Missing Reviews Are Here, See What Critics Are Saying About The Standalone Sequel To Searching
When the mystery thriller Searching came out in 2018, it was a hit with audiences for its unique visual presentation — using computer screens and smartphones — and mysterious plot. Five years later, Missing is set to hit theaters, as a standalone sequel that stars The Last of Us cast member Storm Reid (also known for shouting F-bombs at Idris Elba in The Suicide Squad). Reid plays June Allen, who turns to technology in search of her mother Grace (Nia Long) after she goes missing while on vacation in Columbia. The reviews are in, so let’s see what critics are saying ahead of Missing’s release to theaters January 20.
John Cho made history in Searching as the first Asian-American to headline a thriller — a title he wasn’t overly excited about — starring as a father searching for his 16-year-old daughter. Missing flips that premise, with the parent being the party of unknown whereabouts in the sequel. Let’s see what the critics think, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of Missing. Eric Eisenberg says if you can suspend your belief enough to accept certain aspects of screenlife cinema, you’ll be rewarded with an anthology sequel even better than the original. He rates it 3.5 stars out of 5, saying:
Missing can’t be said to particularly advance screenlife cinema, but it is further proof of the impressive viability for storytelling in the medium – and the story that unfolds is engaging, exciting, and well-told. It’s a fun and twisty mystery, and the film makes a strong argument for there to be more chapters made in this budding anthology series.
Lovia Gyarkye of THR calls the film “chilling,” noting that it doesn’t just focus on the existence of different technological advances, but also speculates on their effects on society, namely the ease with which we voluntarily submit to surveillance. The critic says:
Missing succeeds at maintaining a propulsive, nail-biting atmosphere and overcoming the boredom of its conventional narrative beats by treating each tool — Gmail accounts, iPhone photos and company websites — as a deeply layered puzzle, one that gathers and offers more information than most people realize. For those already attuned to the tendrils of our increasingly surveilled world, Missing, like an episode of Black Mirror, will mostly confirm suspicions about the ease of tracing even the most stubbornly opaque online lives. For everyone else, it’ll be a chilling wake-up call.
Jeremy Mathai of SlashFilm rates Missing a 7 out of 10, saying the sequel leans hard on the aspects of what worked for Searching, but a smart script and engaging plot add up to a bold and audacious thriller that this critic says will leave you breathless. According to the review:
Whatever else one may say about it, Missing is a rip-roaring crowd-pleaser of a film that needs to be experienced in theaters with a boisterous crowd. If its reach exceeds its own grasp at points, at least it’s in service of an original, ambitious, and utterly distinct vision that could very well turn into the most unique original franchise this side of Rian Johnson’s Benoit Blanc murder mysteries. These days, that can’t help but feel like a breath of fresh air.
Robert Abele of The Wrap says the movie proves that the digital world is still fertile ground for exciting storytelling, as Missing replaces the Facebook and YouTube searches from Searching and adds tools like Google streetviews, mobile tracking and Taskrabbit outsourcing. Even if it does get somewhat preposterous in its twists, it’s still thrilling, the critic argues:
And yet a handful of this movie’s nobody-is-who-they-seem mysteries are still believably just out of June’s reach until they can be revealed for both maximum suspense and, occasionally, heightened ridiculousness (especially its last twist and nutty climax). But who cares about the Harlan Coben–like preposterousness of the story, really, when the genre feels like it’s getting a juicy system update thanks to the world of livestreams, smartwatches, Mac sticky notes, VPNs and Ring cams?
Todd Gilchrist of Variety also warns against audiences becoming overly concerned with how we’re viewing information at any given time. The critic points out that there’s no real reason this world needs to be set exclusively in screens, and the directors even cut to exterior angles when it suits their needs. According to this review:
Missing ultimately proves so beholden to its central technological premise that audiences who take it at face value may become distracted by questioning how they’re seeing certain information, and from whose perspective, instead of focusing on a sequence of events that’s increasingly preposterous but nevertheless should prove gripping — at least as long as those who watch it don’t do as much digging as June does.
If you’re intrigued by the concept and what the critics have to say about Missing, you’ll be able to catch this movie on the big screen starting Friday, January 20. And if you want to start planning your next night out to the theater, take a look at our 2023 Movie Release Schedule to see what’s coming soon.