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Great New Twist on Superhero Movies
Richard Reilly4 February 2012
Enjoy trolling? Enjoy watching people get trolled? Here's your movie. Chronicle stumbled into theaters thoroughly undervalued. Although it does have its flaws, it has paved an entirely new route in the worn-out genre of superheroes. Chronicle brings all the major superhero questions into play—Where did our powers come from? How should we use our powers? In the end, however, those questions are irrelevant. This movie is not about three superheroes. It is about three teenage boys who just happen to have super powers.

This movie is quite extraordinary. All three of the main actors are unknowns. When the movie begins, they all promise to me stereotyped high schoolers—the popular one, the outcast, and the stoner. As the movie progresses, those stereotypes become worthless. These actors were up to the challenge. Each main character changes so much that you won't recognize them from beginning to end. Mix this with the unique storyline and this movie has an extremely strong core.

A good deal of this movie is enjoyable simple because it is realistic to life. The bullying is brutal. The type of things that the main characters do with their powers is exactly what I would do. That's the shining point of this movie. It is true to life. It doesn't cover up life or try to smooth it over with simplifications. This movie is beautiful with its honesty. It allows the viewer to laugh hysterically one moment and cringe the next.

The problems are minor but still present. The incredible climax is followed up with a lackluster conclusion. The father's character is rather over-the-top. I can't tell if it was the writing or the acting that made it so. These two facts won't pull you away from enjoying the movie. It's just too bad that such a good movie would end on such a low note.

This movie is worth seeing. Some people will have trouble watching it in theaters because it is a shot from the first person and can be jerky at times. If you are okay with that, I would recommend seeing it in the theatre. I saw this movie with a large audience—which appeared to add to the experience. For the average Joe, this will be an enjoyable movie. For the superhero fan, this could be a cult classic.
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"Found footage" films have the tendency of being awful, predictable, and nothing but a cheap money grab; Chronicle, thankfully, is different.
Colyn10065 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Chronicle is a "found footage" film that is similar to Cloverfield, The Blair Witch Project, and - the infamous - Paranormal Activity series. Those kinds of films (mainly Paranormal Activity) have a tendency of being awful, predictable, and nothing but a cheap money grab; Chronicle ,thankfully, is different.

Andrew (Dane DeHaan) is a high-school teenager who has decided to make videos of his life. Through these videos, we find out Andrew is a total outcast and doesn't have an easy life. Andrew's father is an abusive drunk, his mother is dieing of cancer, and his cousin, Matt (Alex Russell), barely tolerates him. One day, While Matt is driving Andrew back from school, Matt urges Andrew to go to a party with him. Matt then pleas Andrew not to bring his camera; Andrew doesn't listen. After being punched in the face by a drunk raver, "the footage" then cuts to Andrew sitting outside the party crying. Steve (Michael B. Jordan) walks up to Andrew and tells him that he and Matt have found something they want him to film. What they find is a huge hole. As Andrew is filming the hole, an odd sound is being produced from the inside. Steve, Matt, and Andrew both climb into down hole to see what is. What they find is ______________________________. Some time later, Andrew, Matt, and Steve are then shown that they've developed telekinetic powers (that's when the fun begins). Instead of using their powers to fight crime, the three - now friends - use their powers to play practical jokes on people. As their powers get better, so do the camera angles. Andrew is eventually able to levitate the camera anywhere imaginable as he's doing anything. It's pretty cool.

What amazes me about Chronicle is how well everything has been written. The writing is very well thought out and so are the three main characters. It's rare that you see this in any film. It's even rarer when you see this in a "found footage" film. I'd advise any writer that plans on writing anything about high-school teenagers to watch this film; These are how real high- schoolers act. They're not too immature, they're not too mature. They're teenagers. simple. That's one of the reasons why I love these characters, I can relate to them. Regardless of who you are, you can relate to at least one of the three main characters. As for the other two, you probably know/knew someone who had similar personality traits. It doesn't hurt either when the three form a strong friendship with one another. The first hour or so is a great bromance film

The effects are pretty good, for the most part, considering Chronicle is a low-budget thriller. Most of the effects are practical with uses of some green screen technology. The stunt that looked a little odd to me was the flying, but you get used to it after a while and accept it for what it is. Even though some of the effects looked a little awkward, I have no choice but to respect it, for the fact Chronicle didn't rely solely on CGI.

Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan give great, convincing performances. These characters feel real, so you have to give credit to the three main actors for making them come to life.

