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Reviews & Ratings for
Chronicle More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Surprisingly Thoughtful Found Footage Flick

Author: griffolyon12 from United States
3 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am generally not a fan of found footage movies. From Blair Witch Project to Cloverfield, I've never really felt that these films had much to say. They were gimmicks used to get cheap thrills, or to tell a conventional story that has nothing else going for it than the found footage angle, but what Chronicle does, is that it not only plays on the superhero genre, but it also works as a fascinating expose on modern teenage culture.

The premise is simple, a teenage outcast takes to videotaping his life, then one night him and two other guys travel into a mysterious cave, and when they emerge they all have telekinetic powers. The film then doesn't bother itself with being a superhero film, but rather a realistic exploration of what would more than likely actually happen if teenagers got super powers in real life. Well, they'd abuse them of course.

Actor Dane Dehaan is the thread that holds the whole movie together, as outcast teen, Andrew, filming his whole life. By choosing to do the found footage approach, it shortchanges all of the other characters, but makes Andrew's character all the stronger, and it actually portrays an outcast's turn to violence, with more clarity than films without the fantastical elements. In a world such as the one we live in, it's surprising to find a film that is so socially minded, wrapped up in a film that will appeal to the crowd that most needs to see this cautionary tale. While it isn't perfect, or by any means all that rewatchable, it's a genuine surprise that is worth seeing.

I give Chronicle an 8 out of 10!

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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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Limitless Power

Author: Raul Faust from Joinville, Brazil
21 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Matt is a regular popular guy. Steve is a regular guy. Andrew is a regular nerd. Their friendship is a little weird to understand in the beginning, since they're not that similar to each other. One night they're heading to a party and one of them falls in a hole. The other two fellas go down together, and in that hole something gives them strong powers, which allow them to do anything they feel like doing. As the film goes, Andrew starts abusing of his power and hurting people for no reason. Matt and Steve try to calm him down, but they never succeed. Acting is very good from the three main actors, with no exception. The whole story is VERY entertaining and interesting, probably helped by a strong directing and a beautiful photography directing. The only thing that doesn't let me give this a higher rating is the saturated use of domestic camera-- not that I find this a bad choice, but too many movies used this tactics recently.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Pleasant Surprise

Author: JimSpy from Phoenix, AZ
27 July 2012

I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised at the quality of "Chronicle." As soon as I read that it was another "found footage" movie, I was ready to dismiss it. Glad that I didn't. It's the best of the genre, way better than "Paranormal Activity" or "Cloverfield" (and let's not even mention "Blair Witch"). For starters, there's none of the nauseating "camera shaking" meant to remind you that an amateur is filming. (Don't we go to movies to see PROFESSIONAL camera work? Otherwise I'll watch my family's old home movies from trips to Europe!) And the acting is really quite superb - you nod your head and say, yeah, that's exactly how today's teens would act in these circumstances.

There are some exquisitely done special effects, probably nothing ground-breaking, but a couple of "how'd they do that" moments. And there is welcome departure from some worn-out movie clichés.

All in all, two thumbs up.

And don't be surprised if there's a "Chronicle II."

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great movie about power

Author: lrtownsend1 from United States
24 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a great movie. It shows the truth behind power, and how it can effect certain people. Now a days movies and stories that have super heroes show two sides to gaining power, becoming a good superhero or a bad supervillan. They don't show the actual struggle of fighting a power that is stronger than the human who gained it. This movie does show that. they don't put on a mask and start fighting crime, they do what anyone their age would do. Use it for pranks and messing with people. They use the powers in a more realistic way, its probably the same way I would react. Then the film turns and shows how the power affects Andrew. He turns into a crazy power house, killing anyone because he can. Someone with his background would end up the same way. He could not handle all that power and he let it overtake him. This film tells the story perfectly. The acting was great and so was the effects. The scene where they fly through the clouds took my breath away, it looked so real. This is a good movie for any sci-fi fan, or superhero fan. I strongly recommend it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Cool 'Found Footage' Film

