From Todd McCarthy’s THR Sundance review, filed on 1.24.18: “The first thing people will always say about Searching (Screen Gems, 8.3) is, ‘Oh, yeah, the film that’s completely set on a computer screen.’ But if it were just that, it would be far from enough.
“Impressively, first-time filmmaker and former Google commercials creator Aneesh Chaganty has also made a real movie, the story of a family that morphs into a crime drama that gradually ratchets up the tension as all good thrillers must, one that’s well constructed and acted as well as novel in its storytelling techniques.
“[The pic] is like spending a little over an hour-and-a-half on the internet, except that a mind perhaps more wily than yours is organizing your online voyage. Early on you’re made to feel that you’re in good hands, such is the technical and dramatic expertise Chaganty, co-writer Sev Ohanian, editors Will Merrick and Nick Johnson (what a job they must have had!) and the rest of the team pour into this novel enterprise.
“Unavoidably, perhaps, Search starts feeling more like a conventional suspense film once the deep probe for information on the internet is over and the film enters real time and a possible resolution; there are a lot of present-tense cutaways to TV coverage and a reliance upon surveillance coverage cameras. By this time, too, some of the novelty has also begun to wear off, but there are a couple of good twists in a plot that’s pretty solid strictly from a crime story point of view.