In case you can't already tell, I really enjoyed Chronicle, and I think anyone that likes superhero movies will too. Chronicle is the definition of a great "found footage" film. Chronicle is a fun, thrilling movie with simple, yet great dialogue that comes with a great story. Chronicle does a brilliant job at making you feel like you're part of the movie (I really felt like I was the fourth member of the crew), and that means something.

I give Chronicle a very enthusiastic 4 out of 5.
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A tremendous achievement in low-budget filmmaking.
Troy_Campbell3 February 2012
The next in a long line of "found footage" flicks that have been flooding our cinemas over the last few years, Chronicle breaks free of the usual constraints within that sub genre to concoct a truly memorable sci-fi thriller. Retracing the steps of three teenage friends who are gifted with telekinesis after a chance encounter with something (intelligently, the movie never stipulates what exactly), the story focuses on the varying paths they take with their new found talent, but not until they have had some juvenile fun with it first. This is an amazingly accomplished debut feature for writer-director Josh Trank (who co-penned the script with Max "son of John" Landis); his technical veracity is utterly mind-blowing – especially when you consider the shoestring funds he had to work with – and his narrative pacing is impeccable. The icing on the already yummy cake is the marvellous CGI that allows our protagonists to fly, crush cars and stop baseballs in mid air – all seamlessly and photo-realistically. Chronicle is a tremendous achievement in low-budget, big-concept filmmaking.
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A great new entry into superpower mythos films
cadillac203 February 2012
Chronicle is one of those films that kind of snuck up on everyone and may very well have slid under the radar if not for a somewhat dead weekend in February and good word of mouth. And it's rightfully earned. After last weeks fantastic The Grey, the new year continues to produce good film with one of the most interesting takes on the comic book film in a long time.

Now, you might be tempted to blow this off as another low budget, shaky cam movie ala Paranormal Activity, but you'd be wrong. Firstly, this is a film that establishes it's lead "camera men" as experienced with a camera, so shaky cam is mostly gone from the film. We also have some other rather interesting excuses for better than average faux-doc filming, namely the main character's ability to levitate his camera around to get multiple angles. Suffice to say, the camera work is mostly good and legitimized so it never feels like it's too good. So, if you fear that this is just another poorly made hand-held excursion, fear not. This is a very well made hand-held excursion.

The story itself is nothing terribly new or original. A group of teens inexplicably get super powers from some weird, glowy crystals and that's about it. But where most stories about super powered people might find them fighting evil or exploring human nature, Chronicle takes it's time to show a more realistic approach. Our characters play pranks, gain popularity, and try to just have fun. Also realistic are how the powers come out in other forms, manifesting the inner turmoil of one troubled teen who becomes too powerful for his own good. Although the story may not be wholly original, the script is pretty good and the films take on both the hand-held film sub genre and the super powered sub genre is good. This is a more grounded look at what might happen should we find ourselves with power we can't understand. We don't get noble causes or some epic quest to save the world, we simply get teens who are being teens, albeit with telekinetic abilities. I read this film compared to Carrie, and it's somewhat accurate, only this is Carrie x5.

It helps that the leads do a great job in their respective roles. They seem naturals as the teens, and DeHann in particular is great as the troubled Andrew. We can see what's to come, but when his turn finally comes, most noticeably in a scene involving a spider, it's a frightening wake up call to the true nature of the forces at work here. There is some reality in this film, and it's frightening to think what some might do with that kind of power if given it. Even with that last bit of darkness at the end of the film, it's fun, and shown in a very intimate way. Being so up close and personal with the action is exhilarating and there are moments when the film even feels like a ride for a time. There are several good scenes displaying the use of the teens power, but the final 15 minutes are some of the most exciting, super powered moments of any film of it's kind. The fact that it feels more realistic than, say, something like Iron Man makes it feel that much more exciting. It's like watching a high school fight, but pushed to the 10th degree.

Suffice to say, Chronicle was a pleasant surprise. It's the kind of film you hope to walk into. As a fan of comic book films, it was especially pleasing as it really shakes the genre and tries, successfully I might add, to do something very different. It could have been a complete disaster with typical hand-held filming and a typical story. But the smart and creative take on the genre makes this another in the great beginning of 2012.
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A shot in the arm for superhero origins
markdroulston1 February 2012
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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Despite it's short length, I really enjoyed Chronicle.
johnnymacbest12 February 2012
Throughout the years, audiences have been treated to origin stories such as those based on superheroes. With the recent success of the Batman, X-Men, Spider-Man films; and also worth mentioning "Thor" "X-Men:First Class", and "Captain America", it's not hard to see why they click with audiences. With "Chronicle", the superhero origin story is given a fresh new spin.

