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Searching Review

8 Aug

A surprisingly engrossing thriller with a simple yet effective emotional backbone. The opening sequence is a beautiful knockout of a short film on its own, capturing exposition with a certain depth and heart not often seen in films like this. Yes, the beats don’t always hit throughout and the momentum sometime stalls, but the important part is that Cho manages to sell that emotional through line at an impressive rate. And somehow, Chaganty and his editors—Nick Johnson and Will Merrick—manage to make a story told primarily through FaceTime resonate on a viscerally thrilling level.

The film thankfully doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it even tiptoes into satire at certain moments without losing its core story. It’s not surprising to me that with a premise like this, the story eventually begins to twist and turn in on itself a few too many times. However, I’m also not sure how I would envision a wholly satisfying end to this mystery other than the one we’re given, so it works well for what it is. I mostly just admire how the film commits to its twists with such aplomb, recognizing that even if some things might not work, its primary goal is to entertain and ramp up the tension and keep the audience guessing. The fact that it has some heart behind it all only makes it better.

GRADE: B+

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