Maria (Naomi Watts), her husband Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three children – 13-year-old Lucas (Tom Holland), 7-year-old Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and 5-year-old Simon (Oaklee Pendergast) – travel to Thailand for a Christmas holiday and stay at a luxury beachfront resort. On 26 December, while the family is enjoying the resort swimming pool, the ground starts shaking, there is a rumble like thunder, and beachfront palm trees start toppling over. Without any warning a giant wall of water crashes down on the resort, destroying everything in its way. Maria and Lucas survive, clinging to each other as they are swept along in the torrent of water. Eventually the torrent starts to go down, and Maria and Lucas wade through the debris and get up a tree. But although Lucas is mostly unhurt, Maria is badly injured. The back of her leg is torn open, and she has a severe chest wound. Also, Maria doesn’t know what has happened to Henry and her two youngest sons, and she fears the worst.From this point, the movie follows both Maria’s and Henry’s experiences. Thai locals rescue Maria and Lucas, but she must recover from her injuries. Henry and the two younger boys have also survived, but Henry despairs as he searches Thailand for Maria and Lucas.
Natural disaster; trauma; death and loss
There is no interpersonal violence of concern in this movie.
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
People drink wine and cocktails at the resort.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie shows some nudity. For example:
- One scene shows Maria changing her top and there is a split-second, shadowy, side-on glimpse of her breast.
- After surviving the tsunami, the left side of Maria’s singlet is torn, revealing Maria’s breast. Lucas sees and is embarrassed, turning away and telling his mother that he can’t see her that way. Maria quickly ties up her top.
- In a later scene in the hospital, a doctor cuts the front of Maria’s singlet to see her wounds, which briefly reveals her breasts. Again Lucas seems embarrassed.
- There are brief images of a nude man walking along the side of the road and a nude woman lying on the side of the road. The woman’s arms cover her breasts and genital area.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Thai Coca Cola.
This movie has some low-level coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Impossible is an intensely emotional drama based on a true story. It is very realistic.
Adults who see this movie might find it difficult not to be affected by its emotional intensity. The movie is definitely not suitable for children under 13 years. Parental guidance is recommended for children aged 13-15 years because of the movie’s emotional content and its realistic scenes of death and injury.
The main message from this movie is that the death and destruction caused by natural disasters can bring out the best in people, whether young or old. People can find strengths and abilities they never knew they had.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include the following:
- Empathy and caring for others: throughout the movie, Lucas puts his own needs last and shows lots of empathy and care for his immediate family and also for complete strangers.
- Determination and persistence: many characters refuse to give up their search for lost loved ones. Henry won’t give up looking for Maria and Lucas, searching the flooded countryside and then every hospital until he finds his wife and child.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as why people in very difficult situations might make selfless choices rather than putting their own needs first.