Directed by Joe Trank, "Chronicle" tells the story of three friends who gain superpowers from a mysterious tunnel discovered in a remote part of a suburban town. Strangely, these teens don't seem frightened or confused about their new found power. Think about how frightened and confused Bruce Banner was when he first transformed into the Hulk. But whereas Hulk was bombarded with gamma rays, "Chronicle" takes a swipe at a fairly plausible Dues Ex Machina plot device that has yet to be explained in possible future installments.

It's true that some may find fault with it's vignette-style story telling in the vein of "Cloverfield". But unlike "Cloverfield" which was a good film in it's own right but had a little too much "shaky-cam" effect, the technique is surprisingly easy to follow. That along with the well-written script and performances, made "Chronicle" all the more enjoyable and engrossing. Maybe in the future, film-makers should take notice from this film in order to make a superb product. Not only that, they even managed to achieve believable special effects on a low budget along with the script. That's really impressive that they achieved to reach fans of superhero comics and films as well as the general audience; very unique.

But I really wished it was longer. With such an intriguing premise even more better than Hayden Christensen's stinker of a superhero origin story "Jumper". "Jumper" was such a disappointment. It wasn't even fully developed on it's potential and sadly was utterly wasted. Thankfully, "Chronicle" delivers on everything that film didn't and more. The climax(which I will not spoil) is one of sheer awesomeness. Emotionally charged with a nice dash of good vs evil, done in an unconventional way. The length of the film bummed me out, but from the looks of things, I can see this film grow into something really special.
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Great Power, No Responsibility
Mek Torres9 February 2012
Chronicle is not really a superhero movie. It uses its themes but none of the characters are using their powers for virtues and justice. It's all fun and games until they get into trouble. It's a great idea but it could have been filmed in a regular filmmaking style. The hand-held camera fails to make the film credible. Despite from that, the film tells a great story with a great twist. The actors are fun. The CGI is good enough. The film is short and small but it's undeniably exciting and really compelling than any other big blockbuster films we usually get.

Chronicle abandons the clichés of superhero films. Usually, when they discovered their powers, they use it to save someone and make their own costume and save the day. The movie asks, what will happen if teenagers in real life have superpowers? In this film, the kids are just recording themselves having fun with their powers. And one of them will use it more for revenge than saving the day. It's a clever idea.

It could have been filmed in a regular movie camera. The found-footage style is pretty unnecessary. The film doesn't need that to look credible. Also, there are too many random cameras and angles which is kind of awkward. Though, the shot was pretty good. But it's still unnecessary. The CGI works better in large objects. It looks dated when comes to the small ones like the spider and the legos. Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, and Michael B. Jordan are all fun together. It gets better in the third act. Dane DeHaan gives a great rage to Andrew. The climax is awesomely fun.

Chronicle may be short and small but it feels long and bigger. If only the film was shot in a regular style. But it still makes a great movie. The concept is great. It's fun, intense, and compelling enough to enjoy it in the big screen.
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Chronicle : A Realistic take on Sci – Fi Action
devarsh8513 February 2012
Chronicle is an engaging offspring of two very separate genres. Reality based horror / thriller movies and Super Hero's. Never would you have imagined a super hero origins movie being shot with a hand-held camera. They are often related to high octane action sequences and graphics and CGI. Well that thing doesn't change here either but the treatment is creative and thoroughly engaging. If suppose paranormal activity and any super hero movie were to mate, their offspring would have been called "Chronicle".

I think by now the "handheld camera" trick in films is becoming a little stale. Sure, it can help smaller productions and can make some films visually spectacular. However, it seems that it is used in way too many films, usually horror flicks at that. Chronicle, however, is nothing less than a masterpiece at not only the "found footage" style, but is also a brand new way of making a superhero movie, mainly because the people it centers on are far from heroes anyway. They are portrayed as everyday people. People with real problems and psychologies. All the larger than life characters of other sci fi or super hero movie is nowhere to be seen here.

Read the rest of the review at : realistic-take-on-sci-fi-action/
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Sometimes a Gimmick is All you Need
popcorninhell3 February 2012
Like many of you, I gleamed at the trailer and poster with a heavy amount of skepticism. "Yet another superhero-esque film" I thought, this time brought to the screen with the increasingly hawkeyed hand-held style. Is this really necessary? Well no, its not, but its a lot of fun.

