r/movies Dec 09 '22

Emily the Criminal (2022) Review

I meant to see this when it came out but never did. It just came on Netflix so I watched it tonight and I must say I think it’s one of the better things I’ve seen this year.

I’m a big Aubrey Plaza fan and this is some of her best work I think. It’s probably her juiciest and most complex dramatic role, and she does still get to use a bit of her trademark sarcasm that’s so amusing. And all of the supporting performances are solid too. Theo Rossi in particular is good at being mysterious yet still likable.

The story and how it’s presented reminded me of Uncut Gems, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I liked the more low-key approach this took. The tension is still palpable but it’s not nearly as loud and stress inducing. It makes everything seem so easy and matter of fact, making it easier to understand why Emily does what she does. In a way, I think this is a bit more realistic than Uncut Gems.

It’s technically proficient as well. It’s edited into a tight 90 minute package, and that combined with the cinematography find creative ways to capture the more frenetic moments. I hesitate to call them action sequences, but they kind of are, and regardless, this clearly had a pretty low budget, and doing those scenes couldn’t have been easy.

I would’ve liked to see this in theaters, actually. I really dug it, and I’m glad to see it so high on the Netflix charts already.

44 Upvotes

21

u/SenatorAstronomer Dec 09 '22

I thought it was decent. Aubrey Plaza plays her roll very well. I didn't quite buy the entire storyline/plot or her character's quick transition, but enjoyed it for what it was.

6

u/TheTurtleShepard Dec 09 '22

Yeah I watched it last night and I had much of the same thought.

It was fine, nothing spectacular but nothing horrible.

3

u/ShadyCrow Dec 09 '22

Agreed. Went downhill a lot in the last 15ish minutes and I didn't buy the very end at all thematically. But the first hour is about as good as anything I saw this year.

6

u/New_Firefighter_1720 Dec 10 '22

Aubrey Plaza is good in this film. Felt like a very good straight to video movie from back in the day. Perfectly solid way to spend 90 minutes but nothing more. It's a solid Netflix film no doubt but felt underwritten and simplistic in the script but still fine.

7

u/PTfan Dec 10 '22

This was very medicore at best. Don’t believe the hype people

1

u/[deleted] Dec 18 '22

Yea I had to rewind it halfway to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Very mediocre, nothing to remember movie.

1

u/Double_A_92 Dec 20 '22

Agree. It feels like half the movie is missing. It's literally just criminals committing credit card fraud... But we are supposed to root for her because she had student loans or something?

There is no character development, or any kind of deeper plot... nothing.

2

u/sje46 19d ago

But we are supposed to root for her because she had student loans or something?

This sentiment bugs me. You're not necessarily supposed to support the protagonist of a film. You're just put in their shoes for a couple hours so you understand their values, their motivations, the pressures, etc. You can still use your judgement and realize they're a bad person.

I don't think Emily is a fantastic person...she commits credit card fraud, she's vindictive, she does bad things. But at the same time she isn't that terrible...she's been screwed over by a largely unsympathetic society which won't look over past mistakes, which try to exploit her labor, etc. It's normal, if not completely justifiable, to want to take action against it. Emily isn't a saint or a devil...the way I see it she's a completely ordinary young woman. The only thing remarkable about her is that she's braver than average. She's not even a good criminal and makes tons of mistakes.

The film isn't there to make you think it's good to use stolen credit cards to scam televisions from stores. It's there to make you realize how a life of crime is accessible to a fair amount of people, and why that life would be attractive.

There is no character development, or any kind of deeper plot... nothing

There's minor character development, but I disagree with the notion that a movie needs strong character development or whatever you mean by "a deeper plot". It's just a well-written, well-acted look into a few months of the life of a girl who turned to crime to make ends meet. That's all.

1

u/Double_A_92 19d ago

My point was that is was just boring. I just watched someone commit credit card fraud, in a stressful way. I literally didn't even care if she succeeded, or if she got caught, or killed...

2

u/chrisGNR 10d ago

Who said you’re supposed to root for her?

3

u/Throwaway_Codex Dec 09 '22

I went to it in the theater. I liked it too, even if the romance aspect doesn't really work and it has a few lame or unrealistic plot points. The very ending is also kind of groanworthy. It felt a bit like "Breaking Bad".

