The Descendants

(R) ★★★★☆

Writer/director Alexander Payne’s (Sideways) return is one of this year’s best movies. In a deceptively tranquil Hawaiian setting, Matt King’s (George Clooney’s) reckless wife, Elizabeth, lies in a coma. A few weeks into the crisis, Matt learns what his older daughter (Shailene Woodley) already knows: Elizabeth had taken a lover. Matt and his daughters must confront this lover in some way or another. Stellar acting and Payne’s even-toned, sardonic handling of his characters make this work well.

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Beat Box

Music

Beat Box

Fans of hip-hop and R&B may have written off the Cosmopolitan’s Book & Stage as an indie rock venue. But this free spot to catch about-to-break talent has already brought in the likes of “I Need A Dollar” crooner Aloe Blacc and Kerry “Krucial” Brothers’ protégé Mateo. That was just a prelude to its hot December lineup. On Dec. 2-3, Mansions on the Moon, which is managed by Shae Haley of N*E*R*D fame, will perform songs from their genre-bending mixtape Paradise Falls. On Dec. 9-10, Krys Wright will bring soulful sounds from her recent Metro Lovers EP. Dec.

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