Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Josh Trank|
|Produced by||John Davis |
|Screenplay by||Max Landis|
|Story by||Max Landis |
|Starring||Dane DeHaan |
Michael B. Jordan
|Editing by||Elliot Greenberg|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)|| |
|Running time||83 minutes|
|Country||United Kingdom |
Chronicle is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Josh Trank in his directorial debut, and written by Max Landis based on a story by both. Three Seattle high-school seniors, bullied Andrew (Dane DeHaan), his cousin Matt (Alex Russell) and more popular Steve (Michael B. Jordan) form a bond after gaining telekinetic abilities from an unknown object. They first use their abilities for mischief and personal gain, until Andrew turns to darker purposes.
The film is visually presented as found footage filmed from the perspective of various video recording devices, primarily from a hand-held camcorder used by Andrew to document the events in his life. Released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on February 1, 2012, and in the United States on February 3, 2012, Chronicle received a positive critical response and grossed $126 million worldwide.
Seattle teenager Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan) starts videotaping his life. His mother Karen (Bo Petersen) is slowly dying from cancer and his alcoholic father Richard (Michael Kelly) verbally and physically abuses him. At school, Andrew is frequently bullied.
Andrew's cousin Matt (Alex Russell) invites him to a party to help him meet people, but Andrew's filming angers an attendee and Andrew leaves despondent. Andrew is persuaded by popular student Steve (Michael B. Jordan) to record something strange he and Matt have found in the woods: a hole in the ground emitting a loud strange noise. The three enter the hole and discover a large glowing blue crystalline object. The object glows red and the group is stricken by nosebleeds and pain. The camera cuts out. Weeks later Andrew records himself, Matt, and Steve as they display telekinetic abilities, able to move objects with their minds, but bleeding from their noses when they overexert themselves. They return to the hole, but find that it has collapsed and that the sheriff's department is sealing off the area.
As their abilities grow more powerful, Matt theorizes that they function like a muscle, becoming stronger with use. The trio develop a close friendship and begin employing their abilities to play pranks. However, after Andrew pushes a rude motorist off the road and into a river, Matt insists that they restrict the use of their powers, particularly against living creatures.
When they discover the ability to fly, they agree to fly around the world together after graduation. Andrew wants to visit Tibet for the peaceful nature. Steve encourages Andrew to enter the school talent show to gain popularity. Andrew amazes his fellow students by disguising his powers as impressive feats. That night, Andrew, Matt and Steve celebrate at a house party, where Andrew is the center of attention. After drinking with his classmate Monica (Anna Wood), she and Andrew go upstairs to have sex, but Andrew vomits on Monica, humiliating the two.
Andrew becomes increasingly withdrawn and hostile, culminating when his father Richard attacks him, and Andrew uses his power to overcome him. His outburst is so extreme that it inflicts psychically connected nosebleeds and pain on Steve and Matt. Steve is drawn to Andrew, who is floating in the middle of a storm. Steve tries to console him, but Andrew grows increasingly angry until Steve is suddenly struck by lightning and killed. At Steve's funeral, Matt confronts Andrew about the suspicious circumstances of Steve's death. Andrew denies responsibility to Matt, but he privately begs forgiveness at Steve's grave.
Andrew grows distant from Matt and again finds himself ostracized at school. After being bullied, he telekinetically tears the wisdom teeth from the bully's mouth. Andrew begins to identify himself as an apex predator, rationalizing that he should not feel guilt for using his power to hurt those weaker than himself. When his mother's condition deteriorates, Andrew uses his powers to steal money for her medicine. After mugging a local gang, he robs a gas station where he inadvertently causes an explosion that puts him in the hospital with severe burns and under police investigation. At his bedside, his father informs the unconscious Andrew that his mother has died, and he angrily blames Andrew for her death. As his father is about to strike him, Andrew awakens and the outer wall of his hospital room explodes.
During a birthday party, Matt experiences a nose bleed and senses Andrew is in trouble. He sees a news report about the hospital explosion and travels there, finding Andrew floating outside the building. Andrew drops his father, who is saved by Matt, and proceeds to wreak havoc with his powers. Matt confronts Andrew at the Space Needle and tries to reason with him, but Andrew grows hostile and irrational at any attempt to control him. Andrew attacks Matt and the pair fight across the city, crashing through buildings and hurling vehicles. Injured and enraged, Andrew uses his power to destroy the buildings around him, threatening hundreds of lives. Unable to get through to Andrew and left with no other choice, Matt tears a spear from a nearby statue, and impales Andrew with it, killing him. The police surround Matt, but he flies away.
Three months later, Matt lands in Tibet with Andrew’s camera. Speaking to the camera while addressing Andrew, Matt vows to use his powers for good and to find out what happened to them in the hole. Matt positions the camera to view a Tibetan monastery in the distance and says "You made it" before flying away, leaving the camera behind to continue recording the tranquil scene.
- Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer
- Alex Russell as Matt Garetty
- Michael B. Jordan as Steve Montgomery
- Michael Kelly as Richard Detmer
- Ashley Hinshaw as Casey Letter
- Anna Wood as Monica
- Bo Petersen as Karen Detmer
Chronicle was co-written by Fear Itself writer Max Landis and The Kill Point veteran Josh Trank. Trank also directed the feature. For budgetary reasons, Chronicle was shot primarily in Cape Town, South Africa with Film Afrika Worldwide, as well in Vancouver, Canada. Trank cited the films Akira, Carrie and The Fury as influences on Chronicle. Filming started in May 2011 and continued for eighteen weeks, ending in August 2011. Cinematographer Matthew Jensen used the Arri Alexa video camera to shoot the movie and Angenieux Optimo and Cook s4 lenses. Postproduction techniques were used to give it a "found footage" look. A cable cam rig was used for a shot in which the character Andrew levitated his camera 120 feet into the air. The Arri Alexa camera was mounted on a skateboard to simulate Andrew's camera sliding across a floor. Stuntmen were suspended from crane wire rigs for flying scenes, with green screen special effects used for closeups of the actors. Andrew's video camera in the movie was a Canon XL1 MiniDV and later he switched to a HD camera that resembles a Canon Vixia HF M30. His "Seattle" bedroom was actually a set constructed on a film studio stage in Cape Town. Because in South Africa, vehicles drive on the left side and have steering wheels on the right side, American style vehicles had to be shipped in for the production. DVD dailies were provided to the director and cinematographer by the Cape Town firm HD Hub.
Chronicle opened in 2,907 theaters in the United States and Canada on February 3, 2012. Box office watchers expected the film to gross $15 million for its opening weekend, the Super Bowl weekend, while Fox projected to receive around 8 million. However, by its first day the film had already earned an estimated $8.65 million and finished the weekend as the top film with $22,000,000 surpassing The Woman in Black ($21,000,000) and The Grey ($9.5 million). Next to an estimated production budget of $12 million, it was an unexpected financial success as the film became the fourth highest Super Bowl debut. Chronicle also opened as a number one hit internationally, opening in 33 foreign markets such as Australia, China, and the United Kingdom where it earned the most with $3.5 million.
Overall, the film grossed $64,314,970 in the United States and Canada, and $58,800,000 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $123,114,970.
Chronicle has received mostly positive reviews. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 85% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 165 reviews, with an average score of 7.1/10, making the film "Certified Fresh" on the website's rating system. The consensus states "It arrives during a glut of found-footage films, but Chronicle transcends its gimmicks with a smart script, fast-paced direction, and engaging performances from its young, talented cast."  At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received a score of 69, based on 31 reviews, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews".
Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film a positive review, saying "From [the] deceptively ordinary beginning, Josh Trank's Chronicle grows into an uncommonly entertaining movie that involves elements of a superhero origin story, a science-fiction fantasy and a drama about a disturbed teenager," giving the film 3.5 stars out of 4.
On the negative side, Andrew Schenker of Slant Magazine gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, saying the film, "offers up little more than a tired morality play about the dangers of power, rehashing stale insights about the narcissism of the documentary impulse."
Chronicle was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on May 15, 2012. The film was released on DVD and a special "Lost Footage" edition for Blu-ray, which contains additional footage that was not shown in theaters, notably a scene after Andrew overpowers his father, where Matt and Casey have had sex, as well as a scene where Andrew returns to the cave entrance, around which the grass has formed a swirling pattern around the hole.
|2012||Chronicle||Golden Trailer Award for Best Most Original Trailer||Won|
|Golden Trailer Award for Best in Show||Nominated|
|2013||Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film||Pending|
Fox hired Max Landis to write a sequel, according to Deadline.com. Whether Josh Trank will return is unclear. The Hollywood Reporter gave a brief one-line mention in its March 23, 2012 issue that a sequel was in development. However, Fox is reportedly not happy with the sequel's script. On April 10, 2013, Landis told IGN that Fox does like the script and they're moving along with it, plus Landis say that the film's script is darker. 
- Holben, Jay (March 2012). "Power Trip". American Cinematographer (Hollywood, California: ASC Holding Corp.). Pages 42–46, 47–49. Interview with cinematographer Matthew Jensen. Includes 8 production photos, 11 photos total.
- "Chronicle". British Board of Film Classification. January 24, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "'Chronicle': Like 'Paranormal Activity,' but with superpowers?". Los Angeles Times. 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2011-10-22.
- "Chronicle (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- "Cape Town stars as the location for US box office smash hits". filmcontact.com. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- Woerner, Meredith (February 2, 2012). "Chronicle captures every teen’s fantasy of fighting back, say film’s creators". io9. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Cape the big star as US film crew rolls in". filmcontact.com. 15 May 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Ryan J. Downey (February 6, 2012). "'Chronicle' Makes Fourth Highest Super Bowl Debut". MTV Movie News. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- Joshua L. Weinstein (February 4, 2012). "'Chronicle,' 'Woman in Black' Shatter Box Office Expectations on Friday". The Wrap. Reuters. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- "Box Office: 'Chronicle' soars on Super Bowl weekend [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- "Chronicle (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
- "Chronicle Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- Ebert, Roger (February 1, 2012). "Chronicle review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Dinning, Mark. "Empire's Chronicle Movie Review". Empire. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- "Chronicle Review". Total Film. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Schenker, Andrew (February 1, 2012). "Chronicle". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 6, 2012. Text "Film Review" ignored (help)
- Brooks, Brian (March 7, 2012), Max Landis Set To Write ‘Chronicle 2′ For Fox, retrieved May 15, 2012
- The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, California: Prometheus Global Media, LLC). March 23, 2012.
- Fox Isn't Happy With 'Chronicle' Sequel Script, John Landis Says, MTV (October 11, 2012).
- Max Landis Says Chronicle 2 Will be "Really Dark"
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Chronicle (film)|