The Descendants

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 434 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 434

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User Reviews

  1. Dec 28, 2011
    2
    After an hour, the movie hinted that it might get interesting. It did not. I can not understand how anyone could enjoy this movie. The scenery was good and the music was tolerable, so I'll give it a 2/10.
  2. Dec 26, 2011
    3
    What movie did all these other people see that they liked? There is little about this film that is enjoyable. Some good acting performances is all I could muster to say positive about this. None of the characters are either believable or likeable. And why did they have to put the "F" word into the mouths of 7 year olds just to make this an "R" rated film. WEAK
  3. Apr 13, 2012
    2
    To think this movie got its Academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay, of all things. I would say its script is among the worst of its features, and there is no shortage of bad features "The Descendents" boasts. From the cringeworthy dialogues, to the placid performances of underwritten characters, to the cliched ending, it's a snoozefest of terrible. The voiceover is tacky and disappearsTo think this movie got its Academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay, of all things. I would say its script is among the worst of its features, and there is no shortage of bad features "The Descendents" boasts. From the cringeworthy dialogues, to the placid performances of underwritten characters, to the cliched ending, it's a snoozefest of terrible. The voiceover is tacky and disappears mysteriously halfway through, having served its expository goal. There are F words aplenty, none of which coming naturally from its utterers - be it preteens or the always charming but never offensive Clooney. The exchanges are forced and bland. The development of character, if any, feels forced as well - one minute somebody does something portraying him in one light, the next - its opposite, there is no gradualness or shades.

    I felt Clooney gave a good performance given the material he had to work with, and I was happy enough with Shailene Woodley. Somehow they even managed to get the score wrong, even though its Hawaiian music over a movie taking place on beautiful Hawaii.

