User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 500 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 500

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User Reviews

  1. May 18, 2012
    5
    I had high hopes for this movie, I avoided trailers and reviews on purpose to avoid finding out about any details. I was somewhat disappointed, it drags for most of it and when the details are necessary it speeds through with silliness. I guess there aren't many options for sci-fi being released these days so whatever, watch it if you have nothing better to do...
  2. Mar 5, 2012
    6
    Of the 3 main characters in the movie which one do they decide to kill off....the BLACK one! Way to follow the sterotype that the first guy to die is usually the black guy. The worse of it is that he was the best character in the movie by far and once you lose him, the interest fades greatly. Focusing too much on poor mans Leo Dicaprio whos tortured and depressed was a bad move. They'reOf the 3 main characters in the movie which one do they decide to kill off....the BLACK one! Way to follow the sterotype that the first guy to die is usually the black guy. The worse of it is that he was the best character in the movie by far and once you lose him, the interest fades greatly. Focusing too much on poor mans Leo Dicaprio whos tortured and depressed was a bad move. They're powers are cool and the special effects are well done just the storyline has you screaming, "come on!!" Could of easily been a lot better but still a decent flick. Expand
  3. Feb 14, 2012
    6
    After discovering a mysterious "rock" in a hole, three guys become able to move things with their mind. This starts out cool and fun, but develops into the inevitable grand disaster. The effects are numerous and convincing, but the pacing is often slack. The movie is created from "found" footage (a la "Cloverfield" and "Paranormal Activity"), which creates a subjective and non-traditionalAfter discovering a mysterious "rock" in a hole, three guys become able to move things with their mind. This starts out cool and fun, but develops into the inevitable grand disaster. The effects are numerous and convincing, but the pacing is often slack. The movie is created from "found" footage (a la "Cloverfield" and "Paranormal Activity"), which creates a subjective and non-traditional narrative flow. You have to go with this flow to accept the story, but the real question is: is it worth the teenage angst and tedium for a lot of cool visuals? Expand
  4. Mar 2, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "...film everything," that's the manifesto Andrew comes up with in his room. This idea comes to him well before the amateur filmmaker and his "friends" acquire their superhero abilities. It's not spectacle that he's after. Compared to other "found films", such as The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, Andrew's intent, in Chronicle, as the fllm's protagonist, differs strikingly from the investigative journalism-minded Heather(who leads the two young men to their doom in the Maryland woods), or Hudson, the videographer turned documentarian, at a friend's farewell party, when NYC comes under attack by a monster. Like Cloverfield, it's an inciting event that transforms Chronicle from a prosaic record of mundanity into an exercise in genre. Differing from Hudson, however, is the fact that Andrew starts off with an aesthetic, a narcissistic one which echoes the hyper-real self-art of Jonathan Caouette, the brainchild behind Tarnation, the 2003 doc which formalized navel-gazing and surpassed the voyeurism of Capturing the Friedmans. Andrew uses the camera like a salve, as does Caouette, and as does "Heather", who screams, "It's all that I've got," after being told repeatedly by Josh to put down the camera. And thus the troubled teen points the lens fixedly at the physical abuse he suffers at the hands of an alcoholic father, and also to apply some objective distance between himself and his ailing mother, the latter parent recalling Renee from Tarnation, with the difference being that Caouete's mom suffered mentally. As Jonathan does, the introverted boy looks through his lens unflinchingly, not shying away from his mother's decay, bedridden on account of some unnamed disease. Uncannily, The Magnetic Fields song "Strange Powers" plays over the Tarnation soundtrack, bridging both Cloverfield("On a ferris wheel looking out on Coney Island," the place where the J.J. Abrams film ends, from a section that Hudson doesn't tape over, featuring Beth and her China-bound beau, just days before the invasion), and the strange powers accrued by Andrew and his cohorts from their contact with the monolithic object that they discover in the hole, itself possessing a magnetic field. The boys become telekinetic. In particular, Andrew, a modernization of Carrie White(Sissy Spacek), from the Brian DePalma shocker. At school, Andrew is a target for bullies, mean boys who think nothing of breaking the his camera. Are they a match for the mean girls who taunt Carrie? It's hard to say, due to the film's first-person perspective. What humiliating footage does Andrew leave out? The audience's knowledge is limited. When the camera is off, for all we know, Andrew is being pelted by condoms in the boys' locker room, therefore, the inter-textuality of the aforementioned films includes Carrie, too. Tarnation also chronicles Caouette's school life. We see that Caouette also brought his SUper-8 camera for the expressed purpose