searchiNG (Aneesh Chaganty) is a perfectly cromulent thriller starring the always engaging John Cho as David Kim, a father trying to find his vanished teenage daughter (Michelle La) by digging through her laptop, her social media contacts and any other online resource available. As in executive producer Timur Bekmambetov’s Unfriended movies, all the action is relayed via laptops, cellphones and TV screens, but the real innovation here is the way first-time feature director/co-writer Chaganty uses the shorthand of smartphones and FaceTime to convey complex dramatic beats. Cho’s essential to that as well, bringing his impressive range and technical facility to a role performed almost entirely in front of a webcam; almost every moment of Searching is a sharp reminder that he should be a much bigger star than he is. The ending doesn’t work, but I’m not sure there’s anything he could have done to fix it. 102 min. NNN (Norman Wilner)
John Cho goes Searching for his daughter.