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Searching (2018)

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After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.

Director:

Aneesh Chaganty
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Popularity
388 ( 52)
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cho ... David Kim
Sara Sohn ... Pamela Nam Kim
Alex Jayne Go ... Young Margot (5 yrs)
Megan Liu ... Young Margot (7 yrs)
Kya Dawn Lau Kya Dawn Lau ... Young Margot (9 yrs)
Michelle La ... Margot
Joseph Lee ... Peter
Dominic Hoffman ... Michael Porter
Sylvia Minassian Sylvia Minassian ... Mrs. Shahinian (voice)
Melissa Disney ... Isaac's Mom (voice)
Connor McRaith ... Isaac
Colin Woodell ... 911 Operator (voice)
Debra Messing ... Detective Vick
Joseph John Schirle ... Jonah Emmi (voice) (as Joseph K. Shirle)
Ashley Edner ... Margot's Friend #1 (voice)
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Storyline

After David Kim (John Cho)'s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter's laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter's digital footprints before she disappears forever.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

David Kim's daughter is missing. He can't find out where she is until he finds out who she is. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic content, some drug and sexual references, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Russia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Searching See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$388,769, 26 August 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,020,957, 15 November 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the feature film directorial debut of Aneesh Chaganty. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, the very young version of the daughter is shown learning to play the piano. She is seen playing a Yamaha DX7 which is extraordinarily unlikely, as that is a digital FM synthesizer from 1984 which has neither built-in speakers nor a pleasant acoustic piano simulation, and its keyboard is unweighted, like a cheap home Casio.

Very shortly afterwards, she is seen playing a tune on, yes, a cheap home keyboard, with the soundtrack following her - badly. The notes she plays are completely different than the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

David Kim: I didn't know her. I didn't know my daughter.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Projector: Searching (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best Yet of the "Computer-Screen" Movies
10 September 2018 | by Jared_AndrewsSee all my reviews

A story told entirely through a character's laptop screen - it's an increasingly popular gimmick that's now been done enough times that it can no longer be called fresh. But, thankfully, this is best execution of the style to date. Aneesh Chaganty dazzles in his directorial debut, displaying a mastery of the medium, crafting a compelling film narrative told entirely through someone's laptop activity.

The movie comes out hot with a mostly nonverbal tale of love and family that's shades of 'Up' and nearly as affecting. An emotionally warping scene like that to kick things off lets us know immediately that we're in good hands. The music choices give a strong signal of this as well. I firmly believe that music choices in the opening minutes of movies are as reliable an indicator of the movie's quality as you'll find.

This moving love story tells that us the family is close, or, at least they were before mom died. Now dad David (John Cho) is raising his daughter Margot (Michelle La) as well he can, but they seem a bit distant. When Margot mysteriously goes missing, he finds out just how little he knows about his daughter.

He and police detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing) scramble to find out what happened to Margot - was she kidnapped, catfished, or did she runaway? The work they put in to unravel this mystery is frantic and exhausting. They track Margot's car on traffic cams, they contact all of her Facebook friends, and they dig for anything of use they can find on her laptop. The level of detail displayed in the investigation is so thorough that it's as much an education in snooping as it is entertainment (not that parents should follow these steps to snoop on their own kids!)

It's a constant thrill ride throughout, even as conventional storytelling techniques seep through the cracks at the end when the laptop screen gimmick proves too challenging. One answered question leads to five more unanswered, and a few false endings and twists will leave you breathless. In movies, there are twists and then there are TWISTS. "Searching" has TWISTS. Enjoy.


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