    All in all, I was utterly disappointed, maybe I got in with the wrong expectations on the back of so much critics' praise (are they being paid by the studio to marvel in such drivel? I can find no other explanation for so many 10/10 scores in the face of such gaping chasms in the bowels of this movie) and award nominations. Don't make the same mistake.
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  4. May 10, 2012
    2
    None of the characters touched me one bit. All unbelievable Mr Clooney plays his usual unemotional, twitching, sad sack (there have been notable exceptions-he was great in "Oh Brother..."). The kids were okay but what is the deal with every other word out of the young one's mouth is **** Is that supposed to be funny, when children swear, and dad gives an exasperated look? Maybe they wantedNone of the characters touched me one bit. All unbelievable Mr Clooney plays his usual unemotional, twitching, sad sack (there have been notable exceptions-he was great in "Oh Brother..."). The kids were okay but what is the deal with every other word out of the young one's mouth is **** Is that supposed to be funny, when children swear, and dad gives an exasperated look? Maybe they wanted an R rating to pique some interest. What is the purpose of the boy friend? His character is inane. Perhaps the grieving daughter could get support from him; no way with this guy; every fathers nightmare that your daughter brings a guy like this home. And where was his family? He spent every minute with the Clooney clan. Mr Forster is good as usual. Once again the wrong person is blamed for the affair; in this case the man. The wife is absolved of all responsibility because she is dying, when she wanted to have the affair and cheated on her husband; but f course he feels guilty. Mr Clooney's Matt finally has time for his wife and falls in love with her in the coma, even though she lied and cheated on on him. We "see" no background just an occasional reference to his being too busy. Drama? Comedy? I could not have cared any less about the ridiculous back story (someone please help Mr Bridges to find meaningful work). You go to the trouble to make a movie in Hawaii and almost no one talks, looks, or feels Hawaiian ( except the beautiful scenery). Uninteresting people, uninteresting story, no emotion, no one to root for. It's a mess. Amazing how so many critics loved this film. Mr Clooney certainly has a stranglehold on Hollywood. Expand
  5. Jan 28, 2012
    3
    Renter. I nearly left the theater and in hindsight, wish I had. The pace of this movie is extremely slow. Unfortunately the slow pace does not include significant character development or storytelling. Certainly enjoyed the beautiful Hawaii scenery and Clooney has a great narrator's voice but this project would have been much better suited to a made-for-tv splash vs big screen.
  6. Nov 27, 2011
    3
    I like George Clooney. I really like Matthew Lillard. This movie just isn't much emotionally, spiritually or even artistically. There are some nuanced moments that work, a bit of Alexander Payne's trademark irony in scenes, sure. But this was a tough 2 hours to sit through. It's a depressing film about people struggling with little or no humanity. It doesn't have a pulse. The photographyI like George Clooney. I really like Matthew Lillard. This movie just isn't much emotionally, spiritually or even artistically. There are some nuanced moments that work, a bit of Alexander Payne's trademark irony in scenes, sure. But this was a tough 2 hours to sit through. It's a depressing film about people struggling with little or no humanity. It doesn't have a pulse. The photography and production values are dreary and uninspired. George Clooney struggles with the Oscar clips, and comes off like a bloke(a likeable guy, but he really is just an aging good looking dude.) There are no great lines. It's actually super misogynistic about the youngest daughter, the 20 something daughter, the realtor's wife and the wife in the coma. Collapse
  7. Dec 23, 2011
    2
    This movie seemed to be about finding out how many times God's Name could be blasphemed and how much cussing and swearing could be vomited from the mouth of children, NONE of which was of any use to the already boring movie. If you like to be depressed and love to hear vulgar language, then this movie is for you.
  8. Mar 15, 2012
    3
    Awful. I had to turn this movie off after 39 minutes. No movie can redeem itself after that much crap.The performances were extremely inauthentic - I couldn't stop cringing at how much it felt like an amateur play. The "actor" who played the daughter's friend can count his performance as one of the worst in recent memory. I wouldn't be surprised if he was plucked off the street and told toAwful. I had to turn this movie off after 39 minutes. No movie can redeem itself after that much crap.The performances were extremely inauthentic - I couldn't stop cringing at how much it felt like an amateur play. The "actor" who played the daughter's friend can count his performance as one of the worst in recent memory. I wouldn't be surprised if he was plucked off the street and told to act stoned. Oscar nominated?....That confirms what I already knew. I'm totally baffled that so many critics and users enjoyed this abominable turd. Expand
  9. Feb 5, 2012
    3
    This movie was nominated for best picture? Oh for the days of Spencer Tracy and James Stewart. The movie did not have one breakout scene. I did not laugh. I did not cry. Clooney nominated for "best actor"?His emotional range goes all the way from A to B. There was nothing in the movie that made it stand out, unless you count all the vulgarities from the 10 and 16 year old!! HollywoodThis movie was nominated for best picture? Oh for the days of Spencer Tracy and James Stewart. The movie did not have one breakout scene. I did not laugh. I did not cry. Clooney nominated for "best actor"?His emotional range goes all the way from A to B. There was nothing in the movie that made it stand out, unless you count all the vulgarities from the 10 and 16 year old!! Hollywood is in trouble. They are trying to manufacture stars and hype great movies. Didn't work here! At least it only cost us $5.00 Expand
  10. Jun 15, 2012
    2
    Absolutely lame. Uneventful, boring, and self-absorbed. The writers try in vain to express human pain through cinematic garbage. Clooney's character is the worst father and must be a concoction of today's liberal version of what a father should be like. Best film of the year? Possible since most films made today are terrible too.
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Jan 23, 2012
    80
    A marvellous follow-up to 2004's "Sideways" - well worth the wait.
  2. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Nov 23, 2011
    88
    All of Payne's films have been driven by the anger and frustration of his protagonists, but The Descendants is the first one in which sadness lurks behind every frame.
  3. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Nov 23, 2011
    91
    There are ample opportunities for the film to soak in pathos, righteousness, farce, or pictorialism, and Payne manages to nod at those pitfalls without falling into them. In a way, it's just like Matt King's world: enviably plush but filled with the real pain of real life.