Missing Parent Guide
Taut, twisty, and tightly paced this movie will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
Parent Movie Review
Eighteen-year-old June (Storm Reid) is pushing back against her mother, Grace (Nia Long), who expects her to stick to her curfew, reply to texts and messages, and (most irksome of all) respond to her childhood nickname, “Junebug”. When Grace and her boyfriend, Kevin (Ken Leung), head off to Colombia on a romantic vacation, June heaves a sigh of relief and promptly throws a booze-fueled party for all her friends. But June’s enjoyment is short-lived: Grace isn’t at the airport when her plane lands and June’s frustration soon frays into worry before exploding into full-fledged panic.
June may be young, but she’s nothing if not resourceful and tech savvy. Using a truly mind-boggling number of computer programs and communication applications, the young woman manages to hack Kevin’s Google account, view public camera feeds from across the city of Cartagena, hire a Colombian through TaskRabbit to check local facts, and uncover some very surprising evidence of past misdeeds. As June becomes increasingly aware of the sea of danger surrounding her mother, she also learns that there’s more to Grace than she imagines…
Shown entirely from June’s computer screen, her quest unfolds through Facebook chats, WhatsApp calls, Google searches, onscreen sticky notes, streamed programs, news clips and cameras for watches, doorbells, and security systems. Surprisingly, this interface doesn’t dampen the movie’s sense of immediacy – although the watch camera is unpleasantly jerky and makes the Bourne movies look smooth.
The film’s tech vibes will certainly appeal to young audiences, but even a middle-aged computer peasant like me can get caught up in the story. Missing is a taut, exciting tale that doesn’t waste a minute. Its plot never slows down and has enough twists and turns to keep even a jaded film critic completely focused. It’s always a treat to find a movie that doesn’t telegraph plot developments twenty minutes ahead: if you’re looking for a show that won’t bore you to death by the midpoint, Missing fits the bill.
Parents considering Missing for their teens will want to bear in mind a celebratory approach to teen drinking and moderate use of profanity. The biggest issue is violence: there are scenes of abductions and characters are threatened, beaten, shot, and stabbed. On the flip side, this is also a movie that depicts persistence, determination, and the enduring power of family ties. June learns that what she’s also been missing is a genuine appreciation for her mother. For most of us, learning to appreciate our parents comes with age and perspective, but for June that experience is compressed into a few harrowing weeks. Hopefully her experience gives teen viewers something to think about as they munch on their popcorn.
Directed by Nicholas D. Johnson, Will Merrick. Starring Nia Long, Storm Reid, Daniel Henney. Running time: 111 minutes. Theatrical release January 20, 2023. Updated January 22, 2024
Watch the trailer for Missing
Rating & Content Info
Why is Missing rated PG-13? Missing is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some strong violence, language, teen drinking, and thematic material.
Violence: A person has a nosebleed. There is mention of a fatal case of cancer. People are abducted and confined. Characters are hit and threatened. People are threatened with guns and shot, with bloody injuries and blood splatter on walls. A person is fatally stabbed. A dead body is found in a closet.
Sexual Content: None noted.
Profanity: There are just over a dozen profanities in the movie, including terms of deity, scatological curses, and minor swear words. A crude term for male genitalia is seen.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Eighteen year olds are seen drinking lots of alcohol and getting drunk: the movie is set in California so they are all underage. Teens are seen holding marijuana but not actually smoking it. There is mention of the possession of illegal drugs.
Page last updated January 22, 2024
Missing Parents' Guide
How does June’s attitude towards her mother change over the course of the film? Why did her mother deceive June about her past? Do you think she was justified in her choices?
Related home video titles:
Missing is a companion film to Searching, in which a father looks for his daughter. This movie also tells its tale from the perspective of a computer screen.