Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor play a middle-class British couple who are on holiday at a beach resort in Thailand with their three young sons when the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami strikes.

Based on the harrowing experiences of a Spanish family caught up in the disaster, this movie will leave you awestruck.

Churned and pummelled by the surging waters, Watts and her 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.