More than anything, The Wave's ability to sustain tension out of its tired scenario makes it even more impressive than its Me Decade ancestors.
David Fear, Rolling Stone, 2016-03-23
The whole thing is pure formula. But The Wave, which was Norway's official entry for the Academy Awards, makes it work anyway.
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald, 2016-03-17
The movie works; the setting feels grandly unfamiliar, and the aftermath of the wave, with its elemental mix of water and fire, seems like a plausible vision of Hell.
Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 2016-03-07
Something like The Wave is indeed a rarity - without skimping on the spectacle that glues eyeballs to the screen, it takes the time to develop its characters.
James Berardinelli, ReelViews, 2016-03-04
Having laid out my qualms in advance, I am happy to report that The Wave... is pretty good. It's also pretty strange.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2016-03-04
The wave itself is a masterfully believable bit of cinematic destruction in which everyone tries to rush for higher ground on narrow roads not meant to handle a rapid evacuation.
Alison Willmore, BuzzFeed News, 2016-03-04
What director Uthaug pitches perfectly right are the stakes. The emotional connections are effectively established and the stakes of this tiny world ending feel both dire and realistic.
Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service, 2016-03-04
"The Wave" adds credible writing and effective acting to gangbusters special effects, resulting in a white-knuckle experience a bit higher on the plausibility scale than what we're used to from Hollywood versions of the genre.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 2016-03-04
The slow-burn build-up is just long enough, the disaster itself is just harrowing enough and the final act is just intense enough to keep us engaged.
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com, 2016-03-04
The action is slow in coming - 45 minutes into the film - but when it arrives it hits fiercely and with an emotional realism not usually portrayed in big-screen catastrophes.
Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail, 2016-03-04
There are echoes of many other disaster movies good and bad here, from "The Poseidon Adventure" to 'The Impossible," but "The Wave" holds its own, thanks to the specifics of its place and characters.
Tom Long, Detroit News, 2016-03-04
The filmmakers (the script is by John Kare Raake and Harald Rosenlow Eeg) cook up the sort of unpleasantness that turns the better disaster pictures, like this one, into nail-biters.
Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 2016-03-03
The Wave, Scandinavia's first-ever disaster film, is the polar opposite of a disaster. It's a triumph of modest means, a tribute to the power of storytelling on a human scale.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, 2016-03-03
Who says only Hollywood can turn out disaster movies?
Peter Howell, Toronto Star, 2016-03-03
A thrilling, gorgeous actioner about a massive tsunami that wipes a tourist town off the map.
Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2016-03-03
If you think foreign films can't compete with Hollywood when it comes to delivering popcorn entertainment, prepare to be carried away by "The Wave."
Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2016-03-03
It's as exhilarating as any epic American thriller, and better than most. Racing pulses and a state of awe and terror are guaranteed.
Rex Reed, New York Observer, 2016-03-03
Norway is a small, orderly country, and if Roar Uthaug's "The Wave" is an indication, its disaster movies are small and orderly as well.
Peter Keough, Boston Globe, 2016-03-03
The real tsunami is Hollywood formula.
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2016-03-03
Borrowing heavily from "Titanic" and lesser catastrophe films, character development plummets and dialogue is reduced to the usual run of "Save my babies!" and "No, save me first!" debates.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2016-03-03