The Impossible - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Impossible Reviews

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October 15, 2016
Leaving the audience attached to each and every character throughout its quite hefty runtime, the first half presents the horrors of a tsunami to perfection, without being subjected to the Hollywood treatment. The second half somewhat loses its momentum, as it relies heavily on dialogue rather than action - which leaves some scenes dragging on slightly - but nonetheless still very well done.
Verdict: B+
½ September 25, 2016
Compelling is a good word for it. You really feel for the family all the way through this movie, and the upsetting thing is that it is just one family amongst thousands that were ripped apart by this disaster.
½ September 20, 2016
I found it hard not to compare The Impossible to Titanic. Both are movies about real-life disasters. The Impossible is about the tsunami that struck Thailand and other countries around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004. Like Titanic, this movies gives us protagonists to relate to and through whose eyes we witness the disaster. We watch Maria,
Henry, and their three boys (based on a Spanish family, but played by UK citizens) enjoying a Christmas vacation. Whereas in Titanic, the disaster doesn't strike until halfway through the movie, in this film, the wall of water sweeps through the family's resort within the first 15 minutes. The family members are separated during the aftermath and must struggle both to survive and to find each other. The film is anchored by an exceptionally strong performance by Tom Holland, who plays the oldest son, Lucas. There is a marvellous scene where Lucas, who is uninjured, helps out in a local hospital by searching for other people's missing relatives by calling out their names from a list. There is a mix of languages, but everyone immediately understands what he's doing.

We had little time before the tsunami to get to know any of the characters, so it is difficult to assess their actions and judge whether the experience has changed them in any way. Somehow, this film fails to convey the terror and devastation that I felt Titanic did, and it fails to elicit the same degree of empathy with the victims whose lives were so horribly smashed and tumbled. It may be that scope of this disaster is just too large for a movie to adequately portray. It's an impressive film, but doesn't manage to find the emotional core of the story in the same way that Titanic did.
August 13, 2016
Gripping, unsettling, and pretty good
½ August 8, 2016
For all of its sentimentality and odd storytelling choices, The Impossible is an engaging disaster drama with a lot of powerful moments and performances. From the opening scene, director J.A. Bayona (directing just the second film in his career) does a great job of setting up characters as we build up to the inevitable scene in which everything goes wrong. That scene is quite spectacular: the huge tsunami was brought to life using a mix of practical effects and miniatures and digital effects, which creates an utterly seamless scene that's almost hard to distinguish from real life. Bayona pulls no punches in this scene either: it's delivered with all the viscerality and brutality you'd expect, and the lack of a musical score makes it all the more haunting. The scenes that follow are also haunting, but with more emotion, thanks to the powerful performances from the cast. The two standouts are Naomi Watts and young Tom Holland, who work really well together in the many scenes they share together. Ewan McGregor and the other two child actors are good as well, but their arc isn't quite as powerful in the long run. The fact that this family is changed from a Spanish family to a white English one is jarring, but is never truly detrimental to the story, aside from possibly promoting some unintended themes involving race and wealth.

Overall, it's a powerful film sure to elicit some strong emotions. Perhaps some of the moments will be too sentimental and some of the themes will be too heavy-handed for some, but the acting, especially that of Watts and Holland, easily overcomes those moments. The tsunami sequence alone makes this one worth watching.
½ June 30, 2016
Compelling, very well made and quite beautiful.
½ June 25, 2016
Emocionante e lindo,O Impossível Mostra a relação de uma família unida,E a verdade nua e crua de quem sofreu com esse desastre natural que parou o mundo em 2004.
June 20, 2016
Emotionally powerful and flawlessly acted, The Impossible is a movie that makes the situation relevant to you.
June 9, 2016
This movie shows the devastation people experienced during the tsunami. Although based on a true story, I don't know how realistic it is for some of the scenes where the kids and their father just missed each other, etc...perhaps that is the dramatic addition for the movie. I wish the movie has shown more about city or other people in Thailand and their stories after the disaster. But still an amazing movie and story to tell.
June 5, 2016
Despite a less than adequate finale, "The Impossible" is an emotional and unforgiving take on a real life tragedy, and the movie rides its actors until the very end.

Based on a true story, a family takes a holiday vacation down to Thailand, unaware of the tragedy about to strike. Without warning, a massive flood engulfs the entire result, along with the city surrounding it. The family is separated as they try and survive and reunite with the ones they love.

