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Movie Review

Chronicle

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense action and violence, thematic material, some language, sexual content and teen drinking.
Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Adventure Fantasy Drama
Length:
1 hr. 23 min.
Year of Release:
2012
USA Release:
February 3, 2012 (wide—2,800+ theaters)
DVD: May 15, 2012
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

superpowers, supernatural power

telekinesis

selfishness

teen drinking—drunkenness

embracing our darker sides vs. goodness

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer

sin

Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer

Teen Qs—Christian Answers for teenagers
Teens—Have questions? Find answers in our popular TeenQs section. Get answers to your questions about life, dating and much more.

friends turning against one another

Featuring: Michael B. Jordan
Dane DeHaan … Andrew Detmer
Michael Kelly
Anna Wood … Monica
Alex Russell
Ashley Hinshaw … Casey
Joe Vaz … Michael Ernesto
Luke Tyler … Sean
Matthew Dylan Roberts … Michael Ernesto’s neighbour
Director: Josh Trank
Producer: Adam Schroeder Productions
Davis Entertainment
more »
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

“It’s all fun and games until everybody gets hurt.”

The story Chronicle shows us a teen, Andrew Detmer, who is dealing with many pressures in his life. He lives with his parents, a father who is an injured firefighter and his mother who is dying from cancer. His father is frequently abusive, both verbal and physical. The family barely has the money to pay for medication for the mother’s illness. To make matters worse, Andrew is dealing with social pressures at the high school he attends. However, his cousin Matt, with whom he used to be close with as kids, has adapted a little better to the social pressures of high school. Matt invites Andrew to a party that takes place in an old barn; they attend, along with another popular guy name Steve. Outside of the party in a nearby field they find a hole. This leads to a cave holding a mysterious substance.

The three teens mysteriously receive superpowers by way of telekinesis (direct influence of mind on a physical object, i.e., moving objects with the mind). They use their new found powers for moving small objects, playing pranks and practical jokes on people. Andrew purchases a video camera and records all these events as they go about enjoying their superpowers. Eventually, their abilities begin to increase, as they learn to use their powers to fly. However, because of Andrew’s troubled life he channels much of his pain and unresolved issues into vengeful acts.

As the movie progresses, Matt is shown pleading with Andrew to abide by the “rules”. One of the rules consists of not harming people. Andrew does not abide by this rule and grows increasingly strong in his superpowers. He appears to have apathy associated with the violence against others. With this new authority, he listens to no one, and becomes a dangerous threat to anyone who has ever hurt him.

Our Father, God, is Omnipotent; which means He has all power and authority. In addition, He is also very patient and is made perfect in love. This is why we can trust God to have all power, because the scripture says this:

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:45).

You often hear people make comments like “I couldn’t be God, because I would do this or do that to someone”. Well this statement is very true. Unless we are made perfect in love according to 1 Corinthians 13, we run the risk of abusing “superpowers”, if we had them. Consider the following:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:1-8).

Objectionable content

There is frequent profanity such as “holy crap”, many uses of God’s name in vain. There are also frequent use of “-ss and d_mn” “b_tch” and hell. Sexual references are made about losing virginity and the comment “douche bag” is made. Under-aged drinking is shown and other careless behaviors associated with drinking. The teens experience frequent nosebleeds as one of their side effects of the telekinesis. One of the boys refers to it as a “face period”.

Violence is shown throughout as an act of revenge. These vengeful acts were on parents, drivers on the road, police authorities, bullies at school, etc.

Positives

Matt is shown having a great deal of compassion about Andrew harming others. He tries to save the life of a drowning man due to an accident Andrew caused. He also makes several other attempts to stop Andrew’s destructive behavior. Other positive content includes the close relationship between Andrew and his mother and her encouragement toward him.

I cannot recommend this film due to its heavy violence and language. However, what we can take from this film is that unresolved and troublesome issues people have are not hidden when they are given money, power, or status. It only magnifies what issues are already there. This powerful message is greatly revealed in this movie.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Uncle Ben from the 2002 SPIDER-MAN film. In CHRONICLE, the “responsibility” becomes a necessity, and we see why. From the opening scene, which is black, it sets the tone and introduces us to one of our first character, Andrew (Dane DeHaan) as he literally chronicles his day to day life with an old video camera. Soon, we see his abusive life to meeting his more stable cousin Matt (Alex Russell), and then, later on, Steve (Michael B. Jordan), a jock who became a part of the nuclei trio, as they stumbled into an underground hole and found themselves with superpowers afterward.

Each of the characters learned to harness and gain more strengths with their new found abilities, from small backyard fun with a ball to pulling pranks at a mall—Andrew’s powers take a turn darker, as his life derailed further into despair, both at school and home. Andrew began to take his power to another level of heightened danger, and Matt became the group’s de facto leader, in regarding how they should use their powers.

CHRONICLE did an impressive job of utilizing the “found footage” story telling mechanism, and it is not your regular superhero or a teen flick either. CHRONICLE strives for something much more. What would you do if you found yourself with superpower?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mang Yang, age 39 (USA)
Positive—“Chronicle” is a well done film that takes you into the life of a hurting and struggling boy. The found footage format is well done, creating a fun, exciting, and unique feel to the film. The action scenes are remarkable, along with a terrific cast and script. The film doesn’t waste time to explain itself or bog the audience down with boring “explaining” scenes. Chronicle is fast paced and a completely thrilling ride. The last 20 minutes are jaw dropping.

