The Impossible | Chicago Reader

The Impossible

A Saw movie for middlebrows, this docudrama about the devastating east Asian tsunami of 2004 offers a big, pornographic spectacle of human suffering. J.A. Bayona, whose previous directing credit was the Spanish horror film The Orphanage, focuses on a European family affected by the disaster while vacationing in Thailand. He presents their trauma in excruciating detail, emphasizing the physical injuries they incur, but barely stops to consider the environmental causes of the tsunami or its devastating effect on the Thai population. Playing the parents of the ill-fated family, Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor turn in heartfelt, understated performances; their fine work occasionally distracts from Bayona's exploitative agenda.



  • J.A. Bayona


  • Naomi Watts
  • Ewan McGregor
  • Tom Holland
  • Samuel Joslin
  • Oaklee Pendergast
  • Marta Etura
  • Sönke Möhring
  • Geraldine Chaplin
  • Johan Sundberg
  • Ploy Jindachot
  • Jan Sundberg
  • La-Orng Thongruang
  • Tor Klathaley
  • Douglas Johansson
  • Emilio Riccardi
  • John Albasiny


  • Belén Atienza
  • Álvaro Augustín
  • Ghislain Barrois
  • Enrique López Lavigne
  • Sandra Hermida
  • Javier Ugarte

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