The plot you can decipher from the trailer; three teenagers, Andrew, Steve and Matt find a hole in the ground and uncover something that gives them the power to move things with their minds. Then they act as any normal teenager would if suddenly given superpowers, they goof off. Things however get murky when Andrew (Dane DeHaan) begins lashing out as his broken family life becomes too much for him to bare. Actors Michael B. Jordan and Alex Russell complete the triptych as the local high school's popular kid and Andrew's too-cool-for-school cousin.

Capturing teenage angst on film has always seemed like a real struggle for Hollywood. Common knowledge dictates that if you faced the camera towards a group of well groomed twenty-somethings and relegated them to a particular clique it'll all work out. Yet "Chronicle's" script expands on that world without making it "the film". Steve is popular because he is genuinely a sociable guy not because he's some feckless ladder climber. On the flip-side of the coin, Andrew is withdrawn and anti-social because his mother is ill and his father is an alcoholic with a rage problem. These are very real issues that are glossed over or ignored in average teen movies.

But this isn't just a coming-of-age tale, its also a showcase for emerging talents, director Josh Trank and screenwriter Max Landis. While some of the camera tricks and dialogue may seem contrived at times there's no denying their boundless creativity. Trank breathes new life into the 'Blair Witch' gimmick taking "footage" from a wide array of hand-held gadgetry to create a pretty convincing collage, or dare I say chronicle.

As the three climb into the hole to investigate one of them makes a reference to Plato's allegory of the cave. Perhaps a quote from 'Alice in Wonderland' would have been more apt. Like Alice all three are young, surprisingly accepting of the situation and about to enter a world where the natural laws of physics need not apply.
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Where did this awesome film come from??
MovieSonic23 February 2012
I am so glad I chose to watch this at the cinema...I usually don't go to cinemas but it was a night out and we chose Chronicle.

I was expecting a "Sky High" type of film and thank god it wasn't (although that film was brilliant too!) - I actually wouldn't recommend kids watch this.

I didn't know it was a "hand-held camera aspect" type of film and that probably would have put me off but honestly, it really doesn't matter at all and I thought it helped with building a believable story from the kids' perspectives.

It has the usual groan-inducing moments of explaining why the camera is constantly on but that's to be expected.

Story-wise, I can't really fault it. It's realistic and the effects are superb; probably some of the best super power sequences I have seen in a while.

Couple of downsides: I would have liked the "abusive father" stuff to have been less restrained and/or the mother and son scenes to be more poignant because I personally didn't "quite" believe one of the kids' motivation for the things he did; it was also weird that the cousin didn't really spend time with his aunt...I don't want to give too much away though.

I also wasn't happy with the final scene. The ending itself was absolutely superb - I wasn't expecting it to be as massive as it was thinking their budget might prevent that but it was amazing. The very final scene though left me feeling like it wasn't necessary - but it didn't detract from anything that had gone before, it just meant I looked at my friend afterwards and said "why?" instead of "wow!".

But we were both animatedly talking about how brilliant the film was for hours after and how glad we were that we watched it.

One final thing; something happens in the film that I'm not going to spoil...but it was totally unnecessary and harsh - you will know when it happens.

Best and most satisfying film I've seen in ages, 10/10
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Nothing But Crap !!
ahmed alaa8 February 2012
This Movie is a complete waste of time and money .. I went to a couple of dreadful movies such as " open water " and " Jumper " but this movie was the best of beating them in all kinds of awfulness .. and for that a friend of mine just couldn't stand watching it and just went out the theater going for " Sherlock Holmes 2 " which was running in the theater beside us although it was his SECOND TIME watching it !!

I Admit that the visual effects was good comparing it to other bad graphic movies but unfortunately it wasn't applied with a better story .. the action and the thrill in the last half an hour was COMPLETELY ruined by the shaky hand camera and the bizarre pauses and skipped scenes were so Annoying .

I Just need a 0 or .5 rating star in IMDb to give it to movies like this one

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I am glad they left some secrets
giveandsee15 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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Yet another Handcam Film
slaine-418-8242519 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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This movie, like many others, wasted my time
annaD6 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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I wish I could give a negative vote - there's no way this is a 7.5...
ulricjoh5 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
From the outset, I will say that I liked the Blair Witch Project - it was unique in it's use of a hand-held camera to film most of the work. I thought that Cloverfield was good, although it was a bit of a rehash in the style of Blair Witch Project. This movie just seemed to have no idea on how to get the best of the hand-held camera.

