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The Descendants (2011)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  9 December 2011 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 166,244 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 405 user | 522 critic | 43 from Metacritic.com

A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Descendants (2011)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 51 wins & 82 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Sid
...
Grace A. Cruz ...
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School Counselor
Karen Kuioka Hironaga ...
Barb Higgins
Carmen Kaichi ...
Lani Higgins
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Matt's Secretary Noe
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Cousin Ralph
Matt Esecson ...
Cousin Hal
...
Cousin Milo
Stanton Johnston ...
Cousin Stan
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Storyline

With his wife Elizabeth on life support after a boating accident, Hawaiian land baron Matt King takes his daughters on a trip from Oahu to Kauai to confront the man who was having an affair with Elizabeth before her misfortune. Written by realndn06

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Descendants  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,345,720 (USA) (18 November 2011)

Gross:

$82,624,961 (USA) (27 April 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

King Kamehameha I became the first sovereign of the unified Hawaiian Islands in 1810. His last legitimate heir was Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who died in 1884. Margaret Ke'Alohilani and Edward King, the ancestors of the film's King family, are fictional. See more »

Goofs

When Matt is at his neighbor's house, all of the chairs have cushions. When he sits down, his chair has no cushion. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Matt King: My friends on the mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We're all just out here sipping Mai Tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.18 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Wonderland
Written and Performed by Eugene Kulikov
Courtesy of pigFactory USA
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Payne knows exactly what he's doing, and what he's doing is tremendous.
18 January 2012 | by See all my reviews

Alexander Payne hasn't made a film from the director's chair since his incredible Sideways back in 2004. Seven years later, he finally returns, and with The Descendants, he returns with a bang.

Like Sideways, his screenplay (co-written by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash) nails the tone right on the head. It has to balance out three tricky narratives in the film (Matt King's self-crisis, his comatose wife's affair with another man before her boating accident, and a land deal he's reported to make), and without the proper guidance it needed, along with Payne's own confidant direction, it could have faltered. Thankfully, it balances out heavy themes and complicated emotions in uncommon detail.

The characters in this movie are many, complicated, and sorrowful in their own unique ways. Matt King was a perfect role for George Clooney. He keeps his composure, but we can still see a very heavy, filtered sorrow beneath the surface. Shailene Woodley's character (Woodley, by the way, gives one of the year's best performances) begins with a rebellious, even angry sadness, but we can see her develop over the course of the film, gaining a strong maturity beyond her years. Judy Greer and Robert Forster are each given a few spare scenes, and they make every second of their screen time count.

It really is an emotional ride, even depressing sometimes, but I'm surprised by the occasional review I read where critics say they didn't feel the emotion to be sincere. In my opinion, the emotions of the film never hit a single false note. I don't think just anybody could have made this movie the way it is. This isn't a typical drama, the movie's genre is Payne, and he knows exactly what he's doing.

***1/2 out of ****


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Yet, another mislabeled movie windquake
Where are the Hawaiian people? jorgenson-s
Great movie if you're an adult lynfoster
Did anyone else think this was just plain terrible? Boing_Boing
Bad dialogue. Bad acting. Bad editing. Bad everything? kareldc2
What about ME? I want a camp! poncedeleroy
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