The Descendants


Action / Comedy / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 219543


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March 05, 2012 at 01:17 AM


Shailene Woodley as Alexandra King
George Clooney as Matt King
Judy Greer as Julie Speer
Morgan Freeman as Himself - Narrator
751.19 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 55 min
P/S 2 / 27

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Floated2 7 / 10

Unique and Different

The Descendants received much Oscar and awards season buzz upon its released. Having not much interested in its trailers or overall premise, one did not know what to expect from the film. After having watching, it is clear in which the films intentions were. as it is quite good and has is quite different in compared to other films as this.

The performances are great and make the film worth watching, as George Clooney plays his character well. and Shailene Woodley does too as a relatively newcomer. The Descendants is rated R but its is mostly due to a film F-bombs, other wise the film feels much like a family movie. It is interesting at most times in which not predictable where we aren't sure where the film is heading. It is quite depressing and unlike typical Hollywood films, doesn't have such a happy ending. We can see why the film has been praised as much as it has. Recommend.

Reviewed by sharky_55 7 / 10

So what do you have to say for yourself?

Payne's pathetic leading men tell the stories of backstage stars, the forgotten roles, the lives outside of the limelight. They're visibly and mentally past their prime, although they're not always happy to admit the fact. How does Clooney's Matt King fit in with this echelon of middle-aged men yet to come of age? He's too good looking, for one. Did I say leading men? Payne's muses are more like character actors that aspire to be leads; the sidekick from Sideways is actually a former heart-throb gone to seed, who relies on the odd woman to notice his fading good looks and small claim to fame. Clooney, on the other hand, has only ripened with age, still the gold standard for a Hollywood sex symbol. He might not be up to it physically (and the film makes light of this in a painful jog slash speedwalk), but in spite of his opening monologue (which should be laced with bitterness but ends up more satisfied), Matt King seems to have it all.

Why have the monologue, anyway? Payne's always been a great director of actors, and although the technique's been used to good effect before (Nicholson's entire series of letters in About Schmidt is a revelation in slow growing humility), these men have always told more through body language and action. I guess Clooney doesn't have the same gravitas of a Nicholson or a Giamatti, who channel their mid or late life crisis through physical decay and a panicked realisation at what they haven't achieved. Clooney may run funny, but he's too casually dashing to convincingly portray someone at odds with his entire family, much less someone work obsessed and liable to be cheated on. His persona made much more sense in Up in the Air, an incentive-driven, one man crusade set to disprove the 'no man is an island' mantra, so focused on a single number he eventually begins to doubt himself.

In many ways The Descendants is Payne's weakest film to date, a clunky mishmash of Payne's better marks, like the sharp edge of a comic satire in Election, and the dissection of red-faced protagonists who splutter and stumble their way to an eventual understanding of their flaws and features. There's so much secondhand embarrassment in the desperate appeals of his earlier characters for lost glory; their lives are mishap after mishap, and after a while they're not sure whether to laugh or collapse into a miserable heap. The Descendants, by contrast, seems rather embarrassed of these characters' downfalls, not content to allow scenes to simply wallow in their melancholy. It's dripping in bathos; almost every moment of sentimentality has to be livened or 'saved' by comic relief. The most annoying intrusion is Sid, the inappropriately-stoned boyfriend walking straight out of a raunchy comedy, with the tact of a whooping megaphone. When Judy Greer forgives Elizabeth in a tearful eulogy near the end, Matt is visibly embarrassed by this show of emotion; he's the deceased's husband and yet hasn't cried this much over the whole affair. But his quick move to usher the hysterical woman out of the hospital room is flippant enough that the moment is more comedic than introspective.

Payne doesn't hang Matt out to dry as much as his other protagonists, perhaps because his unique situation is an ethical dilemma for the ages. The entire movie is a painful journey for closure that may never be found; how exactly do you extract answers from a soon-to-be corpse, much less hurl angry abuse that will forever fall on deaf ears? Matt finds strength in having to replace Elizabeth's role as the available parent, and in his journey goes from someone whose dialogue is written like a babysitter's, to someone who finally finds common ground with his family and heritage. How it all goes down is a little hokey - that precious, delicate ceremony where they spread her ashes at sea - but then Payne finishes with one of the most startlingly realised endings of his oeuvre, depicting a family that hasn't quite gotten over what they've been through, but has survived and will continue to do so together.

Reviewed by grantss 8 / 10

Great drama with some good comedic moments

Great drama. Moving, engaging story, with some good comedic moments. Solid direction by Alexander Payne, whose previous works have included great movies like Election, About Schmidt and, best of all, Sideways.

Great performances all round. George Clooney deserves his Oscar nomination. Disappointing that Shailene Woodley was overlooked, as she puts in a great supporting performance.

On the minor-negative side, some events in the plot seem contrived and too convenient. Plus, the movie is not really as profound as I thought it would be. In the end there are no big take-aways. Maybe that is the idea: just sit back and enjoy the human drama.

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