The Descendants


Action / Comedy / Drama


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Downloaded 94,356 times
March 05, 2012 at 01:17 AM


Shailene Woodley as Alexandra King
George Clooney as Matt King
Judy Greer as Julie Speer
Matthew Lillard as Brian Speer
751.19 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 55 min
P/S 5 / 40

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pedestrian0 2 / 10

Emotionally hollow and, even worse, boring

This movie was a bust. The premise is simple—unbelievably simple, given the length of the movie: a man's wife goes into a coma as the result of a boating accident and he learns, via one of his daughters, that she was having an affair. There's more to it, of course, but nothing interesting: e.g., Clooney in voice-over tells us he's "the back up parent," so we see a few scenes of him failing at being "Mr. Mom" and a few scenes of him fighting with his eldest daughter. Yet, remarkably, a half-hour into the movie the entire family is getting along so well that they all troop off to a different Hawaiian island in search of the mystery man Mom was having the affair with, with the oldest daughter even playing a lead detective role.

What unfolds is hour upon hour of the family walking on beaches, driving down roads, etc., all of which culminates in a kitchen scene where Clooney confronts the man, played by Matt Lillard, about the affair. Lillard, whose acting has not deepened from his Scooby-Doo days, ensures that the scene has no dramatic impact. Then it's back to the hospital to watch Mom die.

The script is unbelievably flat-footed; its idea of humor is having children shout profanity at each other. (I'm no prude—-but I'm not 12, either.) There's even an odd disconnect to the more "dramatic" scenes. Because we've never seen anyone interact with Mom—she's just a corpse, lying there—we have no way of judging the believability of anyone's reaction to her death. We're simply bludgeoned by the musical score into accepting that any given scene is sad. The movie operates on a simple syllogism: the characters are crying, so you should too.

Still, judging by the audience's reaction, this movie will be a major success. I'm enough of an adult to admit when I'm odd-man-out. At each curse word, the audience roared with laughter; for each tear-jerker scene, the waterworks flowed. The Hawaiian landscape is beautifully shot, and the Hawaiian music is lovely, too. Unfortunately, I didn't pay $9.50 for a travelogue.

Reviewed by bmennen 9 / 10

A movie that you do NOT want to end...

The director of this movie, Alexander Payne, was the guy who made "Sideways." This is a very different movie in that it focuses on family relationships rather than those between friends and lovers. But, Payne displays--in this touching and very real movie--the same incredible talent for doing two things better than almost every other movie maker (at least as far as I'm concerned): 1) he brings the viewer into the geography and milieu of the time and place in a gritty way that clearly presents the natural beauty of the area without over-romanticizing it and 2) he fits the characters into this environment and achieves a reality for these people that transcends the 2-dimensional characters that populate the multiplexes. You really care about these people.

Another similarity between the characters in "Sideways" and this movie is that the protagonists are, in at least one important way, lost. They both are also honest with themselves.

And thank God Payne did not use an orchestra for the soundtrack that would foreshadow and punctuate the scenes telling us how our emotions should run...I will not tell you what the soundtrack is, other than to say it's perfect.

This is not a comedy though there are a few laugh lines. Clooney will get the Oscar for can he not? He is in every scene, and I cannot imagine him being better. And Shailene Woodley plays his older daughter: just amazing. A beautifully realized character.

I tried carefully here to give nothing away but to encourage you to see this as soon as you can. Brilliant.

Reviewed by tiger jack ([email protected]) 7 / 10

Was honestly expecting more

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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