of taping stage rehearsals, a Blue Velvet remounting; a musical adaptation cut in the same vein as the infamous Stephen King-inspired Broadway fiasco. During this period, Caouette, the teen impresario, had an affinity for Carrie, as he and his collaborator would quote lines, according to the extra-diegetic titles. Most memorably, the admonition forewarned by Mrs. White, Carrie's fanatically religious mother, who warns, "They're all going to laugh at you," just before her daughter leaves for the prom with Tommy Ross. Among the revelers, joining in the mass chorus of guffaws, is Miss Collins, the the shy girl's so-called mentor. Whereas Matt is nice to Andrew because they're cousins, the P.E. teacher befriends Carrie, purely out of a professional obligation that presupposes a teacher treats both the popular kids and the misfits with equal measures of kindness. If not for the blood ties, Andrews figures that Matt would be his adversary, prompting the documentarian to ask his relative, "Do you even like me?" Matt's answer: "You're really hard to talk to," will have grave consequences for his best friend. It's the same conclusion, in regard to Miss White's true feelings toward her pupil, that Carrie arrives at too late. If only she could've hard the educator admit to the principal that she knew how those girls felt, since "the whole thing," referring to Carrie's first period, "made me want to take her and shake her too." At the prom, you realize that Miss White was once a mean girl too, regaling Carrie with the tale of her special night with the captain of the basketball team, a scenario that the girl couldn't possibly relate to. After Carrie gets doused with pig blood, the teacher's latent disdain for her underling comes out, and dies for it. The same fate that awaits Steve, as Andrew turns into the anti-Thor, striking his cousin's best friend with a lightning bolt in the night sky. Andrew is his own worst enemy, the Elephant(the 2003 Gus Van Sant film) in the room. Expand
  5. Feb 15, 2012
    5
    Its a mix of lawnmower man ( obtains powers ) and cloverfield ( shot from camera ) but is a forgettable movie. It was entertaining how they played with their new powers but there is nothing new here that hasnt been done before.
  6. Feb 25, 2012
    4
    Starts out fun if you can handle the cheap jumping camera tricks. By the middle of the movie it starts to go down hill as in Revenge of the Nerds. The ending is totally predicatable. Could have been better. Made on cheap without any big budget so you can call it success for what it did at the Box Office. For any movie to be good you need to think about it after you leave the theater.Starts out fun if you can handle the cheap jumping camera tricks. By the middle of the movie it starts to go down hill as in Revenge of the Nerds. The ending is totally predicatable. Could have been better. Made on cheap without any big budget so you can call it success for what it did at the Box Office. For any movie to be good you need to think about it after you leave the theater. Forgotten as soon as you walk out the door. Just a good way to spend a rainy afternoon. No one is going back to see it twice. Expand
  7. Jun 2, 2012
    6
    The movie is really limited by its use of "found footage," which I hate as a genre. It could have been much better if it had just been filmed like a normal movie. That being said, this was a very well characterized film, especially the main character, Andrew. I thought Dane DeHaan did a really good job of capturing the anger and depression of Andrew and making it feel very real. TheThe movie is really limited by its use of "found footage," which I hate as a genre. It could have been much better if it had just been filmed like a normal movie. That being said, this was a very well characterized film, especially the main character, Andrew. I thought Dane DeHaan did a really good job of capturing the anger and depression of Andrew and making it feel very real. The rest of the cast wasn't as good, and were often pretty stereotypical of high school kids. My other complaint is that the flying looked really fake and could have been done better. Overall though, DeHaan's performance makes this movie worth watching. Expand
  8. Jul 20, 2013
    5
    This is a tough call. While the premise is interesting, and the story quite entertaining, something's just missing with "Chronicle." It plays around with the whole superhero/villain theme, which is rather refreshing. It seems that in most sci-fi stories that involve sudden gains of power, the protagonist is always somehow good. "Chronicle" plays rather well with this notion, which is a newThis is a tough call. While the premise is interesting, and the story quite entertaining, something's just missing with "Chronicle." It plays around with the whole superhero/villain theme, which is rather refreshing. It seems that in most sci-fi stories that involve sudden gains of power, the protagonist is always somehow good. "Chronicle" plays rather well with this notion, which is a new spin to the story it's the Magneto of regular superhero films. Otherwise, the biggest setback of the film is it's rather poor character development. While we are made to feel sorry for the main protagonist, Andrew, the ways that we are made to feel that way are rather clichéd: no friends, bullied at school, abusive father, etc. His rage and his inner turmoil somehow is multiplied to the verge of bursting, without it quite making a lot of sense. The three main actors were pretty decent, especially Alex Russell who was the most engaging and believable of characters. The hand-held camera, and the very choice to do a camera perspective for the entire film, is a rather divisive choice as I have come to see in reviews, but I did not mind it all that much. The escalation of the story by the end somehow happened out of nowhere and escalated quite dramatically. A bit too much for my taste, with a rather anticlimactic ending. It was a nicely conceived idea and some great visuals can be seen in the film, but this falls into the mediocre bracket easily. 5/10 Expand
