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March 19, 2023

Missing is a taut techno-thriller that keeps you riveted with its twisty proceedings.

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Missing ☆☆☆

Starring: Storm Reid, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung,
Amy Landecker, Daniel Henney,
and Nia Long

Directed by: Will Merrick and
Nick Johnson

Tagline: No one disappears without
a trace.


Following in the footsteps of 2018’s Searching, Will Merrick and Nick Johnson take the screenlife conceit out for another spin in Missing, an intriguing thriller that, like its predecessor, takes place entirely on screens but revolves around a completely different set of characters.

The protagonist, this time around, is teenager June (Storm Reid), who lost her father, James (Tim Griffin), when she was a child and has a loving but somewhat strained relationship with her mother, Grace (Nia Long). After enjoying a week of adult-supervision-free time while her mom is on vacation with her boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung), June goes to pick the couple up from the airport upon their return from Columbia, only to realize that neither of them made it back to the U.S.

Worried about her missing mother and determined to find out what happened, June puts her sleuthing skills to the test, using technology to her advantage by reaching out to people over the phone while trying to seek help and find answers online.

We see the proceedings unfold almost entirely through June’s phone and computer screen, as it becomes increasingly clear that things aren’t exactly how they seem. With the reveal of each secret, it becomes harder to figure out who is in June’s corner and who might be responsible for her mother’s disappearance.

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There are several twists and turns on offer here along a fairly well-crafted route that sometimes stretches credulity but still remains riveting from start to finish. The movie keeps you guessing as it shifts suspicion several times, and its solid cast makes sure that you stay invested in their characters’ fate. Reid makes a likeable protagonist, while the supporting actors deliver engaging performances, making it hard to figure out who the culprit really is. And even though we have experienced the screenlife gimmick before, it still remains an interesting, effective device that is visually intriguing and a powerful comment on how tech immersed modern life has become.

All in all, despite taking the occasional turn that isn’t quite convincing, Missing keeps you hooked to its central mystery, delivering its drama through compelling characters and an unconventional style that fits the story well.

Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection

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