Fox Searchlight's Alexander Payne-directed film features Clooney as a man struggling to repair his relations with his two daughters after his wife is involved in a boating accident.
"My friends think that, just because we live in Hawaii, we live in paradise," says the actor in the trailer.
The film also stars Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer and Matthew Lillard.
Payne previously directed the Academy Award-winning Sideways.
The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings.
The Descendants opens in cinemas on November 18.