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The Descendants

R Released Nov 23, 2011 1h 55m Comedy Drama List
87% Tomatometer 273 Reviews 79% Audience Score 50,000+ Ratings
Native islander Matt King (George Clooney) lives with his family in Hawaii. Their world shatters when a tragic accident leaves his wife in a coma. Not only must Matt struggle with the stipulation in his wife's will that she be allowed to die with dignity, but he also faces pressure from relatives to sell their family's enormous land trust. Angry and terrified at the same time, Matt tries to be a good father to his young daughters, as they too try to cope with their mother's possible death. Read More Read Less
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The Descendants

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Critics Consensus

Funny, moving, and beautifully acted, The Descendants captures the unpredictable messiness of life with eloquence and uncommon grace.

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Critics Reviews

View All (273) Critics Reviews
Deborah Ross The Spectator I liked it. I enjoyed it. I did not resent the time I'd spent watching it, although that may just be because I seriously have nothing better to do. Aug 31, 2018 Full Review David Thomson The New Republic The Descendants is humane, decent, and close to real quality. Jun 20, 2013 Full Review Roger Moore Tribune News Service Like "Sideways" and "About Schmidt," "The Descendants" lets Alexander Payne show us the Other America and the Other Americans - little lives caught up in small but epic problems far away from the La La Land of Hollywood hype, sex and violence. Rated: 3/4 Dec 28, 2012 Full Review Don Shanahan Every Movie Has a Lesson There are moments throughout the film where characters need to speak their pace, whether that peace is good news, bad news, loving support, hurtful truth, assertiveness, or even the things you shouldn't say and, therefore, leave at peace. Rated: 5/5 Apr 7, 2024 Full Review Emiliano Basile EscribiendoCine ... The film stands out for exploring the human condition from the awkwardness - and at times humor - that extreme situations produce. The kind that family forces us to go through. [Full review in Spanish] Rated: 10/10 Jan 2, 2024 Full Review Danilo Castro Next Best Picture It’s the sort of resonant, mid-budget film that we see so rarely these days, and it’s a reminder that when Payne is at his peak, few directors are more skilled at depicting the paradox of human behavior. Rated: 9/10 Jul 7, 2023 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (1000+) audience reviews
Bryan B the only movie I've seen where a teenage girl dives into a swimming pool and breaks out into tears underwater and (seemingly) screaming. very unique moment. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 05/20/24 Full Review Debra B This is an excellent movie. Highly recommend. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/15/24 Full Review Karla E Excruciatingly dragged on. Regret my decision to watch. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/24/24 Full Review Lillan S It's tedious and stretches out way too long. The music is annoying. It wouldn't get on my nerves if there was just a few Hawaiian scores, but seriously, two hours of Hawaiian background music. Are we on an elevator in a Hawaiian department store? This script should have been way shorter and tightened. Clooney does a good job. As do the daughters and the daughter's friend. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/20/24 Full Review eric g One of my all time favorite movies. Watched it all the time as a kid and it's even better now. It's incredibly well done from all technical levels (acting, plot, directing) but the thing I love the most of the Hawaiian setting. There's a special feeling you get watching this movie, as if you're from the island yourself Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/05/24 Full Review j F Wonder movie, beautiful sights. And as a side note, I got to see the state of Hawaii! Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/11/24 Full Review Read all reviews
The Descendants

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Native islander Matt King (George Clooney) lives with his family in Hawaii. Their world shatters when a tragic accident leaves his wife in a coma. Not only must Matt struggle with the stipulation in his wife's will that she be allowed to die with dignity, but he also faces pressure from relatives to sell their family's enormous land trust. Angry and terrified at the same time, Matt tries to be a good father to his young daughters, as they too try to cope with their mother's possible death.
Director
Alexander Payne
Producer
Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Screenwriter
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Distributor
Fox Searchlight
Production Co
Dune, Ad Hominem Enterprises, Ingenious Film Partners, Little Blair
Rating
R (Sexual References|Language)
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Nov 23, 2011, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Nov 25, 2015
Box Office (Gross USA)
$82.6M
Runtime
1h 55m
Sound Mix
Dolby, SDDS
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