Written by 16:03 Movie Reviews

Missing (2023) Movie Review [Short]

“Missing” is the latest film in what feels like a rapidly expanding “Searching” Cinematic Universe, though it’s not exactly a sequel. The movie begins with a brief reference to the mystery from the first film before plunging into a new story that follows a daughter searching for her mother using the same narrative structure that made “Searching” such a hit.

Missing 2023 movie full review

Directed by Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick.
Starring Storm Reid, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung, Amy Landecker, Daniel Henney, Nia Long, Megan Suri, Tim Griffin, Thomas Barbusca, Tracy Vilar, Lauren B. Mosley, Sharar Ali-Speakes, Jameel Shivji, and Ava Zaria Lee.

However, “Missing” lacks the novelty and relatability of its predecessor. While “Searching” focused on a middle-aged father desperately searching for his missing daughter by investigating her online activities, “Missing” features an 18-year-old high school senior named June who’s interacted with technology her whole life.

June is a master multitasker and a wizard of the World Wide Web. Even before her widowed mom, Grace, takes off on a Colombian vacation with her new boyfriend, Kevin, we learn so much about June’s life and habits by watching her skip between tabs and tap away at her keyboard.

When Grace and Kevin fail to show up at LAX as scheduled, June’s instincts and experience online kick into gear. She struggles to communicate with a front desk clerk at a Cartagena hotel who only speaks Spanish, but she’s such a resourceful problem solver that she manages to navigate the city remotely with Google Maps and the help of a TaskRabbit-style errand runner for hire named Javi.

As June cracks passwords, visits websites, and reads emails, she raises more questions than she answers, and the movie keeps audiences guessing about the mystery at the center of the story. But as Grace’s disappearance becomes national news, the film also comments on the ghoulish nature of glomming onto tragedy.

Missing 2023 movie review complete storm reid

The movie effectively uses Ring security video to add to the tension, and it features podcasters and TikTokers analyzing every little detail of the case and spreading conspiracy theories for their own fame and gain.

While “Missing” successfully pulls off the same impressive narrative highwire act as “Searching,” it includes a few too many twists that eventually deplete much of the realism that made its predecessor so gripping. Nevertheless, Storm Reid’s performance as June is engaging, and the film has a lot of zippy energy.

Ultimately, “Missing” is an entertaining and suspenseful thriller that will keep audiences guessing until the end. While it may not reach the same heights as “Searching,” it’s still worth a watch for fans of the first film and for anyone who enjoys a good mystery.