  9. Mar 9, 2013
    5
    The majority of the action is seen from the point of view of the Andrew character and I found this quite limiting. Yes, there are sections where his cousin Matt takes over and Matt’s girlfriend Casey Letter (Ashley Hinshaw) also has some camera time, but I found it all a little one-dimensional. As far as performances go, well everyone did a pretty good job with Alex Russell just aboutThe majority of the action is seen from the point of view of the Andrew character and I found this quite limiting. Yes, there are sections where his cousin Matt takes over and Matt’s girlfriend Casey Letter (Ashley Hinshaw) also has some camera time, but I found it all a little one-dimensional. As far as performances go, well everyone did a pretty good job with Alex Russell just about standing out for me. Although I found the contrivances used to get this ‘found footage’ style film up on the screen a big distraction it did have a one good thing in its favour. I did like the special effects when things are kept up close and personal. As soon as it became much bigger as in the big fight scene at the end; I’m afraid it all got a little too ‘Transformers’ for me. Over all, I found little likeable about any of the characters; particularly Andrew (although he does have a fine name); and this was enough to put me off. After all, if you can’t identify with the characters then the filmmakers have lost half the battle. I was hoping for some great redemption towards the end but it never came.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED

    My score: 5.2/10
    Expand
  10. Jun 11, 2012
    5
    The first 45 minutes of the movie is about these three dorks learning their new powers, the first 45 minutes is boring and slow. The rest of the movie is a little bit better
  11. Feb 29, 2012
    5
    The movie manages to take an interesting idea, and make it unbearably boring. The last fifteen minutes of the film are entertaining, but the hour leading up to it is excruciatingly poorly paced and written. The run time of the movie is just under an hour and a half, but it feels more like three. Who knew it was possible to take a great idea like â
  12. Feb 27, 2012
    6
    Starts very slow and tbh I think it had all been done before. Use of cloverfield "my video" works really well for once and it probably is worth a watch on DVD but for me this had way too much hype.
  13. Mar 17, 2012
    6
    This movie was by no means a bad movie, but it was no where close to being a good one either. It has an amazing and insightful, yet realistic idea towards it's plot. However, it's good story was trashed by the mediocre acting, the odd camera angles (which is creative but just does not really flow well), and it's cliche script. This movie would work much better if the script was moreThis movie was by no means a bad movie, but it was no where close to being a good one either. It has an amazing and insightful, yet realistic idea towards it's plot. However, it's good story was trashed by the mediocre acting, the odd camera angles (which is creative but just does not really flow well), and it's cliche script. This movie would work much better if the script was more thought out and the camera shooting was more sharp and smart. It was by no means a waste of money, however I would not watch this movie twice. Expand
  14. Mar 26, 2013
    6
    My viewing experience of Chronicle was incredibly mixed. In equal measures I enjoyed some parts and got bored of others. I loved the boys will be boys element of the groups discovery, using the powers for fun and stupidly testing the limits of their growing abilities. It seems exactly the sort of behaviour you would expect from teenage boys. As you would also expect, it isn't too longMy viewing experience of Chronicle was incredibly mixed. In equal measures I enjoyed some parts and got bored of others. I loved the boys will be boys element of the groups discovery, using the powers for fun and stupidly testing the limits of their growing abilities. It seems exactly the sort of behaviour you would expect from teenage boys. As you would also expect, it isn't too long before someone goes too far when showing off and that person is Andrew (Dane DeHaan).

    Bullied at school and with an abusive father and dying mother at home, you can certainly sympathise with Andrew's outlook on life and understand his temptation to allow his anger to exploit his powers. That said, his character (and partially that of his cousin Matt too) was the main reason for my annoyance with the film. I didn't like them, simple as. The pair were incredibly whiny, and their arguing and screaming at each other dragged the script down into soap opera territory.

    Considering the budget, the special effects are pretty respectable and the story itself is an interesting journey, dealing with the loss of self-control and responsibility past the point of no return, culminating in the film's frantic finale.
