The Impossible Blu-ray review

  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 
  • Studio: Summit Entertainment
  • Release Date: April 23, 2013
  • Run Time: 114 minutes



              The Impossible is a straight-forward film in many respects. The narrative direction offers no surprises; we are promised a film about a family surviving a tsunami and the aftermath, which is exactly what The Impossible provides. The fact that it is based on a true story and with a title like The Impossible, we are given some assurance of a relatively happy ending for the family which is our collective protagonist for the film. It is a testament to director J. A. Bayona that despite all of this laid out at the beginning of the film, the viewing is still arduously, and at points nearly unbearably, suspenseful.


              Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor head up the cast as parents Maria and Henry, vacationing on a beach resort in Thailand with their three young boys when the tsunami hit. They are separated immediately, and we follow Maria as she struggles and is beaten within the swirling debris-filled water. After surviving the initial disaster, there remains the task of seeking safety and treatment. Following that is the struggle to find one-another, with diminishing hope that all have survived.


              This is an emotionally draining film, leaving the audience feeling as beaten inside as the stars look on the outside. McGregor and Watts do a spectacular job capturing the emotions perfectly, never seeming to manipulate or manifest false responses. Their reactions seem sincere, and as parents this is a horror that I am certain both could relate to. Watts was nominated for her performance, deservedly, but it is newcomer Tom Holland as the eldest son who I found myself most impressed with. He reminded me of a young Jamie Bell, able to handle the emotional aspects of the film with a maturity that hardly seems like acting. It is easy to become immersed in the story and the characters, because of performances and direction.


              The Blu-ray release includes an audio commentary with director J.A. Bayona, along with writer Sergio G. Sánchez, producer Belén Atienza and Maria Belón. There are also two making-of featurettes, including one about the casting process, and a few deleted scenes. 



    Entertainment Value: 7.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 9/10

    Historical Significance: 8/10

    Disc Features: 7.5/10


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