Author: brando647 from Spring Hill, FL
26 August 2012

I love a good comic book/superhero movie. They're my weakness, and I'm open to giving just about all of them a fair chance (for example, I paid to see RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER in theaters despite being well aware of how lame the first movie came out). While I am a massive fan of comic films, it doesn't mean that I'm blind to the fact that they have become a little formulaic in their execution. Whenever a new superhero is brought to the silver screen, regardless of how well it's done, you always sort of know what to expect. So I am incredibly supportive of any effort that tries to rattle the system a bit and attempt something different with one of my favorite genres. CHRONICLE is just that: a new spin on a popular genre. The characters in this movie aren't from any established comic book series; the story is completely original and written by Max Landis (son of director John Landis). Three teenagers in Seattle are exposed to some bizarre alien object buried in a field and soon find that they have developed telekinetic abilities. Andrew Detmer is your average socially awkward teenager, quietly coping with a terminally ill mother and an abusive alcoholic father. His closest "friend" is his philosophical cousin Matt and he fails to connect with any of his classmates, including captain of the football team/future class president Steve Montgomery. The three of them are brought together by their fantastic circumstances and start off using their powers for pranks and fun, but everything soon spirals out of control.

CHRONICLE was Josh Trank's directorial debut. The man was only 27 when it was released, and it went on to gross $125 million. I don't care who you are, that's impressive. I dug this movie a lot more than I expected. The trailers had piqued my curiosity but the whole "found footage" angle has been so overplayed in recent years (sometimes well, sometimes not) that I wasn't in any rush. The entire movie plays out from the perspective of Andrew's personal video camera because his life is so miserable that he's decided to record it for whatever reason. Regardless, the format works out perfectly in the context of the movie. The movie is at an advantage not shared by other found footage movies in that it's character/cameraman uses his telekinesis to float the camera around, achieving angles that other movies of this format can't. It also had the good thinking to not limit itself to Andrew's personal camera, as they are many moments in the film cutting to other recording devices in the vicinity to capture the scene, whether it be a camera phone, a security camera, or internet video blogger Casey Letter (Ashley Hinshaw) who's only real purpose in the movie appears to be to act as a second viewpoint. The home video style has the added bonus of making the effects in the movie, impressive enough on their own, appear more authentic. When these friends are engaging in their pranks with their newfound powers, it looks legit.

The movie stars a bunch of unknowns, of course, and it probably wouldn't have worked any other way. Fortunately, the non-stars in this movie have enough talent to come off as real high school students in a bizarre situation. Michael B. Jordan is charismatic as the football star, and Alex Russell does well enough as Matt, the voice of reason who decides one fateful afternoon that rules need to be set when things get a little out of control. But the real talent here is Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer, the true focal point of the movie. While all three of these kids received the powers, the story truly focuses on him. He's from a dysfunctional home with an abusive father, and he's never had any real friends to speak of. He's a walking joke at school, made even more awkward when he decides to start carrying his camera everywhere. He's a ticking time bomb and fate has just turned him into a weapon of mass destruction, with only a shred of self-control keeping him from going off. He's a vulnerable, lonely kid who finally feels like part of something and his eventual downfall when the pressure becomes too much feels sincere and you can't help but feel for the kid. And when he does finally meltdown, it pretty awesome. CHRONICLE was one of my surprise favorites at the start of 2012, so I'm glad I gave it go.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Chronicle Review

Author: arnold kumar (TheConnoisseurReviews) from United States
30 July 2012

"Chronicle" is shot in found footage format meaning they pieced together a bunch of random footage that they "supposedly" found. For the most part it is effective, but I couldn't help, but think that a more traditional take would have been as if not more effective. Sometimes I questioned why they were carrying around a camera, mostly during some of the more elaborate and dramatic moments. However, what they did was effective and gave a good style to the film.

The film deals with the theme of being an outcast. The main character is abused throughout the early parts of the film and he holds back a lot of his temper, which blows out of proportion as the movie progresses. When he gets his powers he can't take it anymore. The movie is not only about not treating people that way, but also about controlling your temper. Also it deals with evolution and how certain people feel that they are superior when they have certain talents or abilities that no one else has.

The acting and characters are all really good. Characters are very real, they don't put on tights and go fight crime when they get their powers. The guys mess around and see what is capable with their new found powers. They pull pranks and use it for their own benefit, much like most of us if we had powers. The acting is great and each lead has adds a level sophistication to their performance. A lot of emotions are present on their face and we can feel their humanity. I wish we had gotten more of their faces because that is were the heart and emotional connection is in the film.

Overall, "Chronicle" is a really good movie. It shows us what one would really do if they had came across some super powers. There is a level of emotion present and the story builds up to a satisfying confrontation and conclusion. The found footage format doesn't always work, but the strong writing transcends the story to another level. I give it a solid 4/5, a faulty directing choice doesn't hold back the great writing and acting.

