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"THE DESCENDANTS"
(2011) (George Clooney, Shailene Woodley) (R)


Alcohol/Drugs Heavy
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Extreme
Frightening/Tense Scenes Mild
Gun/Weapons None
Imitative Behavior Moderate
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) None
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Extreme
Sex/Nudity Heavy
Smoking Minor
Tense Family Scenes Extreme
Topics to Talk About Extreme
Violence Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: While contemplating selling his family's thousands of acres of unspoiled Hawaiian land, a real estate lawyer must contend with his wife's comatose state and the effect that has on his family.
PLOT:
Matt King (GEORGE CLOONEY) is a successful real estate lawyer whose lineage goes back many generations in Hawaii. He's the trustee in charge of thousands of acres of unspoiled land and due to settings in that trust, the land must be sold. Matt's many cousins, including Hugh (BEAU BRIDGES), want him to sell to a developer now, but Matt's had other things on his mind.

Namely, that's the fact that his wife, Elizabeth (PATRICIA HASTIE), is now in a coma following a boating accident and it doesn't appear she's going to be coming out of it. As a result, and despite some help from friends such as Kai (MARY BIRDSONG) and Mark (ROB HUEBEL), Matt is now the sole caretaker of his 10-year-old daughter, Scottie (AMARA MILLER), who's following in her 17-year-old sister Alexandra's (SHAILENE WOODLEY) footsteps of becoming a troublemaker.

Alexandra goes to school on another island and Matt thinks it would be a good idea to bring her home, especially since the doctor has announced Elizabeth is now in a perpetual vegetative state and, due to her medical directive, will soon have to be taken off life support. While Matt can't bring himself to tell Scottie just yet, they and Alexandra's offbeat friend, Sid (NICK KRAUSE), head off to inform Elizabeth's parents, Scott (ROBERT FORSTER) and his dementia-stricken wife, Alice (BARBARA L. SOUTHERN), of the bad news.

While torn by this turn of events, Alexandra still holds a grudge against her mom, mainly because she became aware of her having an affair with real estate agent Brian Speer (MATTHEW LILLARD), despite him being married to Julie (JUDY GREER) with two kids. As Matt prepares for his wife's death and news of that affair, all while also dealing with the land sale issue, he tries to rebuild a better relationship with his daughters.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might show some interest, but unless the subject matter entices them and/or they're fans of someone in the cast, it doesn't seem like a big draw among kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language including some sexual references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GEORGE CLOONEY plays a


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