Starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, this is an awesome disaster movie about the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.

Based on the harrowing real-life experiences of a Spanish family, the film has Watts and McGregor as a middle-class British couple who are on holiday at a beach resort in Thailand with their three young sons when the tsunami strikes.

Churned and pummelled by the surging waters, Watts and eldest son (Tom Holland) surface inland to find themselves in the midst of near-total devastation.

The ensuing scenes of their struggle for survival are gripping and affecting, as are the sequences that deal with the fates of McGregor and the younger boys (Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast).

Director Juan Antonio Bayona conveys the force of the tsunami brilliantly, but it’s the way its aftermath is handled that really distinguishes the film.