Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Digital mystery satisfies on technical, emotional levels.

Movie PG-13 2018 102 minutes
Searching Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 11+

Must Watch!

Wow! One of the best movies I have seen in a long time! Good plot it leads you to assume one thing then another. Some parts in this movie may be harsh for young children, this movies is good for mature 10 year olds but id say 11 and up! As an adult watching this it can be very nerve racking but in the end you see things are not as they seem!
age 13+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (26 ):

Perhaps inspired by the success of 2014's Unfriended, this mystery ventures in fresh, new directions while being superbly constructed, emotionally satisfying, and culturally relevant. The debut feature of director Aneesh Chaganty, who also wrote the screenplay with producer Sev Ohanian, Searching is notable for focusing on a Korean American family without making an issue of it. It frankly doesn't matter what culture the Kim family comes from (other than in the valuable representation sense, of course). What matters is what would matter to any human being when a family member is in trouble.

In the lead role, Cho does amazing things, performing largely by himself and within unconventional cameras and camera setups, reaching new emotional depths. The movie's filming techniques do recall some of the more effective things used in Unfriended and Unfriended: Dark Web, but Searching expands the genre's toolbox, going further in both time and space. And the screenplay, while suffering a few small, easily forgivable shaky spots, is a thing of beauty, furthering the story with desperate, constant propulsion, and dropping little clues in the most innocuous places. When it all comes together, it's with a most pleasurable snap.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 24, 2018
  • On DVD or streaming: November 27, 2018
  • Cast: John Cho , Debra Messing , Michelle La
  • Director: Aneesh Chaganty
  • Inclusion Information: Asian actors
  • Studio: Screen Gems
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Character Strengths: Perseverance
  • Run time: 102 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: thematic content, some drug and sexual references, and for language
  • Last updated: September 2, 2022

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