‘Emily The Criminal’ Trailer: Aubrey Plaza Breaks Bad To Get Out Of Debt

Get ready for Aubrey Plaza as you’ve never seen her before. One of my favorite films at Sundance this year was Emily the Criminal, a gritty, streetwise crime flick about a Los Angeles woman, struggling with debt, who becomes a major player in a credit card scam.

But this is no poor man’s Scarface. Plaza’s character Emily is just a regular working class woman who, like so many of us, is barely able to piece together a living. Her situation gets worse when she discovers just how deep in credit card debt she really is, and that desperation leads her to take a chance in something she knows is illegal. But when it pays off, it becomes very hard to quit.

The film also stars Luke Cage actor Theo Rossi, one of the best at playing shady underworld types, along with Megalyn Echikunwoke and Gina Gershon. John Patton Ford wrote the script and made his directorial debut, an impressive outing which I said “feels like you are watching something that has been going on unseen right under your nose.” It’s also the best performance by Plaza that I’ve seen, and she deserves all of the praise that I and others have been heaping on her.

Emily the Criminal opens on August 12th.

Emily (Aubrey Plaza) is saddled with student debt and locked out of the job market due to a minor criminal record. Desperate for income, she takes a shady gig as a “dummy shopper,” buying goods with stolen credit cards supplied by a handsome and charismatic middleman named Youcef (Theo Rossi). Faced with a series of dead-end job interviews, Emily soon finds herself seduced by the quick cash and illicit thrills of black-market capitalism, and increasingly interested in her mentor Youcef. Together, they hatch a plan to bring their business to the next level in Los Angeles.


Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.