    Expand
  15. Apr 1, 2012
    6
    Decent film. New unknown cast which was nice. good story and it was funny and light hearted before becoming serious. A bit too serious. That;s my down mark. it got a bit 'too' intense for me at the end.
  16. Apr 8, 2013
    6
    A great movie considering the budget must have been low. After the three main characters discover a tomb underground with a strange light, they awake with what seem supernatural powers. This movie is filmed from the perspective of a video camera, much like Cloverfield and the like. This movie was a great watch, has great action, OK dialogue and believable characters. A must for all comicA great movie considering the budget must have been low. After the three main characters discover a tomb underground with a strange light, they awake with what seem supernatural powers. This movie is filmed from the perspective of a video camera, much like Cloverfield and the like. This movie was a great watch, has great action, OK dialogue and believable characters. A must for all comic book hero/supernatural lovers. Expand
  17. Jun 2, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Chronicle always was the closest to a live action Akira, but I won't compare this to that movie because this more like a superhero movie than it is that other film. Anyways this is a pretty entertaining movie with some level of depth to it than most other ones have. Of course like most action sci-fi movies there're some; if not many, problems. The positives include the story. The idea is pretty creative, and is done well. This idea is not that popular in cinema, but more in main steam media and anime of course. The characters are pretty hit and miss, the main one with the camera is the most interesting. Showing the effects of great powers have on such introverted person. His cousin however is really not that interesting, he's mainly just there to be the good side and be there to fight the camera guy in the end. The black; sorry I can't remember any of there names, is okay. He's just sort of there for comedy relief, and it's kind of shocking to see him die. Everyone else is really unimportant, the abusive father is done poorly and is not well developed. I can't even think of the other characters, that's not god sign. The idea of a camera being the point of view isn't all that new, but it's done okay here. The effects are neat or just interesting, from practical jokes to destroying the streets. Finally the reason how they got their powers makes no sense at all, it has that:" we'll tell you next time"; which I don't actually know if they're going make another one. The ending is somewhat weak, the part that the cousin had to kill the camera man is pretty good, but anything after that is not really impressive. He brings a camera to the place the always wanted to go; Himalayas, and leaves the camera there. I thought it was going to move or something. Well whatever, this was a fun movie. Expand
  18. Apr 3, 2015
    5
    Chronicle why do you make me do this? I love psychic powers and the idea of regular people just messing around with it and encountering some type of threat would have worked beautifully. I would have given it a 10. But why did you have to be a handcam movie? It makes no sense and by having one of the main characters bullied, is sad, until you realize it is because he carries a giantChronicle why do you make me do this? I love psychic powers and the idea of regular people just messing around with it and encountering some type of threat would have worked beautifully. I would have given it a 10. But why did you have to be a handcam movie? It makes no sense and by having one of the main characters bullied, is sad, until you realize it is because he carries a giant old camera to school to tape everything. I'd want to punch him myself and I can't relate to how much of a weirdo he is. I wanted to love this, but the choices of all the characters towards the end I couldn't back up and I was rooting for the wrong people. Some scenes were great, but for the most part even with my bonus points it was just blah. Expand
  19. Apr 2, 2014
    6
    Watched Chronicle. A different superhero film. The production values were very disappointing and the camera work was very ordinary, shaky. Could have done in a conventional manner without experimenting with video styled camera takes. The film for its emotional connect towards Andrew's plight and performance of the cast. Otherwise there is too many amateurish moments for the ordinaryWatched Chronicle. A different superhero film. The production values were very disappointing and the camera work was very ordinary, shaky. Could have done in a conventional manner without experimenting with video styled camera takes. The film for its emotional connect towards Andrew's plight and performance of the cast. Otherwise there is too many amateurish moments for the ordinary viewer to ignore easily. A solid 6 out of 10 and nothing to more. A good watch if you want to just waste your time. Expand
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Feb 10, 2012
    70
    Unlike other mock documentaries, which unconvincingly pass themselves off as real, Chronicle cleverly embraces the format as shorthand for a new kind of naturalism, inviting audiences to suspend disbelief and join in the fantasy of being able to do anything with their minds.
  2. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Feb 10, 2012
    70
    Chronicle, with its found-footage storytelling and superpowered teens, at least playfully transcends its "Cloverfield meets Heroes" pitch.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Feb 10, 2012
    50
    A few more bucks (or a little more thought) for the script would have been a better investment than faking Seattle. The characters are introduced so quickly, and their personalities are so thin, that what happens to them has little weight.