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Generally favorable reviews- based on 450 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 450

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  1. Sep 23, 2014
    This movie makes me excited for Josh Trank`s future projects because his work is unique and surprisingly redeemable. Dane DeHaan delivered a stellar performance, which was much needed because of the distractingly poor CGI. I was not bothered by the "found footage" aspect at all, and believed that it helped me learn more about Andrew`s character as I could see the world from his perspective. Apart from a rushed conclusion, Chronicle was a nice surprise that is definitely worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of sci-fi and superhero movies. Expand
  2. Aug 24, 2014
    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.
  3. Jul 26, 2014
    Conclusion: While definitely the special effects are not mind-blowing and the third act is quite messy. Chronicle is a very original found-footage film with an interesting premise, well developed characters and enjoyable action sequences. 83/100 [B+]

    The shy, lonely and outcast teenager Andrew Detmer is bullied and has no friends at high-school and lives with his abusive and alcoholic
    father Richard Detmer and his terminally ill mother Karen. Andrew buys a camera to film his everyday life. His cousin Matt Garetty drives him to school and invites Andrew to go to a party at night. They meet their schoolmate Steve Montgomery in the party and they overhear a noise and find a hole in a field. They decide to explore the underground and they acquire powers. Soon the trio learns how to control their telekinetic abilities and Andrew becomes the most powerful. But he easily loses his temper and becomes dangerous while Matt tries to control him. When his mother needs a medicine and Andrew does not have enough money to buy it, his darker side overcomes and he becomes a menace.

    Josh Trank's debut "Chronicle" is a satisfyingly, quite entertaining and fast-paced journey. I like how this film develops its characters, it's a very deep film, and the found-footage element adds some veracity to the story, The guy who plays "Andrew" is a surprisingly good actor and also the guy who plays as his cousin "Matt" gives a quite enjoyable and believable performance, all the young cast is just perfect. As i said the development of the characters is awesome and remarkable, we see all the worries and the pain of these characters, there are here some situations involving bullying and loneliness. The first act has some bullying stuff and we meet the characters, also has some enjoyable and very funny scenes involving these guys and their first encounter with telekinesis.

    The second act is more scenes with these guys playing with this magic power, some parties, etc. The third act is an explosion, everything goes out of control, violence, troubles, etc. The last act of Chronicle is quite messy and scattershot, that's the main problem of the film, and its found-footage execution is confusing and unbelievable sometimes, there's a lot of cameras recording and it was so confusing for me. The special effects are quite passable, not great at all; It's a low budget film so i understand. The direction is amazing Josh Trank is a director with lots of imagination and potential. Overall "Chronicle" is a very enjoyable and fast-paced journey, despite its messy last act this is one of the best found-footage films of all the time. [B+] Check out my blog: Twitter: @MemoBosque
  4. Jul 5, 2014
    Dane Dehaan is obviously appealing and the movie is entertaining, but I don't think it's better than the trailer. I'm not a fan of found footage but this was good.
  5. May 9, 2014
    My favorite character in this film was the camera. Even though I normally dislike "found footage" style movies, the way they personified the camera was very unique and interesting. Shots become more meaningful and carry more depth when you realize how the camera is it's own person while being an extension of Andrew. I have never seen a movie where you see a camera's footage and then the camera itself from a third-person perspective. Obviously, the film style of character documentation comes with the cliche, "Did you get that?" and other such phrases, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much it added to the story. Even though it might be difficult, I would love to see more movies include the camera as a character. Expand
  6. Apr 26, 2014
    A brilliant will made movie with a lot of heart and soul shoved into the project. The characters are likable and easy to relate 2. The film really does a great job and i very much recommend watching the film

