EMILY (AUBREY PLAZA) is caught in a vicious catch-22. She’s in deep student debt, but a criminal infraction keeps her from getting a job to pay down her balance. Emily’s stuck working catering gigs, and what little money she can set aside goes to her loan interest, practically ensuring she’ll never be able to get her head above water.
When a co-worker offers her a chance to make some extra cash, Emily jumps at the opportunity. It may be highly illegal, but what other choice does she have?
Writer/director John Patton Ford’s Emily the Criminal is a millennial version of classic gangster noir, with Plaza’s Emily drawn deeper into a criminal underworld where fast payout overrules ethics. Ford’s film never glamorizes Emily’s experiences, instead showing us a desperate person fed up with a world that gives her virtually no other choice but to break the law to survive.