A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie realistically deals with the issue of domestic abuse and the extent of the damage it can cause. It also champions communication and trust between parent and child.
Positive Role Models
Despite throwing a huge party full of underage drinking (she herself vomits and wakes up with a hangover) without getting caught, June proves to be a resilient, persistent, and whip-smart character who's unwilling to give up in her pursuit of solving a problem, including asking others for help.
Main characters June (Storm Reid) and Grace (Nia Long) are fully developed Black women. Grace's boyfriend is played by Chinese-American actor Ken Leung. June's Colombian helper, Javier, is played by Portuguese-born actor Joaquim de Almeida, andJune's best friend, Veena, is played by Indian-American actor Megan Suri. FBI man Park is played by American-Korean actor Daniel Henney. The only other major character is a powerful lawyer played by White actor Amy Landecker.
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Violence & Scariness
Domestic abuse. Man snatches a screaming teen girl. Teen girl tied up and gagged. Man wrestles teen to the ground. Guns and shooting. Character shot in stomach. Woman murdered, sliced throat. Person stabbed with shard of broken mirror. Brief gurgling blood. Character hit in head. Gunshot noises, character killed (off camera). Masked figures kidnap people and drive away in a white van. Teen girl's mother is missing. Suggestion of death from brain tumor. Threats.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Dating app shown. Photo intended to be seen as sexy is sent through email.
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Uses of "s--t," "Jesus Christ," "shut up," "idiot," "swear to God." Typed on computer: "stfu" (or "shut the f--k up"), "omg" (or "oh my God")
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Products & Purchases
Apple OS used, with heavy Siri presence (she's essentially a character in the film). Many computer-based brands named: Google, Facebook, FaceTime, Taskrabbit, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Heavy teen drinking during party. Teens shown drunk, throwing up, hung over. Teens drink from red plastic cups, bottles. Suggestion of man having drug habit, with bloody nose.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that mystery/thriller Missing is a follow-up to Searching. The two movies don't have any characters in common, but both are told in screenlife style, with all of the action unfolding on screens. While not flawless, Missing is smart and zippy and will keep viewers on their toes. It includes some harrowing domestic violence, as well as other tense scenes (more so than in Searching). A teen girl is grabbed, wrestled to the ground, thrown in a car trunk, tied up, and gagged. A woman is shot, another woman's body is found with the neck sliced open, and a character is stabbed with a shard of broken mirror (gurgling blood is seen/heard). Language includes infrequent uses of "s--t," "Jesus Christ," "idiot," etc. "Stfu" ("shut the f--k up") and "omg" ("oh my God") are typed on-screen. A dating app and a "sexy" photo are shown. There's a wild teen party with drinking, vomiting, and hangovers, as well as the suggestion of a character having a drug habit (including a bloody nose). Heading up a diverse cast, Storm Reid stars as the movie's unflappable teen hero, who's trying to find her missing mom. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Taking place entirely on computer screens and video monitors, this thriller builds a clever, frantic, and emotional mystery, even if it finds itself stretched a bit too thin as it reaches its climax. Like its spiritual predecessor, Searching (with which it shares only its motif), Missing is a mystery for the modern age, with its 18-year-old hero clicking from web browsers to notepads to FaceTime while hacking email accounts and hiring out-of-country help, all at lightning speed. (Even Sherlock Holmes' head would spin.) Co-writers and directors Will Merrick and Nick Johnson -- who worked as editors on Searching -- establish an exciting pace, as well as an exciting main character in June, and all of her quick-clicks tickle viewers' brains. The filmmakers also admirably attempt to tackle the serious business of domestic abuse, but when their narrative leaves the computer screen and switches to security camera monitors, Missing starts to stumble a little, although it comes back with a satisfying snap of a solution. Yes, in retrospect things begin to fall apart under scrutiny, but it's still a perfectly satisfying viewing experience.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.