  7. Apr 2, 2014
    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 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
  8. Mar 21, 2014
    It is just a group of teenage boys having nose periods all the bloody time. Not even funny or enjoyable.. I don't even need to go into detail, characters are bad, plot is bad, though i do like action movies, this is just horrible. I still can't believe that i sat through this whole movie.
  9. Mar 10, 2014
    by far one of the best "found footage" films although they accomplish this via the camera being held by the characters telekinetic powers. really blurs the lines between protagonist and antagonist as you feel more and more sympathy for Andrew and the epic clash he has with his Cousin.
  10. Jan 5, 2014
    In a vast landscape of cheesy, over-the-top superhero movies that lack a true heart and soul, Chronicle is a story packed with philosophical and emotional punch with amazing acting and a first-person "camera" perspective that fits the movie perfectly. The characters and their situations are so realistic and so easy to relate to, that it is hard not to sympathize even with the antagonist. My only complaint might be the long time it takes for the real theme of the movie to be easily seen, but since the movie is only 90 minutes anyway, the action in the meantime makes this complain a minor detail that can easily get lost in the otherwise brilliant movie. Expand
  11. Dec 15, 2013
    I was never into superhero movies before I watched Chronicle, but after this I had to watch every one I could get my hands on. It's just a fantastically well crafted movie, even more so because it doesn't act all idealistic about the characters. They're real teenagers who do stupid for fun with their newfound powers, but it also violently shows how corrupted someone can be when given power, especially when they had less than none before. The three characters are superbly fleshed out and are all brilliant actors, the effects are also perfect, meeting the exact space between fake-looking and obvious-CGI. It's a convincing story that makes you give a about the characters, and as a result you feel good when you watch them mess around with their powers. The flying scene is a good example, I was practically grinning watching it as the first-person view lets you experience it as the characters do. The final battle is also brilliant, and the perfect way for it to end. The last twenty seconds or so are a little odd but I can forgive the film for that. The film overall is thought provoking and an excellent study of what happens when irresponsible people are given the power of gods. Expand
  12. Aug 14, 2013
    A fresh and exciting take at both the found footage and superhero origin stories. Chronicle is bolstered by strong performances, impressive special effects, and a profound story about life decisions and there sometimes cruel consequences.
  13. Jul 22, 2013
    +Great acting particularly from the character Andrew (will refer to actors by name of character), who portrays a horrific story of abandonment.
    +While the story is pretty predictable it is still interesting, with a well-rounded ending.
    +Fantastic camera shots making you feel you are getting the view through the characters eyes.
    +Excellent interaction between the characters
    meaning the film has more substance than your standard action movie.
    +Nice use of special effects, which in a way help to add bits of comedy to help break up the predictable nature of the story.
    -Parts of the film fall flat due to not well executed script writing.
    -The development of Andrew’s psychopathy feels cheesy and is difficult to take seriously.
    -Some of the characters aren’t well portrayed, in particularly Andrews’s dad who while playing a major role in Andrew’s insanity, isn’t featured enough.

    Nevertheless despite such negatives, the film is worth a watch, for any movie fan, and I hope that there will be a sequel.

    Full Review
    The film starts of fairly slow, as the focus rests on the audience for about 10minutes, developing an understanding for Andrew, who has to deal with an abusive father, a dying mother, and being at the bottom of the social hierarchy at school. While this section is largely well executed with convincing acting, one can’t help but wished for more originality. That said though a major positive of the film is the introduction of Andrew as a cameraman, as he films everything in his life. This helps to get a more interesting take on Andrew’s problems.

    Nevertheless the film quickly picks up as Andrew, Steve (a friend he meets at a barn dance) and Matt (Andrews cousin), develop the power telekinesis. While it is a bit of a surprise when they first display their powers, the fact you never find out exactly how they developed it is actually a nice loop hole as it keeps a sense of mystery throughout the film. This section is a nice relaxing moment as it focuses on the development of the friends’ friendship. In particularly the scene at the mall with Matt trying to pull gum out of a guy’s mouth, is a particular giggle. This section is enhanced by clever acting and interesting concepts like using telekinesis to enhance sexual performance.

    However what is really clever about this mid-section of the film is how behind the scenes you begin to realise their power is developing to dangerous levels (in the film telekinesis is like a muscle and it gets stronger the more they use it). This danger is highlighted when Andrew cause a car to crash. In this particularly scene the lack of care in Andrew emerges as he can’t understand what he did wrong. Nevertheless the friends quickly develop their powers further by having a hoot while flying. This flying scene helps to maintain that balances between using telekinesis for fun, and it being deadly, meaning the action packed bit of the film is to come, and helping to maintain the audience’s suspense.

