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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 February 2013
I saw this in cinema TWICE. That's ONE EXTRA TIME People!
In case you sleep-surfed the internet and found yourself on the reviews of Amazon to a film you've never heard of, The Impossible is based around one family who are on Holiday in Thailand when the Tragic Tsunami of 2004 hit.
Before seeing the film, I'd watched the trailer and thought 'Wow, that looks good. The special effects look amazing', but I also thought 'After the Tsunami has hit, what happens for the rest of the film? It could get really boring...'

Well, that was wrong and partly because I never really understood what happened that day.
I had no idea how many people were killed (and injured).
It's not just Water, is it?
Debris potentially hitting you at high speed.
Could be fatal.

The cast is fantastic.
The acting is as good as it gets, particularly from new-to-film Actor Tom Holland who takes centre stage as eldest Son, Lucas.
This is no bore fest.
It's one of those great films that leaves you pondering your own life and feeling grateful for your family and loved ones.
A very emotional and touching film.
I really wanted the family to come together again.
I'll be buying this when it's released.

Thanks for reading.
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on 4 June 2013
Very moving film thoroughly enjoyed it hard to believe its a true story well worth watching have a hankie ready
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on 13 January 2013
The Impossible is a film about a family who take a holiday to Thailand at Christmas. Little did they know that one of the world's biggest tsunamis' was about to hit them. When it does hit them the whole family is split apart by this gigantic wave.

The film stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, who play their roles beautifully as the mother (Maria Bennett) and father (Henry Bennett) to three children. This film also stars newcomer Tom Holland who plays the oldest son, (Lucas Bennett) who has to take care of his mum because of her brutal injures.
The scene where the tsunami hits is brilliantly shot, yet so harrowing. The heartbreaking scene where Maria and Lucas try to reach out to each other while being swept away crashing into trees, cars and other dangerous objects, is shattering. It was also devastating when Maria's injuries are revealed and Lucas sees his mother as he has never seen her before.

The special effects in this film are extraordinary, and I wasn't expecting the effect that it would have on me, and I would defy anyone who isn't moved by this astonishing piece of film making.

This film is inspiring and unexpected; I recommend this film to anyone. Even though there is despair, there is still hope.
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on 6 January 2013
I didn't know a lot about this film before going to see it but what an experience this film was. The special effects are amazing looking during the tsunami scene at the start, just incredible. The performances of the main cast are incredible especially Tom Holland as Lucas and Naomi Watts as Maria. I'm not usually a fan of Ewan McGregor but here he is incredible as Henry the father.

The film explores the separation of a family in the direct aftermath of the 2004 tsunami and their struggle to survive.

I really don't want to say more other than this is an incredible film well worth seeing.
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If, like me, you've become accustomed to Hollywood's recent obsession with disaster movies, then you might have expected The Impossible to be more of a fast-paced, tension-driven thriller about people trying to survive against the elements. However, this is actually more of a thoughtful, uplifting piece. Yes, we have some special effects near the beginning where a huge tidal wave decimates a holiday resort in Thailand, leaving numerous dead or missing, but the rest of the film is about a family who have become separated with each other, undertaking the monumental task of trying to find each other again in the midst of the aftermath.

With Ewan McGreggor and Naomi Watts as leads, you can expect decent performances, but the stand-out character who steals many of the scenes is the young boy who plays their son and shows how he was forced to cope with growing up far sooner than he ever should have.

It's a good film, if you're looking for drama and a real story of survival against the odds. Just don't expect a rollercoaster of excitement with many thrills and spills along the way.

3.5 out of 5.
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on 2 January 2013
THE IMPOSSIBLE
Dir. Juan Bayona / 114 minutes / Cert 12

Juan Bayona follows up his acclaimed 2007 directorial debut The Orphanage with another horror film. Whereas the fear factor of his first feature emanated purely from the otherworldly and the supernatural, The Impossible brings the horror much closer to home, drawing on real-life events, specifically the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that devastated Indonesia and surrounding areas and claimed over 230,000 innocent lives. I remember watching the television news coverage at the time - my confused fifteen year-old self unable to quite understand what I was seeing, unsure of what it meant and what was going on.

The film creates immediate tension because everybody knows exactly what is going to happen. As an audience, we are powerless, simply awaiting the inevitable; the fatal wave is going to hit and there is nothing we can do to stop it. The fact that our main characters, the Bennett family - father, mother, their three young sons - are blissfully ignorant of the tragedy that is about to befall them (as of course were the quarter of a million unsuspecting victims) only serves to reinforce the sense of dread that hangs over the film's idyllic opening scenes; scenes depicting the calm before the storm, introducing us to a close-knit, moneyed middle-class family, holidaying for Christmas in a luxury apartment. Lanterns illuminate the sky. Celebration, laughter and love, things we take for granted. They have everything, want for nothing... and then the ground starts to tremble.

