The Descendants - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Descendants Reviews

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Mark Jackson
Epoch Times
July 3, 2016
Director Alexander Payne is a master storyteller of the huge life transition. 'Sideways' is one stellar example, 'About Schmidt', another. 'Descendants' easily rivals 'Sideways.'
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Bill Newcott
AARP Movies for Grownups
June 10, 2016
Clooney and Payne share an uncanny knack for that wistful smile in the face of havoc; for conveying the peace that comes from having lived a life, from having seen disasters come and go, and from knowing that, one way or another, this too shall pass.
Full Review | Original Score: 5 of 5
Martin Tsai
Critic's Notebook
October 7, 2015
Mr. Payne's undeniable knack for naturalism makes "The Descendants" a wholly persuasive and heartfelt experience.
Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly
May 3, 2015
I enjoyed Clooney's performance enormously without ever buying it for a second.
Will Leitch
June 22, 2013
A truthful, warm-hearted, deeply moving film about loss, about death, about legacies and, yeah, family.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
June 20, 2013
The Descendants is humane, decent, and close to real quality.
Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger
May 25, 2013
People looking for a good lei would be wise to say aloha to 'The Descendants,' Alexander Payne's Hawaiian-set luau in which laughter and tears combine for a cinematic feast.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Tom Glasson
Concrete Playground
March 4, 2013
A beautifully touching, tragic and amusing follow-up film from the director of Sideways.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Kristal Cooper
We Got This Covered
February 11, 2013
The Descendants manages to even surpass those stratospheric expectations most fans will have walking into the theatre.
Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
Roger Moore
Tribune News Service
December 28, 2012
Like "Sideways" and "About Schmidt," "The Descendants" lets Alexander Payne show us the Other America and the Other Americans - little lives caught up in small but epic problems far away from the La La Land of Hollywood hype, sex and violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Matt Looker
September 13, 2012
Understandable when dealing with Payne's typically directionless protagonists, The Descendants occasionally feels like it is unsure of where it's going, yet it still always ambles along at a pleasant pace regardless.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 27, 2012
A thoroughly rewarding assembled-for-adults dramedy that benefits immensely from both its island locale and one of George Clooney's finest performances.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show
May 8, 2012
The Descendants is a devastating and rewarding emotional journey.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
May 3, 2012
Will keep you soaked in its melancholy until the very end...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Rob Gonsalves
April 30, 2012
Sort of like a shotgun marriage between Jimmy Buffett and Harry Chapin.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Bruce Bennett
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
April 16, 2012
There's some pretty tricky material for Payne and crew to navigate, but anchored by a terrific cast it's a journey of hurt and healing that lingers.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
April 6, 2012
overrated, but not a bad movie
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
James Plath
Movie Metropolis
March 15, 2012
"The Descendants" goes on too long, but that's its only flaw. And frankly, I can see why Payne and his editor decided to go with this print instead of making some awfully tough decisions.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
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
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
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