
Full Review | Original Score: A
January 3, 2013
An intense and compelling family melodrama from Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona that sets a new standard for disaster cinema.
January 3, 2013
The Impossible is a nimbly acted drama that is at once a stellar visual achievement and a life-affirming story of familial love and courage.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 3, 2013
Bayona uses pummeling subjective camera work and sound design to plunge viewers into the visceral terror of a universe gone mad.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 3, 2013
Filmed with urgency and remarkably realistic special effects, "The Impossible" moves breathlessly through its story.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 3, 2013
Perhaps Jaws and Open Water are the only other movie experiences that might engender more fear of the sea.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
January 3, 2013
The tsunami comes to life more vividly than the characters, though Watts and young Holland, as her son, deliver strong performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 3, 2013
In the hundred-year history of cinema, few thrillers have been as emotionally compelling as "The Impossible."
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 3, 2013
An earnest, extremely grueling, prodigiously crafted true-life drama that takes one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history and reduces it to a bad day at Club Med.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 3, 2013
Say a prayer that The Impossible is the closest that you or I or anyone anywhere will get to the kind of catastrophe that makes this movie so harrowing, riveting -- and uneasily "uplifting."
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 26, 2012
In the end, Bayona's film is more frustrating and exhausting than inspiring.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 21, 2012
A Saw movie for middlebrows.
December 21, 2012
A thrilling, if also punishing, tale of heroic endurance.
December 21, 2012
It is the kind of ode to the human spirit that you hope comes along, and not just during the holiday season.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 21, 2012
If you really are going to push the stories of nearly 220,000 people into the background, you need a much better one than this to put into the spotlight.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 21, 2012
Urgent yet measured, like the onrushing tide, The Impossible is a real-life disaster flick with a compelling twist.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 21, 2012
"The Impossible'' is worth checking out for the acting and effects, but it's a shame that Bayona couldn't have approached the story with the same subtlety and rigor as his outstanding first feature, "The Orphanage.''
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 21, 2012
It's not a momentous story about heroism writ large, but an intimate tale of the small acts of kindness and connection that can occur when people are most desperate.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 20, 2012
There is a troubling complacency and a lack of compassion in "The Impossible," which is less an examination of mass destruction than the tale of a spoiled holiday.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/5
December 20, 2012
Bayona's skill is evident from the movie's first moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 20, 2012
Visually stunning but manipulative in the extreme - try not to roll your eyes as the various family members miss one another by inches - The Impossible nevertheless contains two of the year's best performances.
December 20, 2012
"The Impossible" is one of those movies that's good, but leaves you with the nagging feeling that it could have been better.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
December 20, 2012
When it's over, you will feel enlightened, drained and grateful just to walk away.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 20, 2012
The Impossible is primal stuff, a tribute to the power of family, to the determination of a mother and father, defying nature, defying the odds, driven by hope.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 20, 2012
For all the visually impactful moments that all but put an audience directly into the horror of the Boxing Day tsunami in The Impossible, the true test of this drama comes in the emotion conveyed in its simplest moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 20, 2012
I hesitate to use this term, since it is so often equated with hokey, but The Impossible is life-affirming.
December 20, 2012
With a mixture of practical and digital trickery, we experience the unthinkable in "The Impossible" firsthand.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 20, 2012
The Impossible confirms that Bayona is a major talent, with a skill for constructing sequences that build tension as masterfully as Steven Spielberg did in his '70s heyday.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 20, 2012
Here is a searing film of human tragedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 19, 2012
''The Impossible'' is about as subtle as a wall of water.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
December 19, 2012
The movie is not, as the trailer suggests, a tale of the triumph of the human spirit. It's about luck. It's about sadness. But it's also about the way that victims of the disaster -- of any disaster -- band together.
December 19, 2012
'The Impossible' is a confounding misfire: so much artistic vision, combined with moral and emotional shortsightedness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 18, 2012
...veers between being overwhelming and overwrought.
December 18, 2012
When it comes to human emotions ... the filmmaker is all thumbs, crassly fumbling for audience response via clichéd uses of dropped-out sound and the occasional twinkling piano.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 18, 2012
[Its] horrors, and the absorbing performances of Watts and McGregor, will soon be undermined by a surfeit of sentiment.
December 18, 2012
The film is a remarkable visual achievement, made more affecting by the depth the actors bring to their characters.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 12, 2012
The Impossible's strength is its conveyance of the loneliness and chaos that settles in the disaster's aftermath.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 12, 2012
An unforgettable film that combines epic spectacle with the intimacy of loving relationships in a celebration of the invincible human spirit.
November 14, 2012
A tremendously realistic disaster movie has an intense emotional payoff.
November 14, 2012
The most harrowing disaster movie in many a moon, The Impossible marries a tremendous feat of physical filmmaking to an emotional true story of family survival.