We discuss 10 movies like the 2023 film Missing that you must watch. Add these recommendations to your watchlist.
Written and directed by Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick, Missing is a stand-alone sequel to the 2018 movie Searching. The missing party, in this case, is the mother of teenager June, who realizes with horror that while on holiday, her mum seems to have vanished. Mum Grace and new boyfriend Kevin pop off to Columbia for a break.
However, when June has to pick them up from the airport, we are plunged into a mystery thriller, where nothing seems to be as it first appears.
With that in mind, we thought we would have a quick look into some other movies that have a similar mystery at their core, so without further ado, here are 10 movies like Missing you must watch.
10 movies like Missing (2023) you must watch
Starting with a missing person classic, this Hitchcockian-style thriller stars Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan as man and wife Jeff and Amy that are driving across the desert to start a new life in California. However, when the car breaks down, Amy hitches a ride to a nearby diner to phone a tow truck, but as time goes by, Amy seems to be taking way too long, so Jeff goes looking for her, but at the diner, nobody has seen Amy, and the driver that picked her up swears he has never seen her. This is a great mystery thriller with some very tense and creepy scenes.
Winter’s Bone (2010)
Starring Jennifer Lawrence as Ree, this is a gritty drama set on Ozark, that finds a family on the verge of homelessness after their no-good father decides to skip bail and disappear. If Ree can’t locate her useless dad the home will be repossessed and her kin, including her disabled mother, will be on the street. This is a hard look at small-town inner politics, and is a tough watch at times, but worth it.
It is hard to find a bad Jodie Foster movie, and this is another gripping thriller in her portfolio. With the positions from Missing reversed, this film has mum Jodie searching for her daughter. And the twist? Well, this mystery plays out on a plane in-flight from Berlin to America, with Jodie’s daughter disappearing mid-flight and nobody on board seems to recall her, or want to help. A mind-bending mystery, that frustrates and compels at the same time, this will put you off flying economy for life.
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Based on the novel of the same name, this is another missing-person movie that has more than its fair share of twists. This time, there is a missing 4-year-old girl at risk, and when local detectives are no use, two private eyes are hired, however, they start to uncover a conspiracy of horrific crime and moral ambiguity. Written for the screen and directed by Ben Affleck, this is a gritty look at the seedy underworld of Boston.
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Possibly the first missing person mystery thriller, this is a classic tale that could be considered the inspiration for many of the films on this list. Taking place on a train, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this story has a missing person, nobody acknowledging she was ever there, and a frantic search for the truth. Everything the modern missing person thriller today will include, is first touched upon here. A masterclass in suspense for lovers of the golden age of film.
Another missing daughter here, or is it? This disturbing entry on our list stars Damian Lewis as Keane, struggling with schizophrenia and bereft at the disappearance of his seven-year-old daughter. However, as is often the case with an unreliable narrator, we are never sure what is real and what is not. Haunting and unsettling, this is perhaps not for everyone, however, Lewis gives a contained performance that is worth a look despite the harrowing premise.
In The Valley of Elah (2007)
Nominated for an Oscar, this story has Hank Deerfield trying to find the truth about the disappearance of his son at Fort Rudd in New Mexico. Hank’s son has just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan but is faced with a wall of silence. As he searches for answers, he turns up a web of lies and deceit. Tommy Lee Jones stars in this movie which is based on true events and turns in an A-plus performance.
Gone Girl (2014)
Here is another entry with Ben Affleck, this time we find Ben’s wife missing, in this twisted “did he didn’t he” drama thriller. On their five-year wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports his wife Amy is missing. However, as the investigation progresses we are never sure what really happened, and as the couple’s relationship goes under the microscope we are privy to the alarming and vicious details that lie beneath. Plenty of twists, and a screenplay, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, that will keep you guessing till the final act.
Angelina Jolie plays distraught mother Christine Collins in this heartbreaking missing person drama with a twist. When her missing son is reportedly found, Christine is reunited with her child. Trouble is, it isn’t him. Despite her pleas, the authorities refuse to acknowledge the situation, but Christine knows her son is still missing and will do anything to get to the truth. This is a harrowing, disturbing tale, made more poignant as it is based on real events, with a great central performance from Jolie that earned her an Oscar nomination, and director Clint Eastwood manages to hold everything together.
Couldn’t really conclude this top ten without including this one, and it might be an idea, but not essential, to watch Searching before you see Missing, as it is technically part of what might be a sort of missing persons franchise. The USP of this movie is the style it is presented in, basically a “found footage” film, with the story unfolding through social media clips, CCTV footage, and every other way of showing you a film on a computer screen. Clever, slickly edited, and praised on its release, this was a slightly gimmicky way of storytelling but it did really well and has led the way for Missing, so here it is on the list.
Do you have any other recommendations for movies like the 2023 film Missing? Let us know!
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