It was too repetitive, the camera work too shaky, the story implausible (dare I say utter cr@p), the script was dry and I felt that I wasted my time watching this nonsense.

I can only think that the people who rated this movie so highly were either friends of the movie company or have no idea what makes a good movie.

Here are a few of the inconsistencies: 1) The kids find the "rock" which gives them special powers. After the area is closed off by the authorities, it is no longer given any reference in the movie.

2) They fly up into the sky, at the same level that jets are flying, yet they have no problem with hypothermia or lack of oxygen at high altitudes.

3) There are references to nose-bleeds when they use their powers but the bleeds are irregular and don't have any impact on their lives other than the boys commenting "I've got a bad nose bleed". Why even mention them ? All in all, this is a movie that is seriously well worth avoiding at all costs.
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Extremely boring hollow movie
mli-618-45445429 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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Annoying and just shockingly bad.
mockpossum15 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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Breathtaking & Awesome
MegaMaverick1 February 2012
Wow..just.. this movie left me speechless. It was amazing And to think me and my friends were going to see The Grey. I'm so glad the cinema was full and we watched this instead. I can honestly say I haven't been this entertained and adrenaline rushed since I watched Kick-ass all the way in 2010. This movie is a epic, but not a Lord of the Rings epic, a different kind of epicness. Although this movie is not original in the slightest it is a breath of fresh air, and P.O.V hand-held camera is very well done.

For a movie that has no known actors, I got to say some of the performances are great. Especially by Dane DeHaan. Don't ask why I know but i'm certain he will have a great career ahead of him. Also Michael Kelly as the abusive dad was great. Alex Russel was good too and Michael B. Jorden played role really well as well. But more importantly director Josh Trank debut, which is a great achievement! Bravo Trunk! Bravo. I'll keeping an eye out for his upcoming movies.

Of course there are some bad points. The lack of explanation on how they got their powers. And the bad CGI most notably.

This movie is extremely recommended!
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Total Garbage
killziggcath14 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film sucks big time, the best parts are shown on the trailer, two hours of my life I will never get back.

The idea behind the story is fairly original, but not really explored in enough depth, the acting is a bit wooden, the script is dire, I got bored half way through and the POV camera work has been done to death and far better than this.

If there is any film you are in two minds about seeing this year, if this is one of them, do your self a favour and make it this one. I cant believe that some reviewers have given this film high marks, still each to their own I suppose.
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amateurish - waste of time
phd_travel6 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I read the good reviews and saw it was number at the box office so I went to see it. Didn't enjoy this one at all.

Basically the story is about 3 teens who acquire some telekintic powers but things get out of hand. It should have been quite good and exciting but it wasn't well done. The first part should have been fun to watch how they got and tried out their new powers but it felt cheap and unsatisfying. When things went wrong, it was unpleasant and out of sync with the earlier part. The script is bad - it doesn't transition well from the first part discovering the powers to the later part where things go wrong. The directing is abrupt and disjointed.

Terribly unsatisfying feel to the story. I know they wanted it to be a dark type of story but it ended up being not entertaining. This movie has a cheap feel. The hand-held handy cam photography is headache inducing and doesn't show what is happening well.

The cast is made up of relative unknowns - probably to give it a realistic feel.

Don't waste your time or money. The worst movie for years to achieve such box office success.
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So disappointing...
sascmullet3 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have never written a review before, but I am terribly annoyed by this movie. I went into this movie very open-minded, only knowing that this film had received excellent reviews from critics. I will also say beforehand that I appreciate low-budget and independent film. It was because of these reviews that I did not leave the theater; I kept believing that SOMETHING was going to happen. Something finally did happen, the kid lost it...and an unbelievable series of dumb action events ensued. The boys could have found much better ways to capitalize on their powers so that Andrew could have some money to save his dying mother. Instead he just uses it to beat up some old park bullies with 40's, punch a clerk, and open a cash register containing $300, maybe. The father should have just killed the kid in a drunken rage in the first scene and I would have enjoyed it more.
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A waste of time,money, pointless!
classybdriver6 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I felt that the trailer was very misleading. I thought it was going to focus on the guy they made crash into the water. The movie was so slow and pointless. And the part at the end where his friend makes the spear go through him, give me a break the police had every opportunity to shoot him. The so-called special effects were weak and looked stupid. I can't believe the good reviews this movie is getting. I don't get it, it was stupid and weak and I couldn't wait for it to be over so I could go home! Lol. I agree with all the other bad reviews! I should have went to see the movie with the Rock, it couldn't have been worse! Wow OK I can't post until I write ten lines on how awful this movie was!
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"Turn that thing off..."
bennyhagen14 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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With Great Power Comes Little Responsibility
thesar-24 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Imagine for once, you're a high school kid: shy, secluded, wimpy, gets beaten down and then BAM!, you, your cousin and friend get these fantastic powers! You can get back at the bullies, fly to Tibet on a whim and fight back that bad, bad father.