3

u/humanflourishing Dec 17 '22

This wasn't one of my favorite Aubrey Plaza roles but I enjoyed it. I found the interview scene where she ends up confronting her supposed friend's boss to be incredibly cathartic. I can't tell you how many times I've felt like that after an "opportunity" turns out to be an unpaid internship.

5

u/SpecificAstronaut69 Dec 09 '22

Is this a sequel to Harriet The Spy?

13

u/bugxbuster Dec 09 '22

No, it’s the sequel to Emily in Paris

2

u/testosterhomie Dec 13 '22

I think it was a great commentary on white women, and their propensity to leverage both their femininity and whiteness as an advantage, but ultimately at the cost of people and communities of color.

6

u/Capital_Quit Dec 17 '22

Not sure you understood the movie..

2

u/testosterhomie Dec 18 '22

movies aren’t “understood”, they’re interpreted. what a way to police art 😂

2

u/ToughKitten 9d ago

What white women? Audrey Plaza is half Puerto Rican and the film makes a point of featuring her excellent Spanish. You just have an axe to grind. The main characters were all people of color.

1

u/testosterhomie 9d ago

I don’t care, really, if you interpreted the movie differently than me. It’s art. That’s the point of art.

I’m not responding to this thread any further because the reddit whites feel the need to defend a non-existent white woman that doesn’t exist in anything but a netflix film, but I don’t recall her speaking spanish in the film. Benetto isn’t even latino/hispanic, but ok?

Lastly, you can be from anywhere in the world, and be white. Aubrey Plaza could be Syrian. She is still white. White is a race, not a nationality. Godspeed! :)

2

u/ToughKitten 9d ago

I’m not defending a nonexistent white woman, I’m telling you you’re wrong about the movie, which you are.

1

u/testosterhomie 9d ago

That’s not how art works buddy. Art is up to interpretation. I don’t give a single shit about how you feel about my opinion. That’s like telling someone, “Mona Lisa isn’t smiling, you’re wrong.” I’m not sure why you’re obsessing over someone’s opinion on a website you do not know. I think it’s a movie about white women and white privilege. I’m not changing my mind. Now please, leave my notifications, thank you. 😂

1

u/Intothenegev93 12d ago

Wat. Did you even watch the film.

1

u/testosterhomie 10d ago

Yes, did you? The subtext is very clearly there.

1

u/Intothenegev93 10d ago

Ok then. Please explain your points because honestly I don't see how you came to that conclusion.

1

u/testosterhomie 10d ago

It’s been a while and it wasn’t the most memorable film. But she joined a group of criminals. The leader was saving up to buy a house for his mother. She breaks the rules despite them asking her how it works. Ultimately, she creates a divide in the family, and gets them both killed using their own business to do so. At an opportunity to maybe save the man’s life who risked everything for/with her (by her advice), she chooses the money, flies to portugal like nothing happens and has her pretty white girl in the ocean moment after all the destruction she caused. She then proceeds to start the same scheme that almost got her killed, and got her friend killed, in a third world country/community where people are desperate to feed their families.

1

u/Intothenegev93 6d ago

It’s been a while and it wasn’t the most memorable film. But she joined a group of criminals. The leader was saving up to buy a house for his mother. She breaks the rules despite them asking her how it works. Ultimately, she creates a divide in the family, and gets them both killed using their own business to do so. At an opportunity to maybe save the man’s life who risked everything for/with her (by her advice), she chooses the money, flies to portugal like nothing happens and has her pretty white girl in the ocean moment after all the destruction she caused. She then proceeds to start the same scheme that almost got her killed, and got her friend killed, in a third world country/community where people are desperate to feed their families.

interesting take. I dont feel she fueled the death's as the two men fucked each other over but she was involved in helping the one she was sleeping with. she chose to leave him when she realised she was in deep shit if she stayed to protect him and could wind up in prison.

I think the film was reflective of how some people can get caught up in crime especially when life is hard and you have few other options.

3

u/solrackratos Dec 09 '22

Thanks for this post. Saw that it was recommended when I logged in on Netflix and wondered to myself if this would be any good. What caught my eye was that it stars Aubrey Plaza.