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The Descendants (2011)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  9 December 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 195,890 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 433 user | 542 critic | 43 from

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 77 wins & 117 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Grace A. Cruz ...
Karen Kuioka Hironaga ...
Carmen Kaichi ...
Cousin Ralph
Matt Esecson ...
Cousin Hal
Cousin Milo
Stanton Johnston ...
Cousin Stan


Matt King's family has lived in Hawaii for generations. His extended family - namely he and his many cousins - own 25,000 acres of undeveloped land on Kauai held in trust, which ends in seven years. The easiest thing for the family to do is sell the land before the seven years is up, which is all the talk in the state, as, to whom they sell the property could very well change the face of Kauai. Despite the vast wealth that comes with the land, Matt has decided to live solely on what he earns as a Honolulu lawyer. However, Matt has not had a perfect life living in Hawaiian paradise as many believe. He and his wife Elizabeth were having problems in their marriage. She recently got into a boating accident which has placed her in a coma. Their seventeen year old daughter Alex is in boarding school on the big island since they couldn't handle her rebellion, which was made all the worse by an argument of an unknown nature between mother and daughter during Alex's last visit home. And their ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

9 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los descendientes  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$82,624,961 (USA) (27 April 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In one scene, Elizabeth's mother is called "tutu", Hawaiian slang for grandparent. See more »


When Matt is running on the beach and passes Brian Speer, he is wearing shoes. When Matt chases Brian and runs back to his own place, Matt is running barefoot. See more »


[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 »


Holoholo Ka'a
Written and Performed by Jeff Peterson
Courtesy of Peterson Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

King George's court
26 November 2011 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I love the freedom oozing from Alexander Payne's films. The clarity and simplicity of the idea and its execution. All the answers and unity found under a grieving cloud. George Clooney's Matt King is, quite simply, superb. The humanity of the man mingling with his contradictions. So refreshing to spend time with this immediately recognizable man. I couldn't help but loving him. If it's true that Clooney dominates the film, he is surrounded by compelling characters. His eldest daughter, played by the remarkable Shailene Woodley for instance or her boyfriend, a winning Nick Krause, contribute to make "The Descendants" one of the best films of 2011.

67 of 107 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Yet, another mislabeled movie windquake
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
Where are the Hawaiian people? jorgenson-s
Shaeline garethrh
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