"Muy Caliente"

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Why was this made as a 'found-footage' film?

Author: UnknownRealmsDotNet from Japan
22 July 2012

While not a bad film, Chronicle isn't the groundbreaking event that it is trying to be. If you aren't a teenager, or if you have even an interest in stories from other countries, you'll see beyond the surface of Chronicle. But first, lets get to the good stuff. The climactic sequence is pretty cool. It is very reminiscent of Akira (both the manga and the film), and the use of found-footage makes for a great montage of sources to bring that action to life. That said, however, the rest of the film plods along with a story that is manufactured for teens, fails to have any conflict, and is really nothing more than a origin story for a comic-book villain. The thing is all of this has been done before, and done much better. Unbreakable (origin story, which actually had conflict, and an arc to the story). Akira (some REAL mind-manipulation). Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield (found-footage that actually served the story). And I'm not really sure why they made this movie as a found-footage film. It really didn't enhance the film in any way. It was actually distracting. Because I was constantly aware that this was supposed to be a camera floating around. And I kept thinking "who would actually be carrying a camera around in this situation?" But if you are a teen, or haven't seen any of those other films then you might like... no, screw it, go see those instead.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An inventive and thrilling film with a fantastic final act

Author: jackstarr777 from United Kingdom
13 July 2012

As the film starts, as with most found-footage films, we gain an understanding of the characters. Here, we see that the protagonist is shy, and bullied, and weak, and we sympathise with him. But, as soon as things get interesting, we forget nearly all that.

As the teens start experimenting with their powers, we find it fun and intriguing. As each one is revealed, we get more excited and more interested. Unfortunately, though, after the first act things get a little tiresome and uninteresting. During this period, I was tempted to give it a seven.

But, the final act seriously packs a hell of a punch, and by the end, I wanted to give it a 10. The inventive methods of cinematography are dazzling, the effects are good and it is totally unpredictable and packs many emotional punches. You'll leave feeling thrilled and inspired, guaranteed.


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

What Would You Do With Super Powers?

Author: Sean Jump from United States
9 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Every comic book fan grows up dreaming of having super powers. Wish fulfillment is big part of what makes comic books so enchanting, and to find oneself gifted with Herculean strength, the ability to fly at the speed of light, or the power to move objects by willpower alone would be the ultimate wish come true for legions of superhero fans the world over.

Chronicle, a film directed by Josh Trank, takes the innocent fantasy to its logical conclusion: what if three very average teenage boys suddenly found themselves in possession of the last ability listed above—telekinesis, or the power to manipulate the physical world with the mind. What would three typical 21st-century kids really do with that kind of power? And would they find that power a blessing, or a curse? For the story to work as anything other than just another superhero film, the three leads have to be easy to identify with and believable as everyday teens who are inexplicably singled out by a Fate they do not understand. Fortunately, the three young men who carry the picture (Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan) are all exceptional actors who have no trouble selling their parts. At no point do any of the boys behave in a way that should surprise the viewer, even if at times we are shocked by their choices.

At first, much like Peter Parker/Spider-Man,the boys don't plan to do anything special with their newfound powers. They play telekinetic baseball in the backyard, they play pranks on oblivious people in public. The most ambitious thing any of them contemplate doing with their abilities is winning the school talent show, which one of the kids, an outcast with an abusive father and a mother dying of cancer, hopes will win him the respect from his peers he has so long been denied. But for the most part, it seems the boys don't consider doing anything remotely superhero-like with their powers, and they certainly don't want anybody else to suspect what they can do.

But as the boys experiment with their powers and learn how those powers can be used in their everyday lives, things begin to change. And one of the boys slowly begins to reason that he has perhaps become something higher than a regular human, that he may be the next step in the evolutionary process and that he has, in effect, become the world's new "Apex Predator." It is at this point that the lives of three boys begin to take a tragic turn. Will they master their new powers and learn to use them responsibly, or will they give in to the temptation to make themselves little gods? Chronicle is a sober, well-written and entirely believable variation on the usual superhero tale. Like Watchmen, it examines those blessed with ultranormal abilities from a realistic perspective, and while it acknowledges many genre stereotypes, it puts an entirely new spin on most of them. Chronicle is at times heartwarming, funny, and finally even tragic, but ultimately it is a must-see for every boy who grew up with the comics wishing for a super power of their own.

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