Theatrical release poster
February 3, 2012
Chronicle is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Josh Trank and written by Max Landis based on a story by both Trank and Landis. The film stars Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan, and Alex Russell. The plot follows three Seattle high-school seniors Andrew (DeHaan), his cousin Matt (Russell) and fellow high school student Steve (Jordan), as they form a close bond after receiving telekinetic abilities from an unknown object. The group uses its abilities for mischief and personal gain until Andrew begins to use them for darker purposes.
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 unpopular and 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. The trio later discover that they can use their powers to fly. They agree to fly around the world together after graduation, with Andrew expressing an interest in visiting Tibet because of its 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 himself.
Andrew becomes increasingly withdrawn and hostile, culminating when his father 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 psychically 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 some local thugs, 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.
Elsewhere Matt experiences a nosebleed 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
- Michael B. Jordan as Steve Montgomery
- Alex Russell as Matt Garetty
- Michael Kelly as Richard Detmer
- Ashley Hinshaw as Casey Letter
- Anna Wood as Monica
- Bo Petersen as Karen Detmer