Emily the Criminal Movie Review (2022)
Emily is a specific person, but she is also representative of the particular struggles of her generation. She went to expensive art school, got a degree in portraiture, and a mountain of debt. There’s no way on earth that she could ever pay it back, neither the interest nor the principal. Emily has a record. There was a DUI in college. There was also an arrest for assault. That means she can’t pass a background check, a roadblock when applying for “real” jobs. She works for a GrubHub-like company as a contractor (they can cut her hours without notice and she has no recourse). She hauls lasagna into gleaming corporate offices, where women in tailored suits bustle around waiting for her to finish. He is offered a promising internship, but the internship is, of course, unpaid. She cannot go without pay for five months. That can? Emily is trapped. That is, until a colleague introduced her to the world of credit card fraud.
A group of people gather in a warehouse and are guided through the process by Youcef (Theo Rossi), who says up front that what they’re going to do is illegal (but safe), and if anyone doesn’t uncomfortable, there is no problem. get up and go. His manners are calm and kind and he inspires confidence. Emily receives a fake license, fake credit card, and instructions on what to buy for resale on the black market. Later, as Emily catches up, Youcef gives her a taser for protection and a phone to burn. He shows her how to make credit cards. She “takes” it. Money is addictive. The thought of getting out of debt is an overwhelming incentive. Liz, Emily’s friend from art school (Megalyn Echikunwoke), continues to dangle the possibility of recommending Emily for a job as a graphic designer at her ad agency, pointing out the vast chasm between the two friends’ circumstances. . (Liz, sent to Portugal on business, complains to Emily, “It’s only for 11 days.” Only!)
As the jobs become increasingly risky, Emily’s true nature is activated, reminiscent of the opening scene where Emily turns a failed job interview on her ear. She never plays defense. She goes on the attack as quickly as possible. She thinks on her feet. When she decides to fight back, she can be quite scary. She loves Youcef, an immigrant from Lebanon with dreams, things he saves up for. Youcef likes it too. The credit card fraud aspect of “Emily the Criminal” is fascinating, a deep dive into the world of “dummy shopping”, but what ignites the film as a whole is the unpredictable and often thrilling performance of Aubrey Plaza.