User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 454 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 454

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  1. Feb 13, 2012
    8
    It's been a while since I wrote reviews in metacritic, so I thought writing some would be good. Anyways, all could say of Josh Trank's "Chronicle" is that it's very original. He diminishes those first-person camera angle problems by switching viewpoints (from Andrew's camera to other cameras, iphones, and even from the news chopper) which is clever. The script is well written and although the movie's kinda short it has it's sense of intensity most 2 hour movies can't even show off. Expand
  2. Feb 21, 2012
    10
    From movies like Jumper, Push, Next, Clockstoppers, and some other movies about people getting superpowers and using it for their own good, Josh Trank and Max Landis have pulled of the impossible. So what is it about this movie that i liked so damn much, well for one thing i loved the pacing and the timing in this movie, for a running time of 83 minutes, the movie doesn't waste your time and gets to the point very quickly and perfectly. Another thing is how realistic this movie is, with the camera work, it definitely worked out for this movie, and the characters were aware of it, which was a major plus in my book. I could say so much more, but what i will say is my regards to the director and writer for delivering one of the best movies of the year, and were only getting started. Expand
  3. Mar 2, 2012
    3
    When I first saw the trailer for this film it looked very exciting, an on-edge gritty film which I looked forward to watching. However, the documentary style doesn't work with this sci-fi film as you seem to miss the action being constricted to a shoddy camera angle in which it is hard to make out what is going on. There is also a disappointing ending which feels like the whole build up of tension was for nothing. Expand
  4. Feb 20, 2012
    8
    Its rare to find movies that actually portray what average people would do if they had super powers. Chronicle was a very good movie. where the special effects lacked, the story and characters shined.
  5. Feb 15, 2012
    1
    I don't usually go to bad movies, but when I do, I remember why it's a waste of money. The 'hand-held' gimmick contributes nothing to this film, and it seems to have distracted the director from providing the kind of pacing expected in a movie with so much action. There were a number of times in this film when something was supposed to be a surprise, or exciting, and everyone in theater just laughed awkwardly. A disappointing treatment of a good idea. Expand
  6. 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-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
  7. Apr 29, 2012
    10
    I usually don't like shaky cam movies and when I first saw the trailers for Chronicle, I wasn't exactly too keen on watching it. I finally sat down to watch it the other day and was amazed that I almost missed one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. All I can say is that if you're a comic book fan, go and watch this movie. Max Landis and Josh Trank really know their comics.
  8. Mar 5, 2012
    10
    Finally! A superhero movie I don't laugh at. Chronicle shows, not akward or unfortunate nobodies who by some accident develop superpowers and decide "I wanna dress funny and save complete strangers". True, the three main characters do develop superpowers by literally stumbling into them, but they dont start playing superhero/supervillain until they absolutely have to; in fact, never once in the movie was the word "superhero" even used. When I first saw the trailer, I thought to myself "Well, that's the movie, right there. No need to go see it. Boy, was I wrong. I won't reveal much about the plot or characters, but suffice it to say the trailer actually barely reveals anything at all. The acting has its ups and downs, and admittedly the movie could be a little better paced, but for the most part everything balances out. It's worth a look, for sure. Expand
  9. Sep 17, 2012
    7
    Chronicle has what many lesser found footage films lack. The genre has a history of sacrificing character for style, of using hand-held filming to hide a lack of budget. This film has very strong performances from the three leads Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan (especially DeHaan) who all play interesting, well-developed characters that you enjoy spending time with, and the film's entertaining premise of the three highschool friends gaining superpowers after the discovery of a mysterious object provides some good laughs and fun spectacle, particularly in the scenes where the boys are learning to control their new gifts. The film also creatively gets round the chief weakness of the found footage genre - who's holding the camera? (the way they do this is a highlight which I won't spoil here). Like Cloverfield, Chronicle doesn't try to provide a concrete explanation for the odd goings on that we witness, but this mostly works for the film, and you should be able to fill in the gaps yourself (at least until an inevitable sequel surfaces which will doubtless expand on the film's universe). Disappointingly, the final act of Chronicle is pretty poor. The action becomes all-consuming and repetitive, the characters are reduced to conduits for the filmmakers to spend their remaining budget rather than anyone you can care about anymore, and the presence of one of the secondary characters is seemingly only to have someone else holding a camcorder. In other words, the film becomes just like all the films it has, up to the final act, been surpassing. Though the finale is an overblown, flaccid bore, the rest of Chronicle is a riot, and feels pleasingly original for a film that is part of a filmmaking craze that has long outstayed its welcome. Here's hoping the sequel builds on the considerable successes we find here, though without Josh Trank's sturdy direction (he's reportedly been headhunted to helm bigger superhero fare), it remains to be seen whether a second instalment will become too big and dumb. Expand
  10. Mar 29, 2012
    9
    Not a big fan of the shaky camera like Paranormal Activity. I loved this movie because it has a very good story line, and his keeps you on the edge of your seat.
  11. Feb 12, 2012
    10
    Definetly worth watching! Wasn't crazy about the ending so much but loved the plot and unique script. Was interested through out the entire movie and audience deemed to be as well.
  12. Feb 13, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With a cringe on my face and bag of lollies in hand, I prepared myself for another handy-cam filmed cliche teenage superhero film. Sigh. I was willing to give Chronicle a chance to be better than just another Paranormal Activity film, but it failed. The film starts out having you feel sorry for senior student Andrew (Dane DeHaan) as he sets his camera up to catch his abusive father in action. The story then begins to unfold as Andrew, his cousin Matt (Alex Russell) and their newly made friend, Steve (Micheal B Jordan), wander into the woods and down a hole in the ground. I know that in this bit I had hope for it as they show an organism within a glowing blue stone that reminded me of the 'black oil' from the X-Files, but they didn't further on this at all through the film. Obviously the boys gain supernatural telekinesis powers form this glowing stone. Things unwind and are quite boring as the boys powers strengthen, they learn to fly and become popular with the ladies. At this point I was so stressed about how un-entertaining the film was, but then it got a tiny bit better. Andrew, being the strongest of the group, takes his powers to the next level. Being edged on by the abuse form his father and slowly dying mother, he believes he is at the top of the food chain with his new found power. Although, just when you think they weren't going to add in the cliche of having 'super hero suits', it happens. I don't want to ruin the ending for you, but it does getting a little exciting but still a little overdone as the film winds down with a very anti climactic ending. It had the chance to change my view on hand-cam style films and bring something new to the table, but I think it was overdone even when Cloverfield was released.

