Searching - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Searching Reviews

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½ February 22, 2019
The payoff isn't quite there but considering the success using a unique format (normally that sort of thing is pretty distracting) it makes for a good movie.
February 22, 2019
Just amazing... Unique...and a great film. MUST WATCH~?????
February 22, 2019
Good film. original the way so much of the Film is of peoples laptops screens while they are on social media etc but this actually works. You would probably need some degree of familiarity with social media etc though to watch it. Holds your attention and interest throughout and a good twist at the end.
February 19, 2019
This groundbreaking thriller successfully grips its viewers with believable and unexpected turns. Chaganty proves himself a visionary to watch while Cho finally finds a role to showcase his intense emotional depth and comedic sensibilities. Easily one of the most surprising and best films of 2019.
½ February 19, 2019
Took a risk by using a never seen before format and the risk paid off. Searching is a nail-biting thriller that expertly uses its unique format to grasp the attention of the audience, and all of this combined with amazing acting it shapes out to be a fantastic film.
February 19, 2019
I rented this film from redbox on a whim because every songle reviewer i trust said this was fantastic. I was still a little apprehensive because unfriended: dark web was the worst movie i saw last year and most tech-thrillers like this are cool on paper but dont turn out the best (for example, The Den was pretty awful but Unfriended was really good for what it was). Needless to say, i was so pleasently surprised by this film even with how high my expectations were. The way this film is edited is AMAZING and thats not even the best part about it. It was written in such a real and raw way it was hard to believe it was just a movie and i really felt like i went on this journey right alongside the characters. The acting was absolutely phenomenal from every single person involved, especially the man who played David; he was the most compelling main character of a thriller ive experienced in such a long time. The plot was so incredibly unique and well-done that it cannot be ignored. And if im going to do a proper review, i NEED to talk about all the easter eggs hidden throughout the film. These easter eggs made the film even better and more expansive. There were a few plotlines happening thatbyou wouldnt know about unless you pause the film constantly, but i found one and followed it consistently as the film went on. While it may have been a silly and slightly far-fetched story, it really revealed a whole new layer of care and consideration to me and showed just how much the filmmakers cared about and for this film. This movie was unbelievably satisfying and refreshing and i cannot wait to see more from these writers/directors. Theyre going places and it cannot be ignored. I may be a little dramatic in saying this, but im serious when i say this is a masterpiece. If you havent seen this film and you enjoy thrillers, it is an absolute must-watch. Its extremely tense and well plotted, the characters are nearly 4 dimensional, and the editing is beyond mesmerizing.
February 18, 2019
Good mystery, and very original. Obviously it's not a high budget film, but definitely worth seeing. Edge of your seat.
February 17, 2019
THIS MOVIE IS AMAZING!!! Keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time and when things start to all add up it's so satisfying! Would recommend one million times!! By far the best movie I've seen in a LONG time! Wish there was a second!!
February 17, 2019
One of the best films I've seen in a very long time. Everything from misspellings to actors are incredibly realistic, and so much of the story is told nonverbally.

I just wish the ending was better.
February 16, 2019
This was a great movie. The social media aspect was good too.
February 16, 2019
This is one of the best movies I have seen in a while. The movie sucks you in from the beginning. I held my breath to finish the entire movie. The plot is full of surprises and the scene is cleverly taking place on all Mac computer screens, phone texts, camera footages, and tv screens. A great movie to watch in the digital era.
½ February 13, 2019
Terrible plot, but aesthetically well crafted

Searching is a film with two main organisational principles; there's the thriller plot, which ostensibly keeps everything moving, and to which everything else should, in theory, be in service. Then there's the aesthetic design, with the entire film taking place online, the images presented taking the form of what is seen on computer screens, iPhones, security cameras etc. One of these principles is exceptionally well handled, the other isn't, and it shouldn't take a genius to guess which is which. Although the plot has a reasonably strong forward momentum, with a well-judged pace, it comes across as initially insipid, and ultimately rather ridiculous. If this was a standardly shot film, without the unique visual design, no one would be giving it a second glance; the thriller plot is cliched, derivative, and trite, and despite the foolishness into which it descends, it's also fairly predictable. In this sense, the film reminds me of something like Lady in the Lake or Victoria. Both feature dull and hackneyed plots that serve only as something onto which to hang the structure, rather than the other way around; Lady in the Lake is shot entirely in the first-person, whilst Victoria is shot in a single continuous take, and neither is worth looking at for their plot, characters, or dialogue.