    Furthermore this high quality is maintained throughout the rest of the film (for the most part) and in particularly the fight section at the end of the film is cleverly pulled off, with interesting choice of weapons like a flying bus. Such creativity in this fight section helps to maintain interest, as it makes the film feel more special than your average action film, where most of the focus appears to be focused on special effects. This is followed up by an ending which is balanced ending as it is well executed ending demonstrating the real danger behind too much power. This once again adds to the specialness of the film cause while the ending is predictable, it is well executed.

    If there is a major section where the film falls flat, it is the downfall of Andrew. This is largely let down by lack of originality, because essential Andrew develops ideas of Social Darwinism meaning he is not restricted by normal moral restrictions, meaning he begins using his power in sinister ways e.g. dealing with bullies at school. Unfortunately Andrews’s development of psychopathy is a bit cheesy, and it means that the story becomes predictable, because it becomes obvious where he powers would end up leading him to.

    There are other areas where the film seems to have failed to capitalise on opportunities to make the film legendary. The main area is the lack of development of certain characters. The most obvious one is Andrew’s dad who you learn very little about beyond his alcoholism meaning his actions aren’t interesting because his motives are largely unknown. The other majorly under-developed character is that of Casey (Matt’s girl) who in meaning ways seems more like a filler than anything else, as her role is largely to film (she films things for her vlog) elements of the film Andrew isn’t present in.

    Nevertheless the film is certainly worth a watch, due to the combination of acting and interesting elements, combined with nice action.
  14. Jul 20, 2013
    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
  15. Jun 27, 2013
    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.
  16. Jun 21, 2013
    I liked the originality of a film and the story was great. It is not a must-watch but the film in overall is a nice thing to do if you want to spend time with friends. The ending was bad and that is one thing i didn't like from Chronicle
  17. Jun 9, 2013
    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
  18. Jun 7, 2013
    this is by far the worst movie of 2012, oh wait i apologize, i wouldn't actually call it a movie,
    it's look like something you see on YouTube nowadays NOT on the big screen,
    because there is nothing about this that actually make it a movie, no story at all,
    a sudden changes of events and terrible ending,everything about this movie is awful,
    even the visuals are horrific which is what
    the movie all about, the last scene on the Mountains that it's covered with ice was obviously a green screen effect which i can do with a video camera and an editing software, this "movie" was done so IMMATURELY that it pissed me off. Expand
  19. Jun 2, 2013
    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
  20. May 28, 2013
    Chronicle, the newest addition to the found footage genre. I did like the movie, it had an interesting premise and believable characters. Not only was it enjoyable but it had somwhat heart I did feel for every character on screen, and thats a hard thing to do in found footage movies. I did have some problems with the movies, such as the special effects, it was legit but at points it looked fake. But I still like the movie. Agian, if you dont like found footage films, dont watch this film. Expand
  21. Apr 29, 2013
    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.
  22. Apr 22, 2013
    It's very innovative in scope, and the shaky camera deal works in its favor. An interesting look into social issues for the high-school aged. Worth a watch, and could use a sequel.
  23. Apr 8, 2013
    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 comic book hero/supernatural lovers. Expand
  24. Mar 30, 2013
    This movie was very unpredictable and even creepy at moments. The thing that I liked the most about it is that it's not formulaic or unoriginal like many modern horror/drama/thrillers these days. The story went so well with character development and how it built up and got more and more intense as it progressed. The ending makes you wonder............................. Sequel?
  25. Mar 26, 2013
    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 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.
  26. Mar 9, 2013
    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
  27. Mar 3, 2013
    This is just a terrible movie, i was massively disappointed when i went to watch this film at the cinema.
    the acting is bad the plot is just boring as hell do not recommend watching this film
  28. Feb 27, 2013
    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
  29. Feb 22, 2013
    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
  30. Feb 17, 2013
    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.

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
    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
    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
    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.