    Chronicle is mainly aimed for teeny boppers who are easily amazed, or people like me who were bored and decided to go to the cinema willing to give a super hero film a go. All I can say is, Chronicle sure did do a good job of having me on the edge of my seat feeling stressed and slightly pre-occupied with everything but the screen.
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  13. Feb 17, 2012
    2
    I can't believe I sat through this movie. About half way through I wanted everyone to die so it would end. Everything about this movie was thin. The characters were barely two dimensional and the plot was driven by cliches. The dialogue could have been written by 13 year old. Amateur night at the cliche house.
  14. Feb 14, 2013
    7
    Really cool film! The handheld shaky tone of the film worried me when watching it, it is usually annoying the have to deal with a whole film's worth of dodgy angles and motion sickness but this film does it so cleverly that makes it so enjoyable, overalls a really cool concept and well produced film!
  15. Apr 29, 2013
    8
    A great little superhero inspired film, one of the strengths of the film is how it surprisingly manages to do something interesting with the found footage motif. The film does a great job at making a complex, sympathetic villain, a sort of modern re-imagining of the Lex Luthor story.
  16. Jan 2, 2013
    8
    While initially the combination of a whining lead character and the shaky cam was a massive turn off, as the film got into full swing I started to really appreciate it, to the point where I didn't even notice it anymore. The film has a superb use of effects, from the subtle to the downright ridiculous, everything has a hyper-realistic shine to it that really adds to the effect and overall feel of the movie. Very well paced and I really loved how the movie took a proper (though admittedly predictable) dark turn. Beautifully subtle while at the same time tastefully in your face, one of the best action movies of 2012 without a doubt and one to watch again. Expand
  17. 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
  18. 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. 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
  19. Apr 28, 2012
    2
    If this is the state of high rated movies today we got a problem. Interesting concept, but so amateurishly handled. The hand held camera concept is getting really boring and so detracts from any tension build up. Characters are a joke. Fake high school kids played by adults - again. So it builds to a mildly thrilling climax, but again diluted by lack of tension. Long boring stretches of who cares. If they had dropped the hand held idea, had better actors, more engaging script, could have been cool. But all in all a waste of money. Expand
  20. Feb 17, 2012
    8
    I really enjoyed this movie. At first, the hand held camera bugged me but I got used to it and decided that was the right way to do this movie. What was great about the movie was the exploration of the psychology of the 3 different teens (also the actors really seemed older than high schoolers). All in all, much better than I was expecting.
  21. 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...
  22. 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.
  23. Mar 3, 2012
    0
    Frustrating. The found footage element is never justified and there's zero plot. Time and time again, there are story points that don't make sense and are never addressed. Found myself looking at my watch after 20 minutes. Would not recommend to anyone who's looking for anything other than a minor distraction. Really can't wrap my head around all the positive reviews on this one.
  24. Jun 3, 2012
    0
    Another one of those documentary style films where the filmed is a labor to watch. The film had so much potential and we were restricted to dull and constrained angles.
    Oh and it's boring as hell.
  25. May 21, 2012
    8
    Its brilliant , its different , it no one ever thought before . Chronicle gives its viewers something totally different . the way they put together the idea of making Superpowers look bad was super . I always wanted to see a movie with superpowers gone bad and Chronicle did it and they did amazing . Josh Trank's direction was super . He is a fine young director and I wish him luck . of the three players I like Alex Russell's character and him acting the best . the effects of the film was amazing . How the hell they did all those with so little budget ! Overall an awesome si-fi thriller movie Chronicle is . Waiting for the sequel ..... Expand
  26. Feb 12, 2012
    9
    I don't write many reviews (for how many movies I see), however I have to say I was surprisingly impressed with this movie. The acting and special effects were above average, and the story had many interesting themes. You have to dig a little bit deeper in order to get the most out of this movie; but if you're familiar with any philosophy (particularly Schopenhauer), you'll probably find a lot to like here.

