User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 395 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 395

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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 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. Expand
  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. Jan 29, 2012
    4
    there is nothing, even superficially, original about this film. I don't understand how could anyone call this the best of the year. we see bunch of movies like this every year. it's good, people should definitely see it,it's not a terrible waste of time or money, but it is nothing special really.
  4. 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 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.
    Expand
  5. 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.
  6. 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 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
  7. Jan 6, 2012
    4
    I left wondering what the fuss was about. Not awful, certainly, but nothing I would have recommended to others. I didn't feel any emotional connection to the characters - it was an oddly distant feeling film for such a personal story. Clooney is fine, as he typically is, but is a version of himself, again as he typically is.
  8. Dec 29, 2011
    4
    There is something going on in Alexander Payneâ
  9. Jan 7, 2012
    4
    Disappointing! Overrated! Boring! This movie is one more reason to ignore all professional critics. The premise is interesting and the background story is encouraging but the plot takes us nowhere and leaves us with an ending totally unsatisfying.

    As far as awards season is concerned, I'll be upset if this movie or any of the actors wins anything and quite frankly I don't see how they can
    even expect any nominations. I was unimpressed with both of George Clooney's dauhgters and if Shailene Woodley is even nominated it will be a sad reflection on the state of motion pictures. Of course the drums are beating for another Clooney Oscar but quite frankly I didn't see anything special in his portrayal of the main character. He was much better in the "Ides of March" and compared to his Oscar winning role in "Syriana" this performance is just ordinary. Both the real estate sale and the wife's final demise are too drawn out and by the end of this film I didn't care about any of the characters or what happens to them. If you must see this film wait until it's on HBO. Expand
  10. 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 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
  11. Nov 29, 2011
    4
    I went to this movie because of the director and GC who is always good at his craft. While the film itself is shot well and draws you in, at the end I was left wanting. The trailer made me feel the laughs would be steady throughout, but I found my wife and I laughing at how depressing the movie would get at times. I am guilty of expecting something as good as Sideways (which is in my collection and I've watched several times). I know it will garner award nominations, but all I felt afterwards was depressed and in need of a pick me up. Go back and look at the trailer after viewing the film and tell me I'm wrong. Expand
  12. 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.
  13. Dec 30, 2011
    4
    I am very surprised at the positive reviews after just having watched this film. The acting feels forced throughout, as if poorly directed. Clooney's performance is superb sometimes and weak other times. Many dialogues feel contrived. The film fits nowhere: It is not quirky enough, not funny enough, not dramatic enough, not serious enough, not realistic enough, not anything enough to have an identity. Nothing is unique or special about the movie. It left me with no feeling at all - numb and bored. Collapse
  14. Jan 1, 2012
    4
    First, I have loved Payne's previous movies, in particular About Schmidt. The problem with this movie is it felt like he was just trying to recreate the same movie in Hawaii. And as much as I like George Clooney, he wasn't believable as an everyday Joe. However, in About Schmidt, I bought Jack Nicholson as an everyday guy from Nebraska who was seriously depressed about his life. I didn't buy Clooney as a father, or as a a husband struggling to understand what went wrong in his marriage. His performance felt forced, in the way he walked, talked, and other mannerisms, clearly placed by the director, but not believable coming from Clooney. It actually was distracting from the plot. I agree with other reviewers about not caring about the characters (with the exception of the daughters). And this is what separates Nicholson's character in About Schmidt from Clooney's. Despite Schmidt being completely oblivious, ignorant, and probably a poor father and husband, by the end of the movie you genuinely care for him. I felt none of that in this movie. Expand
  15. 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.
  16. 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!! 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
  17. Feb 11, 2012
    4
    THE DESCENDANTS: DISGRACEFUL

    GIVE IT A TRY IF... You really canâ
  18. Apr 12, 2012
    4
    I watched it because of the high criticisms it received, but during the last hour or so, I really kept my finger from switching off the DVD player. What was the meaning of all this ?? And why all the fuss ? Classic scenario and nice scenery in Hawaii was all. Really mediocre movie.
  19. 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.
  20. Aug 3, 2013
    4
    Stupid piece of crap. Don't waste your time watching this movie, it's sooooooooooooooooo boring (at least the second half of it). You will be watching your watch for the last hour
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.