Emily the Criminal (2022)

Directed and Written by John Patton Ford

Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Jonathan Avigdori, Bernardo Badillo, John Billingsley, Gina Gershon

Emily (Plaza) is 30 something, working a dead end job to pay off her $70k student debt of a degree she does not use. Struggling to find a decent job due to some past criminal convictions, she is in a rut. When she is told of a way to make some easy money fast, she meets Youcef (Rossi), and finds herself involved in the world of credit card fraud. As the money rolls in, she and Youcef find themselves drawn to one another, and both dream of escaping their predicament for a better life.

Wonderful film from debut director Ford. He wrote some brilliant characters here, with such empathetic characters. Both Emily and Youcef both have such strong character developments created, there are some moments of the film that are truly touching. Ford’s directorial style is beautifully shot, and the fast paced cuts add to the tension of the scenes.

Plaza gives a tour de force performance, and it is miles apart from roles she has done in the past – primarily her comedy stylings such as Parks. She gives an amazing performance as the down on her luck Emily. I could not fault her performance.

The score is brilliant as well, and it complements several scenes. Primarily I found the first two purchase scenes in the early parts of the film – had the score almost sound like heart palpitations, and this only served to increase the intensity of the scene.

Plaza shows here she is capable of being the lead in a film. I have several more of her filmography in my ‘to watch’ list, and having seen her excel here, I am looking forward to watching these, and also what she brings in the future.

I was not too familiar with Rossi’s career going in, as I did not watch Sons of Anarchy. His role Yousef is brilliant, beginning with being what could be the antagonist, to being the complete opposite. He and Plaza work brilliantly together.

There are only a few downs, and that is the lack of closure on some characters arcs.

Other than that, I really enjoyed this, and highly recommend.



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