    8.5/10 (rounding up because some critics were overly harsh)
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  27. Feb 20, 2012
    1
    To put it bluntly, Chronicle was the worst movie I have ever seen in cinema. I'm actually surprised to see the amount of positive reviews on metacritic. The character development was fairly well done, but the overall storyline was extremely poor. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but it's really predictable anyway. You have the nerd, the jock and the star who all get telekinetic powers but never really use them for anything worthwhile. The flying was done quite well, although it felt like watching a tv series with slightly better sfx.

    Like I said, this movie is the worst I have ever seen, in my opinion of course. It's been a while since I've walked out of the cinema disgruntled.
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  28. Mar 4, 2012
    8
    What a movie to open the year with (the first new release I've seen this year)! It opens slowly, but builds into a truly fantastic climax that had me very excited throughout. The acting at times is very good and the story is actually quite emotional and can become hard to watch. When the characters get their powers and start to mess around with them is fun to watch as well. Now for the bad points of the film: Some of the dialogue is too cheesy and feels out of place (the ending in particular) and it takes a while to get interesting. From my experience the film splits opinions, upon reflecting on the film, I said the ending was very good, but my friends disagreed. Definitely go into this movie with an open mind, it helped me a lot. Expand
  29. Feb 18, 2012
    7
    What a clever film......It's equal party funny and gritty and even a little unexpected.....
    I was pleasantly surprised that the 'cam corder' type cinematography, something I hate usually, didn't detract from the experience but added to it.
  30. Jun 1, 2012
    9
    This movie for once actually had an interesting story, easily followed up by a sequel, really interesting how they did the camera work, how it was done in the story as well as the technical aspect, and when the water moved away from his feet, WHOA that took some serious work to pull off.
  31. Nov 28, 2012
    9
    Overall, this movie was original (although definitely very inspired by any number of different comic books), very creatively done, well-acted all around, and just plain fun.
    _____
    I'm a picky movie-watcher. In fact, I rarely watch movies at all, because of the simple fact that it's so hard to find the really good ones mixed in with all the multi-million dollar garbage-worthy flicks, but
    Chronicle was definitely one of those rare gems. I had no particular expectations going into this movie, hadn't even ever heard of it, I was just doing a random search for a sci-fi movie and Chronicle seemed like it could be decent, but it turned out to be much more than decent. I've never seen a super-power inspired film seem so realistic. The emergence of the "super-villians" teenager-angst dark-side was done at just the right pace, starting off showing subtle tidbits here and there of his darker psyche and gradually leading up to the point where his psychological issues just explode out from him. I also really appreciated the use of the hand-held camera style in this film, usually I'm not a fan of that, but I think it just add to the realistic feel in this film, which is exactly what the director was going for. Collapse
  32. Mar 4, 2012
    3
    Chronicle starts out with a high amount of promise, combining the visual style of Cloverfield and the plot of a buddy version of Carrie. As the story and characters develop, several different ideas and themes are thrown into the mix, but never really developed in any significant way. In the end all you are left with is a mish-mash of a film that never truly knew where it wanted to go or what it wanted to say. Despite being under 90 minutes, it seemed to last twice as long. Its a shame, because I felt the core idea of the film had a lot of potential, but completely lost in the second half. Expand
  33. Feb 20, 2012
    9
    Chronicle was a fantastic movie and definitely deserves more than a 69%. Its camera angle was experimental and new (similar to Cloverfield) and I enjoyed it, although some people won't. During the first half of the movie I didn't really enjoy the camera angle, but by the second half I did. The acting was fantastic and the characters were interesting. However, the main character Andrew did many things that I didn't feel he would do according to his personality. The ending was bittersweet and the movie had many twists and turns so it wasn't predictable. Overall I loved the movie and was really engrossed in the story. Expand
  34. May 2, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Chronicle" (2012) tells the story of a adolescent, Andrew, who is
    socially excluded at school, besides being an introvert personalty, and
    serious problems at home with the aggressive alcoholic father and his
    mother, who is dying of terminal cancer.

    He still enjoys the company of his cousin, Alex, and at a party, he and
    another friend, Michell, find in a nearby cave a meteorite that give
    them powers of telekinesis, which are discovered little by little ...

    Initially the jokes with the use of these powers were funny, but they
    begin to take another course, and the situations of Andrew's life
    ultimately influence his control (and uses) over these powers.

