Searching (2018) Review

Sep 24, 2018


Searching ( 2018)
Stage 6 Films

Directed by: Aneesh Chaganty 
Written by: Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian
Starring:  John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee, Megan Liu, Alex Jayne Go, Sara Sohn

It’s sad when a really good, creative movie comes out and about 20 days later it can only be found in one theater where I live.

Jon gushed over this movie in our podcast ( so I figured it was worth a try. But I had some trepidation about the movie because it takes place totally on screens. What I mean is that the movie only shows you what the person sees on a computer, phone or TV screen. I thought it might be one of those, “Hey I got a great concept, let’s build a movie around it” movies that just don’t work (See Hardcore Henry for an example of one of those.)

But man, does this one work!

The movie is about a Father who’s daughter goes missing. Not in a “Taken” way but she just disappears and the Dad, played by John Cho, is trying to help the police by hunting for clues breaking into his daughter’s social accounts.  He learns more than most parents would like and realizes how much he didn’t know his daughter. I think that is something any parent can sympathize with.

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What I thought would be distracting, instead made the whole movie that much more engaging. Think of how much you can learn about someone from watching them start a text and then erase it and start over. Or feel the stress of seeing a daughter trying to call her father late at night while seeing him miss the call because he was sleeping.

The movie never loses focus on what it is about and doesn’t go off on some tangent about how over-connected we are or how social media is a bad thing. Those topics come into the movie organically and really work to enhance the movie rather than be a distraction.

And one comment I have to make about this movie is that the family is Korean American but that is more incidental and acknowledges it in small ways that made me relate to the family. The mom isn’t a “tiger mom,” the dad isn’t a martial arts master and nobody speaks with an accent. There is mention of a kimchi gumbo that I am sure somebody will be offended about but it made perfect sense to me and I’m sorry, kimchi is a pretty big deal to Koreans!

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It’s a great thriller that you should go out and see…. apparently quickly as it will probably be gone in a week.

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