the impossible movie review - Aussieboyreviews


The faint-hearted should definitely be avoiding this film based on a true story due to its realistic depiction of a tsunami and its aftermath. It’s graphic and intense, but is absolutely superb.


In 2004, a couple and their three children’s holiday in Thailand shortly turns into a nightmare when a terrifying tsunami suddenly swells up and destroys everything in its path, separating the family.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: J. A. Bayona
Cast: Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Ewan McGregor, Oaklee Pendergast, Samuel Joslin
Writer: Sergio G. Sánchez
Release Date (Australia): 24 January 2013
Runtime: 114 minutes/1h 54m
Genre: Drama, History, Thriller
Country: Spain
Language: English, Thai


Themes (M)

The film contains a perilous sequence depicting a tsunami and features the aftermath of the natural disaster. There are depictions of corpses.

Violence (M)

The film contains frequent depictions of injuries sustained during a tsunami.

Coarse Language (M)

The film features a singular brief use of “f**k”, as well as uses of the words “s**t” and “hell”.

Nudity (M)

The film contains a brief depiction of a woman’s breast in a non-sexual context.

mpaa rating

PG-13 (for intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Depicts one of the most realistic natural disaster sequences and fearlessly represents the destructive and painful aftermath. The Impossible is an extremely eventful holiday-set drama that director J. A. Bayona packs like a suitcase, packing it to the brim with not only dirty damaged clothes, but with graphic detail and intense emotions. Although not entirely perfect, it’s hard to imagine how this excellent execution of history could’ve done better.

This is a film revolving around the circumstances of a terrifying tsunami, inspired by the real-life story of María Belón’s and her family’s survival through what certainly feels like the impossible. It’s absolutely loaded, from one side of the screen to the other, with graphic injuries, destroyed buildings and wave-washed nature. And the aftermath of the horrific tragedy is even more painful than the actual tsunami sequence, flawlessly portraying a huge dirty wave smashing through areas with buildings and people.

Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor deliver utterly astounding performances in their roles as stressed and concerned parents, with young Tom Holland executing an award-deserving performance as one of the sons out of the other two well-performed children. The film also delivers heartwarming moments relating to family and even following Holland’s character going out of his way to help people. The Impossible couldn’t have been designed and created in a more lifelike fashion that it already is.

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