The Impossible

  • 12
  • Juan Antonio Bayona (2011)
  • Sp
  • 108 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

This visceral and deeply moving true story follows the desperate efforts of a family to survive and reunite in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor give astonishingly raw performances as a married couple who, along with their three boys, are caught up in the devastation while on holiday in Thailand. The depiction of the arriving tidal wave and the ravaged landscape it leaves behind is simply terrifying but director Juan Antonio Bayona doesn't rely on effects alone to generate the film's power. There are numerous hugely affecting moments - the scenes in which oldest son Tom Holland helps hospitalised survivors find their loved ones are superbly handled - and, as he did in his debut film The Orphanage, Bayona makes poignant hope his priority. With its excellent performances, unexpectedly thrilling authenticity - it was partly filmed in Thailand and survivors of the tsunami play extras - and epic scope, this wonderfully nuanced film packs a real emotional wallop.

Plot Summary

Drama based on a true story, starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. The holiday of a lifetime in Thailand turns into a nightmare for a family separated by the deadly 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. With the area a devastated wasteland, the struggle begins to find out who has survived.

Cast and crew


Ewan McGregor
Naomi Watts
Tom Holland (2)
Samuel Joslin
Oaklee Pendergast
Old woman
Geraldine Chaplin


Juan Antonio Bayona

Other Information

English / Thai
Theatrical distributor: 
EOne Entertainment
Brief nudity.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 21 Dec 2012
Certificate 12
Entertainment One UK