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175 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With great power comes great trouble
Perhaps no other phrase in the comic book genre applies to daily life as much as Spider-Man's famous, "With great power comes great responsibility." Such a phrase has guided Spider-Man throughout his career, but occasionally the thought comes up: what if he didn't follow this famous mantra, and instead used his powers for selfish reasons? While "Chronicle" may not be...
Published on February 3, 2012 by Ian

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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars for a new wrinkle in the "found footage" style of filmmaking
I'm pretty sure that I've seen most if not all of the genre now called "found footage" films, going back the grandmother of them all "The Blair Witch Project." I've liked some and not others pretty much like any other film. One common thread is a theme of dread, relatively unknown actors and filmmakers, and low budget. Fine, no problem. Director Josh Trank throws a...
Published on February 10, 2012 by M. Oleson


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175 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With great power comes great trouble, February 3, 2012
This review is from: Chronicle (DVD)
Perhaps no other phrase in the comic book genre applies to daily life as much as Spider-Man's famous, "With great power comes great responsibility." Such a phrase has guided Spider-Man throughout his career, but occasionally the thought comes up: what if he didn't follow this famous mantra, and instead used his powers for selfish reasons? While "Chronicle" may not be related to Spider-man, it perfectly explores what would happen if the famous saying was ignored.

"Chronicle" follows three high school kids who have pretty ordinary lives: one is running for class president, one is the shy type whom nobody likes, and the last is the outgoing, energetic type. One night, while at a rave, the three come across something mysterious, and find themselves in possession of powers that allow them to manipulate things with their minds. As expected, they start off doing pranks (like using a leaf blower on skirts, for example), but as time goes on, being in possession of so much power can be dangerous...and even deadly.

Even among the glut of superhero and found-footage films, "Chronicle" manages to stand out, in most-part, due to that it's not really a superhero film: rather, it's really a story about how absolute power corrupts absolutely. While I was watching the movie, I was really surprised to find myself being more interested in the teens, rather then the powers they wield. All three are best friends, and they're good at heart, but are not above using their powers to mess with people's heads. Andrew, in particular, is one of the most interesting film teenagers I've seen in recent memory, due to his miserable home life, and how he reacts with his new-found abilities. Yet, from the beginning, it's clear that the power is inevitably going to corrupt the teens, which leads to a extraordinarily powerful third act that that genuinely had me more interested in what Andrew and the others were going to do, and not in the action that was taking place around them.

Even though there have arguably been too many superhero and found footage films over the past few years, "Chronicle" manages to feel fresh and exciting. While it's faults are few (the CGI is at times a bit obvious), the strength of it's storytelling more then makes up for any flaws. It's an unexpectedly gripping and thrilling film that focuses on the emotional consequences of how extraordinary powers corrupt ordinary people, rather then on spectacle and action, as other films would have done, and for that, I highly recommend it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised and Wanted More, November 21, 2012
By 
Doug Park (Lexington, KY, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Chronicle (DVD)
{4.5 stars}

Reading some of the other reviews of "Chronicle," I was a little reluctant to bother watching it. Yet another "found footage" film--maaannn, when are they going to realize that this technique has been done to death?--and there's not even any logical reason to use it here. Nevertheless, I was very impressed with what this film's creators were able to do. Really fine acting and storyline: The way the three very different protagonists interact is quite convincing. "Chronicle" also aptly portrays adolescent/high school existence, an age that so many films screw up with clichés and stereotypes. Very true-to-life dialogue: Whoever wrote the script did an outstanding job. All the Greek morality play elements, the theme of hubris, etc, add a great deal. Special effects are good but not too Hollywood-slick, which makes them all-the-more convincing. Humankind's common desire, unaided flight, is portrayed without strings attached: The flight scenes are, well, awesome, and they also capture the complications of achieving this dream. Plenty of surprises--love the ending.

Still, "Chronicle" would benefit from a little more-in-general (only 84 minutes?!), which is, I suppose, the best sort of flaw a film can have.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars for a new wrinkle in the "found footage" style of filmmaking, February 10, 2012
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This review is from: Chronicle (DVD)
I'm pretty sure that I've seen most if not all of the genre now called "found footage" films, going back the grandmother of them all "The Blair Witch Project." I've liked some and not others pretty much like any other film. One common thread is a theme of dread, relatively unknown actors and filmmakers, and low budget. Fine, no problem. Director Josh Trank throws a few wrinkles into the camera footage by not limiting the filming to just one camera. This iteration incorporates a friend's use of a camera (school reporter doncha know), hospital security cameras, helicopter cameras, etc. and then shows it edited together to get the movie.

