Emily the Criminal movie review - Aussieboyreviews


Written and directed by John Patton Ford, and starring Aubrey Plaza, Emily the Criminal is a fresh reminder of why low-budget movies deserve our support. This crime-drama may be predictable and typical, but it’s very entertaining and well-done.


Unable to find a well-paying job and weighed down by student debt, Emily becomes involved in a credit card scam, taking huge risks by purchasing expensive products with stolen credit cards and descending into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: John Patton Ford
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Bernardo Badillo, Megalyn Echikunwoke, John Billingsley, Gina Gershon
Writer: John Patton Ford
Release Date (Australia): 9 August 2022
Runtime: 97 minutes/1h 37m
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Language: English, Spanish

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

The film contains themes of criminal activity, threat of violence and fraud.

Violence (M)

The film contains several scenes briefly depicting people being kicked, punched, strangled and stabbed, accompanied by blood detail.

Coarse Language (M)

The film contains use of the word “f**k”, as well as use of the words “s**t”, “**shole” and “goddamn”.

Drug Use (M)

The film contains a scene in which people implicitly snort cocaine.

Nudity (G)

A woman’s partially exposed buttocks are briefly viewed as she kisses passionately with a man.

Sex (M)

The film contains infrequent sexual references, including mild sexual activity and a single use of the word “f**king” in a sexual context.

mpaa rating

R (for language, some violence and brief drug use)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Although Aubrey Plaza is fire in this movie, Emily the Criminal is proof that a film doesn’t need absolutely Oscar-worthy performances, topnotch direction or the greatest camera quality of all time to still be extremely enjoyable and actually quite engrossing. It’s not the best of its genre, but it’s a very sufficient indie crime-drama created by John Patton Ford that’s actually quite underrated and is truly worth your support.

The film is about a young woman struggling to find work and weighed down by student debt who becomes involved in a credit card scam, where she takes huge risks by purchasing expensive products with stolen credit cards and gets pulled into the underworld of crime. Looking at the talent in front of and behind the camera, Plaza’s satisfying performance as this character steals the show and while the direction isn’t 100% perfect, the scenes are usually good-looking, the camerawork is pretty solid and there are some very well-delivered intense threatening moments experienced by Plaza. Theo Rossi is also superb in his close supporting role, and the movie makes you care about them and want them to succeed.

Emily the Criminal may be rated for mature audiences due to language, violence and some drug use, but the best part is the fact that it doesn’t try to be too complicated or difficult to keep up with. It’s a short movie where the story is told very smoothly, the screenwriting is excellent and there’s nothing really complex about it. Yeah, complex movies can be great, but Emily the Criminal is so simple, extremely entertaining and completely basic. It has its flaws throughout, and lots of intense scenes can be quite predictable, but it’s a captivating low-budget thriller kind of movie you should definitely watch.

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