Verdict: A brand new way of storytelling, executed beautifully.

The producer of Unfriended (2015) Timur Bekmambetov returns with another film told from the point of view of the character’s laptop. Directed by Aneesh Chaganty, Searching is the story of a father who is desperately trying to find his daughter when she goes missing starring Star Trek’s John Cho and Will & Grace’s Debra Messing.

What’s Searching About:

David Kim (John Cho) and Pamela Kim (Sara Sohn) are a happily married couple with a beautiful young daughter named Margot (Michelle La). As the playful little girl grows up, we watch her develop a love for playing the piano with her mom. But their happy family is strained as Pamela fights lymphoma and eventually succumbs to the disease.

As Margot begins high school and is about to turn 16, things begin to go off-track. One morning, David wakes up to find several calls from Margot but is unable to get in touch with her. As the next week unfolds, we see David’s frantic hunt to find his daughter with the help of Detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing). Told entirely through computer screens, we join David on his uphill journey to find Margot before she disappears forever.

What Works:

Searching is not a story told on the big screen. It’s a story framed inside a computer screen and director Aneesh Chaganty (a former Google employee. Of course!) delivers it to us fluently. From beginning to end, we see the entire film play out on nothing but computer screens. Yet somehow, it almost seems natural as we embark on an adventure full of emotions, thrills, suspense, and lots of twists and turn.

It’s incredibly refreshing to see this unique take on storytelling as we watch the entire journey unfold through home videos, text messages, news broadcasts, FaceTime calls, and so much more. Yet, there never seems to be a moment where you feel disconnected from the plot. You’ll feel the pain of a father who’s lost his daughter. You’ll feel for the young teenager who, in the age of the internet, is still somehow disconnected from the world around her. You’ll feel anxious as things seem to be hopeless and you’ll continue to be on the edge of your seat as every time you feel like you’ve reached the end another twist jolts you back into the adventure.

What Could’ve Been Better:

At times, all of the information on the screen can be slightly distracting. But, as you watch the characters develop, everything fits perfectly into the plot.

Why You Should Watch:

If you’re looking for a fresh take on a well-executed thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you entirely engaged, then stop searching.