The Descendants: 4/5
Can I change my top 10 now? Because I think I've changed my mind on a few things after seeing this movie. I really liked it. It's possible I have a taste for "old people" movies, but this one really captivated me and I enjoyed it all the way through. Even after seeing the trailer and figuring I had seen it all, this movie continued to surprise me until the end. Some parts of it were a little predictable, sure sure. But overall it was a lovely movie with lovely performances throughout.
To get things started, the acting was pretty well done. George Clooney was pretty fantastic and really fell into his role. I know there are some Up in the Air fans out there, but I feel if he deserves an Oscar for any role recently, this is eons better than his attempt a couple years ago. As for Shailene Woodley, I was content with her role. I thought that she would be uber impressive because she's had nominations left and right and rave reviews, but I wasn't too impressed with her actually. For sure, her performance is a lot better than her cheesy acting in ABC Family's The Secret Life of an American Teenager, but in all honesty it has to be hard not to be cheesy with that script. Who impressed me quite a lot in the supporting female role was actually Judy Greer. I enjoyed seeing her outside her usually goofy role and into something serious. Although (spoiler alert), she kind of hit the deep end when she was crying over Clooney's wife's dead body. I just feel that for Shailene's character, there wasn't much room to be impressive except for that underwater crying scene in the beginning.
There were also a great amount of good tense moments in the movie. It makes for a fantastic drama. It unfolds really well and there is never a dull moment because the pacing is on the spot. It's a really great, really well done drama. Although, is it best picture worthy? I don't think so, but that doesn't mean it's not great and you should go and see it. The acting's there, the story's there, the cinematography is there, and if anything else cannot convince you, George Clooney is there in Hawaii of all places ;). I would say it's one of the better films of this year for sure, and so what if I was in a theater that was full of people over their 80's, they must know what's good. They have, for that matter, seen more movies than I have probably.