The Descendants - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Descendants Reviews

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March 10, 2012
George Clooney gives a wonderful lead performance in his new film The Descendants but Clooney has always been more than just a handsome face, he's a proper movie star and in that old Hollywood tradition, he's also an everyman, one of us.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Cameron Williams
The Popcorn Junkie
March 8, 2012
No doubt the awards hype around the film will get people into cinemas but it doesn't warrant the attention considering Payne's previous work and Clooney has put in much better performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Matt Neal
The Standard
February 23, 2012
Payne manages to give the film a lightness that makes it uplifting or at the least fulfilling, rather than depressing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Joseph Proimakis
Movies for the Masses
February 17, 2012
full review at Movies for the Masses
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
February 2, 2012
This film is one of the best films of 2011 and should compete for top awards when the Academy Awards roll around.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Andrew Simpson
Fan The Fire
February 2, 2012
The sharp wit and commitment to damaged men remain, but with his newfound appreciation of what goes unsaid, The Descendants sees Payne finally becoming the filmmaker many have claimed he was all along.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Philip Kemp
Sight and Sound
January 31, 2012
Payne, whose early features were set in his native Omaha, has always shown an acute if unconventional sense of place.
Rebecca Barry Hill
January 30, 2012
It's rare for a director to strike the right chord with every film but Alexander Payne has managed it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip French
Observer (UK)
January 29, 2012
The Descendants becomes a kind of exhilarating, island-hopping road movie with Matt as much in search of himself as of his wife's mysterious lover. Along the way he's learning what it means to be a man, to understand himself and others.
January 29, 2012
The film's tone is quaint but the story dramatic and the characters maintain the ability to shock and surprise.
Pablo Villaça
Cinema em Cena
January 28, 2012
Uma narrativa artificial e frágil que soa mais como a visão de um roteirista alienado de Hollywood sobre a vida de uma pessoa comum (multimilionária, claro) do que como algo com o qual indivíduos reais poderiam se identificar de alguma maneira.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Daniel M. Kimmel
New England Movies Weekly
January 27, 2012
...a solid, grown-up film that reminds us that there's real heroism in simply living day to day.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Gary Wolcott
Tri-City Herald
January 27, 2012
A non-preachy exploration of the depth, width and complexity of life, love and relationships, and this great gift we call humanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Jason Best
Movie Talk
January 27, 2012
The mix of slapstick and pathos is exquisitely judged, but the viewer needs to be patient for the film to work its magic. Adjust to its rhythm, though, and you'll be rewarded by a wry and perceptive view of the human comedy.
David Sexton
London Evening Standard
January 27, 2012
Payne's interest is the human drama: he's very much the director-as-novelist and The Descendants has all the satisfactions of a story well told.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

Liverpool Echo
January 27, 2012
Set against the lush backdrop of the Hawaiian islands, The Descendants is a heartbreaking portrait of a family in crisis.
Robbie Collin
Daily Telegraph (UK)
January 27, 2012
As is the way with Payne's films, we go away feeling that every man is an island - and it's only a matter of time before each of us finds ourselves deserted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
January 26, 2012
(George) Clooney gives a complex and complete performance as a man who put his career ahead of his family, and is stumbling to try to reconnect to make his life whole again.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
David Edwards
Daily Mirror (UK)
January 26, 2012
As is typical with Payne, awkwardness abounds leading to some moments of excruciating comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express (UK)
January 26, 2012
Not as laugh-out-loud funny or as overtly moving as you might expect, but with an underlying honesty and authenticity that make the characters linger long in the memory.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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