Box art for The Impossible

The Impossible

drama


Nominated for an Academy Award® (Best Actress, Naomi Watts) and based on the true story of one familys survival, THE IMPOSSIBLE is an epic journey to the core of the human heart.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    81%
  • Audience Score
    85%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
2 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

Very intense story of family's survival against the odds.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Impossible is an intense family drama set against the 2004 Asian tsunami. Because of the subject matter, there are many upsetting sequences, particularly in the first half hour after the tsunami hits. People are shown swept away and presumably killed by the rushing wall of water, and a mother is so severely injured that a part of her skin is no longer attached to her body. Parents, please know that you, too, will be affected by the horrors depicted in the film -- none greater than when a boy believes he's all that's left of his immediate family.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about whether The Impossible is a disaster movie or not. How does the depiction of the tsunami compare to other films about catastrophes? Critics have said the movie's ending takes away from its powerful beginning. Do you agree?
  • What feelings do you have while watching this movie? Is it OK to feel happy for the main characters amid so much devastation?
  • Are cinematic deaths resulting from disasters or accidents different than those due to war or other forms of violence?
  • The Impossible is based on a real family's true story. How accurate do you think it is? Why might filmmakers decide to change some details/facts? How could you find out more?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    81%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all The Impossible reviews
  • Audience

    85%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: An intense and compelling family melodrama from Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona that sets a new standard for disaster cinema.

- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rotten: A Saw movie for middlebrows.

- Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Friday, December 21, 2012

Fresh: It is the kind of ode to the human spirit that you hope comes along, and not just during the holiday season.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Friday, December 21, 2012

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Overwhelming, and emotional, but definitely worth it. Generally when I've heard talk of this movie, it's praise for Ewan and Naomi (who are absolutely sensational), but I think more emphasis should be put on the younger members of the cast...those boys completely, and utterly, stole the entire movie. Sooo good, and a miracle if ever I saw one...

- itsjustme2004, Sunday, May 5, 2013

4 stars

Overwhelming, and emotional, but definitely worth it. Generally when I've heard talk of this movie, it's praise for Ewan and Naomi (who are absolutely sensational), but I think more emphasis should be put on the younger members of the cast...those boys completely, and utterly, stole the entire movie. Sooo good, and a miracle if ever I saw one...

- itsjustme2004, Sunday, May 5, 2013

5 stars

Sure, it has its flaws, but in the end, it is a great film. The Impossible is intense and powerful, and brought me to the verge of tears. The acting is generally good---excellent, in fact, from the leads--the pacing is perfect, and the length of the film is appropriate. Bravo!

- fb100000293612769, Saturday, May 4, 2013