The Descendants Reviews

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August 31, 2018
I liked it. I enjoyed it. I did not resent the time I'd spent watching it, although that may just be because I seriously have nothing better to do.
June 20, 2013
The Descendants is humane, decent, and close to real quality.
January 31, 2012
The film plays to Payne's strengths - not just the emotional complexity and the constantly shifting kaleidoscope of moods, but his skill at eliciting in-depth performances from his cast.
January 27, 2012
Few films have dealt with the concept of parental death as movingly, poetically and lovingly as this, delivering a strikingly powerful narrative that is as profound as it is honest.
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.
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.
January 26, 2012
The saving notes are the film's minutiae. There are dialogue moments in Payne's drollest, enemies-on-edge style.
January 26, 2012
Worth the wait. Don't stay away for so long next time though, Alex.
January 26, 2012
This sweet, sad new film from Alexander Payne holds a promise of gentleness that is fulfilled, and a promise of complexity that isn't.
January 24, 2012
Payne is an unobtrusive director, a filmmaker who lets the script do the walking - in this case, perhaps too much.
January 23, 2012
A marvellous follow-up to 2004's Sideways - well worth the wait.
December 12, 2011
Wants to be mature but can't help shortchanging its drama through constant reliance on its protagonist's unimpeachable nobility.
December 2, 2011
The challenge in describing the film is that it doesn't neatly fit into any pigeonhole. It's a serious movie that happens to have a sense of humor, because Payne and his collaborators see the absurdity in everyday existence.
November 26, 2011
The Descendants is beautifully shot (by Phedon Papamichael) and compellingly performed, especially by its young stars, and it has moments of startling tenderness. If only it didn't feel phony to its bones.
November 23, 2011
One of the year's best films, a bubbly meditation on family and responsibility that weighs just enough to matter.
November 22, 2011
In the hands of writer-director Alexander Payne, Clooney has rarely seemed so much at home.
November 22, 2011
In playing an everyman stranded between anger and duty, Clooney earns an emotional payoff that a lesser actor would simply demand.
November 22, 2011
With so many balls in the air the temptation is to rush from one plot strand to another, but Payne takes the opposite approach. He also captures the complexity of emotional reactions that grief stirs.
November 22, 2011
It's Clooney and Woodley's movie, as they become a team before our eyes.
November 20, 2011
The latest exhibit in Payne's careful dissection of the beached male, which runs from Matthew Broderick's character in "Election" to Jack Nicholson's in "About Schmidt" and Paul Giamatti's in "Sideways."
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