The reconstruction of the disaster is painful to watch, beautifully repellent and brutally realised. To call it impressive almost seems crass and insensitive, but considering it was shot using no CGI whatsoever deserves some sort of recognition come Oscars night. Obviously, no film dramatisation can ever even remotely approach the abject horror of the real thing, but there's no denying the emotional wallop of the film's extended key sequence. The tsunami itself lasted for almost ten minutes, and Bayona here allows events to play out in real time; the ten minutes stretching out like an unrelenting nightmare, a haunting eternity. Water floods the screen. Never-ending chaos reigns. Broken bodies are swept away like leaves on the wind. Lives become nothing; ripped apart and destroyed forever in the blink of an eye. Hundreds of thousands of untold stories reach horrible, untimely ends. At various points, the cinema winced collectively at the savagery unfolding on screen and for once I was glad of the stench of nearby nachos that filled the air as it reminded me that I was safe, rooted and rigid in my seat.

Judging by the reaction in the (almost full) cinema, I wasn't alone in finding this film deeply upsetting. Towards the end, the tension was palpable, the silence broken only by the sound of many a sniffling nose. The fact that the film affected its audience is a testament to the strength of the central performances from Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor who were both outstanding. Anybody who has seen Mulholland Drive (2001) or 21 Grams (2003) won't need any convincing of Watts's acting credentials, but McGregor's unexpectedly heartbreaking performance as a father in search of his missing wife and son came out of the blue and rather knocked me for six. Recently McGregor has been taking it easy, playing the tweedy leads in romantic comedies such as the enjoyable Beginners (2010) and the endurable Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011), so for him to turn in such a standout performance was a real surprise for me. Likewise, I can't not mention newcomer Tom Holland, who plays eldest son Lucas. At the beginning of the film, Lucas is your typical angst-ridden teenager, but the tsunami strips away all of his cockiness and reduces him to a terrified lost little boy looking for his mother. It's always a good sign when you find yourself immediately browsing the Internet to find an actor's other credits as I found myself doing last night. I was pleased to see that he's already picking up a few awards for his performance.

I think the measure of a good film can be judged on how it leaves you feeling afterwards. A good film stays with you. By the time the credits rolled on The Impossible, I was slumped in my seat, utterly drained. Had I enjoyed the film? Did I approve of the narrative need to find closure in such senseless tragedy? Did the happy ending trivialise a disaster that destroyed so many lives? Do I ever want to see this film again/ I suppose I left the cinema pondering humanity - shown here at its most weak, vulnerable and defenceless, but also at its most brave, resourceful and noble. The camaraderie, the community spirit, the coming together of broken souls in dire times (many of the survivors in fact played by real-life survivors), in my opinion, validates the existence and relevance of this film. Yesterday was New Year's Day, a chance for new beginnings, so perhaps I was feeling more self-reflective than usual, but I came away from The Impossible with one thing going round and round in my head: life is precious.
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'Boxing Day' 2004 ...I remember, as I am certain many if not all
of you do....watching the catastrophic events unfold, in disbelief
and in horror, a harsh reminder of natures fury.
so many lost so quickly.........the film based on real events
following the experience of the 'Bennett' family who had flown
to a idyllic coastal resort in 'Thailand' as of course did so many more,
to bask in the sunshine during the festive season.
when the Tsunami hit the family became separated, 'Maria' and eldest son
'Lucas' manage to stay in sight of each other as they are swept inland.
they have no way of knowing what had become of husband and father 'Henry'
and younger siblings 'Thomas' and 'Simon'
the film surely captures much of the atmosphere that must have been the
case for all those caught up in the Tragedy.
the film...an often moving, dramatic and often graphic account of desperation,
panic and struggle to survive in the moments during and after the Tsunami struck.
a story of hope and tragedy........'THE IMPOSSIBLE'
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on 11 February 2013
Went to see this film with my Nan as i saw the trailer on the TV and thought it looked great.
3 minutes in i started crying untill the end. im a 16 year old boy haha.
was the best film i have ever seen. full of Emotion and inspiring parts.
Give it a watch it won't dissapoint.
My new fav film and Ewan Mcgregor is now my fav Actor.
Brilliant.
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on 23 January 2014
Incredible rendition of the 2004 tsunami aftermath, with a stunning performance from Naomi Watts. If you re looking for a 2112 type movie, you will not find it here because the wave itself is not the focus. However the survival and search for close ones is painfully but marvellously enacted by Naomi Watts and the rest of the cast. Very moving film, sometimes difficult to watch because of the suffering, and incredibly realistic. A must see for sure!!!!
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on 24 May 2014
It's easy to forget just how much people lose in a disaster like this - people looking for lost loved ones, the lorries piled with bodies, the injuries caused, homes washed away. We sit in our homes watching the drama unfold on the news and we cannot possibly grasp the magnitude of it all. It's all there in this film - plus the acting is superb, even the little kids are fantastic! A true story and well worth watching.
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