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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, intelligent film
I didn't know what to expect with this film, but the newspaper reviews were good, and I like George Clooney, so I took a chance, and I wasn't disappointed.

It's a slightly off-beat film/story, with interseting characters (who develop nicely - and in at least one case, surprisingly - as the film progresses), and Clooney is very good. I never know what to expect...
Published on 3 Nov. 2012 by P. Haynes

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aloha George!
Having watched the extra features, which are mostly interviews with cast & crew, I`m happy they all had such a ball making this enjoyable, undemanding film. Therein perhaps lies the problem.
I loved Sideways, and I recently saw the wonderful Nebraska, both directed by the obviously affable, hugely capable Alexander Payne, so I expected this to pack a little more of a...
Published 15 months ago by GlynLuke


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, intelligent film, 3 Nov. 2012
By 
P. Haynes (Maidstone, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Descendants DVD (DVD)
I didn't know what to expect with this film, but the newspaper reviews were good, and I like George Clooney, so I took a chance, and I wasn't disappointed.

It's a slightly off-beat film/story, with interseting characters (who develop nicely - and in at least one case, surprisingly - as the film progresses), and Clooney is very good. I never know what to expect with Clooney, but this is one of his better films - the lead role could have been overacted quite easily, but Clooney does it just right.

Both my wife and I liked it, which is unusual, as we have quite different tastes. If you like intelligent films, try it, you won't be disappointed.

NB: Only 4 stars in no way suggests anything wrong with the film, I just like to reserve 5 stars for really good films.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, sweet-natured and wry, 12 Aug. 2012
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Descendants DVD (DVD)
This pleasant movie is made interesting by George Clooney's performance as a Hawaiian lawyer who, as head of a family trust, is considering a plan to sell a perfect, unspoiled part of the state to a big developer. Just about all his cousins want the deal; they'll get a lot of money. But his wife has an accident and now is on life support. He has to learn how to be a parent to his young daughters. And then to learn to live knowing that his wife was sleeping around with a real estate agent and had plans to divorce him.

Not much on the politics of family financial tugging but a lot on one family learning how to live with each other. Clooney keeps it from becoming a daytime soap serial. The self-discovery portions (there's a lot of them) are mostly wry and often affecting. No big-time movie star aura from Clooney and he's not afraid to make his character (and himself) look a bit silly at times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'ONE OF 'GEORGE CLOONEY'S FINEST PERFORMANCES', 24 May 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Descendants (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
Not all movies match up to the critic's views when the film is first released, however, for me, this is quite simply a '5 star' film.
The background to the film is the possible sale, for development of a beautiful and unspoilt cove which has been passed down the line for many generations, 'Matt King' and his many family members would benefit from such a sale, however many 'Hawaian' locals are against the sale, 'Matt' who is trustee will have the last say on the matter.
However, for land-baron 'Matt' puts the prospect of a sale on the back-burner when his life is turned upside down when his wife 'Elizabeth' has a boating accident and is left in a coma.
'Matt' now has to pay more attention to his youngest 'Scottie'
When told that his wife will not recover he and 'Scottie' travel to another island to pick up eldest daughter Alexandra' who is a student at a boarding school.
'Alexandra' is a little wayward with plenty of attitude, she soon gives her father another bombshell to deal with, telling him her mother was having an affair.
'Matt' wants to confront the man he learns to be 'Brian Spear', but in the cold light of day feels that if 'Brian' and his wife 'Elizabeth' were in love, 'Brian' should maybe have the oppertunity to say goodbye.
This is a quality movie, and, for me, is one of 'George Clooney's finest performances' ...............enjoy
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite sweet really, 8 July 2012
By 
Albatross "Never argue with idiots" (Suburbia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Descendants DVD (DVD)
George Clooney puts his heart on the line in this one, as a land baron who's forced to stop concentrating on his work when his wife suffers a critical accident, leaving her in a coma in the hospital. Therefore George must look after his two daughters, both who are going through various stages of adolescence.

It's good to see someone normally as suave as Mr Clooney, looking pretty out of his depth with two young girls and he pulls it off well. Despite having plenty of adult themes running through it - death, adultery, family in-fighting - it's actually quite a nice film with a decent message about family values.