The aesthetic aspect of Searching is much more successful, with almost the entire film taking place on a computer screen, with Facetime conversations, iPhone messages, security camera footage, and TV material rounding out the design. The first thing to know is that the aesthetic is extremely well crafted; logistically, this can't have been an easy film to plan or shoot, and the fact that the various components that go into making up the final image all work so well together suggests a great degree of care. In tandem with this, whilst the overarching plot is poor, the writing is excellent in terms of how it continually finds natural ways to confine the action to a screen, never once did it feel like a gimmick, like it was being forced to stay within the computer screen simply to satisfy an abstract aesthetic rubric. It all worked reasonably organically, and after a few minutes of acclimating yourself, you barely even register it anymore.

Within this, the filmmakers are even able to throw up a few surprises. For example, the structure grants us more access to the main character's interiority than would be possible in a regular film. How so? Simple - by employing something we've all done, many times. On several occasions, he is shown typing something during a conversation, only to delete it, and send something completely different, whether because the first message was angry, or emotionally revealing, or accusatory etc. Anyone who has spent any amount of time talking online or via text will be familiar with this, and the use of it in the film allows us a glance into his psyche, showing us where his mind is in an unfiltered sense, before self-censorship kicks in. It only happens a few times, but it really does impart a degree of psychological verisimilitude that I wasn't expecting.

Additionally, the film uses the visual design to offer some social commentary. For example, the addiction to technology and social media so prevalent in today's culture is right there in the set-up - the entire family are obsessed with speaking to one another via phones and computers, and recording pretty much everything, often at the expense of having more natural face-to-face conversations. Another subject is the toxicity of the internet, the prevalence of online troll culture. This is communicated primarily through one scene - after watching a news report about the missing girl on YouTube, her father begins reading the comments, which almost immediately start making jokes about him having killed her, and being "father of the year" (presented as a meme, obviously, because typing is such a drag). A very pertinent topic in the wake of Trump's election is the dissemination of fake news, and this is conveyed through a half-funny, half-unpleasant scene - shortly after realising his daughter was missing, David spoke to someone at her school, who confesses that she barely knew her. Later on, however, when the media is swarming all over the case, she is seen on the news, tearfully lamenting how much she misses her "best friend." The impossibility ever being invisible online is another topic. Yes, the film is about a person who had an entire online existence that no one knew about, but that was only because no one had looked. Once someone did, and once a few threads were pulled, everything is exposed, as the impossibility of erasing ones digital footprint becomes manifest in the story. Anyone who has spent any amount of time online will be familiar with many of these, and the fact that they all ring so true, without the film becoming preachy, is a testament to the quality of the filmmaking.
February 13, 2019
Conventional whodunit story presented at a pace one gets in an Aaron Sorkin creation, through a new medium. Shift from, world is our screen, to screen is our world.
February 12, 2019
Wow, I haven't seen a movie this good in years! Can't recommend it enough.
February 11, 2019
Made in original way but this cannot hide that the story itself is pretty simple. Did get to me emotionally, which is not bad with such a challenging format.
February 10, 2019
A refreshing take on a mystery based story-telling!! Kudos
February 10, 2019
Phenomenal! Was glued to the screen, pulls you into the story and keeps you on your toes guessing. Truly loved it! So many twist that keeps you constantly second guessing!
February 10, 2019
Having heard of the concept I was expecting the gimmicky nature of the movie to get old fast, but boy was I was wrong. First of all, it's just a great , original thriller on its own, with well-thought out storytelling and nicely crafted pacing. Then John Cho is absolutely amazing and convincing in this role, delivering his great performance through very non-traditional means. Finally the way they're using the screens and technology applications is some of the most realistic in movies to date.
All in all a nice surprise I highly recommend.
February 9, 2019
Honestly? How can you say this is a good movie?
Most of the scenes are filmed into a Mac, texting, facetiming etc...
After 30 minutes I was so bored and annoyed that I fast forwarded to 60 minutes to see if there was a change, if there was actually
any acting going on......It was not...
½ February 8, 2019
Maybe the greatest surprise that I've ever had in a theater!
What a great movie!!
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