Our 3 teenage "heroes" being a little tipsy coming from a party find a big hole in the ground and decide to slip into it and see what's what. Some alien remnants (I guess) are discovered that put out some intergalactic emission that gives the 3 boys supernatural powers. As they discover their powers, they begin to innocently play tricks on each other and eventually other people. As their use increases, so does their strength. As one points out, the gift is like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it becomes. Eventually they do attain strength and even the ability to fly. In other words, Superman/boy without the costume.

One of the boys, Andrew (Dane DeHaan) has always been an outcast and socially shy. His mother is gravely ill with some undisclosed respiratory problem and his father is an out of work fireman who hits the bottle and his son. His cousin Matt (Alex Russell) is one of those cool kids but not in the athletic hierarchy. Finally there is Steve (Michael B. Jordan) who is at the peak of high school cool. An athlete, class president and on his way to a political career. Eventually, Andrew realizes by using his powers he too can become cool, but alas he stumbles when he tries to bed one of his classmates. He's never the same. He becomes violent and tragedy ensues.

Cousin Matt becomes the eventual voice of reason and tries to reel in Andrew. The film certainly has its moments. The interaction between the guys seems legit. Yet there is something not quite right about Andrew complete personality change. It's like Bruce Banner changing into The Hulk. The other two are not affected this way. Even at a crisp 84 minute running time, the final flying/destruction sequence seems to go on forever. And I couldn't help thinking; did we really need to use the "found footage" technique with this story?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars flying high, November 10, 2012
By 
This review is from: Chronicle (DVD)
Action/adventure, huh? More like suspense/horror with elements of drama! Chronicle is one of the craziest films I've seen in a while. It's about three teenage boys who happen to stumble across telekinesis powers hidden deep in the ground that was apparently brought to earth by aliens (though it was never actually stated but we can only assume since all logic points to alien creatures). When the teens leaves the hole... let's just say, they'll never be the same again! The movie takes the familiar theme of having one of the characters walk around holding a home video camera, which reminds me of the Blair Witch Project but a *thousand* times more exciting and suspenseful.

Some of these segments will truly blow your mind. Everything from money being ejected from a cash register, to a bus way up high in the air flying through a building, to the teenagers learning they have the ability to fly, to windows exploding and police officers and cars flying backwards... everything that makes special effects entertaining is right here. These powers are also used to trick people such as a lady who comes out of a grocery store and discovers that her vehicle had been parked in another spot, lol. The boys also use these powers in a negative way such as pushing an impatient driver off the road and over a guardrail. Not to mention they find out the hard way what happens when they exploit these special powers and believe they're unstoppable. Let's just say, the consequences will HAVE to be taken into consideration then.

The one thing that sort of bugs me is that the teen whose mother was lying hopelessly sick in bed... shouldn't he have at least *tried* to use his special powers to save her life? Anyway this same boy has a father (or stepfather) who's an absolute jerk and doesn't mind smacking his son around, and the telekinesis powers are most rewarding during this segment. Whereas the first 10 minutes are really boring and lousy, the final 20 minutes that show the ultimate confrontation on the streets of Seattle are enough to elevate the overall rating to 5 solid stars. Really strange movie. I'll have nightmares tonight! Recommended to everyone!
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44 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and riveting, February 29, 2012
This review is from: Chronicle (DVD)
Another in a line of films portrayed as actual footage later found. Filmed documentary styles, the movie tells the story of three high school boys who encounter some sort of alien ship or something, and then acquire superhuman powers of telekinesis. Predictably, things spiral out of control for the three. This is a realistic, and quite good film about a young man with problems who is unable to control the powers he discovers. His two friends try to help, but they are unable to control him. This one was a pleasant surprise and is the best movie of its kind since Paranormal Activity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, September 21, 2012
By 
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This review is from: Chronicle (DVD)
The DP from Cloverfield should watch this film. This is how you do a "found footage" movie. The storyline is excellent and the execution was flawless.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good twist on an old genre, October 16, 2012
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This review is from: Chronicle (Amazon Instant Video)
This was an ejoyable film of the sci-fi genre. The three main characters were believable and engaging. By far, the most entertaining scene was the section about the talent show.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually Amazing, October 20, 2013
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This review is from: Chronicle (DVD)
This is unlike any movie I've seen. I really liked it. It's very clever and I think it is a must watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to love? My nephew in-law plays Andrew (Dane DeHaan). OK, I'm a little biased., September 11, 2013
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This review is from: Chronicle (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo +Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
Dane's first big movie. Watch this kid...he is going to be big. Movie is more for the younger crowd, however.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie Ever, September 10, 2013
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This review is from: Chronicle (Amazon Instant Video)
This is possobly my favorite movie of all time, with the twists in the plot and the really unexpected ending.
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Chronicle (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo +Digital Copy)
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