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Chronicle
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Chronicle More at IMDbPro »

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36 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Losing faith in Hollywood

1/10
Author: foxx_1 from Germany
29 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let me tell you, I hated "Jumper" for its total incoherence and lack of moral substance - and ended up watching this movie which might as well be titled "Jumper 2"... It is simply insane that more and more directors/scriptwriters are jumping on the bandwagon, making more of those "handheld style" movies. How is something that is amateur and simply annoying e.g. playing with the zoom, swinging the camera around etc. supposed to be entertaining? Unfortunately, this is just one of the problems with this movie. The first 30 minutes we get to watch one of the characters filming around and explaining to everyone why is he doing so. That could have been cut down to 5 minutes and still served the same purpose i.e. who is who and why are they acting like that... but if the scriptwriters did so they would have to think of something to fill in the remaining 60 minutes. So after the boring beginning, out of nowhere, they learn about some noise coming from a cave nearby and just walk in. What was that object inside and how come nobody ever noticed it before? Too hard to explain so we are left wondering. Looking at the mysterious object turns out to be quite beneficial: for some reason the 3 characters gain cool superpowers that they manage to develop further simply by training so they can not only move Lego pieces around but even manage to learn how to fly (?!?) How telekinesis can be fashioned into flying is yet another mystery. Strangely, the one who is beaten up by an abusive father and cares a lot about his sick mother (Andrew) turns into an evil monster who never questions his actions - just because he considers himself a predator. From my point of view, this totally absurd development did not make any sense and is a complete script failure. The film obviously needed some action so I guess the scriptwriters figured "Hey how about a cool battle between Andrew and Matt?" Then all of a sudden Andrew is full of criminal energy and needs a few hundred bucks - so how about robbing some bullies and a gas station. No clue why he did not try robbing a bank with his superpowers and just toss around the bullies as pure act of revenge - let's assume he is not only turning evil but also a complete moron. Somehow the writers expect the audience to be morons too: instead of flying away after his heist, he prefers to run (?!?) Nice. Anyway, we get to a showdown with lots of explosions for their own sake - again, the evil kid might have just conveniently chosen to fly away instead of blowing up downtown Seattle but hey, he is evil, remember? So he has to get what he deserves and the audience gets the mandatory dose of good vs. bad fight.

Basically, another letdown - if you take out the special effects, the remaining story would be totally useless. I expected the car accident that occurred earlier in the film and played such a pivotal role to lead to some interesting developments - but to my great surprise, it simply did not. Dead end, zero. Instead we got to see some extended flights through the clouds which served no specific purpose other than adding some screen time - which unfortunately only confirms my conclusion: story with a lot of potential but lacking imagination and depth.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

You Are not a Bad Person?

6/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
29 June 2013

The shy, lonely and outcast teenager Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan)is bullied and has no friends at high-school and lives with his abusive and alcoholic father Richard Detmer (Michael Kelly) and his terminal mother Karen (Bo Petersen). Matt buys a camera to film his everyday.

His cousin Matt Garetty (Alex Russell) drives him to school and invites Andrew to go to a party at night. They meet their schoolmate Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan) in the party and they overhear a noise and find a hole in a field. They decide to explore the underground and they acquire powers. Soon the trio learns how to control their 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.

"Chronicle" is a movie with potential that could have been a great movie, but It is not. The story is a sort of "Carrie" with more characters, with three teenagers acquiring telekinetic abilities and one of them abused and timid that is pushed to the limit; awful camera in the style of "The Blair Witch Project" and awesome special effects. The three friends are terribly developed – a loser, a pretentious intellectual and a popular guy – but the worst is the ridiculous conclusion. Matt goes to the Tibet and tells to the camera that Andrew is not a bad person. They guy has killed his best friend, several innocent people on the streets and destroyed properties but he is Mr. Nice Guy since he had problems with his father. It is really a great message for the crazies that sometimes commit mass murders. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Poder Sem Limites" ("Power without Limits")

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A True Masterpiece

10/10
Author: Emile Isopescu from United Kingdom
28 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see this film on the big screen, but after viewing the trailers I was quick to pre-order it on DVD. I cut myself out from the world of Chronicle so as to avoid any spoilers or opinions, leaving me going into this film with a fresh mind, a blank canvas.

If my mind was the canvas, and this film was the artist, then it has just painted a masterpiece. I have seen tons of films, yet this one seems to have left a massive, lasting impression on me. It's an interesting take on the 'found-footage' sub-genre and it's incredible. We first see these seemingly normal high-school boys, one of which is the classic quiet and disturbed teenager who has a bad family life. The way this film deals with his life is perfect and it's entirely believable.

The thing that drew me into this film the most is what they do with their new-found abilities. In reality, if we acquired super-human abilities our first thoughts wouldn't be to help people. We are only human, after all, and thus we would pursue money, fame or popularity. This is especially true for teenage boys who are naturally reckless. The film is soaked in originality and if you're obsessed with super-human films like myself, it will leave your heart racing and your mind so blown it will be splattered all over the floor.

