There’s something so intriguing about a mystery centered around a missing person, and these stories have long been portrayed in Hollywood and Independent films. While the plot lines may seem similar, a loved one has disappeared, each Missing Person story has it’s own unique twists and turns that will keep you guessing! Below is our selection of top “clean” missing persons films, from Family Friendly titles to a few PG-13 ratings for older viewers. Did your favorite make the list?
PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (1975)
In the early 1900s, Miranda (Anne Lambert) attends a girls boarding school in Australia. One Valentine's Day, the school's typically strict headmistress (Rachel Roberts) treats the girls to a picnic field trip. They go to a strange but beautifully scenic volcanic formation called Hanging Rock. While there, Miranda and several other girls venture off to explore the Rock. It's not until the end of the day that the faculty realizes the girls and one of the teachers (Vivean Gray) have mysteriously disappeared. Not to be confused with the Netflix series of the same name, this film will truly haunt you far after the credits have rolled. Some content may be too much for young viewers. RATED PG
THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON (1995)
16-year old Janie (Kellie Martin) finds her life turned upside down when she sees a notice for missing child Jennifer Sands on the back of a milk carton - along with a picture of her own face. When her parents reveal that her biological mother was involved with a dangerous cult, and that they changed her name to protect her from its followers, Janie embarks on a search to find her real family and the truth about herself. Based on a best-selling YA novel turned series, this film explores the angle of “what happens once you are found”? Rated PG
ABOUT ELLY (2009)
A young schoolteacher Elly (Golshifteh Farahani) accompanies three families on a picnic in northern Iran. Things take a chilling turn when she vanishes without a trace, leaving her fellow travelers to uncover the mystery of her disappearance and test their own trust in one another. We were unable to find rating information on this title. Parents, please preview before sharing with your children.
FINDING FAITH (2013)
14-year-old Faith Garrett (Stephanie Bettcher) meets a cute boy online named Eddie Blue. At first, their interactions on social media seem harmless, but Eddie turns out to be a child predator and abducts Faith. Her parents, known for being spiritually strong, struggle to find their daughter while the tragedy tests their faith and their whole community’s. Dove Approved for Ages 12+
PAPER TOWNS (2015)
Young and shy Quentin (Nat Wolff) is thrilled when the most popular girl in school and his lifelong crush Margo (Cara Delevingne) seeks his help in pranking her traitorous friends. The next day, however, Margo mysteriously disappears. With help from a few buddies and a cryptic trail she left behind, Quentin embarks on a mission to find the girl who stole his heart and made him feel truly alive. Based on the novel by best-selling YA author, John Greene, this film is part teen romance, part mystery. Rated PG-13
6 BELOW: MIRACLE ON THE MOUNTAIN (2017)
Former professional hockey player Eric LeMarque (Josh Hartnett) finds himself stranded on a mountain during a fierce snowstorm. Back home, his mother (Mira Sorvino) must fight investigators to find her missing son despite his sordid past. As Eric struggles to survive, he comes to terms with his personal demons and rediscovers the power of faith. This film is less of a mystery, but more a story sharing the missing person’s struggles with the audience. Rated PG-13
A COWGIRL’S STORY (2017)
Seventeen-year-old Dusty Rhodes (Bailee Madison) goes to live with her grandfather while both of her Army parents fight in the Afghanistan war. Her world is soon turned upside down when her mother's helicopter is shot down in action and she goes missing. With the help of her grandfather and new friends, she struggles to keep her head high and faith strong. Rated PG
THE CHILD IN TIME (2017)
Children’s book writer Stephen Lewis (Benedict Cumberbatch) is confronted with the unthinkable when his only child, 4-year-old Kate, disappears in a supermarket. His marriage and life quickly fall apart from the loss as he and his wife struggle to cope. Limited rating information is available on this title, and subject matter may be difficult for some viewers, but we wanted to include it on our list! Please research this film on your own before viewing with your family. Not Rated
David Kim (John Cho) becomes desperate when his 16-year-old daughter Margot (Alex Jayne Go) mysteriously isappears. When the immediate police investigation leads only to dead ends, he decides to search the one place that no one else has thought to look-- Margot's laptop. Hoping to trace her digital footprints, David contacts her friends and examines photos and videos for any possible clues to her whereabouts. In the process, he discovers his daughter may not have been who he thought she was. A unique film told entirely through web cams, this film will keep you on the edge of your seat! Rated PG-13
IF YOU’RE GONE (2019)
When high school senior Brad Lee (Oscar Mansky) disappears the night of his graduation ceremony, his girlfriend Lillian (Masey McLain) is forced to question everything she thought she knew about him and their relationship, as well as her own faith, in hopes of finding him. Continuously praised as a “compelling drama with a twist you won’t see coming”, If You’re Gone is a must see for mystery fans and clean enough for the whole family to watch. Dove-Approved for All Ages
EDITORS NOTE: While Missing Persons stories can make for an exciting movie-night, it’s important not to lose sight of the real-life missing persons cases happening in your community. Visit MIssingPersonsofAmerica.com to learn how you can help the families of the missing in your area and around the country.