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The Descendants (2011)

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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 »
1,820 ( 768)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 66 wins & 142 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth King
Grace A. Cruz ...
Scottie's Teacher
Kim Gennaula ...
School Counselor
Karen Kuioka Hironaga ...
Barb Higgins
Carmen Kaichi ...
Lani Higgins
Matt's Secretary Noe
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:

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Release Date:

9 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los descendientes  »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,190,096, 20 November 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


One closeup briefly shows Elizabeth's Punahou School diploma. Punahou School, in Honolulu, is the largest private school in the United States. It was built in 1841 and added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1972. Barack Obama graduated from Punahou School in 1979. See more »


The door next to Elizabeth's room is almost closed after Alex comes out. When Alex goes back into the room with Scottie, the door is more open and a blue dispenser bottle is next to a small white hand towel. 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?
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Kalena Kai
Written by Webley Edwards (as John Kalapana)
Performed by Keola Beamer and George Winston
Courtesy of Dancing Cat Records
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User Reviews

Was honestly expecting more
14 January 2012 | by See all my reviews

This is a great movie, no doubt about it. But given the combination of golden globe, Oscar buzz and positive feedback on IMDb, I expected much more.

The story and the premise of the movie is perfect. In fact, the tagline caught my attention enormously: "trying to reconnect with daughters." That is exactly the type of movie I like. Instantly, I could tell this was a movie about character development and human connection, usually the type of movies with the greatest potential.

Unfortunately, it was merely decent, but not special. It felt like the movie built up so much potential, but failed to release it at a certain point during the movie. The whole movie, for me, felt too introductory in nature. Not necessarily the plot, because the plot does evolve, but the overall "feel" of the movie felt preliminary to a bigger and more dramatic event which never happened.

It's not easy to explain my feelings towards the movie because the fault wasn't necessarily technical or specific. But it did linger around and distracted my viewing somewhat. I felt like there was still more to explore in both Clooney's character and the character of his daughters. Also, I think this element alone impacted on Clooney's performance. His performance was good, definitely, but again, because I felt like there was more to be explored, naturally, I also felt like his performance could have been added to (but not necessarily improved).

Given the Oscar buzz of this movie, I have to compare it to other movies of a similar nature. And unfortunately, I didn't feel like there was sufficient connection between the characters...although the potential to reach that connection was established, it was not acted upon in my opinion. Unfortunately I have to say there have been better developed "re-establishing connection" movies.

In summary, this is an enjoyable movie, but it is missing some important elements which deteriorates the viewing experience to some extent.

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