Missing (2023), Directors – Will Merrick and Nick Johnson, Sony Pictures Releasing, 5*****: Matthew Alicoon


Sony Pictures Releasing

Running Time: 111 Minutes

UK Release Date: Friday 24th February 2023

Missing is a standalone sequel to 2018’s Searching and follows June Allen (Storm Reid) who utilises the online resources accessible to her to find out the explanation behind her mothers disappearance.

Firstly, Missing proves how utilising a smaller budget to the maximum can surmount to the biggest pay- off, as the technical grandeur of this film is astonishing. The work from editors Austin Keeling and Arielle Zakowski is magnificently pristine, as the composition of using multiple layers on certain shots in the film has so much craft-ship. Components that comprise Missing include FaceTime camera shots, images of Spotify albums, notes and web software. The seamless integration of the technical attributes gives Missing an incredibly refined feel to the film. The cinematic language of screenlife is nuanced yet its complexities are fabulously directed by Will Merrick and Nick Johnson. Transitioning Nick Johnson and Will Merrick’s roles from editors on Searching to directors on Missing was a real stroke of genius, as despite Missing baring resemblance with Searching, thematically it is a different film.

The technical prowess of Missing is significant but this film masterfully prioritises its characters and storyline. Storm Reid plays June Allen who on the surface is an average typical teenager but there is a substantial intellect and ingenuity within the lead character, as there are common points where she types something out but then she reconsiders it and types something else out. Therefore, the film plays to conventional expectations of a teenage archetype but then brilliantly subverts them, as June Allen is a critically adept lead character who you will sympathise with at the right moments too.

Storm Reid is an enigmatic tour-de-force in this film, as she handles the role with maturity and relatability. It is a moving, powerful and layered performance at times but it places you in the shoes of the character eloquently. There is a fascinating dynamic shared with Grace (Nia Long). The film excels at demonstrating that despite technology can cause a disparity between family, it is also one of our biggest resources. The film tackles the disappearance scope of the story distinctively and head on but it beautifully demonstrates the unbreakable bond of a mother and daughter’s relationship regardless of the circumstances. Missing has a lot to say on a timely world issue in the revelation too.

The film features a plethora of plot twists that are sprinkled throughout the film’s progression with a final revelation that is jaw-dropping. The elegance of the writing makes you feel like you are being conned, as the film outsmarts you consistently. The final twist brilliantly interweaves the cohort of plot twists. 

Searching was one of my biggest inspirations for wanting to pursue creative producing. Therefore, I am delighted to say that Missing absolutely floored me. The narrative and technical cohesiveness is sublime. Storm Reid is phenomenal. Heartfelt, moving and timely.

I genuinely think that Natalie Qasabian, Sev Ohanian, Aneesh Chaganty, Will Merrick and Nick Johnson are cinematic artists who have gone 3 for 3 on their collaborations. They make my job easy as a film critic. I cannot wait to see what they do next.

Missing is my favourite film of the year so far, even though it is only early February.

I already think that Missing could land a spot in my top 10 of 2023.


Storm Reid as June Allen

Joaquim de Almeida as Javier

Ken Leung as Kevin

Nia Long as Grace

Daniel Henney as Agent Park

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