4 stars out of 4 -- "Clooney gives one of his best performances in this film....Payne is gifted at using the essence of an actor..."
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert (11/16/2011)
"Alexander Payne has made his best film yet with THE DESCENDANTS....George Clooney is in very top form in a film that will connect with any audience looking for a genuine human story..."
Hollywood Reporter - Todd McCarthy (09/02/2011)
"Mr. Clooney and the director, Alexander Payne, proceed to shake up our expectations....Surprising, moving and frequently very funny."
New York Times - A. O. Scott (11/18/2011)
"Throughout this beautifully textured portrait of a family at a crucial juncture, we're swept up and buoyed along, as if riding a series of waves in Hawaii, the setting for the film."
USA Today - Claudia Puig (11/16/2011)
5 stars out of 5 -- "Writer/director Alexander Payne returns in top form with this extraordinary dramedy....George Clooney has never been better..."
Box Office - Pete Hammond (09/13/2011)
"A beautifully chiseled piece of filmmaking -- sharp, funny, generous, and moving -- that writes its own rules as much as ABOUT SCHMIDT or SIDEWAYS did." -- Grade: A
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman (11/25/2011)
"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."
Sight and Sound - Philip Kemp (02/01/2012)
4 stars out of 5 -- "A wry, intelligent look at the contradictions and complexities of human emotions. And the cast is exemplary, down to the smallest role."
Total Film - Philip Kemp (03/01/2012)
4 stars out of 4 -- "A pitch-perfect movie that threads a microscopically tiny needle between high comedy and devastating drama."
Washington Post (11/18/2011)
"An exceptionally smart and enjoyable comedy..."
Wall Street Journal (09/09/2011)
"The film is conversational in its pathos, wry in its wisdom, very much an extension of the smart, sardonic sensibility Payne brought to SIDEWAYS and ABOUT SCHMIDT."
Los Angeles Times - Betsy Sharkey (11/16/2011)
"THE DESCENDANTS thrives primarily because of Payne�s staging....the Hawaiian setting gives the story a distinctive flavor..." -- Grade: B
A.V. Club - Noel Murray (11/17/2011)