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Chronicle (2012)

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Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.

Director:

Josh Trank

Writers:

Max Landis (screenplay), Max Landis (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,970 ( 346)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dane DeHaan ... Andrew Detmer
Alex Russell ... Matt Garetty
Michael B. Jordan ... Steve Montgomery
Michael Kelly ... Richard Detmer
Ashley Hinshaw ... Casey Letter
Bo Petersen Bo Petersen ... Karen Detmer
Anna Wood ... Monica
Rudi Malcolm Rudi Malcolm ... Wayne
Luke Tyler Luke Tyler ... Sean
Crystal-Donna Roberts Crystal-Donna Roberts ... Samantha (as Crystal Donna Roberts)
Adrian Collins ... Costly
Grant Powell ... Howard
Armand Aucamp ... Austin
Nicole Bailey Nicole Bailey ... Cala
Lynita Crofford Lynita Crofford ... Casey's Mom
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Storyline

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. Nearby they find a tunnel and suddenly acquire 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 overwhelms him and he becomes a menace. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What are you capable of? See more »

Genres:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kronika See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,004,098, 5 February 2012, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$64,575,175

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$126,636,097
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has no original score, only using sources such as radio and iPods to generate music. See more »

Goofs

In the parking lot scene when the car is moved by telekinesis, the rest of the cars in the parking lot clearly have the steering wheel on the right side of the vehicle. The film was shot in South Africa, where this is common place. It takes place, however, in the United States (Seattle), where the steering wheel should be on the left side. See more »

Quotes

[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

The closing credits are filled with static, like the end of a recording. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 12A UK cinema release contained cuts to the scene where Andrew pulls the bully's teeth out and the climatic impaling of Andrew. The 15-rated DVD and Blu-ray releases are uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stranger Things (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Flash Back
Written by Yasutaka Nakata
Performed by capsule
Courtesy of Yamaha Music Publishing, Inc.
By arrangement with Fine Gold Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A shot in the arm for superhero origins
1 February 2012 | by markdroulstonSee 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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