Film short: Chronicle

Rated 4.0

Three Seattle teenagers (Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan) discover a mysteriously glowing crystal in a cave, and immediately they develop stranger powers of levitation and telekinesis that sharpen and increase with practice—but will these high school kids be able to handle them? The faux-found-footage mock-documentary is fast wearing out its welcome, and frankly it’s not particularly well-handled here. But it doesn’t really matter. Writer Max Landis’ script (from a story by him and director Josh Trank) has real depth and subtlety—it’s actually an allegory on the human race’s challenges in adjusting to its own technology—and the characters are well-defined and convincing. Thanks to Trank’s muted, naturalistic direction, they’re awfully well-acted too, and visual effects are first-rate.