Movie Review: Searching (2018)

Director: Aneesh Chaganty

Writer: Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian

Released: August 31, 2018

Rating: PG-13

Starring: John Cho (Star Trek, Harold & Kumar movies), Debra Messing (Will & Grace, Along Came Polly)


This thriller is an entirely new type of film made possible by the technological advancements of cinematography in recent years. As soon as the previews end and the feature presentation begins, viewers realize they are watching the introduction of the film through an early 2000s desktop computer, boot-up sounds and all.  As unconventional as it may seem, the entire movie is portrayed in this manner, through the viewpoint of various electronic devices.

The plot follows the search for David Kim’s daughter, who is pronounced missing following a night spent studying at her friend’s house and her absence from school the next morning. Soon after reporting this to the police, David (John Cho) is paired with a detective (Debra Messing).  Although Mr. Kim works as an engineer, it appears as though he took up the wrong profession. His ability to work tirelessly along with his excellent deductive reasoning skills are those of a world-class detective. He spends hours on end scouring the internet for clues as to his daughter’s whereabouts.

Due to the unique perspective from which the movie is filmed, any time David receives or uncovers new information, it feels as though the viewer, too, has uncovered the information. This, in turn, creates a sense of personal investment for the viewer and makes the movie much more engaging than movies filmed in a “traditional” manner. For those of us who are self-inflicting spoilers (able to discern the plot of a movie before learning what actually happens), you’re going to have a tough time with this one.

If you’re looking for a movie that is thoroughly engaging and filled with unforeseen twists and turns, I highly recommend seeing this movie once it comes out on your platform of choice.

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