Overall, “Chronicle” is a fantastic film that makes its way onto my favorite films of all time. Josh Tank did a great job directing the film. Dane DeHaan did a amazing job playing Andrew. Hats off to him and the cast. “Chronicle” gets 5/5 stars or an A+.

Now, for a moral look on the film. Yes, I can see how this can be offensive to Christians, but it has some really good messages that audiences should hear. “Chronicle” tells how every teen needs a strong family that encourages and cares from them. Andrew’s family lacks this, and it shows in his character. His dad abuses him, and kids at school bully him and avoid him. Andrew is an at risk kid who needs somebody to care for him and tell him that he isn’t worthless. Eventually, all the bullying and abuse take a toll on Andrew’s mind, and he is pushed over the edge to use his powers to take vengeance on the world.

The Bible clearly states that vengeance is God’s only, but Andrew, who doesn’t grow up in a Christ based home, doesn’t know that.

The violence in “Chronicle” isn’t overly violent, but still violent. The language is often and is the only reason some people might be offended by the film. The sexual content isn’t overly prevalent and is kept clean. There is teen partying and drinking.

The good messages are that family is important, popularity is not everything, a teen male needs a strong father and male role model, and you should treat people with kindness and love, because you don’t know their background story. I would not recommend the film for kids under 13 because of the home abusive and darkness of the film. However, I definitely urge you, the reader to check this film out.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Frank Patnode, age 18 (USA)
Positive—I liked how original this movie was—a really fresh take on the superhero genre. The acting was all very real and believable, and the effects were great, without taking away from the home-movie feel.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kadie Jo, age 20 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—This movie contains a MASS amount of language, and sexual content. Although we don’t see sex taking place, it is implied. The movie is extremely sad in many parts. The main character (who’s name escapes me), his mother is dying, and his father is abusive. The movie starts off good, with a good story and is very humorous, but then when then, towards the end, BEGIN HORROR MOVIE. Now what doesn’t make sense is that the character goes on his killing RAMPAGE, because he vomited on a girl he was about to have sex with? It just seemed out of place.

And the scenes following are so upsetting that I doubt I’ll forget them. The kid almost kills his father, goes on a killing rampage, and in the end is stabbed through by his closest friend. It was unbelievable. The movie would have been SO much better as a comedy, where the kids learn their lesson and go on with life, but they completely wrecked it.

Content wise, there is a lot of language but no f-words. The implied attempt on sex, and the teen drinking is bad. In the end, viewers walk out feeling empty, disturbed and darkened. If it’s that movie you REALLY want to see, just wait to rent it for a dollar.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Koji Moto, age 17 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Be aware that the entire movie is filled in “Blair Witch” hand-cam style. It is done in narrative format, so the camera work is uneven at best. The movie starts as a potentially interesting character study, but somewhere along the line it turns into more of a comic book as the kids try to learn to process their new powers. The ending fight scene is so over the top, it really doesn’t fit. There we so many explained angles to the story. Regarding the moral side of the movie.

The production of the movie itself contained no morals. The language is bad, drugs, drinking, and sex are considered acceptable(actually, it’s unacceptable if you not doing these things). There is a study of the human condition as the lead spirals downward, or at least there was a half hearted attempt.

Overall, just an odd movie. I saw it with my 18 year old daughter and she was equally non-plussed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Wesley, age 48 (USA)
Negative—This HAD to be the most boring movie, I believe, I had to set through so far this year. How awful someone could pay money to see this—AND ACTUALY ENJOY IT—is beyond me. It was also FILLED with profanity and other worldly problems, so DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Chris, age 22 (USA)
Negative—Power disrupts. Andrew is a troubled teen with a dying mother and abusive father. We see the film trough his camera that he uses obsessively. He and a few friends come across this cave with a structure inside that gives them all telekinetic powers. As they develop these powers, Andrew becomes destructive. Although his mother was supportive, when she was healthy, his abusive father and lack of popularity at school (before his powers are used to perform a magic show) fueled his destructive behavior. He begins playing with people‘s lives, even to the point of their deaths.

The reason I give this a negative review is Andrew never learns from his mistakes. He doesn’t know right from wrong. These powers are never used to help others, by any of them. They want to travel the world. Big deal. How does that make a happy ending? No one is served in the end, but one who has the power. Bad message.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Jeff, age 55 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—Worst movie I have ever seen in my life! It was very disturbing and very depressing! The ending was horrible, and it’s a waste of time and money. I will never watch this movie again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Britt, age 13 (USA)
Positive—This movie was great! Great acting, especially by the guy who played Andrew, made the film even better. Although this is an action film, there is also a great story to it. You definitely do not want to miss this one. It is a little sad because of the abuse that Andrew goes through. The ending is amazing, but it is also pretty sad. Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—C, age 14 (USA)
Positive—this movie follows the struggle of a anti social boy who ends up with super powers and friends why this may seam like a good thing other parts of his life make him a killer. ***SPOILER*** His mother dies and his dad’s a drunk, and he kills his best friend accidentally. ***END SPOILER*** This ultimately drives him to insanity. This movie pretty much proves the quote off Spider-Man (2002) It is true “with great power comes great responsibility.“

This movie is fairly violent in the last act and may disturb some viewers. The language can sometimes be a bit harsh, but, all in all, a good movie for 13 +
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Elijah, age 13 (New Zealand)

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