Now, imagine that same kid is bland, boring, brainless and brings little to the table – his super-friends, too – and the "special powers" are all-but a backdrop to whatever's (not) happening on the screen. Sounds like a fun time?

It's hard not to put yourself in the shoes of these Teen Titans of 'Chronicle' (1½/5 Stars) and when you do… you should be thoroughly disappointed in these shallow kids' discovery.

Literally, or BARELY, nothing changes in these kids' lives following an alien encounter that leaves the three with the ability of telekinesis. And that's not a good thing: these boys didn't have that much depth or anything going for them prior and following, they have even less. Oh, there's some "training" and a girly, girl-podcaster side story that's about as interesting as watching Bella and Edward's courtship, but other than that, these fools do not act like normal kids who would find themselves much stronger than the day before. (One example, after a good friend dies, the first instinct, at least in this reality, is to film the funeral in some art-house fashion and then, its business as usual following. The supposedly far-lesser realistic kids of Elm Street showed more emotion towards their lost friends at each film's obligatory funeral.)

I was a teenage boy once; I read comics, watched superhero movies and daydreamed a lot. Like what would happen if I had the ability of flight, invulnerability and the power to move objects with my mind through my hand. This, mercifully, short film was NOTHING like I imagined. These punks might as well been given a used iPad vs. abnormal abilities.

There were enough misfires in this film that I left the theatre and said to myself: "Thanks for the preview. Now, I can't wait to see the real movie!"

But, beyond – or beneath – these squandered opportunities, I got the sense I was watching a film-school student movie that used the tired and old hand-held/lost-footage genre as the "twist." Let me tell you: when this is the 50th rip off since 'The Blair Witch Project,' it's no longer fresh. Hell, I've seen two new ones in the theatre this year in just five weeks. And aside from the genre being played out since 'Cloverfield' in 2008, I believe they're getting worse and worse with less and less happening until they all are equal to the over-long YouTube videos they really are.

Okay, forgetting all that, what's left is some bad acting juxtaposed with bad dialogue, mediocre special effects – some of which were down-right pitiful (the stock-footage, cloudy sky green-screen shots and transposed geeks almost made me spit out my soda) and far-fetched camera angles or uses of the camera POVs. The whole finale was questionable, unless we're led to believe that some secret government agency went around collecting everyone's phones and cameras or both to splice together what happened. But, worse than that, was the brief, off-camera policeman saying they had to leave the cameras (yeah, two for whatever logical reason) on in a hospital room while someone was SLEEPING, possibly in a coma. Reason? It's part of the investigation. That was too obvious of a set up, bloody amateurish on the filmmaker's part and all-out jaw-dropping laughable. (No joke: I said "WHAT?" when I was in the theatre and then laughed after the words "part of the investigation" sank in and reminded me of an old MST3k film.)

Even though they NEEDLESSLY had to remind us every few minutes (or less) that they're holding a camera for their self-explained "no-explanation," I admit this odd-super-hero film was just slightly better than 'Hancock' but nowhere near as exciting or interesting as the other odd-titled-lost-footage movie: 'Cloverfield.' Since it wasn't even well paced, it's not worth the time, even at under an hour and a half.

(On a cheery side note, I thought I would like it more when 2 of the 3 main characters were named Steve and Andrew – my first and middle names. Although, it might have been a tad bit creepy if the third were strangely named "Reeves"…)
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Incredibly Exciting and REALISTIC (no real spoilers)
Rico Thomas12 February 2012
I don't see how any body can give this movie anything below an 8 for the simple fact the special effects were awesome! The script was realistic and I'm tired of seeing the haters bashing the movie and calling it cheap. It's one of the best movies of the year hands down. People are complaining about the nose bleeds significance. They said their power is like a muscle you can break it if you stretch it too far past the limit you've strengthened it. The black guy moved the car early in the movie and he bled profusely as punishment comparing his face to a period. Andrew became strong as hell because throughout the movie he was working the muscle just by having the camera above his head 24-7 even when he slept. So, think about the movie before you give it a 5 because the script of a teenager. Andrew recorded it it's supposed to be like that.
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