    The film has a very good visual, with convincing effects, extremely
    well made that does not transpire much use of CG. Also just taking a
    different approach, because Andrew, early in the film uses a hand-held
    camera to film the assaults of his father, and the camera ends up being
    the main perspective by which the film is shown, until the final half
    hour.

    The performances are very good, particularly Dane DeHaan (Andrew) that
    clearly shows the psychological chaos in his life and that culminates
    with the final events shown in the end.

    The audio of the movie is nice, with effects and music very good and
    appropriate to the film.

    There are some comparisons to Akira, and yes, it resembles it - but
    what that involves psychic powers that does not refer to the Manga or
    Carrie's, somehow?

    Anyway, the movie ends up having a very good approach to what the
    conditions of life a person could do with their mind, and what would
    happen if by chance, this person had powers - of course, in a common
    sense much in the film ends up being driven to a adolescent target
    public, but even so, the focus is very good, and it is enjoyable for
    older people.

    A great choice for a science fiction - drama movie, with a different
    theme to what we are accustomed.
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  35. 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'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
  36. Mar 17, 2012
    1
    Don't waste your money going to this movie. The trailer had preety much 60% of the best parts shown. Overly dramatic, not enough humor at all. I would consider this movie to be more of a drama then a scifi, as a drama it is preety good, but not what I expected from the trailer. Camera work sucked too btw. If you see either project X or chronicle go see Project X.
  37. Mar 16, 2012
    9
    Chronicle's portrayal of superheroes is dark, gritty and true to life. The found-footage theme does add an amount of realism, and adds a certain emotional impact to the characters that other found footage movies haven't done before. The films morality theme plays out nicely with clever writing and characters you can relate to, however, the pacing can be slow and only seems to pick up around a third of the film. Another issue is the CGI that does seem outdated but isn't bad enough to pull you out of the experience. Overall, Chronicle is a movie you can't miss, with a great story and amazing new actors, Chronicle is a true modern great. Expand
  38. May 10, 2012
    9
    A fantastic film that starts with a fun and overall teenage theme before developing bit by bit into a suspenseful superhero epic that lasts in your memory. The combination of normal life with superhuman abilities was excellently pulled off, and the cast of young and mostly unheard of actors showcased their talents extremely well.
  39. Jun 22, 2012
    7
    Chronicle is a much better movie than I was expecting. Hollywood has been coming with a ton of low budget "found footage" movies lately and, to be honest, most of them have been truly awful. This film is different though. It benefits from a steady hand from talented director Josh Trank and boasts a strong story with a surprising amount of depth from it's young writer Max Landis. This is definitely a small film that has it's budget constraints. It's a large scale concept that is occasionally held back by suspect special effects but for the most part they will definitely suitable. I thought this was a terrific, low budget sci-fi film that uses it's "found footage" style to it's advantage unlike most "found footage" films of recent. Expand
  40. Jan 28, 2013
    9
    Wow.... just wow. I had no idea what this movie was about going in. I thought it would be really cheesy but good worth at least a 4. Definitely a solid 9 and will leave you thinking about it way after the credits roll. Great and worth a watch!
  41. 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 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
  42. Feb 27, 2013
    9
    Not being a fan of the "found-footage" genre, I was hesitant to see this film. I'm glad I finally decided to watch it, though, because Chronicle, as it turns out, is so much more than just another shaky-cam flick with cheap thrills. At it's core, Chronicle is a look into the isolation and loneliness felt by an awkward social outcast, and what happens when that outcast finally gains the power to turn the tables on his aggressors. That power comes in the form of some very Akira-esque telekinetic abilities, which makes for some extremely kick-ass action later in the movie; action which looks even more impressive given the film's found-footage nature. So what you end up with is something along the lines of Carrie meets Akira meets Cloverfield... a combination which may not sound very original, but, I promise, you've never seen it done this well. Expand
  43. Jun 5, 2012
    10
    This movie was awesome. The concept, at face value, might seem corny, or cliche. But this movie pulls it all off. It's spectacular, magical, and the characters make it so easy to suspend your beliefs and enthrall you in an exciting, scary, and deep world.
  44. Aug 1, 2012
    10
    A funny, and enjoyable movie. I like the creativity that has gone into this film.
  45. May 22, 2012
    7
    As boys grow, they dream of having superpowers. And during the first part of the film you are taken on a ride on what it feels like to gain such powers and the possibilities it brings. However, the second part is also a reminder that with great power comes great responsibility and even though the build up is great, the ending felt a bit short. Regardless, this is the stuff great entertainment is made of. Expand
  46. 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 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
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  47. 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
  48. Mar 27, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. If you know Akira... you have a good idea about the story of the movie. It has a very weak start but it becomes better after about 20 minutes. What would you do if you suddenly had superpowers? this movie shows not what Peter Parker would have done but hat me and you would have done. The good: a compelling story, the actors performances, nice special effects.
    The bad: some plot holes, some bad cinematography due to the home home video archive style of the movie.
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  49. Feb 19, 2012
    7
    You have to put up with the eye rolling teenage behavior that only Hollywood perceives teenagers to be, and of course the horrible moving camera, but it turns out to be an entertaining film. The movie progressively gets better and better as it goes on so be patient. I thought the special effects, for the most part, were great. They could have made the teenagers a little more likable so that you cared more about the characters and their predicament, but for the most part they are annoying. Still, I enjoyed it. Expand
  50. May 6, 2012
    7
    Chronicle is a good movie but not quite a great one. The handheld 'Cloverfield' style camera style works well for the most part, but it's sometimes replaced by standard camera shots... Which is confusing and doesn't make sense. The acting is solid and the effects are surprisingly well done. The climax is bound to impress. My one great complaint is that the hero of the movie has too little screen-time and seems like a one dimensional wooden plank, especially when compared to the villain. When all is said and done, Chronicle is definitely worth seeing if you're a superhero fan. Expand
  51. Feb 18, 2012
    7
    Just once I'd like to see what teenage girls do with a superpower. Why is it always boys? Especially, since we know they will only use it to impress girls... and ultimately kill each other.
  52. Jun 9, 2013
    7
    Shot using ‘Blair Witch’ style found footage Chronicle documents what happens when three friends find themselves endowed with telekinetic abilities. Being teenagers however they don’t all handle their new power so well and cracks soon began to appear in their friendship.

