The excellent under-the-radar film “Missing” came out Netflix on Saturday (May 20) and online audiences found it pretty quickly. A few moments ago, it just landed at #1 on Netflix’s top movies list in the US, after sitting at #2 since Sunday (according to FlixPatrol).
Written and directed by Will Merrick and Nick Johnson, the thriller is a sort of sequel to 2018’s Searching, which shared a similar visual style. His story is credited to Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty, who previously collaborated on Run (one of his other predecessors).
At the box office, Missing battled and competed with big names Avatar: The Way of Water, M3GAN And Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which topped it all in its opening weekend (although none were new that weekend). However, critics were positive, giving it an 87% rating Rotten Tomatoes. Plus, the rating (90%) is even better, so you know this isn’t just big hype.
But none of that helps you figure out if You should watch Missing. Let’s break it down.
What is “Missing” about?
June (Storm Reid) thought she would have it easier while her mother Grace (Nia Long) was away from the city of Cartagena, Colombia. Her biggest nightmare would be cleaning up the huge house party she shouldn’t have thrown. June thought wrong.
When Grace doesn’t leave the plane, June panics and uses the internet to find out where her mother is. Mom’s new boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung) is the number one suspect and June finds out all sorts of suspicious details about his past.
But when the lead ends and the FBI steps in, June makes the biggest move of all time in 2023: she hires a gig economy operator in Colombia to help track down Grace. And while Javier (Joaquim de Almeida) does his best, he and June soon discover a wild series of twists that will leave you breathless.
Oh, and one more thing: missing persons are reported using the screens and cameras of those who track Grace.
Missing Reviews: What Critics and Viewers Say
Overall, critics and audiences liked “Missing”, even if the film has a few critics in the circle of reviewers. For example Amy Nicholson at The New York Times called it “a harrowing techno thriller,” before noting, “As June’s quest goes viral, the investigation—along with her role in her own narrative—almost slips out of her sight.”
Leigh Monson at The AV Club applauded Missing, writing that it’s “such an exhilarating ride that it inspires audiences to just go along with it.” Johnson and Merrick have created a film on par with Searching, combining their skills as editors and virtual cinematographers into a convincingly mush Story Fulfilled Screenlife may never be one of our primary ways of telling cinematic stories, but Missing is a prime example of what the format is capable of, leveraging our increasingly digital humanity to tremendous effect.”
Benjamin Lee at The guard 3 out of 5 stars were missing for us. He called it “driven and engaging and really innovative at times, but in doing so we’ve upgraded our lead to someone much more adept at the keyboard.” He also noted, “Reid is an engaging and poised protagonist.”
Over at Rotten Tomatoes Audience Reviews section.Deron B writes, “Great plot with twists. June Bug is easy to connect with and the acting is captivating. If the graphics in the computer scenes weren’t so gimmicky, there would be 5 stars.”
Daniel N praised it, saying, “With its unique style, high pacing and copious amount of twists and turns, it keeps you hooked while also learning a thing or two about your digital footprint.”
Missing: stream or skip?
I saw Missing in theaters earlier this year and I’m confident in saying it’s not for everyone. The third act, with its completely insane twists and turns, might push some viewers to the limit. There’s also a particularly low-budget moment where we see a cable news show talking about Grace’s disappearance.
However, if you like thrillers and enjoy sillier movies, I highly recommend watching Missing online. Better yet, invite some friends over. Missing, as I experienced it, is a great film to watch with a group.