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Searching (2018)

Robert Crawford

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Title: Searching

Tagline: No one is lost without a trace

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Director: Aneesh Chaganty

Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee, Michelle La, Sara Sohn, Thomas Barbusca, Roy Abramsohn, Brad Abrell, Courtney Lauren Cummings, Benjamin J. Cain Jr., Colin Woodell

Release: 2018-08-24

Runtime: 101

Plot: After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her. A thriller that unfolds entirely on computer screens.

 

Robert Crawford

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Tomorrow, there is a 5:00 p.m. showing at my favorite theater complex so I might see it then.
 

Jake Lipson

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I think I'm in too. This sounds like such an interesting concept. I hope it pays off.
 

Robert Crawford

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A really good film! Great performances by Cho and Messing. I won't say anymore before others start posting their opinions. One thing, I wasn't surprise by the ending as I was able to pick up some clues along the way that they didn't address until the end.
 

Craig S

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Just got back from seeing this, and yeah, it was very good. I was worried that the computer screen gimmick would wear out its welcome, but it worked the whole way through. John Cho was fantastic. Recommended.
 

Jake Lipson

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the computer screen gimmick[

I don't think it was a gimmick. It could very easily have been one -- and would have been one in another story with less careful execution -- but here, it felt like a very natural fit for this specific story because so much of it relied upon what Margot was posting. This design often let the audience be the eyes for Chu's character, and it works because you, like him, are looking for clues in the computer and trying to figure this out. If there are a bunch of other movies that try to do this, eventually it will feel old and wouldn't be as well-matched to this material, but for this specific movie at this specific moment, I totally bought into the use of this as a compelling new storytelling device.

In case you can't already tell, I saw it today and loved it. A strong recommendation from me as well.

One thing, I wasn't surprise by the ending as I was able to pick up some clues along the way that they didn't address until the end.

Which are you referring to specifically? (Obviously, you'll probably want to respond in spoiler brackets.)
 

Robert Crawford

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Which are you referring to specifically? (Obviously, you'll probably want to respond in spoiler brackets.)
  1. I wasn't ready to dismiss the exchanges between the daughter and fish n chips after the detective told Cho that fish n chips checked out.
  2. The on-line picture of fish n chips just looked like an older person than some high school girl.
  3. Right off the bat, I noticed the car following the daughter from the gas station on the surveillance video, yet the detective never says anything about it.
  4. The story that Messing told Cho about her son stealing money through a phony scam and how tense she seem to be with him while talking a couple of times with Cho on face time just didn't sit well with me as I wonder if there is more to her tense reactions.
  5. The supposedly killer's confession was just too neatly wrapped up to me.
 

Jason_V

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Highly recommended. Searching had my attention through the entire movie, which is tough for an 8 pm show on a Friday night. Cho is fantastic and completely believable. Messing, though, eesh...it's like there's two different acting styles going on here. In the beginning-and you can see this in the trailers-she is just mechanical. I kept trying to put my finger on what didn't feel right in the trailer, an it's her. Thankfully she gets a lot better the further the movie gets.

This is how bad she was for me: I couldn't figure out who the actress was until the halfway point. I kept thinking she was from Superstore. Then it hit me that it was Messing from Will & Grace. She isn't enough to move this off of a highly recommend for me.
 

Colin Jacobson

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  1. I wasn't ready to dismiss the exchanges between the daughter and fish n chips after the detective told Cho that fish n chips checked out.
  2. The on-line picture of fish n chips just looked like an older person than some high school girl.
  3. Right off the bat, I noticed the car following the daughter from the gas station on the surveillance video, yet the detective never says anything about it.
  4. The story that Messing told Cho about her son stealing money through a phony scam and how tense she seem to be with him while talking a couple of times with Cho on face time just didn't sit well with me as I wonder if there is more to her tense reactions.
  5. The supposedly killer's confession was just too neatly wrapped up to me.

Regarding #2:

I might be misremembering, but I don't think "fishnchips" claimed to be in HS. I think she claimed to be college age.

I thought it was a bigger stretch that the model in the pic was used as the rep for a memorial service. Seems like you'd want someone more mature than a perky cute young redhead to sell online funeral services!

The photo thing was arguably the most absurd part of the movie. It was such an enormous coincidence that fishnchips would just happen to pick the same model as his avatar that this memorial service uses!
 

Jeff Adkins

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Regarding #2:

I might be misremembering, but I don't think "fishnchips" claimed to be in HS. I think she claimed to be college age.

Correct. During one of the videocast chats, "fishnchips" states that they are 20 years old.

The only part that seemed a bit far-fetched to me was Messing not checking to see if Margot had survived the fall and just leaving her out there to die. If Margot did survive the fall, her son wouldn't likely be facing that much jail time (if any). That seems far less risky than murdering someone whom she had to remember she'd been photographed with publicly.
 

Chris Will

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Saw this tonight and really enjoyed it, far more then I was expecting too.

The most far-fetched thing to me was that their Windows XP computer appeared to still be running fast.
 

Jake Lipson

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Sarah Paulson will star in the next film from the Searching team: https://variety.com/2018/film/news/sarah-paulson-lionsgate-thriller-run-1202977034/

I assume they will be using the "screen life" format again. I thought Searching made really effective use of that because it took the format and applied it to a mystery where the characters were actually looking at their screens for clues, but I feel like this might be a situation where the more the format gets used, the less effective it becomes. We'll see what happens. But Paulson is certainly an engaging star for the next one.
 
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