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Based on 43 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 104 )
  • 100
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Payne's low-key approach only deepens the film's intimate power. Want a movie you can really connect with? The Descendants is damn near perfect. show more

  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    The movie itself is a worthy thing, too, but it's not as good as Clooney is here, which is to say, it's not great. show more

  • 100
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    It's a precarious balance, but Payne blends wit and poignancy so artfully it feels like an exquisitely choreographed dance. show more

  • 100
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    Rarely has a contemporary movie taken in so much life and revealed it with such depth of feeling. show more

  • 100
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Clooney has never been better, subtler, more deeply rooted in a performance than he is in The Descendants. And he's funny, too. show more

  • 80
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    Payne's observational humor and attention to detail yield something emotionally epic. Everything from beachfront jogs to hospital confessions reveals layers of humanity and absurdity. show more

  • 100
    Todd McCarthy The Hollywood Reporter

    After a five-year wait since "Sideways," Alexander Payne has made his best film yet with The Descendants. Ostensibly a study of loss and coping with a tragic situation, this wonderfully nuanced look at a father and two daughters dealing with the imminent death of his wife and their mother turns the miraculous trick of possibly being even funnier than it is moving. show more

  • 55
    Stephanie Zacharek Movieline

    The Descendants is an ultra-polished picture in which every emotion we're supposed to feel has been cued up well in advance. There's nothing surprising or affecting about it. Not even Clooney, who works wonders with the occasional piece of dialogue, can save it. show more

  • 100
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    What happens is that we get vested in the lives of these characters. That's rare in a lot of movies. show more

  • 100
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    It's one of the year's most pleasurable American movies. show more

  • April 08, 2013 salty223
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    terrible movie about awful people who do change a bit for the better in the end.

  • September 25, 2012 Winona Rogers Bradle
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    The was a very interesting story about a family with problems, and how a father has to deal with them. No it is not a comedy! George Clooney was great!

  • July 31, 2012 pn00000000128056
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    You have to change the genre to Drama becasue comedy it not the main genre.

  • May 01, 2012 uv00000000122701
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    the film is very simple, but the performances by Clooney and his daughters from leaking worth, the story flows in an interesting and sometimes a little slow, but it is a family history and overcoming a good film that serves as an example for life .

  • April 12, 2012 sr00000000118364
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    Good story, funny, and heartwarming.

  • March 31, 2012 tcwi116
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    This was supposed to be a comedy? One of the most depressing movies I've ever seen.

  • March 26, 2012 zg1aspen
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    A profound flick, not for the young people because they haven\'t lived long enough to appreciate what is going on in this family. George Clooney is amazing as the distraught, constantly confused, and then finally understanding husband and father who discovers so many things as his wife lay dying. It is also about the history of Hawaii and the angst felt by the true Hawaiians who have had to deal over a century with the white man\'s insensitivity to their heritage. I thought it was a magnificent film, I was riveted. True Hawaiian beauty, true family discord, true romance and betrayal. A worthwhile film.

  • March 18, 2012 Cynthia
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    Apparently a critic\'s darling, this movie had several plot lines which never really resolved in a satisfactory emotional fashion. They, and the movie, simply ended, with viewers watching what amounts to a slice of a family\'s week, with no real reference to how they really got there, followed by and ending that leaves one wondering, is that all there is? Also not appreciated was the consistent use of bad language. What was supposed to be funny, instead, left me surprised. What was sad, had little depth. All in all, a disappointment for me and my family.

  • March 18, 2012 jackd1207
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    An odd, depressing movie with no redeeming qualities. I surprised myself by sitting all the way through it. If you like hearing teens and pre-teens dropping the \"F\" bomb, et al, this movie may interest you.

  • March 10, 2012 ykiss7
    Report This User

    Good star put in wrong place and wrong story. Nice try but It is not working

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