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Chronicle Review Critics


Dave White Profile

16 candles of doom. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Putting the super in superheroes. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    A clever twist on superpowers and hand-held filmmaking that stumbles before the ending.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Bolstered by the natural performances of a trio of little-known actors, the very watchable Chronicle keeps us captive throughout.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    John 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.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The most original and excitingly executed wow-factor-meets-handheld-video feature since "Blair Witch" itself. It's also a movie that rebuilds the power of special effects from the ground up.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Teens get super powers in relatable but violent thriller.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Chronicle is an action thriller about three teens who happen upon a strange discovery and, soon after, develop telekinesis and other powers. There's plenty of over-the-top violence (including deaths, the bloody aftermath of fights, explosions, and other mayhem), and the movie also deals with heavy themes -- chronic illness, abuse, rage, family dysfunction, financial distress, and more -- which makes it too intense for younger viewers. Still, it's surprisingly heartfelt, and it captures well the dynamics of teenage male friendships (especially the way they talk). Some scenes portray underage drinking (to the point of drunkenness), and there's also swearing, sexual innuendo, and implied sexual encounters.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How does it compare to what you've seen in other movies about people with super powers? Is all of it necessary to the story?
  • Why are teenagers so cruel to each other sometimes? Parents, talk to your teens about handling bullying in real life.
  • What is Chronicle trying to say about male friendships? What about how strength can be used (or misused)?
  • Why do you think Andrew responds to the development of his powers differently from Steve and Matt? How do the unfolding events at home shape his reactions and decisions?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Three teens form a strong friendship that clearly makes a difference in their lives, though they don't always treat each other perfectly. The movie also suggests that when you're given a special talent or gift, it's important to treasure it and use it wisely; the story serves as a warning against the potentially corrupting influence of immense power.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Matt and Steve are clearly responsible, sensible teens who care for others, and even the troubled Andrew starts out as someone who's trying hard not to emulate his abusive father. That said, he struggles with this challenge.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Plentiful and sometimes quite brutal. Andrew's father hits him (with his fists) at the slightest provocation; he also says very hateful things that demean and hurt Andrew. When the three teens use their new powers, there's plenty mayhem (people are tossed and battered, cars are thrown, buildings explode) and destruction (blasts, explosions, etc.). Some scenes linger on the bloody aftermath of fights, and some characters die because of these face-offs. A teen is bullied at his high school; his camera is yanked away and tossed to the ground. A classmate tries to strangle him. Later, he gets his revenge.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Teen couples kiss; one scene shows a bungled sexual encounter. No outright nudity, but major hints at what has taken place. A teen boy is shown pulling up his pants and buckling his belt. Discussions about virginity (having lost it already, wanting to lose it).

  • language false3

    Language: Pretty frequent use of words including "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "crap," "prick," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "p---y," "oh my God," and more.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Labels/brands include Canon cameras, Pepsi cans, and Centrum vitamins.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Teen drinking at parties (they hold tell-tale red cups in their hands); some drink to inebriation.