    Aside from the problem that all found footage movies have, namely the question of why someone would still be filming
    at certain points, Chronicle makes for a very good watch from start to finish. In fact, thanks to its largely believable cast and script as well as some very good visual effects, it is arguably better than any of the movies that inspired it. Expand
  53. May 16, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. definitively a guy movie. I enjoyed this thoroughly while my girlfriend gave it a "meh" at best. Starts out all fun and games but gets intense fast as one of the character's home life issues destabilizes him. its sad that we never find out what the thing was that gave them their powers but definitively leaves room for a sequel. Expand
  54. Feb 11, 2012
    7
    Chrinicle is a fun movie that feels novel and authentic. The films gimmick at first feels out of place but it does eventually feel like a good choice to dive into the life of these teenagers. However chronicle had it's faults. Alot of the dialogue near the end of the film was very cheesy and poorly acted. I also found the film's story to be cliched. I found some of the cuts to be terribly executed and distracting in the film. Because of this many scenes felt oddly broken when they should have been one long take with no cut. Overall I found chronicle to be a fun but cliched novel and authentic idea, if that makes sense.

    (I found the background of the very last scene of the film to look extremely fake and very poorly executed. This was a disapointement because the previous scenes they worked so hard to make them look real.)
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  55. 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
  56. Jun 28, 2012
    8
    Chronicle is a great movie showcased in 85 minutes, It may not have the best effects and a lot of people will find similarites to the anime film akira but chronicle is still one of the best movies of 2012 and hope to see more out of this director.
  57. Oct 3, 2012
    8
    Thought this was really good..obv, I gave it an 8. What I loved was that despite it being quite a mainstream movie, they were not afraid to make it a tragedy, which it is, in the true sense of the Ancient Greeks. From innocence to experience, was beautiful.
  58. Mar 24, 2012
    8
    The filmmakers of Chronicle did an excellent job at simulating the experiences of teenagers learning to use superhuman powers and just as much learning to deal with the consequences. The characters are invitingly friendly which I believe pulls the viewer in. You understand and feel what every character is going through and deeply empathize with them.
  59. Apr 16, 2012
    9
    when i think about it, i can't think of a way to make the movie better than it already is. the camera gimmick becomes sort of annoying at the end of the film, but that's that. everything else is at it's best, even though it wasn't the kin of perfection that deserves a 10. the characters are well-rounded, the effects look good and there is a very clear message in the movie: if one were to obtain telekinetic power, his life would spin around. Expand
  60. Feb 28, 2012
    8
    Most Sci-fi films fail to impress because they over exaggerate, specifically in comic book movies where the hero is far too strong to have trouble fighting a bald guy in a white suit (Superman or Spiderman, take your pick). Chronicle despite its roots as a science fiction feature is remarkably blunt in its execution and hauntingly realistic both in its depiction of these teenagers exploration of their newfound powers or its depiction of domestic violence and grief, itâ Expand
  61. Mar 23, 2012
    7
    Chronicle to me was a bit confusing, the plot seemed to act like a yo-yo one minute everything is slow and then suddenly everyone is high and the cameraman is having a spazm.
    The effect were well done and the actors were not to bad though the main guy was a little on the crazy side and getting to the point where he didn't seem for real.
    The film is ok and it is not the greatest film of the
    year or the greatest superhero film.
    IMO it was not worth the ticket but could be a good film to rent and watch with friends
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  62. Feb 27, 2012
    10
    Really epic and has an excellent story with one of the best performances and epic action scenes. Could've been better without the shaky camera footage, but really good anyway.
  63. Apr 28, 2012
    3
    I can understand the "found footage" idea, but even though there's seemingly a camera recording every second of modern life, why the film felt like it needed to have the contrived character of the intellectual, video blog-poster in the story doesn't cut it. Yes, you can argue that she helped further develop one of the main characters that represented balance, but doing so while trying to stay within the rules of "found footage" and having her filming every moment including when she's answering the door at home to when she's being lifted in her VW Bug on top of the Space Needle is a terrible choice and appears absolutely forced. Expand
  64. Oct 6, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Chronicle is a pretty good film that is quite different from other found footage films, I didn't actually have much problems with it, though I had a certain problem(s) in particular. I disliked a certain character quite a bit, Alex Russell's character in particular. His character was annoying as hell and I hate that he ended being the big hero in the end because he was not likeable at all, I really wanted his character to be offed, but that didn't happen. So overall Chronicle was a good film ruined by an annoying main character. Expand
  65. Mar 2, 2012
    8
    CHRONICLE is basically the same idea as the movie H A N C O C K, but here it is way better executed. The characters act like normal people when things happen. The movie stays true to the title.
  66. Jun 27, 2013
    0
    So... This movie was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Might I add that I am around their age group and can definitely tell you that nobody my age acts remotely like the way they acted in the movie. The dialogue and acting was SOOOO terrible, and the whole carrying the camera around added nothing to the movie. His friends wouldn't just go back to being friends with the main character after he NEARLY KILLS SOMEONE.

