[4.0 stars] Chronicle (2012) on IMDb [Amazon]

A dandy little sci-fi thriller.

While wandering around outside a party, three high-school acquaintances, Andrew, Matt, and Steve, happen to make their way down a mysterious hole in the ground. They encounter a glowy object which scares the bejeezus out of them. But soon afterwards they find they've all obtained awesome telekinetic powers they can use to cause mischief and mayhem. Also, as you can see by the DVD box over there, they can fly. Cool!

And then nothing bad happens, they all use their newfound skill for good.

Juuust kidding!

Our heroes form an Odd Triple: Steve is a popular, affable, African-American kid running for class president. Matt is a more-or-less normal semi-loser. Andrew, Matt's cousin, is something else again: a moody loner abused by his father at home, relentlessly bullied by his peers elsewhere. And (worse) his mom is desperately ill and in need of medicine his father can't afford. (Almost certainly because, being a violence-prone drunk, he lacks job prospects.) Tragedy looms as inevitably as night follows day.

The movie is filmed as if pieced together after-the-fact from various video cameras used by Andrew, minor characters, and innocent bystanders. This stretches the viewer's credibility a bit, because it's an unlikely coincidence. But (on the other hand) the special effects are inventive and well-done. And the script is intelligent, taking pains to humanize its characters.

Last Modified 2012-09-21 10:46 AM EDT