It's not hilarious, but then it doesn't try to be. Just enjoy it for a gentle ride of good humour.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For lovers of good acting, 8 Jun. 2013
By 
David H J Ashdown (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Descendants [DVD] (DVD)
It's a refreshing change to find a film that puts into words what many of us think about adulterous spouses, Matt Kings wife, Joanie, is in coma after a boating accident and as the film evolves we soon realise that she has been cheating on him and her true character becomes evident. She has grown up from being a spoilt child to become an even more spoilt wife and bad mother and her present predicament is akin to divine judgement. Matt soon realises that his relationship with his daughters needs to change and he sets about trying to repair the harm wreaked by his wife. We find that Joanie, through her selfishness has harmed the lives of those closest to her and ,to a certain extent, has become the architect of her own downfall. The film has plenty of amusing cynical points and is not afraid to be slightly controversial in its views, it shows that one persons greed and selfishness can have disastrous consequences.

Also an excellent novel that is only slightly different from the film in that it explains a little more about Sids' problems (Sid is the elder daughters' friend).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want to see his face...., 22 Mar. 2014
This review is from: The Descendants (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
There is a lot of disregard for this film and a lot for Clooney, and it really put me off wanting to see this film.

But if you disregard the disregard (ha ha) you will be awarded with one of the most fruitful, funny, and touching films made in a very long time.

Clooney plays Matt King, a lawyer who owns a lot of Hawaian land thanks to a legacy (hence the title). To cut a long story short, his wife is in a major boating accident, has to look after his daughters, and finds out his wife was having an affair.

All this with the added pressure of his cousins wanting to sell the beloved land.

Time for a road trip to meet the other man in his wife's life.....

Clooney owns this film, as he is in every scene almost and really puts you into Matts shoes. Every emotion is shown here, and even little things, such as the moment where he makes uncomfortable eye contact with a man on a plane, his performance is perfect.

The rest of the cast are great to, especially Forster and Woodley, as they add a bit of life to the film. Payne has really handled Woodleys character well, because when we first meet her, you think that this is just another spoilt rich girl who hates her dad because he's not there.

But is could not be further from the truth and it's clear that Payne is having a ball pulling the rug from under her feet. And it's her revelation that really turns the film on it's head.

Payne mixes the bitter with the sweet, and for every heart wrenching moment, there is a scene or a line that is literally laugh out loud funny.

All in all, it's a great movie about finding yourself, and realising that life is too short and making every second count.

The film finishes perfectly,with three people sitting on a couch eating Ice Cream. It sounds boring, but the feeling of togetherness in the most simplest of scenarios, is perfect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aloha George!, 5 Feb. 2014
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Descendants [DVD] (DVD)
Having watched the extra features, which are mostly interviews with cast & crew, I`m happy they all had such a ball making this enjoyable, undemanding film. Therein perhaps lies the problem.
I loved Sideways, and I recently saw the wonderful Nebraska, both directed by the obviously affable, hugely capable Alexander Payne, so I expected this to pack a little more of a dramatic punch. That it doesn`t says as much, I suppose, about my expectations as it does about this pleasant, sometimes engrossing film.
It certainly takes its time getting going! The early scene-setting barely keeps the attention. Not a great start, but things do improve.
Clooney plays a a guy with two daughters whose straying wife is in hospital in a terminal coma. Shailene Woodley, nineteen at the time it was made, is excellent as the elder of the two daughters, and Amara Miller in her first film role is equally as good as her amusingly fractious younger sister. (Both are remarkably eloquent in the afore-mentioned interviews; they obviously had a fine old time, and loved having gorgeous George the prankster as their dad.)
There are effective cameos from Beau Bridges (with his long fair hair looking more like brother Jeff) and Judy Greer, who is very good as the onetime cheating wife`s lover`s wife - got that?
Clooney is as watchable as he usually is, but by heaven he coasts through this film, one eye no doubt on the gorgoeus Hawaiian scenery around him, not to mention the pleasures of the evidently relaxed shoot. There are times when you just know this is a man acting, turning on the tears or ruffled concern when the director says "Action". Clooney gives a lot to his roles, but he`s only just credible here as a cuckolded property developer with two errant kids.
That said, this is worth seeing, the Hawaiian music is wonderful - I must get the soundtrack CD - and the whole thing looks a treat.
Is it one of Payne`s better efforts? Is it hell!

