User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 388 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 388

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  1. Aug 18, 2012
    5
    Alexander Payne makes somewhat formulaic movies wherein disfunctional family members need to find each other again during times of emotional distress. It's well made but seems to last a lot longer then it needs to and it's not Oscar material but it did win one anyways...
  2. 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.
  3. Mar 9, 2013
    7
    The Descendants is not a bad Comedy/Drama. It is well directed and all the actors act well. It even has several very funny moments. But overall it doesn't have a particularly gripping story. Also George Clooney is just doing his typical George Clooney routine. It's not bad but it's not really anything new. In my opinion it's nothing to be terribly excited about.
  4. Jul 23, 2012
    7
    Pretty good film, Alexander Payne has come a long way as a storyteller since 'sideways', if your familiar with that film then you will know what to expect, although this is much more watchable. Clooney is less irritating than hes been in a long while, the story of family turmoil has been seen a million times before, but is well told, however, the ace card here was the decision to base it in hawaii, if it had been set, in say, pittsburgh, it would have been just another humdrum family tragedy movie, Payne doesn't waste the opportunity and uses the gorgeous scenery to good effect, the laid back feel of the islands also helps to compliment the pace of the film, its leisurely but never really boring. Clooney says at the beginning of the film that people on the mainland assume those on hawaii are living in paradise and don't feel loss or pain, they do, of course, but its a much better place to deal with emotional disasters than a bedsit in **** in january. Well written, directed and acted, not quite the Oscar winner, but definitely a decent film. Expand
  5. Aug 10, 2012
    9
    At times it could be melodramatic, but this was both hilarious and heartfelt in classic Alexander Payne style. Total sidenote: who knew Shailene Woodley could act? That was a shocker...
  6. Oct 1, 2012
    5
    This is just another example of a "work of art" garnering high favoritism by professional critics. I should have said so-called professional critics. The story, as I read in another review, was predictable. The plot points were not at all complex, and somewhat boring. I'm not going to say it was a horrible movie, but it sure wasn't the most fascinating movie I've seen by any stretch of the imagination. Sad to say, it seems like Payne's days of creating high art, such as the movie Sideways, are over. I think it's also important to note that the acting was very mechanical, and not natural. For me personally, it was not an addictive movie, unlike his 2004 film. The Hawaiian setting could have allowed for either an extremely interesting, or really bad movie. It seemed like Payne was trying really hard to keep it from veering off into really bad. The other thing that makes me argue against it being a great movie is that I didn't learn anything from it. I think the only thing I learned is that the children of bad parents, say bad words and do stupid things. The Descendants was a smug, and pretentious film that did not have much artistic merit. Trust your instincts and say no to this movie. Not worth it. Watch a Coen brothers film. Expand
  7. Dec 20, 2012
    5
    I have no idea why this was nominated for an Oscar. Having lost my dad to cancer, I thought it would be a good movie. I am 16 and I love great movies. (check out my ratings) But...what the hell? It's not an awful movie, and it is supposed to be serious. A serious piece meant to open the eyes, but all I wanted to do was sleep during the entire movie. Just, what the hell, Academy?
  8. Jan 7, 2014
    8
    Destaques para história e para atuação de elenco que são perfeitas.
  9. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    Splendidly written and magnificently acted, "The Descendants" overall proves to be an emotional endeavor into some incredibly rich thematic subject matter.
  10. Dec 6, 2012
    9
    Really great film! George Clooney gives the best performance of his career. Nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. One of the absolute best films of 2011.
  11. Nov 25, 2013
    6
    An ok movie. Not great, not awful and certainly not up to any expectations one might have had. Acting is fine, story is a bit odd. The dead mother/wife was not portrayed as a loving positive person really, which was unusual, so it was hard to be that sympathetic. Clooney was good being Clooney. The daughter was a positive note. I'm only reviewing this because I stumbled on it here. Not something you'd watch over and over. Expand
  12. 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
  13. Apr 26, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So, apparently, even jerks feel pain. And silly me, I thought they only knew how to inflict it. And of course the jerks learn to forgive and harmony is restored, fade out. It all seem way too pat and by-the-book, i.e., formulaic, to me. But hey, the Academy thinks the screenplay was just boffo. Go figure. Expand
  14. Jul 5, 2013
    5
    There is a definite Sideways feel about this film, unfortunately it never reaches that level. Maybe a fault in the script, but I couldn't relate (or understand) the actions of most of the characters in the film. The acting didn't help either it was flat. A scene towards the end of the film, where Clooney's character Matt King) talks to his wife complete with close up and tears failed to stir any emotions. This to me summed up the whole film, with the exception of Scottie (Amara Miller) the only character in the film that made me give a damn. Overall, a film I'll probably forget sooner rather than later.... Expand
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.