Movie Review: MISSING



An advertisement for the 2023 thriller “MISSING.”

Mylie Brown, Photojournalist

Losing a loved one is many people’s worst fear.  In the 2023 film “MISSING,” this fear is explored, hence the title.  As a second installment to the wildly successful film “SEARCHING,” directors and writers Nick Johnson and Will Merrick have outdone themselves yet again with an incredibly thrilling movie that will leave audiences on the edges of their seats. It falls nothing short of suspenseful and bone-chilling, as the audience cheers on the protagonist, June, as she searches for her mother, Grace.

Played by the young and talented Storm Reid, June is a rebellious and moody teenager. She rejects Grace’s affection throughout the beginning of the film and constantly criticizes her. Grace’s relationship with her boyfriend, Kevin, leads them on a romantic vacation to Colombia. However, while waiting at the airport for her mother’s return, June is terrified to discover that Grace did not board the plane home. Thousands of miles away in the hectic city of Los Angeles, June must use any technology at her disposal to find her mom. However, as she searches for the missing Grace, questions begin to arise about her and her mother’s unknown past.

It really was an extremely subversive film that constantly kept me trying to solve what happened to June’s mom.

— Nayeli Ramirez (11)

A common issue in modern thrillers is that they are all predictable! But, despite that, “MISSING” threw plot twists at the audience that were jaw-dropping and unexpected. It was perfectly original and had concepts unfamiliar to the big screen. A very unique and exciting aspect about the film is that it is all told through the perspective of various types of technology. Whether it be a surveillance camera, an old email, or a recording of a Facetime call, the storytelling was far different from most other films. This is also the style of its antecedent, “SEARCHING.” As a viewer in theaters, I found myself wishing I could pause and analyze each and every scene to look at different parts of the screen. It truly felt like I was playing a role in the film and a detective on Grace’s case. Nayeli Ramirez (11) stated with a smile on her face after she saw the film that “it was so exciting when a plot twist would occur, and you would have seen something on June’s desktop earlier in the movie that hinted at that event. It really was an extremely subversive film that constantly kept me trying to solve what happened to June’s mom.”

Not only is “MISSING” attention-grabbing and beautifully executed, but it also teaches many great lessons to viewers. To start, the film portrays many wonderful themes, one being: You never know when it will be your last time seeing a loved one. At the start of the film, June’s final text with her mom consists of Grace texting, “I love you, Junebug,” and June simply reacting to the message with a heart icon. Once Grace has disappeared, June is heartbroken and frustrated that she didn’t tell her mother that she loves her back and has to cope with the regret.  As well as this, “MISSING” serves as a reminder that the world is a scary place and promotes many helpful strategies in case a loved one goes missing.” Overall, “MISSING” is a phenomenal film that I believe everyone should go see. If you find yourself going to the movie theater any time soon, you won’t regret giving this film a watch!