The story isn't exactly unique but it somehow manages to tell that familiar super-human story in a new way. The reason that the main character acquires the camera is natural and it's something that you can imagine someone doing in his position.

To tie it all together in a wonderfully neat package is the visual effects. The effects are fantastic and it all adds to the realism. The flying effects and fight scenes are all fantastically well done and it's worth seeing just for that!

All in all, great film. Whether your into super-human movies or not, go and see it. You will not disappointed.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Telekinesis and Flight Caught on Video

8/10
Author: Prince AJB
11 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hearing that this movie was a "found footage" film, I felt skeptical because I don't have a particular interest in this type of films. I just don't like the shaking, and the shots present in these types of films. But then as I watched the film, I had my worries settled and found it to be an immensely entertaining sci-fi film.

"Chronicle" is a sci-fi film shot in a "found footage" style focusing on three teen guys: Andrew (a shy, unsociable, and unpopular guy), Matt (a normal guy), and Steve (some student who's into politics). One night in a party, they investigate a mysterious hole and encounter a mysterious crystal that grants them the powers of telekinesis and later on, flight.

That's right, telekinesis (the ability to move objects mentally) and flight. These three guys then use their powers to their likings by committing pranks on people, creating the illusion of performing magic, and other activities for fun. However, one of the trio starts using his powers in a more dangerous scale and soon starts causing trouble.

Let's get back to the "found footage" format. The reason why I love this movie is because its "footage" style is different than that of other films. By having the characters possess telekinetic abilities, this allows the scenes to be progress smoothly for most of the time. And sometimes, this makes the movie look as if it had been shot without the "found footage" style.

The acting itself was satisfying. Introducing a group of unknown cast,we can discover new talents. The three leads are okay considering they aren't big yet in Hollywood. The rest of the cast were also fine and their performances are above average.

Another reason why this movie is special is because of its running time. Running at just over 83 minutes, the film has a lot of content in it and most of the scenes are sensible and flow into the next ones smoothly. When I got up to leave the theater, I looked at my watch and was like "What? That was only 83 minutes? That's very impressive!"

"Chronicle" is an entertaining sci-film shot using the "found footage" style and is very fun to watch. Considering its relatively low budget of $12 million, I have to say this movie is very impressive compared to many disappointing big-budgeted films. I definitely recommend this film to all you readers because this is just impressive. And don't be fooled by its small budget; this movie redefines the meaning of low-budget films.

Final Verdict: Shot in the "found footage" style, "Chronicle" is a satisfying sci-film that redefines the meaning of low-budget films.

8/10

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

"Turn that thing off..."

1/10
Author: bennyhagen from Hungary
14 May 2012

Found footage is now a business model exclusively and this horrible thing makes it extremely obvious. Whole plot devices are crafted merely as an alibi for cameras being around in the most implausible situations to accidentally set up a perfect OTS shot. Being limited in telling a story, when everything needs to fit into a situation with some kind of camera around, the directors elegant solution of course is to convert 85% of the unimaginative dialog into exposition, spoon-feeding you the two dimensional, infantile melodrama, leaving 10% to explain the camera presence in some way and adding 5% of irritating bull crap that I guess the writers thought modern teenagers would say when behaving naturally. They wouldn't. For action there is no time.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

I am glad they left some secrets

10/10
Author: (giveandsee@gmail.com) from United States
15 March 2012

I thought the movie was awesome.

The main secret that the makers of the movie left out was where did the supernatural power come from. The question was asked throughout the movie and even in the end it was brought up again. I feel like for many this was a big problem, but for me I felt it left good curiosity.

The overall movie was filmed well. I thought it was going to be a regular story about someone who becomes a here etc. However the movie was formed off of realistic scenarios. Scenerios mixed with the science fiction elements made the movie bring a sense of realness.

Something I liked about the movie is the emotion brought out in each character with the gained super power. I feel like each person watching the movie could at least relate to one of them.

To sum it up, awesome movie and great actors.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The movie manages to be unique in years full of blockbuster superhero movies and not-so-great found footage movies

10/10
Author: Andrew Milito from United States
6 September 2012

These days, superhero movies with "Marvel" or "DC" written all over them are hard to find. Sure, I love getting my serving of colorful, overpowered heroes, but it's always nice to get a superhero movie that does something different. Chronicle does this perfectly, offering up a movie that gives a realistic take on the superhero genre, showing what a group of teenagers would really do if they were granted out-of-this-world powers.

Presented in found footage format, the movie centers around Andrew Demeter, his cousin Matt, and their friend Steve, the popular candidate for class president. While at a party, the three discover a mysterious hole in the ground in the woods. Being a group of normal guys, they enter the hole, and what they find inside grants them what they would consider "superpowers".

The trio soon learns that their powers can be used for their senior pranks, but they must be controlled. This is especially tough for Andrew, who needs a way to filter his rage, considering his mother is deathly ill and his father is a violent alcoholic, often physically abusing him for no particular reason.

