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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 »
1,755 ( 279)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 66 wins & 140 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
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Did You Know?


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 »


The credits thank Oahu County, which does not exist. The island of Oahu is in Honolulu County. 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 »


Referenced in TruInside: Groundlings (2016) See more »


Deep In An Ancient Hawaiian Forest
Written and Performed by Makana
Courtesy of Makana Music LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Descendants is an outstanding and touching drama
12 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Descendants is a tragic and heartfelt family drama set against a backdrop of the sights and sounds of modern Hawaii. The music is wonderful, and the scenery of several Hawaiian islands is amazing.

George Clooney is outstanding as the father of a family torn apart by tragedy. His character deals with unsettling secrets of his dying wife and his broken relationships with his two troubled daughters. Forced to deal with the consequences of neglecting his family, Clooney does a great job capturing conflicting and powerful emotions.

Shailone Woodley does a wonderful job as the rebellious older daughter, who captures the anger and hurt of a teenager betrayed by her mother and abandoned by her father. Her relationship with her father is the heart of the movie, and they slowly learn to rely on each other for support and strength in dealing with the loss of their mother/wife.

The film has a wonderful supporting cast that adds humanity and heart to the tragic story. Nick Krause stands out as the oldest daughter's friend, who adds a touch of laughter and perspective to the film. His open and carefree personality grates on the characters initially but helps them to eventually gain perspective on the tragic events.

Overall, the Descendants was an excellent movie that captures the raw emotions of a family dealing with betrayal, pain, and loss and learning to draw together for love and support.

105 of 153 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Bad dialogue. Bad acting. Bad editing. Bad everything? kareldc2
Great movie if you're an adult lynfoster
Did anyone else think this was just plain terrible? Boing_Boing
Where are the Hawaiian people? jorgenson-s
Yet, another mislabeled movie windquake
Shaeline garethrh
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