Searching [2018] ★★★½

It took 9 months, but the best thriller of the year is finally here. The gripping, nerve-frying suspense in this movie will pin you to your seat. And yet, movies like “Searching” are so easy to get wrong (hello, “Unfriended”, “Friend request” and other films of the same genre). That it manages to take a thought provoking look at modern technology without sounding too preachy is no small achievement. Even better is how suspenseful it all is. John Cho is excellent as a widower whose teenage daughter goes missing one day. The only way to investigate? Break into her social media accounts, searching for clues. Director Aneesh Chaganty, in his feature debut, keeps you riveted just by watching a dad go through his daughter’s profiles, desperately trying to find answers. And we’re there with him, every step of the way, until the pulse-pounding climax. There are twists and turns, and nothing is truly as predictable as it appears to be. This is how good this movie is. And as we move along, Chaganty keeps hinting at the dangers of modern technology, again, without sounding too preachy. It’s a major issue, and whether you view it as a cautionary tale or simply as superior storytelling, there’s no denying that “Searching” is incredibly well-made. Let me put it this way: If Hitchcock made a movie in 2018, this would be it. I can’t recommend it enough.

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