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The Impossible [2012] [PG-13] - 5.7.5



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
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Based upon the true story of a family that was vacationing in Thailand for Christmas 2004: When the island was struck by a gigantic tsunami, they struggled to survive and hope to find each other in the aftermath. With Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. [1:54]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A doctor cuts a woman's top off to get to a wound on her chest and her bare breasts are seen; the woman's teen son is in the room and he turns away. A woman is shown with a bloody wound on her chest (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) and her top has been torn open revealing her bare breast; her teen son is alarmed by her condition and looks away as she tries to cover herself up. A fully nude man walks along the side of a road and we see flesh tones with no detail from the front and his bare buttocks, back and legs from the back. We see a fully nude woman lying on the side of a road and her arms cover her genital area and breasts. A woman dresses and we see the side of her bare breast and her bare back. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals her bare back and cleavage. We see people at poolside wearing swimsuits; the men are bare-chested and women wear bikinis. Two men are shown bare-chested and with bare backs. A man is shown on a stretcher wearing jockey-style shorts and another man is shown with a towel covering his genitals but it appears that he is without pants.
 A husband and his wife kiss and hug in several scenes. A man and a woman kiss tenderly.

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A woman is shown leaning against a glass wall as a wall of water crashes into her and shatters the glass; she is thrown around in the water, she is stabbed in the chest by a pointed tree branch (we see blood in the water), then cut on the leg (we see more blood and she seems to scream underwater) and a vine becomes twisted around her neck until she frees herself and eventually surfaces (we see the woman with large cuts and bruises on her face, a cut on her chest and a huge gaping wound on her leg for much of the movie and this seen is played again when the woman is sedated for surgery).
 As people play in and around a swimming pool, the wind begins to pick up, we hear rumbling and the ground shakes; we see large trees being forced over just before a huge wall of water washes over the rooftops of buildings and barrels toward people, and as the water moves we see people being struck and washed away with heavy debris (a teen boy jumps into the swimming pool as the wave washes over him.) After the initial wave, another wave bares down on the same area, and a teen boy is thrown around by the water and is struck several times by debris until he manages to cling onto a cement pillar (we see bloody cuts and scrapes on his head and face).
 A woman is shown with a bloody wound on her chest (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and a gaping leg wound with a thick piece of flesh hanging off; the woman's teen son is alarmed by her wounds and says that he can't see her like this, and when she later wraps her leg wound we see a lot of blood pouring out. A woman clings to a tree as water rushes around her and screams; she sees her teen son float by calling for her and lets go to try to catch him, and the two are swept in a heavy current until they eventually grab onto a downed tree. As a heavy current flows by we see a woman clinging high in a tree; we see a car float by and we hear a baby crying from inside.
 A woman on a stretcher in a hospital screams and we see that her leg has been broken and is badly twisted (we see blood and torn flesh). A man drags a seriously injured woman along the ground as she screams in pain (we see blood on her wounds) and pleads for him to stop (he is taking her to a village where they can get her medical care). A seriously wounded woman tries to climb a tree and when she slips she moans and screams from pain; her teen son hoists her into the tree and she stands on his shoulders to climb up, moaning and screaming from pain. A man falls off a bench and onto the floor and holds his side in pain.
 A man with a bloody cut on his face searches and calls for his wife and son in several scenes; while searching in one scene he falls into a hole and ends up with a bloody cut on his head. A woman and a teen boy approach a young boy buried in a pile of debris and pull him out (he cries but appears OK).
 We see a truck filled with dead bodies. A man searches through many dead bodies wrapped in plastic for his wife and teen son (we see the plastic wrapped bodies). We see a dead body face down in water (no blood is evident). A woman and a teen boy trudge through thick brush and high water and we see a dead dog lying in the water. We see a fish gasping in very shallow water. We see wounded people on a roadside and hear some others screaming.
 A woman in a hospital is given an injection of antibiotics and a dark liquid is poured over a leg wound (she screams in pain). A woman in a hospital is prepped for surgery and she tells her husband that she is dying. A boy is shown with healing cuts on his back.
 A man sends his two young sons to a mountain shelter while he tries to find his wife and other son. A teen boy walks through a hospital trying to find the relatives of several people. We see a shelter where many children are gathered and it is implied that they are all now orphans. We see lizards and bugs skittering in the flora.
 A woman in a hospital bed vomits a dark liquid and she pulls a strand out of her mouth (like a vine with leaves) as her teen son watches and pleads with her to stop. A woman in a hospital bed vomits a dark liquid (we see her writhe and we see the dark liquid leave her mouth) and a teen boy pushes her onto her side so that she won't choke.
 People are shown wounded and blood smeared throughout the move; the hospital scenes show blood smeared floors and piles of blood soaked linens and towels.
 A teen boy yells at hospital staff and shoves them when he returns to his mother's hospital bed but she is not there (it is implied that she died). A teen boy yells at his mother and tells her that his two brothers are dead. A teen boy snaps at his mother when she speaks to him. People talk tearfully about what they remember before a tsunami hit. A man cries uncontrollably when he calls home. A teen boy is shown a watch and a ring and asked if he can identify them (they presumably belonged to his mother). A woman tells her son that her leg is OK "as long as it doesn't turn black."
 There is turbulence during a flight and the passengers are shown being jostled; one woman appears particularly nervous.
 We hear loud water roaring and rushing with the opening credits. A plane flies onto the screen and the engines roar. There is a sense of impending doom through much of the film.

PROFANITY 5 - About 1 whispered F-word, scatological terms, anatomical terms, mild obscenities, name-calling (bossy). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A woman is given an injection in a hospital and is later sedated before surgery. A husband and his wife kiss and the man asks, "Do we have any of that wine left?"

DISCUSSION TOPICS - The 2004 tsunami in South East Asia, fear, survival, family, caring for those who need help, natural catastrophes, helplessness.

MESSAGE - Natural disasters can bring out the best in people but cause death and havoc.

Special Keywords: S5 - V7 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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