Forgettably enjoyable.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradise offers no King immunity from care, 28 Feb. 2012
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Descendants DVD (DVD)
Director Alexander Payne has previously directed high quality movies such as Election [1999] [DVD]starring Reese Witherspoon, About Schmidt [DVD] [2003] starring Jack Nicholson, and Sideways [DVD] (Widescreen Edition) starring Paul Giamatti, nominated for five Oscars winning one.

Gregory Peck once said it's hard to make a good man look interesting.

You can probably imagine in a cinematic world peopled with antiheroes, flawed heroes, or unrealistic superheroes, how refreshing it might be, to encounter a good guy we can relate to, in situations that parallel those we might actually experience.

George Clooney plays Matt King, a lawyer, businessman, and hardworking mostly absent father of two girls. He happens to be wealthy because of his descent from the original landowners of Hawaii, the real Hawaiians, who own most of Hawaii. Sole trustee of the family's interests, and now because of succession rules faced with the situation of having to sell off thousands of acres of pristine land to resort developers. Despite his family wealth Doug leads a very modest life. He drives a metallic silver Honda Civic, a sensible car.

When his thrillseeking wife ends up in a coma following a powerboating accident, he is thrust into the unfamiliar role of looking after his two daughters each bringing their own challenges. The younger one has difficulties in school, the older one, well, she's a teenager.

We learn early in the movie that the wife had an affair, making a difficult situation even worse. George Clooney Alex Payne manage to create apposite emotions for the movie goer. While distressed he pads out the front door, dons flipflops and runs to his wife's best friend house. He runs funny. A comic relief followed by a dramatic confrontation. Tension, and shock artfully modified by humor make this movie an emotional wonder.

When he breaks the news of his wife's condition to his older daughter she ducks underwater and we see an invisible breakdown. Some of these scenes are tender. In the hospital there are various monologues to the comatose mother, from a cheated husband, an unforgiving daughter, and a wounded wife.

The presence of Clooney vastly elevates the movie, as does the acting performance of Shailene Woodley, giving a tremendous breakthrough performance as the teenager daughter you worry might go off the rails. Judy Greer, who you probably know from Two and a Half Men appears later in the movie.

The Descendants is among the leading Oscar nominated movies. Although nine movies are nominated for Best Picture, only three I believe are genuine contenders, The Artist, and Hugo being the other two. Nominations for The Descendants include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay.

Previously, Alex Payne won the Academy Award for the Sideways screenplay.

Based on The Descendants: A Novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

Post Academy award update. Payne has now won his second Academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

I think you will enjoy one of the years best movies, and I hope this was helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm amazed this rates 4 stars average, 29 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Descendants DVD (DVD)
I'm amazed this rates 4 stars average, but it is VERY average!

It was nominated for 5 Oscars - won none - the plot/ acting is sub-soap opera - and the 'extras' on the DVD include very self-congratulatory 'in' talk about how many hundred people were interviewed for each part - including one who just SMILES for 15 seconds and does not even MOVE for the rest of the film!

If you think George Clooney is eye candy there is something to watch - if not forgot it!

p.s it also a poor advert for Hawaii - it's cloudy or wet in nearly every scene....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY LOVE, MY FRIEND, MY PAIN, MY JOY..., 4 Aug. 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Descendants DVD (DVD)
There is 90 seconds of film where George Clooney is not on the screen. But don't worry, he narrates for us so we don't forget he is in the film. His wife Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie) has a boating accident we don't get to see because Clooney wasn't there. She is in a coma and is going to die. Clooney has been so involved with his job (he has a big deal in the works) that he has alienated himself from his family. Now he is attempting to reconnect with his two daughters, the older of which has harsh feelings for her mother.

The story develops to a point where Elizabeth's coma becomes almost secondary. Clooney's deal involves all of his cousins and a realtor Clooney would rather not deal with for personal reasons. In order to help her cope, the older daughter Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) has a boyfriend (Nick Krause) who hangs out with her during this interim.

The movie is a drama, but the dysfunctional family provides for light humor and some dark humor to keep the film from getting too heavy. Good acting. Well written and directed. Film is really great if you like the color blue: blue skies, blue water, blue Hawaiian shirts...and Clooney.

F-bomb, no sex or nudity. 4 1/2 stars.
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The Descendants (Blu-ray + Digital Copy)
The Descendants (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) by Alexander Payne (Blu-ray - 2012)
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