    This is honestly the dumbest movie I have seen. It's not original (telepathic powers and then someone goes rogue? not original at all) and everything about it except for the special effects was terrible.
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  67. Feb 17, 2013
    7
    Josh Trank wins his debut direction, this film is intriguing and innovative. One of the best films of 2012 so far and a new great style of superhero movie.
  68. May 2, 2012
    7
    Super hero genre mixed with found footage? After almost a decade topping the box office, the super hero genre was in danger of being stale. While this year we have two huge movies of the genre, Chronicle came from out of nowhere, receiving a lot of critical acclaim. While it is 'fresh' in its approach, it is far from 'original' as Critics would like you to believe. It follows the typical 'origin' story, how superheroes were made and how they are usually 'best friends' with the super villains, etc. So watch this with lower expectations and you'll enjoy this more. Expand
  69. Jan 31, 2013
    10
    *SIGH* Another 'found footage' film.
    Not even close.
    Chronicle tells a very different story to all its other counterparts, much like Troll Hunter, it creates a very extraordinary but very realistic experience that could not only blow your mind, but have you appreciate how simple an idea can be, with no need for big-budget special effects, but in its place a very grounded story with an
    excellent cast and wonderfully budgeted set-pieces.
    It also isn't told entirely from that 'one' viewpoint, a mixture of techniques have been used to capitalise on the realism and flow of the film and begs the simple question of what would happen if we had superpowers?
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  70. Feb 11, 2012
    9
    Very fun movie. Does some interesting things with the "found footage" genre. So far the best of its class in incorporating multiple camera angles. Also, a great example of the "rise and fall" story trope. Great movie, go see it.
  71. May 29, 2012
    10
    "From movies like Jumper, Push, Next, Clockstoppers, and some other movies about people getting superpowers and using it for their own good, Josh Trank and Max Landis have pulled of the impossible. So what is it about this movie that i liked so damn much, well for one thing i loved the pacing and the timing in this movie, for a running time of 83 minutes, the movie doesn't waste your time and gets to the point very quickly and perfectly. Another thing is how realistic this movie is, with the camera work, it definitely worked out for this movie, and the characters were aware of it, which was a major plus in my book. I could say so much more, but what i will say is my regards to the director and writer for delivering one of the best movies of the year, and were only getting started"

    /agree. This movie is better than Jump, it has subtleties to, and it's honestly very underrated. It reminds me of greek stories and their demigods. It's obvious they were influential. I found the characters convincing, especially Michael Jordan.
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  72. Mar 12, 2012
    10
    This movie breathes life into the found footage genre. The three teens who get super powers brings a dark twist to superhero genre. (Although it technically shouldn't be called superhero film.) This film has me guessing the whole way. I thought this film was entirely original and I am excited that they are making a sequel. If you haven't seen this yet, I extremely recommend it.
  73. Feb 17, 2012
    9
    This is nothing short of every boyâ
  74. 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. 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
  75. May 8, 2012
    8
    A decent movie with good pacing and character development (despite what other critics say), the only real issue is the unnatural use of camera footage. It's unlikely that a woman free falling in mid-air is going to hold a camera at the same time to record all of the action. It's also unlikely that this same woman is going to answer her door with a camera in hand, or use it at every given opportunity. I feel that it could have worked even without the Cloverfield-style camera. With that being said, the acting, story and build up was all perfect. Expand
  76. Feb 22, 2013
    7
    Using just a video camera, High School outcast, Andrew, documents the events surrounding a recent discovery. In the woods, he and his friends discovered something unexplainable, something that gives them supernatural powers. What I loved about this film, is unlike, many many others, these kids didn't take these powers and become superheroes, instead they did what any real life teenager would do and use them for pranks, popularity, and various other things. Also unlike similar "camcorder" films, it wasn't jumpy or choppy and it was quite easy to follow. The first hour of this film was amazing, unfortunately it did go downhill at the end. The whole film was done in a realistic fashion, making science fiction seem possible, until the end, when all hell breaks loose and it honestly just destroyed the whole thing for me. It was such a strong start, but such an awful ending. Most of the cast were newcomers and were very good, the story was also very solid, but this film needs a much better ending if it wants to be considered a classic. Expand
  77. Feb 10, 2012
    7
    Absolutely worth the price of admission. The filming really makes for a fresh take on the super hero genre and I actually laughed a good amount in it. The special effects aren't anything special but they weren't absolutely awful either. It's fairly unpredictable which is good and I really like how they got their powers, you don't know what the hell went on but it was a really cool scene. The only bad thing I have to say was that it was a little short. If only Andrew had known with great power comes great responsibility. Expand
  78. Aug 24, 2014
    7
    A film in a film - a movie told through camera. Not the first time, and it seems to have become a bit of a trend, but this one makes a decent job of it. Only near the end the movie seems to lose its grasp a little, finding it hard to follow the original idea (it seem a bit forced).

