Though Netflix has spent the first part of the month adding their own original content, the streamer has finally added a major acquisition, bringing in the hit Aubrey Plaza-starring movie Emily the Criminal. Released by Vertical Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, the crime thriller is now available for streaming on the platform and comes to subscribers as a much lauded hit. After premiering at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the film has quickly become one of the highest rated movies of the year and currently holds a 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a "Certified Fresh" distinction and over 178 total reviews.
Written and Directed by John Patton Ford, Plaza stars in the film as the titular Emily, a young woman 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.
Rating the film a 4 out of 4, RogerEbert.com called it "an extremely impressive piece of work" and compared it to gritty anti-heroes of movies from the 1970s. Awarding the film a 3.5 out of 4, critic Richard Roeper says that plaza "does richly layered work" and praised her chemistry with Theo Rossi, adding: "It's almost criminal, how good these two are together." In another perfect 4 out of 4 review, The San Francisco Chronicle noted that, "It's becoming obvious that Aubrey Plaza can do no wrong."
"The script is an incredible read," Plaza told Entertainment Weekly about making the movie. "I read a lot of scripts, and this one was given to me by a friend, and man, I just couldn't get it out of my head. I loved the character. I felt that it was touching on something that was relevant, that really had something to say but also was entertaining. And I just love the energy of it, the momentum of it. You start the film and you don't stop. There's no pandering to the audience. There's no random scene of exposition. There's just nothing unnecessary. It just feels lean and fun, and I became obsessed with it immediately after I read it."
Emily the Criminal is now streaming on Netflix. Check out the official trailer for the film in the player above.