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Chronicle (2012)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  3 February 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 191,131 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 467 user | 410 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

Whilst attending a party, three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bo Petersen ...
Rudi Malcolm ...
Luke Tyler ...
Crystal-Donna Roberts ...
Samantha (as Crystal Donna Roberts)
Adrian Collins ...
Nicole Bailey ...
Lynita Crofford ...
Casey's Mom


The shy, lonely and outcast teenager Andrew Detmer is bullied and has no friends at high-school and lives with his abusive and alcoholic father Richard Detmer and his terminally ill mother Karen. Andrew buys a camera to film his everyday life. His cousin Matt Garetty drives him to school and invites Andrew to go to a party at night. telekinetic abilities and Andrew becomes the most powerful. But he easily loses his temper and becomes dangerous while Matt tries to control him. When his mother needs a medicine and Andrew does not have enough money to buy it, his darker side overcomes and he becomes a menace. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What are you capable of? See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense action and violence, thematic material, some language, sexual content and teen drinking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 February 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poder sin límites  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,004,098 (USA) (3 February 2012)


$64,572,496 (USA) (1 June 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original story would have the trio becoming psychopaths because of their powers, but it was soon changed as it was too dark and also wouldn't really make sense to the plot. See more »


When the guys are in the car heading back to the hole discussing radiation effects there's a shot over the dashboard showing the car being driven but the shifter is in Park. See more »


[first lines]
Andrew Detmer: [as Richard tries to enter his room] What do you want?
Richard Detmer: Why is this door locked, Andrew?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the second half of the closing credits, sound effects can be heard in the background. See more »


References Akira (1988) See more »


I'm Here
Written by Alex Sannie, Andrew Sannie, Anthony Sannie, 'Mungala Londe'
Performed by The Lyrics
Courtesy of Camobear Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A shot in the arm for superhero origins
1 February 2012 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Ever since the breakout success of 1999's The Blair Witch Project, the found footage film has become a subgenre in its own right. In a similar vein to Blair Witch, the Paranormal Activity series has found great financial success with their comparatively meagre budgets, and Cloverfield in 2008 proved that, even on a larger scale, the handycam aesthetic can deliver effective thrills when employed by filmmakers who have a solid understanding of the style. Josh Trank's Chronicle represents an evolution of the found footage genre, taking the character as cameraman conceit to interesting new places, and marking the director as a young talent worth monitoring.

Chronicle differs from predecessors like Cloverfield in the sense that this handycam footage isn't presented as 'found' per se, but rather is a stylistic and narrative choice which puts a refreshingly original spin on a well overdone story: the superhero origin. After encountering a strange, glowing object in a deep underground cave, high schoolers Andrew (Dane DeHaan), Matt (Alex Russell) and Steve (Michael B. Jordan) discover they have telekinetic powers which allow them to move objects with their mind. Matt considers the powers to be like a muscle, which can be strengthened through training, and after beginning small eventually the trio build superhuman strength and, to their delight, the ability to fly. The special effects betray a small budget at times, but the initial flying sequences are breathlessly entertaining, and the pure joy of the characters makes them more effective than most mega-budget blockbusters. These are meant to be regular kids, and although the story loses focus as the scale grows towards the climax, the early scenes are surprisingly genuine and affecting. But make no mistake, this is an origin story (one which doesn't necessarily beg for a sequel however), and Trank and his co-writer Max Landis (son of John Landis) use the visceral, in-your-face nature of the found footage to breathe life into a genre which has come dangerously close to wearing out its welcome in the past decade.

As is the case with almost all science-fiction, a lot more can be read into Chronicle than what is happening on the surface. Aside from the excitement of fighting and flying about, there is a very real human story at work, with a lot of teenage life's triumphs and tragedies. Trank and Landis clearly poured their own experiences into the film, with the three leads seeming like people from everyone's high school years. Added to this is a nice element of self-reflexivity as Andrew, an unpopular misfit, uses his camera to define himself, and how he sees the world. The old adage about writing what you know seems to ring true in the case of Chronicle, and seeing Andrew learn to move his camera in more dynamic ways thanks to his new found powers is perhaps the tiniest hint of autobiography from Trank. The film is filled with subtle aspects such as this which will probably be missed by most, but thankfully simply taking Chronicle at face value is a rewarding experience, proving that the superhero origin story is not dead, it just needs a good shake up from time to time.


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Recent Posts
Am I the only one.. yaz2468
Not bad, but could have been better if it wasn't found footage alphantrion
The 10 Best "Found Footage" Movies shauntalksmovies
Andrew Detmer: The Ultimate Sympathetic Villain dlumyoung
There were no superpowers...Andrew made it up harmenkoopman
I was AMAZED at how much I disliked it...am I alone? DietSoda78
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