    The characters feel real. They are young, they aren't perfect, inside or out, and especially Dane DeHaan
    as Andrew is disturbingly... disturbed. But you can understand him, and feel sorry for him, even when he snaps. You can relate to it, as you can relate to each and every troubled youth in this world.

    "Chronicle" itself is a story of three boys who are not exactly connected, but whom a common incident pulls together, giving them a sense of unity. Yet even the most amazing, bizarre similarity cannot sew together something that didn't belong together previously, and the newly-formed friendship begins to crack, bit by bit.

    The special effects were rather well made, and even via camera they looked real enough. Especially because of the view point, the events seemed chaotic and almost disturbingly real; if it could happen, it would be just like this, and it would be brutal.

    There's no coming of age. There's no pastel happy ending. There's only what people make of each other, by their actions and by their choices - a cause, an effect, and a little bit of extraterrestrial spicing things up.
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  79. Feb 26, 2012
    10
    Can someone say Columbine! The director/writers understand how to capture real life teen psychology. You witness the transformation of an abused teen who takes it out on the world. Don't abuse your power!
  80. May 13, 2012
    8
    Chronicle: The best movie I've seen so far this year. Well directed, well cast, with a great plot and extremely entertaining.

    While not a masterpiece, it's leagues above similar films.
  81. Jan 3, 2013
    7
    A few issues with the special effects (it was painfully obvious that the whole "flying" attempt was done on wires) and the acting isn't that good but it was still a very enjoyable movie that is definently worth watching.
  82. Feb 18, 2012
    9
    Chronicle is such an awesome movie, here's why. Chronicle is a found footage sci-fi film about three teenagers who get super powers, but one of the boys, Andrew (Dane DeHann) starts to abuse his powers and use them for bad. I enjoyed the living crap out of this film! It had great acting (that was believable), perfect dialogue & even pacing. My only problem is that the CGI doesn't look real, but it's found footage, so i'm no gonna **** about it. Go do yourself a favour and watch this movie. Worth your money. Expand
  83. Apr 19, 2012
    8
    Chronicle is a fresh and original movie; in other words, we need more movies like it. Although it isn't too lengthy (around 80 minutes), Chronicle is an enjoyable and unforgettable film.
  84. Jun 20, 2012
    7
    An entertaining film with good action and a bit of drama. Chronicle provides a twist on typical superpower films, where the powers are used to stop a villain. The cast and their performances are the icing on the cake to an original plot.
  85. Jun 6, 2012
    8
    Although the film style seems unnecessary, Chronicle's plot unravels quite well, giving its audience a perspective that normal people can relate to, as well as developing its protagonists and antagonists without coming off as predictable.
  86. Feb 14, 2012
    8
    The great thing about this movie is that it's kind of unique. The plot is maybe too predictable but in the end it was still worth the watch. I love how after you watch the movie, you'd want to go off having their incredible abilities. Reality strikes.
  87. Feb 15, 2012
    9
    The plot, humour and character development were great. I am a sucker for sci-fi etc but even my hater friends enjoyed. The ending was the only let down, quite hollow in my opinion.
  88. Feb 19, 2012
    9
    Super cool, fun movie. I found the writing and acting to be particularly impressive considering the genre. Most notably, one character's relationship with an abusive parent is portrayed with tenderness and realism. The comedic moments are legitimately funny and the action sequences are quite thrilling. Strong recommend!
  89. Feb 25, 2012
    8
    Highly original, engrossing film that always has your full attention. Intense and ultimately tragic, the film smartly grapples with some important themes and succeeds largely on a foundation of realism, fine performances and a smart script. What is initially exciting soon becomes destructive as one of the three teenagers the audience is introduced to uses his new-found abilities as a means to vent his frustration at the world, refining them with practice as to assert his authority over those who have taunted him throughout his life. Fine performances from the young, not-so-eminent cast. A flourish in the careers of all involved are imminent. 7.8. Expand
  90. Feb 24, 2012
    9
    A rare movie. It explored the developments of the characters from before they possessed their powers to the very end. It creates a great deal of conflict in the viewer in terms of who they should feel sympathy for and which characters they should hate. Thoroughly enjoyed the way the film was written, how it was put together, the characters, and the overall storyline. It didn't really follow any particular formula but everything in it flowed Expand
  91. Mar 2, 2012
    10
    A really interesting film, I love chronicle, is like a sci-fi glee, but without the songs and all this things, Chronicle is really sorpresive, interesting, and awesome, like a next Jumper and I am number four.
  92. Jul 23, 2012
    9