If anything, you should watch this movie for the performances alone. This is some of the best acting I've seen from these people right here, and they honestly carry the film. The main standout to me is Tom Holland. He's actually one of the biggest parts of the film and I hadn't even heard of this kid until "Civil War". However, his performance will not only leave you with a flurry of emotions, but shows just how bright his future is. As a kid actor and a young character, he never feels like dead weight at any point and he's the one who does most of the work. Naomi Watts also had some great moments as well, especially when she was in peril. Ewan McGregor also left me in tears on more than a couple occasions and his performance was just as mind blowing. This isn't the strongest script in the world, but the talent here really pushes this movie forward and they manage to create a compelling and emotional atmosphere.

The visuals and the mayhem are actually very impressive. In a very basic strip down, you could consider this a disaster film. When disaster strikes, not only does it look very real and devastating, but it looks ugly. I mean that in the best way possible as they destroyed tangible sets rather than artificially generate everything. It took them a year just to shoot those 10 minutes of disaster footage and it really came to life here.

Although intense and emotional at times, that was more or less due to the amazing performances with the occasional gritty visuals. I found the first 70% of the movie to be written very well, but as for the finale, the movie sort of fell to this cliched and empty finale. It didn't really feel like this movie built up to something awe inspiring and I was not surprised as to how it all came together. I felt like for the most part, this movie was written solidly, but there were some glaring issues when it came to the writing.

Overall, there are more than a few very emotional moments in this film. It's got some excellent performances and a great representation of the tragedies that struck this area. It's a great representation of how kind and compassionate humans beings can be while simultaneously showing the severity of uncontrollable disasters.
May 28, 2016
Yes it's a great film. Please don't make me watch it again.
May 4, 2016
Masterful direction and wonderful acting puts the audience in the center stage. This is a director I will definitely be hunting for more movies.
½ April 21, 2016
It starts off as a movie with a disaster waiting to happen just as advertised showing off happy moments, family bonds and future expectations just enough to ensure when the disaster hits, it hits hard. It did hit hard. If you forgive the occasional pacing issues and consistent coincidences (being a true story it is nothing short of miraculous), the actors will leave you with a feeling of unease with their brilliant natural and touching performances. The tsunami scene was quick, short, devastating and mostly well executed. Naomi Watts deserves a special applause along with the kid who played Lucas.

Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry (Ewan McGregor) are moderately happy couple who comes down to Thailand for a vacation with their 3 sons Lucas, Thomas and Simon. Just when the holiday mood kicks in the disaster strikes without a warning. With utmost perseverance and love for life Maria and Lucas endure themselves to safety badly beaten, scarred but not broken. On the other side, Henry is in search of his family. How their unbroken spirit and persistence help them to find each other constitutes the rest of the story.

The scene where Maria is stuck in a frenetic underwater current makes you look away but could have been done a lot better. It was also difficult to watch with my ardent fear of water. If not for a true story credit, the near misses and the way the family finally reunite looks a bit undercooked. Naomi Watts shoulders the first half of the movie but Tom Holland (Lucas) steals the show for a short while by portraying a kind, confident yet vulnerable character. Runtime could be edited by a good 20 minutes and the melodrama and over emphasis of the power of human spirit (though apt in this instance) was a bit too much. Background score does not leave a mark and nor does the Thai locals performance.

Touching and powerful occasionally but a little flat overall.
½ April 9, 2016
It is very hard to review this film separate to the terrible true story that it is meant to depict. Having done some reading around the topic of the Tsunami after the film it became evident that the story told was not 100% accurate with some story points being 'Hollywoodised'. This being said the film is very moving and the special effects are really good. Naomi Watts puts in a great performance as does Tom Holland. I think where this film struggled was in keeping interest in the later parts of the film once the family were in the hospital. It seemed that Tom Holland's character would keep getting lost or would be looking for people the whole time. I'm also not sure how true it was but i also didn't believe the father would leave the other 2 kids on their own whilst he looked for his wife and other son but again this could be a true part of the story.
April 7, 2016
yes this movie is awesome rakabroad study consultancy
½ April 6, 2016
Emotional but didn't think Ewan McGregor was believable.
½ March 21, 2016
Average film and Ewan has got worse as an actor the older he gets
March 11, 2016
The only qualms I have is Hollywood's tendency to focus on Caucasians as the only important characters in the midst of foreign countries. Regardless it is still a powerful film.
½ February 14, 2016
Great film. As with every Naomi Watts film, I needed a box of tissues.
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