“Missing” is a follow up to a film called “Searching” that was released in 2018.  Sev Ohanian, a young film producer who is a founding partner of Proximity Media with Ryan Coogler, produced and wrote this film.

Before Searching in 2018 Ohanian helped Ryan Coogler with “Fruitvale Station”, and Ohanian also produced “Jesus and the Black Messiah” about Fred Hampton, a movie that Daniel Kaluuya won an academy award for his portrayal of the young leader of the Black Panthers.  

“Searching” which starred Harold Cho was game changing with how the film was shot, exclusively through the eyes of technology, using facetime, texts, and emails.  The camera is never directly on the actors in the film. “Missing” uses the same formula, this time instead of a man searching for his missing daughter, it’s a teenager who is searching for her missing mother.

Here is the setup for the film, Nia Long plays Grace Allen, mother to Storm Reid’s June or June bug as her mother affectionately calls her. The start of the film shows a flashback of June bug and her father, where June is a child and her father in the scene where his nose starts bleeding. 

The movie then flashes forward, and Grace is filing away old pics and videos of her husband for June to watch and enjoy.  Grace is now raising June as a single mother.  

But Grace is now in a new relationship, and the movie takes off when Long goes on vacation with her new boyfriend Kevin, played by Ken Leung.  Kevin and Grace go off for a weekend to Cartagena, Columbia for a romantic vacation.  

June uses this opportunity to go throw a party and be a little irresponsible.  Things get complicated when June goes to the airport (the movie is set in Los Angeles) and can’t find her mother.  After several hours of waiting, and Grace not responding to her young teenage daughter’s texts or calls, it’s established that Grace Allen is missing.

Everyone in June and Grace’s life becomes an unofficial suspect in Grace’s disappearance.  Helping with the search are private investigator Javier Ramos played by Joaquim de Almeida, and detective Agent Elijah Park played by Daniel Henney. Amy Landecker, who is introduced to us as family friend “Heather” is also in the mix and there’s more than meets the eye to her character as well.

The film has lots of twists and turns, and several times during the movie you will look at different characters as suspects, and the movie will jerk you around, and the end is something you would have never expected. “Missing” is a thrilling ride, done with the fun format of its predecessor of using texts, google searches, facetime chats, and email as the windows of which we see this story.  

Usually, January is when film studios put out terrible movies. But this movie is a bit of a trend buster. While it’s cold outside, going to see this film on a chilly winter weekend would make for a great date night or matinee fun.

Stars: Nia Long, Storm Reid

Rob Reviews Rating 4.5 Stars out of 5

Featured photo by IMDb

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