Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Opening: The Impossible 

Based on the true story of a Spanish family that somehow survived the horrible tsunami that ripped through Thailand in 2004, the new film from Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) benefits from the fact that it has a natural arc that naturally lends itself to the big screen. Bayona does a good job of not letting the special effects get in the way, either, as he focuses on developing character rather than detailing the scope of the disaster (though he successfully does that, too). When the mighty wave arrives on shore and wipes out the resort at which the family is staying, they’re all put to the test. Lucas (Tom Holland) and his mother (Naomi Watts) are separated from the rest of the family, including Maria’s husband and Lucas’s father Henry (Ewan McGregor). While he capably spun a supernatural horror story with The Orphanage, Bayona mostly keeps things realistic here and lets the actors take over. Covered in mud and blood, Watts is excellent and the same goes for McGregor. Holland has plenty of screen time and he makes good use of it; he’s terrific as the 12-year-old kid who’s essentially the film’s central character as he goes through a rites of passage as a result of the disaster.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Season's Bleedings @ Capitol Theatre

    • Sat., Dec. 4
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show @ Cedar Lee Theatre

    • First Saturday of every month

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation