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Reviews & Ratings for
Chronicle More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

I just watched Darth Vader's origin story. It's called Chronicle.

Author: Darkfrog24 from New Jersey
11 February 2012

I was not expecting that movie to be that good as art. It helps that Dane DeHaan looks like a young Mark Hamill with Alex Russel as his guy-in-the-rough Han Solo. We see an on-screen transformation of both characters, Andrew into a supervillain and Matt into a human being.

This was how three teenagers would act if they suddenly had superpowers. It's full of joking and wonderfully knuckleheaded guy stuff. Visually, the flight effects can be awkward, but that did help contribute to the sense of acrophobia during the cloud scenes that we don't experience in most superhero movies. With Superman, we feel safe. With Andrew, Steve and Matt, we're waiting for the inevitable shoe to drop.

This movie is daring. It leaves out information and expository scenes that most filmmakers would assume was required. As we see at the end: It's not about the answers; it's that the characters have grown to the point where they're finally asking the right questions.

This isn't only a wonderful deconstruction of superpowers; it's also a commentary on the psychology of friendship and group dynamics. What the character Steve keeps trying to say is that Andrew just needed to find one thing that he was good at, and it DID NOT MATTER what it was. When Andrew stops thinking that he's a loser, so does everyone else--as we see in the wonderful scene when Andrew's mother asks him to say, "I'm stronger than all of this," on camera. We see that it's the first time he believes it.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Pleasant Surprise

Author: doubledeuce444 from United States
17 February 2012

As a lot of the other reviewers, I went into this movie with mediocre expectations and not only did the movie meet them but exceeded them very high. This is one of the best movies I have seen in awhile. The first 40 minutes makes it out to be a teen-buddy movie then in the second half it does a complete 180 that you do not see coming at all. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the second half. Special effects were very impressive as a lot of it looks very real. Also very strong performances by some new fresh face actors, especially the ones that played Matt and Andrew. I see them having a bright future in Hollyweird. Overall, I recommend to see in theater. 8/10

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:


Author: silversmith27 from India
8 February 2012

3 friends discover telekinetic abilities in a hole in the ground, literally. But that is where the similarity with the rest of the Superhero movies ends. They don't feel obligated to wear capes and masks and go around the city fighting injustice. They're just being boys with an incredibly powerful toy. That's until Andrew's troubled personality, magnified manifold by his new found power and his ability to wield it, goes completely cuckoo.

What's good : The trailer projected Chronicle as an action flick. However its actually a coming-of-age story of a troubled boy, whose rage just gets amplified with his new-found powers. The acting from the small, young cast is good, especially from the 3 leads. Dane DeHaan is brilliant as Andrew, the primary character of interest in Chronicle. He's the guy whose camera is 'chronicling' the developments in this movie. The fact that DeHaan looks like a cross between Leonardo DiCaprio and a very young Mick Jagger adds greater appeal to his character. The special effects are top notch and in spite of the fact that it was filmed on a relatively meager budget of $12-15Mn, Chronicle has at least 4 scenes that any other movie due later this year will struggle to outshine. Keep an eye out for the airplane scene.

Whats not : The fact that there is a sequel coming was conveyed rather blatantly in the closing scene. Good thing is, I cant wait for it! There's a lot of shaky camera-work in the beginning which can cause dizziness. But things get easier when Andrew discovers God mode (camera levitation) Verdict : For folks who like sci-fi, superhero films or simply crave an 83 minute adrenaline rush, this is a must watch.

My rating : 10/10!

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

"Turn that thing off..."

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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38 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

This movie, like many others, wasted my time

Author: annaD from Romania
6 March 2012

I was not going to write a review for this movie, but after seeing the overall score and how most of the people raved about it, I just had to say something.

This movie barely kept my interest for the first hour. I saw my share of found footage films, and by no means is this one of the best. The camera work is too shaky, the dialog is boring - people talked so much about that camera that frankly it became the main character (I am not kidding - they had entire conversations about that damn camera, and kept reminding the audience someone is filming) and the characters are people I couldn't care less about. I mean, if, by the end of the movie, there is no interesting story, no characters I sympathize with and no scares, what is there left for me to like?

I did like the premise, but the trailer was misleading as I thought the storyline of the origin of their powers and their effect on others will be at least investigated if not explained. Nothing happened, except the mental deterioration of the main character, which was to be expected (I mean, common, abused kid with self confidence issues, who did not see that coming?). The "climax" of the movie, if you want to call it that, lasted about 10 minutes.

As usual, potential does not translate directly in success - there is more to an entertaining movie than the good idea it is based on.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding on so many levels

Author: rooprect from New York City
18 March 2015

"Chronicle" is a supernatural found-footage movie that.... Whoa, wait, where are you going?? Get back here! Oh I see you have a healthy distrust of the phrase "found footage movie", especially in conjunction with "supernatural". It probably brings to mind certain groundbreaking but nausea-inducing films like "The Blair Witch Project" and worse, many a low-lowbudget indie flick that uses "found footage" as an excuse for lazy camera work.

Well, you'll be happy to know that none of that applies here. Initially very skeptical, I ended up really getting into the camcorder approach when I saw how expertly the camera work and special effects really are. Ultimately the cinematography of this found-footage flick ends up being more polished than most Hollywood blockbusters.

"Chronicle" is about 3 ordinary-to-nerdy high school students who stumble on a phenomenon that gives them supernatural powers. Immediately one thing I liked was the way the movie didn't waste any reels of film on trying to explain the backstory of this phenomenon. It was as if to say, "Ok people, we're establishing that this is a supernatural story. But that's not the point so we're not going to waste time dwelling on it." And immediately the story shifts to a very personal and psychological tale about 3 friends, their different personalities, the demons in their closets, and how the supernatural power brings out their latent, often ugly, human nature.

The trailer, as well as the PG-13 rating, may lead you to believe that the story is somewhat tame if not flaky. There's no nudity, not too much profanity, and not much violence... whoa... Wait, actually there is a good bit of violence, but the camera doesn't dwell on it. Instead, even more disturbing I think, the camera gives you just enough to imagine the rest, and that can be pretty chilling. My nails were dug a good 3" into the edge of my seat by the end. "Chronicle" begins at a leisurely pace but begins to pick up speed and tension up to its absolutely spectacular final minutes.

I'm not just talking about the special effects which are quite convincing especially on a big screen if you have one. But the drama between the characters comes to an amazing climax, every bit as riveting as the visuals.

"Chronicle" is a great flick because it isn't stuck in any particular genre. It has elements of "the Dark Knight" and all those superhero type flicks, but it also has a firm basis in a solid teen-coming-of-age story with dark psychological overtones like "The Squid and the Whale" or an obscure favorite of mine "Archie's Final Project". It touches on the serious mind-damaging issues teens face in school like bullying, peer pressure to be cool, high school cliques, abusive parents, and (the whole point of the found-footage angle) society's withdrawal and depersonalization from itself through cameras and technology. This ain't no mindless action flick (although if you're just up for a good time, it can be taken as that), but this is a very critical study of the issues that many young people face. Couple that with super powers and you never know where it'll lead.

Other great films about how humans behave when given absolute power include "Sphere" (1998) and the underrated gem "Special" (2006). Thumbs way up for all of these. "Chronicle" gets an extra thumb for featuring the David Bowie song "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" (an excellent metaphor). See it on a big screen blu-ray if you can.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A showcase for a slew of young turks...

Author: MrGKB from Ohio
15 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...said up-and-comers being tyro director, Josh "The Kill Point" Trank, writer, Max "I am my father's son" Landis, and lead actors, Dane "Lawless" DeHaan, Alex "Carrie (2013)" Russell, and Michael B. "Red Tails" Jordan. In a tale that riffs on ancient Greek admonitions about hubris and the Judeo-Christian equivalent, "pride goeth before a fall," "Chronicle"'s three high-schoolers discover a strange artifact that transforms them into superhumans (powerful telekinesis, flying, relative invulnerability). The results are eventually tragic, although the film ends on a note of hope and redemption. The trip along the way is refreshingly well done, an examination of the nature of the superman without the embarrassment of comic book adolescence. No spandex costumes, no crime-fighting, adventure-seeking nonsense, just a thoughtful examination of Lord Acton's famous adage, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," which he expanded upon thus, "Great men are almost always bad men." The "found footage" presentation makes it immediately accessible, especially since there's a notable dearth of shaky-cam so often associated with that conceit.

I note with interest that the trinity of leads all have biblical names closely associated with the New Testament: Stephen (Steve) was an early Christian martyr, while Andrew and Matthew (Matt) were Apostles of Jesus. Coupled with Andrew's interest in Tibetan mysticism and Matt's eventual journey there, along with Andrew's dramatic arc akin to a male version of "Carrie" ramped up a few orders of magnitude, this can't be accidental. References to folks like Schopenhauer and Jung highlight Andrew's ultimate belief that he has become an "apex predator," thus making the tragic finale all the more inevitable.

Still, despite a satisfying close to the story (which I will not spoil), there's plenty of wiggle room for a sequel, and given that this brisk (running time less than 75 minutes by my DVD clock, not counting credits) sci-fantasy made a very handsome profit, I have little doubt there will be one. We can only hope that Landis gets to script it. Recommended.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Annoying and just shockingly bad.

Author: (mockpossum) from Canada
15 November 2014

This is the worst film I have seen in ages. The premise looked promising but the film they made was just so unbelievably bad. If you think you'd like nearly 2 hours of extra-shaky hand-cam footage, spectacularly annoying idiots yelling at each other, and repetitive special effects with lots of stuff breaking, then this is the film for you. The three main characters are dumb beyond belief and it's impossible to sympathize with any of them. There is no explanation as to how the super powers came about and the characters don't spend one moment thinking about how they could change their lives or anyone else's lives for the better. They just do a bunch of dumb things and then they do a bunch of even dumber things. Do yourself a favour and watch anything else. I cannot believe how high the ratings are for this piece of garbage!

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

An intense movie, definitely worth seeing

Author: achsaphillippi8
7 February 2012

Finally a different kind of superhero movie! This movie does not involve super villains, spandex outfits, or a love story. This is the story of three normal high school kids who gain extraordinary powers, and begin using them for their own pleasure. This is a story of how great power can lead to great corruption. It also shows you what bullying, isolation, and ridicule could do to a person.

The movie starts out fairly well; it sets up the everyday life of the main character who holds the camera for most of the movie. He comes from a broken home, and is harassed and bullied in school. You go through the whole movie feeling sorry for him, no matter what happens. The main character, his cousin, and their friend discover something that grants them amazing telepathic abilities, and the movie really begins to open up.

The great thing about the middle portion of the movie is its light-hearted tone. As the three guys fool around with their new abilities, you smile, laugh, and gasp in awe along with them. And then the tone darkens. It's amazing to see the character developments later on, and it's easy to feel sympathy and pain for the characters. As certain things start to go bad, it's not hard to feel a sense of desperation and intensity as the events unfold.

Along with the characters and the story, the camera work and special effects really add another dimension to the movie. It's easy to see what is going on, as the shaky-camera technique is not abused in this movie. The dark tunnels, the cloudy skies, and the emotional interactions between the characters were very well done. In the scene high in the clouds, you can actually feel a sense of weightlessness. The action scenes are very intense, and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I won't give anything from the end away, but I will say that it was a very good wrap-up for all the events that had occurred before. It seemed like the best way to bring the conflicts to an end.

I definitely recommend this movie for all who want to see something fairly new among movies about superheroes. There are no super villains, no costumes, and no love story, rather it's a story about being at war with yourself, friendship, and strength. It also teaches you a lesson: don't ever ridicule someone for being different, especially if you have no idea what kind of background they come from. It's worth every dollar and every minute of your time.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A sci-fi that was a pleasant surprise

Author: normb1-1 from Orange County, CA., United States
24 November 2012

This was a movie that surprised me in a good way. The acting was better than normal, the script even more so, but the special effects, for a low budget movie, were spot on. The teens in the movie and for the most part, everyone, acted like real people, doing ordinary things and dealing with challenges, including the pending death of the main character's Mother. What especially appealed to me was that the kids dabbled in their powers, growing more bold each time, and doing stupid, silly things, just like ALL of us would do. The death of the first main character, Steve, was sad as he was the one that brought a sense of fun to having these awesome powers. As the effects of Steve's death and the guilt took its toll, the movie now spiraled into darker territory.

As we hit the last third, when Andrew gets desperate for funds and starts his robbery spree, we know he and we are venturing in the Dark Zone and it will end badly. It does, but all the fighting and action sequences are extremely well done and the ending leaves you fulfilled in how it played out.

This was a "small move" that I barely heard about when it hit the theaters, and happened to find on cable. I recommend it, it's worth the short running time of less that 90 minutes and you'll get a kick from it.

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