Emily the Criminal Movie Review


Matthew Brosnan, Author

    Emily the Criminal is an engaging and worthwhile watch that is perfect for a Friday night. I went into the film expecting it to be your classic action film taking down the bad guy, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had a much more developed plot. The actors took this story and truly made it a flawless movie.

Opening Sequence:

The movie starts out with Emily applying for a new job, however, her criminal record of felony assault consistently holds her back. She leaves frustrated and goes back to her food delivery job until her co-worker, Javiar, gives her a number to make quick cash in one hour. This quick cash scheme turns out to be credit card fraud. She reluctantly agrees, desperate to pay her $70,000 in student loans. As she completes her first job-pretending to be a dummy shopper buying a flat-screen tv-she feels confident in getting away with it and decides to return. The second job is much more lucrative than the first as Youcef asks her to purchase a luxury car. While she is completing the second job it daunts her that she may be biting off more than she can chew.   


Emily and Youcef, our main characters, are beautifully portrayed by Aubrey Plaza and Theo Rossi. Emily is an aspiring artist burdened by student loan debt looking for any means necessary to lift herself up. She is determined and a little bit rough around the edges. Aubrey Plaza did an amazing job with this character as you feel her struggles just by watching it on screen. The dynamics between Emily and Youcef are amazing and they really build throughout the whole movie. Theo Rossi did a great job playing Youcef as he makes himself brutal on the outside but a true softie on the inside. Overall, the acting was phenomenal and satisfying to watch on screen.


The plot of this movie follows your typical action movie, however, it does it in a unique way that makes it distinct from the rest. The details and backstory given to Emily make her more personal to the viewer. You follow Emily through the hardships of a struggling college dropout. The beginning of the movie starts out strong and immediately gets to the plot. After the first 30 minutes, the plot movies slower, and dialogue is replaced with fast-paced montages of the characters committing crimes. There is little build-up to the climax of the movie. The movie starts to show its uniqueness towards the end as it takes an alternative ending instead of the traditional happy ever after. Overall the plot was lacking in action but gives the viewer a satisfying conclusion. 

Overall Review:

     I would give this movie a 7/10 simply for the characters. In my opinion, the characters give this movie the virtue it needed. This movie is a fun-watch with high-action scenes and also a plotline that is relatable. Instead of having lavish lifestyles and access to unlimited resources, this movie gives Emily a struggle that is relatable. I would recommend this movie to any teenager because it is truly a great film.