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Chronicle More at IMDbPro »

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Dark, Brooding, and Fairly Good

Author: pc95 from San Diego
6 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Chronicle", directed by Josh Trunk, runs a brisk 90-some minutes, and it feels pretty quick too. (spoilers)The filmmakers in this movie have succeeded in growing a palpable feeling of foreboding. There is definitely ominous signs thrown in all over the place - probably too much foreshadowing actually. Anyway, pretty much from the get-go you can guess that things are not going to be nice and cheery to end the film. However, I greatly underestimated the magnitude of the explosion of aggression and violence that lit up the climax of this movie - quite jolting. It was pretty well done technically and the young men who starred (Dane Dehann, Alex Russell, and Michael Jordan) all did solid jobs for the movie. I especially liked Russell as the peace-maker, big-brother. Definitely worth a watch, and one of the better movies lately in early 2012.

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A Chronicle Of The Power Of Youth

Author: johnstonjames from United States
4 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

more than anything "sci-fi", i really thought this film played basically as a metaphor for youth. it's message was clear and simple, youth is a time of energized power and ability, but also can be a time, if not channeled properly, of energized destruction and negativity.

often times young people, like the teenagers in this movie, don't know or fully understand the power of their own strengths, and without any conscious insight, can wreak much harm and havoc and sometimes, destroy themselves. we see it all the time in young people and most can remember what a volatile and troubled time we had adjusting while we were young. some of our generations never even make it to a ripe old age or even middle age for that matter. others are often capable of amazing things that sometimes revolutionize our world.

i really enjoyed the story, script and timely metaphor here, but i admit i didn't care too much for the film's "video footage" approach. there are times when the "documentary", "video footage" approach can still be milked and used effectively, but not always and not here. this time the whole "video footage" approach seemed clichéd and unnecessary. this film would've worked much better and more effectively without it, had it been given the usual dramatic approach that most Hollywood films still employ in their narrative. i would have appreciated this film even more if it hadn't been a "video footage" narrative.

but it did manage to have some good action moments and some good CGI FX. and the plot was developed in a timely manner.

most of all this was a good film about being young. the protagonist were, after all, only kids. i mean like one of the teenage boys still had a old toy box filled with his old 'Lego' building pieces which the boys played with.

it is also a film about the powers you have when you are young. when you are young you are often more energetic and vitalized more than older persons who become more set in their ways and demand more quiet and peace of mind. but just as youth holds the power for dynamic ability and change, that power can also be channeled into negativity and destructive tendencies if unchecked with everyday realities and responsibilities.

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surprisingly good

Author: n-tune1234 from United Kingdom
3 June 2012

at first when i heard about chronicle it sounded good until i heard about the whole film being footage from a camera. as soon as it came on DVD i thought i would buy it just to see what it was like. at the start of the movie i thought it wasn't going to be that good but once they started using there powers i started to really like the film. the ending was brilliant and so was the camera footage that they use throughout the film. i would recommend this movie to anyone who likes super hero movies and to anyone who likes thrillers because it feels like a thriller. plus the effects are amazing especially the flight seqeunces in which they are in the air.

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Entertaining film and realistic approach to super powers.

Author: Mattenlamb
31 May 2012

This is an entertaining and engaging movie. Do not let the "shaky cam" or hand-held cam discourage you from watching this movie because it is only like that for the very beginning. It does not detract from this movie at all. Anyways, The characters are young adults who happen to stumble upon super powers. The movie does a good job of keeping pace with the boys as they learn to use their newly acquired abilities. My favorite character was the main character because he is a socially awkward boy with a poor relationship with his family and friends. He grows and changes as the story progresses and that's where things become really interesting. I feel like I can relate to the main protagonist because he begins to feel resentful towards people once he becomes more powerful. While this movie succeeds in many places (football scene in the sky and the car crushing scene) the ending was a bit unfortunate and lacked closure. Nevertheless it was an excellent film and deserves your attention.

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Pleasantly surprised

Author: Nick Jo from United States
31 May 2012

I was extremely surprised by the quality of this film. I honestly hadn't even heard about it before I rented it at a redbox. This definitely breaks the mold of low budget 1st person camera style movies (blaire witch, paranormal activity, cloverfield). The camera motion felt nature and some cool tricks dealing with the characters telekinesis powers helped keep it dynamic. It was also cool that the shots were used from multiple cameras (not just the one the main character has). Story line is good, even though you might expect a typical superhero movie. It's not. The way the characters deal with their powers seems much more realistic and entertaining. The acting is also very natural and character development is smooth. It's really clear how the main guy slowly morphs his ego and gets full of himself. Same skill goes with the other two (Steve playing a friendly, popular, hotshot, with a compassionate supporting side-the good guy. Matt as a more level headed guy who eventually tries to reason with his distancing cousin) CGI is decent most of the way through besides a few scenes in the clouds (gets a bit hairy). Overall, definitely worth the rental fee. Probably a theater ticket too. I find myself really moved by the whole film now (day after) and the whole concept is just interesting. Don't second guess watching this movie. Definite 9/10

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Chronicle Deals With More Than The Supernatural

Author: Marc Davis from Texas
29 May 2012

If you enjoyed the Heroes series on NBC those first two years it debuted back in 2006, then you'll love Chronicle. With that said, I guess you can also surmise that this film is not too original. And the problem with super hero movies and TV series like this is that it's hard to keep the material fresh and hard for writers to come up with plots that are even 70% believable. That was my concern with this film, the previews looked promising, but I also figured that much of the action that would take place in the film was mostly displayed in the 30 - 60 second previews.

Well I was wrong. This film succeeded in holding my attention throughout the film and managed to be quite believable. Two of the things that make it believable is that it deals with deep, human physiological issues just as much as it does the supernatural powers that the filmmakers promoted. Director Josh Trank brilliantly shows (through actor Dane DeHaan's character) that such powers in the hands of a mentally-disturbed individual, or an individual with economic issues, can be a serious danger to society and self-destructive, even when that individual is not intent on doing so.

And the second reason this film is believable: Chronicle does not have a happy ending. And I don't mean to come of as pessimistic but for me, that makes a movie more believable, because let's face it, in life sometimes we don't get a "happy ever after" ending.

With that said, I will definitely recommend this movie. I rated it a 7 because I thought the special effects were a little elementary, but the content more than makes up for this flaw.

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Well Done Sci-Fi

Author: Kevin Bradley from Kansas City, MO, United States
28 May 2012

I rented this movie on Memorial Day weekend with no expectations. Instead of being a pleasant diversion, it turned out to be top-notch sci-fi with an emotional gut punch.

I'm not spoiling anything to say that you see the ending coming, but you see it in the way that a person in a crosswalk sees an oncoming car. You know it's coming, but you also know you can't do anything to stop it. The way this director builds tension is really cool.

The young actors are amazing. They each have a stereotypical character, but the script and the actors turn each one into more than a stereotype. The emotionally damaged Andrew is great, but doesn't upstage his cousin Matt, the rational good kid, or the popular "candidate for class president" Steve. The three of them and the camera bring us into their world of weirdness, and we feel privy to a secret as they experiment with their new abilities, playing pranks and just giggling at the silliness of it all.

Matt manages to convey the idea of "with great power comes great responsibility" without using the trite language of a comic book. Steve honestly tries to help Andrew but doesn't realize that he's too damaged to be helped. And Andrew, for his part, is so emotionally wounded that your heart goes out to him even though you realize he's beyond redemption.

Good movie. See it.

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Thankfully not Cloverfield 2

Author: schuesseled from United Kingdom
24 May 2012

Having glanced at the description for this film, i excitedly watched the trailer, only to have the excitement crushed. "Oh no, this looks like cloverfield" i thought.

Doesn't anyone record films properly anymore...

Having watched this, outside of the cinema, it isn't all that bad. The plot is compelling, the characters and their actors are compelling, and the development of the lads powers, make the scifi nerd in me want to fist pump.

However, camcorder style cinematics are terrible, both generally and specifically. It is just awful, its like walking around with tunnel vision.

This could have been done in normal cinematic style and work frankly be a lot better, and i'd have scored it higher.

But hey, at least it wasn't as bad as clover-field. Thank Christ.

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How much found footage could there possibly be?!

Author: Markus Emilio Robinson
16 February 2012

Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland

The fact that "Chronicle" does get around the shaky camera effects, which seem to plague these "found footage" films, in a very clever way, is almost worth the price of admission. Directed by Josh Trank, who single handedly saves this film from a "Real World" type of unwatchable teen monotony, aka watching teen boys attempt to talk to girls and cry about how they have no friends or how nobody understands them. As for the visuals, the special effects are what they are. Meaning, not impressive (in fact very corny at times), but since most of the plot is not going for any kind of serious drama, the kind you would find in a superhero movie such as "The Dark Knight", the low quality of the effects aren't played off as anything more than low quality special effects. In fact the only aspect of "Chronicle" that keeps this film from being an instant hit isn't the special effects or the camera work at all; it is the actual story itself.

