With the help of a sterling cast, some harrowing and startlingly realistic images of nature at its most violent, and incidents of kindness and humanity at its best, Bayona has recreated a powerful, real-life example of familial love and unexpected reserves of courage overcoming seemingly insurmountable horrors wrought by cataclysm.
Watts' portrait of exceptional maternal might in the face of impossible odds, and especially young Holland's performance as the boy who must find the strength of a man within himself, are the stuff of which Oscar wins are made.
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Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland. (Intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity)