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“Searching” is a satisfying thriller.

“Searching” is a satisfying thriller.


“Searching”: Movie Review

Rating: PG-13

Duration: 1h 42min

Genre: Thriller, Drama, Mystery 

Release Date: 31 August 2018

Director: Aneesh Chaganty

Starring: John Cho, Debra Messing

Producer: Timur Bekmambetov

Distribution: Sony, Screen Gems


There is a recent resurgence of the movies that utilize technologies, social media as a part of the storytelling process. Unfriended comes to mind, but where “Searching” sets itself apart from other movies, it never lets technology take over the gripping story and the use of the technology disappears very soon.  

“Searching” is about a father, who is trying to solve the mysterious disappearance of his daughter by using a computer, smartphone, and various social media websites. David Kim, played by John Cho, is a father of a teenage daughter, Margot Kim, played by Michelle La, living in California. The film entirely unfolds on the bedroom computer screens. It starts in a smart way where it takes you on a journey where a person who is born in the 90s afterward can refresh the memories that how much impact technology has on our life over the period of the 21st century.

David and Margot Kim are dealing with the loss of the Mother Pamela, who died of lymphoma when Margot entered high school. David, who is unable to express his feelings about the loss of his wife, fails to communicate with his young daughter. Knowingly or unknowingly, both grew apart as Margot keeps herself “busy” with Piano lesson and “studying” Bio with her classmates.

The film goes to second act very fast, and things turn ugly. Margot tells his father that she is going to sleep over to her friend’s house to prepare for the Bio finals. Trusting father, David goes to bed and wakes up with few missed calls from his daughter. He goes to work unaware of the incident happened overnight. After failing to locate Margot’s whereabouts, David contacts the local police to file a missing child report. The investigation begins for searching Margot, headed up by detective Vick, played by Debra Messing.

As the film goes on, the search goes deeper and David realized that he had lost touch with his daughter. It turned out that Margot is a quite lonely teenage girl, who talks to strangers online. The whole digging process in his daughter’s social media accounts reveals many dark secrets about her life and actions.

“Searching” is directed by Aneesh Chaganty, who is also credited as co-writer of the movie. Aneesh succeeds in showing what David is searching, how he is searching and keeping the audience focused on the narrative. The film moves on fast pace without looking frantic. The digging process is quite convincing, there are not many logical loopholes in the movie, at least on David’s search. 

The twists and turns are believable. And the delivery execution is satisfactory. The finale is a little underwhelming, but up to that point, the audience is quite entertained by the whole “Searching” process. 

“Searching” shows the ugly side of the online activities and dangers of social media without being over the top. How integral the technology has become in our life is shown quite effectively in the movie. Doing a simple google search for every small information is the perfect example of what people do every day. 

The film is not art-house, but it shows so much potential when a thriller is executed with a smart script. What is unexpected is how much fun the film is. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Posted by Abhinav Gandhi.
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