23. The Impossible
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Stars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Geraldine Chaplin, Tom Holland, Marta Etura
Release date: December 21
Fingers crossed that The Impossible garners tons of critical adoration and awards season hype, because if that happens, director Juan Antonio Boyega's superlative 2007 ghost story The Orphanage may finally receive the attention it deserves. Until then, though, we'll just have to settle for The Impossible's hugely positive buzz, the level of which seems befitting to a movie about such a heavy topic.
The Spanish filmmaker's first English-language film follows one family's struggles to survive and protect one another both during and after the Boxing Day tsunami (also known as the Indian Ocean tsunami), caused by a massive earthquake, that devastated the island of Sumatra, Indonesia in December 2004. In some ways, the supernatural creepshow The Orphanage serves as the perfect precursor to the The Impossible: For the tsunami sequences, Boyega already knows how to establish tension and ratchet up dread, and The Orphanage's emotional core perfectly suits this movie's character-driven heart.