Monday, June 05, 2023

Movie Monday: Missing

My son and his girlfriend were visiting Memorial Day weekend, and we were looking for a movie that all four of us would enjoy. We settled on Missing, an exciting thriller where a teen girl is searching for her missing mother.

Teen June, played by Storm Reid, lives alone with her mother ever since her father, James, died. Her mom, Grace, played by Nia Long, can be a bit over-protective, but it's clear the mother and daughter have a close relationship. Now, Grace is headed off to Columbia on vacation with her boyfriend, Kevin (played by Ken Leung), leaving June home alone. Grace's best friend, Heather, played by Amy Landecker, has promised to check in on June while Grace is away. Predictably, as soon as Grace and Kevin leave, June kicks off a wild week of parties with her friends, including her best friend Veena, played by Megan Suri. When the week is over, June heads to LAX to pick up her mom and Kevin ... but they don't show up. June begins to investigate from her phone and laptop in LA and gets more and more upset. It seems that no one has seen the couple since they walked out of their hotel room the day before, leaving all their stuff behind. June contacts the FBI, but they explain they don't have jurisdiction in Columbia. She's becoming more panicked and scared the more she discovers. Looking at social media posts, hacking Kevin's e-mail, and tapping into public video feeds from Columbia, a terrifying story begins to emerge, and the FBI and LA police do finally get involved. But no one cares as much as June, and she hires a local Columbian named Javier, played by Joaquim de Almedia, through Taskrabbit to follow-up on the ground for her. June races against time to find her mother.

The tension in this excellent movie builds quickly and never lets up. Much of the movie takes place online, as seen on June's laptop and phone, which might sound awkward but is very well done, creating a compelling story that feels like it is happening now, as you watch it unfold. The suspense is sustained throughout the film, with lots and lot of unexpected twists. I think we suspected every character except June at one point or another. The ending truly surprised us, which is quite a feat because my husband and son are both great at guessing endings and spoiling movies! The actors and writing here are also top-notch. While searching for a movie to watch that night, we thought that Searching sounded like a similar plot and approach as Missing, and it turns out that was intentional. In Searching, a father uses the digital world to search for a missing daughter, and the shared co-writers and producers of both films bill Missing as a "spiritual sequel" to Searching. I guess we'll have to watch that one next because all four of us enjoyed Missing very much.

Missing is currently showing on Netflix and is available to rent on other streaming services.

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