The movie really takes the superhero genre, and makes it a little realistic. These guys use their powers for their own personal entertainment: harassing patrons of a supermarket, making a leaf blower blow a girl's skirt up, or even flying. This is where the film really shines. The film had me genuinely laughing up until the brisk turn the film takes in the second half.

The acting is superb, considering the actors are unknown for the most part. Dane DeHaan plays the demented, troubled Andrew, and Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan are great as Matt and Steve, respectively. Dane DeHaan is perfect in his role, making you feel sorry for his character's situations in life. Dane DeHaan shines as Andrew, making us really feel bad for the situations his character is in. What really excels, however, is the chemistry between these three, which keeps you hooked throughout the movie.

Considering the movie is a found footage film, the special effects aren't great. They certainly aren't bad for the budget the filmmakers were given, $15 million, but they seem like they could have had more potential. For example, there's a scene where Andrew, Matt, and Steve are goofing off with their powers by playing with some LEGOs. Matt struggles to put two simple pieces together, so Andrew shows him that he can build the Space Needle out of the plastic toys. The pieces fly around in a goofy looking manner, questioning the realism.

Chronicle was director Josh Trank's first feature film, and he did fantastic. The movie manages to be unique in years full of blockbuster superhero movies and not-so-great found footage movies, providing a nice change of pace. Not only that: it manages to compare to the other big name superhero movies released this year, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, and is one of the best movies of the year.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Yet another Handcam Film

1/10
Author: slaine-418-824251 from Germany
9 July 2012

I had actually had quite high hopes of Chronicle but what a disappointment. What made things worse is that I am not a fan of Handcam films like this which makes it even worse.

Technically very polished from a special effects view although there were not many in the film, the story itself is a real let down and ultimately one can guess whats going to happen next, right up to the end, all very predictable.

Soundtrack wise nothing to write home about, the actors screaming occasionally only made things worse.

All in all a really terrible film with little depth and if there are any hidden meanings? well hardly worth the effort trying to read them.

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28 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Extremely boring hollow movie

1/10
Author: mli-618-454454 from United Kingdom
29 April 2012

Wasn't expecting much but was dragged by high IMDb review score... was so wrong here- film is so boring that I started to fast forward in the middle of it (for 3 minutes as my girlfriend told me to stop as she watched most of it and it's not much of torment left). Film is done in a Blair Witch Project way- main characters are filming everything and it's the same way of personal camera story tell way. As all we know it tells the story of American teenagers and such teenagers are the only positive audience this film can have. Actually I am really surprised it can have any positive audience as I really tried hard to understand what could be graded so high... Film doesn't show anything- action just goes flat forward relentless- guys are talking about everything but nothing they say is really interesting. It tries to show feelings guys share between each other- their relationship and emotion-play. The thing is that story is sooo poorly made and scenario is sooo weak that all the behaviour of the guys (specially Andrew with his psycho problems) is tiresome and is annoying for the spectator. The only positive thing is special effects- they are nice but you could good as well watch them separately- you would save a lot of time... So I will- as this movie- tell no more- there is nothing more to say...

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A true GEM among the found footage rubble!

9/10
Author: Will from Austin, TX
26 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Being a fan of comic books and super heroes and (good) found footage movies, 'Chronicle' was a surprise that came seemingly from out of nowhere! I didn't see ONE commercial for this movie, yet saw an ad on the tomato movie website and after watching the trailer I knew this movie was gong to be AWESOME :) :)! This isn't your ordinary superhero origin story: this is REAL kids who gain phenomenal powers MINUS ANY responsibility! that alone made for the greatness of this unflinching look at 'what would YOU do if you had this power?' That pretty much sums up 'Chronicle'.

The characters are believable. The script and dialogue is refreshingly realistic (doesn't sound forced for the sake of making the movie plausible). I mean, the character talk, act like, and say things that actual boneheaded teenagers would say given the circumstances (those circumstances being the ability of telekinesis). No high-reaching noble acts here; no one is saving the world and fighting super-villains. These kids are demi-gods walking the earth and they are out to have a helluva time and capture it all on camera :)

The camera work is truly inspirational! The flying scenes - in their remarkably simple execution- are some of the BEST special effects I've seen in a very, very long time, considering the film's low budget. But in the final act of the movie, the multiple camera angles that capture the climatic events was definitely inspired work. Kudos to the director! Finally - watching a troubled kid go from tortured soul to nigh-unstoppable villain with an agenda was definitely disturbing to watch unfold and worth the price of admission. Early on, you want to feel bad for the kid from all the undue hardship he goes through.... that is, until he starts wrecking havoc and turning into something nearing evil. Suddenly, your sympathy turns to creeping dread, and by the third act you're hoping that some way, somehow, someone can stop this kid.

If you haven't seen or even heard of Chronicle - WATCH IT RIGHT NOW! :)

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