    Normal I hate the found footage camera angle but Chronicle uses it very well. The 3 guys touch an alien thing in the ground and get telekinesis which they later figure out how to use to fly, and they go round doing all they awesome stuff everyone has fantasized about doing if they had powers. Its good how the powers affect the characters in different ways but saying any more would spoil the story. Some of the effects are really bad but this movie is not meant to be taken seriously enough for it to matter, its just fun. Expand
  93. Feb 26, 2012
    8
    Chronicle is an almost immaculate film that I, at first, had been wary of. I walked in the theater expecting another cheap "found footage" film. Instead, I found Chronicle had taken the "found footage" style and revamped it to suit the movie. It had a strong reason for the camera to be filming the whole movie (the personality of the protagonist) and it wasn't always an annoying first person view. Since the characters have special powers, the protagonist actually uses these powers to move the camera to show a third person view. Even in scenes where the camera is not present, the director used other cameras such as security tapes to show what was going on. The "found footage" style in this movie has been done very well with an original twist. The characters in the movie are also very well rounded. It is easy to say who they are without describing their physical appearance or role in the movie. The film also makes it clear that it is telling a story and it is not a generic good vs. evil film. It is about the consequences of a few teenagers developing special powers and there is no straight out villain. I found I was constantly switching which characters I was rooting for because of the twists and turns that the movie has. The special effects were fantastic, the story was an original spin on the whole "with great power comes great responsibility" theme, and the acting was great. There were only about one or two scenes that had wooden acting, but other than that, each actor was amazing at portraying his or her character. The film also has many side stories and each one of these side plots is interesting and compelling. The second half of the film is very dark and emotional and the main side plot intermingles with the overall main plot, creating an extremely engrossing story. The cinematography in the movie is astonishing, as well. The camerawork shows scenes in a very dramatic or entertaining way, depending on the mood of the scene. The one thing I have to say I didn't like about the film is the climax which I feel was unnecessary. Normally a good vs. evil movie will have a final battle- and this was not a good guy vs. bad guy film. It sort of took away from the feel of the rest of the movie, as it was not needed. It dragged on and was slightly boring until the final part of the climax. There were also one or two parts in the climax that seemed corny, and I think that it should have been taken out entirely and the end results could have come about in a different way. The one thing I like about the climax (besides the end of it) was how it started and I'm not going to say how it started so as to avoid revealing any spoilers. Overall, the film was original and amazing. It was a breath of fresh air from all of the remakes, prequels, and sequels going on right now and I'm definitely going to buy it on Blu-Ray. I'd recommend this film to ages fourteen and up, as it is very graphic and just as dark as The Dark Knight (No pun intended). I'd even recommend this movie to people who don't like the "found footage" style, which is I style that I absolutely despise. However, Chronicle pulled the "found footage" style off so well that I don't think any other movie can beat it in the years to come. The reason I give Chronicle an "8" is because I think the climax took too much away from this fantastic film. Expand
  94. Feb 26, 2012
    10
    Una película realmente interesante, que cumple su objetivo, muy recomendada, para los amantes de los efectos especiales. un inicio algo fuera de lo común con un final inesperado que los dejara con ganas de mas.
  95. 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.
  96. Mar 6, 2012
    9
    This movie was a very enjoyable experience for me. What really made it great was the fact that they can really show the intensity of having super powers, which brings out a huge range of emotions. The actors were really phenomenal and the action and humor was great as well. The actors kept the movie going for sure it was a good $15 to spend for sure.
  97. Mar 10, 2012
    8
    The plot line of this movie is quite interesting as it portrays what "normal" people might go through if they were to be gifted with super powers. The ending wasn't the best and the bounciness of the camera might make some people sea-sick other than that great movie!
  98. Mar 16, 2012
    3
    A good story, good actors but completely destroyed by the attempt to skimp on the effects by trying to be arty with the view from a camera. How can you show a fight from the point for view of a camera being held by one of the characters?...by switching to traffic cameras and helicopters o so thats an excuse for blurry picture, No.
  99. 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 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
  100. Mar 18, 2012
    10
    So far one of my favorite movies of 2012. The story helps gain a connection with the characters and the action gives you a solid blockbuster experience. No negative comments but it takes a while for the tension to build up, as with every movie
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.