Critics agree that the supernatural movie brings new life to the found-footage technique.
By Kevin P. Sullivan

Alex Russell in “Chronicle”
Photo: 20th Century Fox

With “Chronicle,” found footage comes to the superhero genre. It’s a fun and exciting take on a story you’ve probably heard before, and the critics agree. You can check out MTV’s review over at the Splash Page.

We’ve rounded up a mostly spoiler-free sampling of the reviews out there for your reading pleasure. Check out what the critics are saying about “Chronicle.”

The Story
“Told mostly (we’ll get to that in a bit) through the video-camera lens of a pasty Seattle high school loser named Andrew (Dane DeHaan), the film “documents” the aftermath of his encounter with a mysteriously glowing space rock. Along with friends and fellow discoverers Matt (Alex Russell) and Steve (Michael B. Jordan), Andrew realizes he can levitate objects and possesses super-human strength.” — Ty Burr, Boston Globe

The Leads
“From the start, there’s an undertow of cruelty to the teenagers’ high jinks as they learn what they can do, as when they levitate a stuffed animal to frighten a child. Mr. Trank brings a light touch to these self-discovery scenes — the three are flexing fast-evolving muscles — as well as a creeping sense of menace. In this respect, Mr. DeHaan, whose vulnerability and physical awkwardness here can evoke the young Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,’ is invaluable. Mr. Russell and Mr. Jordan are as likable as their characters, but it’s Mr. DeHaan who pulls you uneasily in.” — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

The Writer and Director
“Sometimes a movie arrives out of the blue that announces the arrival of considerable new talents. Josh Trank is 26, and this is his directing debut. Max Landis, also 26, has written a couple of shorts. His father is the director John Landis, but connections don’t teach you how to write.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The Found Footage
“One of the cleverest conceits is the way in which shots are framed so that it really does seem as if we’re seeing everything through Andrew’s lens. Helped by the keen eye of cinematographer Matthew Jensen, mirrors — really, any shiny surface — help fill in the settings.” — Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

The Final Word
“Bolstered by the natural performances of a trio of little-known actors, the very watchable ‘Chronicle’ keeps us captive throughout.” — Claudia Puig, USA Today

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