The premise of "Chronicle" plays out like a storyline off of the debunked television show "Heroes". You have one character who is the most popular guy in High School, another who is the semi-popular jock and lastly you have the loser cousin character, aka the character that gets the short ends of the stick in films like this. In "Chronicle" that character is named Andrew. Well, Andrew's mom is dying, his father is a raging alcoholic who beats him, and over time he has essentially turned himself into that misfit character from "American Beauty", who creepily films everything. OK, so in the movie these guys happen to be at the same house party, where they find a mysterious crater-like hole in a field near the house and decide to explore it. Why? Because they are teenage boys I guess. In it they make a discovery that gives them superpowers, which in turn leads each one of them down very different paths; some darker than others.

The smartest aspect about the plot line itself is that it doesn't try to bore the audience to tears by explaining a long drawn out back-story, about what the origins of the mysterious thing in the mysterious hole that gives the boys said mysterious superpowers. Another thing that works in this plot's favor is how realistic it attempts to be. And before I get comments criticizing me for thinking a movie about teenagers who obtain super powers is realistic, let me stop you right there. I mean realistic in the sense that if a group of actual teenage boys one day received "super powers", it would be highly doubtful that they would try and save the world or anything like that. Chances are your average teenage boy would do just as the adolescents in "Chronicle" did; that is, fly around for no reason other than to see what it's like, blow cheerleaders skirts up, and throw baseballs at each other's faces in order to see if they could stop the baseball with their minds. Interesting stuff right? Well, for a while it is. But with that realistic feel, eventually comes with it the downfall of "Chronicle". When it becomes apparent that the characters are not going to help anybody or do anything of note (with their powers) in certain instances, the story does become bland and or lackluster. To be fair, the climax does become more conventional and over dramatized, in a Marvel-ish style, which most audiences may enjoy a lot more than the first half of the film.

With all of that said, the biggest reason that "Chronicle" works is because of the camera work. It is as simple as that. If you are hesitant to see this film because you think "Chronicle" is going to contain lose-your-lunch visuals resembling "Cloverfield" or "I can't see what's going on" visuals resembling "The Blair Witch Project" or "The Devil Inside", then you can lay your fears to rest because this film contains none of that, while still maintaining its hand-held camera integrity. How does it do that you ask? Well, you have to watch the movie to find out. I know, lame right?

Final Thought: The camera work is substantially more impressive than any story "Chronicle" has to tell. And while it is, for the most part, semi-entertaining, at the end of the day most of "Chronicle" feels like an underdeveloped, teenage, MTV version of "Unbreakable". Plus, if you are expecting some kind of origins story, with a stylish comic book, saving the world, hero vs. villain likability, viewer beware: "Chronicle" is in no way that. But if you go in with an open mind, "Chronicle" is sure to surprise most, as (if nothing more) an impressive spin on the seemingly played out hand-held, found footage, faux-documentary genre.

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Author: r_massey
21 February 2015

There isn't much I have to say about "Chronicle" other than the fact that I found it fresh, intriguing, tragic and captivating.

The relationship between the three main protagonists, though odd at first, feels genuine and is a testament to the performances by the actors; their interactions are typical of teenagers, making them all the more relatable. Following their journey through the 'found footage' aids in this achievement, getting a nice insight into the personal lives of these characters. This intimacy is also what sets this film apart from simply falling into the 'superhero' movie genre and even amidst the science-fiction/fantasy aspects to the movie, the whole experience can be treated as quite realistic if such events were to happen. Going off this basis, the climax is pretty insane, but in a great way; just when you think the found footage perspective is getting tiring, it once again brings this third act to a personal level and the presentation of action is unlike anything I've ever seen. There is no musical score in the background to force us to feel like we're experiencing something truly 'epic' in the third act, as one commonly finds in a sci-fi/superhero film, as it is the cast performances and suspense created by some of the alarming visuals that ultimately create this effect.

I can understand why there may be some mixed feelings towards the film, especially with the choice of found footage to drive the narrative, but I feel that "Chronicle" tells the compelling story that it wants to tell through both tragedy and marvel. Bearing in mind that this is a low budget film, its ramifications noticeable in the CGI (though this is something you soon get used to and actually come to praise), I would definitely recommend "Chronicle" for anyone interested in a fresh take on the science-fiction and superhero genre.

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