The Impossible (2012)
Brief review: Brought by the creator of "The Orphanage", Juan Antonio Bayona, "The Impossible" is a based-on-a-true-story disaster drama, and also the director's first English-language effort. Ironically enough, Bayona achieves pretty much the impossible, not only by delivering one of the most technically-impressive films of the year, but also by telling an emotional story about hope, faith, fear, and despair, but above all the power of human spirit. "The Impossible" isn't all about the disaster itself, but the terrifying consequences of it, and one family's struggles and their fight for survival The film is filled with horrifying images of destruction, pain, suffering and sorrow, that are so devastating at times, they might bring you to tears, but the constant tension, suspense and anticipation of what's about to happen, save the film from being purely depressing. Visually, "The Impossible" is impossible to fault, really. If you thought the Tsunami sequence in Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter" was amazing, wait to see the one in this movie. The big Tsunami overflow is so effective and perfectly-executed, it makes you wonder how did they actually manage to accomplish that, and make it looks so incredibly realistic. Same goes for the scenes showing the destroyed environment after the Tsunami. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor are both convincing and brilliantly believable in their difficult roles, but it's Tom Holland, that really makes a big impression with his truly inspiring powerhouse performance.
Overall summary: Devastatingly heart-wrenching, powerfully-acted, terrifyingly realistic and technically flawless, Bayona's "The Impossible" is a disaster film at its finest, one that manages to keep you one the edge of your seat from start to finish, as well as move you deeply.