Chronicle Parent Guide
The main character's anger and sense of justification may be a dangerous message for teens that might be feeling left on the sidelines themselves.
Parent Movie Review
Andrew Detmer (Dance DeHaan) isn’t popular in his high school. And buying a camera to continuously record everything he sees doesn’t make him any more so. (Considering the size of the device it is a wonder school officials don’t ban it.)
But after stumbling across a curious hole in the ground while attending a rave with his cousin Matt (Alex Russell) and Matt’s friend Steve (Michael B. Jordan), Andrew is badgered into following the two other teens down into the cavity with his recorder. In the cave, they find a seemingly innocuous glowing rock formation. But when they emerge, the trio discovers they’ve been empowered with supernatural abilities.
While it takes time to master their new potential, the teens are soon able to move heavy objects and even fly. For Steve and Matt, their acquired powers aren’t much more than a really neat party trick. However things are different for Andrew. His unhappy home and school life bring out the worst in him. Granted the capability to inflict pain and vengeance, his strength becomes something to use for his own interest.
Like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, Chronicle is shot mostly with handheld cameras, resulting in intimate, in-your-face frames and plenty of jiggly footage. And like those films, this one may gain a cult following. Packed with profanities and some brief sexual discussion, the movie also portrays a verbally and physically abusive father, and unchecked bullying at school. Both of these are used to rationalize Andrew’s actions. Yet his retaliation becomes more and more disturbing as hundreds of innocent people are also targeted. The most graphic depiction is the impaling of one character.
While one of these young men attempts to reason with Andrew, the angry youth isn’t about to hear it. And his sense of justification may be a dangerous message for teens that might be feeling left on the sidelines themselves.Directed by Josh Trank. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, Alex Russell, Dane DeHaan. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release February 3, 2012. Updated July 7, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is Chronicle rated PG-13? Chronicle is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense action and violence, thematic material, some language, sexual content and teen drinking.
Violence: A character is frequently bullied at school, and subjected to verbal and physical abuse at the hands of his father. A boy is punched after refusing to turn off his video camera. A trio of friends crawls down a hole and into a cave where they come across unusual rock formations, which cause one of the characters to get a bloody nose. All three characters suffer from sudden nosebleeds throughout the film. Teens throw balls at one another. Characters play pranks on others. A man almost drowns after his car crashes into a pool of water. Bloody injuries are shown. Lightening kills a character and another is impaled. A man is dropped from a rooftop. Explosions and property damage caused by supernatural powers endangers many secondary characters. A teen exchanges punches with his father. A character attacks and robs several men as well as a store. An explosion results in severe burns on one character. Disturbing scenes of destruction and the willful infliction of injury are portrayed. Police shoot at characters. Others are put in peril.
Sexual Content: Teen males talk briefly about sexual encounters. Some infrequent crude comments are made. A character throws up on a girl during his first attempted sexual activity. A character refers to a bloody nose as a “face period”. Other crass references to sexual activity are made. Some embracing and kissing between teens is depicted.
Language: Mild and moderate profanities along with terms of Deity are heard frequently throughout the film. Some crude name-calling and infrequent vulgar terms are also used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Teens become drunk at a party. A man’s alcohol problem is discussed several times. An intoxicated father attempts to break into his child’s bedroom.
Page last updated July 7, 2016
Chronicle Parents' Guide
How does Andrew distance himself from others by videotaping everything? Why does that activity alienate him even more from his peers? Does the use of security cameras to show some of the violence in this film make it feel more realistic?
Why does Andrew buy into the idea of an apex predator? What motivates him to use his powers differently than Steve or Matt? What does the film do to justify Andrew’s use of violence against others? What is the danger of undisciplined power—not just physical power, but any power?
The most recent home video release of Chronicle movie is May 15, 2012. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Chronicle
Release Date: 15 May 2012
Chronicle releases to home video in a DIRECTOR’S CUT Blu-ray Combo Pack. Bonus extras include:
- Deleted Scene - Matt and Casey in the Kitchen
- Camera Test
- Theatrical Trailer
- Chronicle Soundtrack Info
Related home video titles:
In Green Lantern, another mere mortal has to learn how to use super powers given to him by an alien race. In the animation Megamind two characters have unusual gifts, yet each uses his abilities for different purposes. Still, some people seem to be born with a sense of responsibility, like Captain America and Superman.