The recently released crime thriller, Emily the Criminal, stars Aubrey Plaza as the titular character who is out of luck, burdened with debt, and unable to find employment because of a small criminal record. She accepts a sketchy job as a “dummy shopper,” using stolen credit cards to purchase products out of a desperate need for money.

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It demonstrates the lengths to which a person can go when society rejects them and is almost frighteningly realistic. After viewing the 2022 thriller, fans of the movie can check out a lot more movies that are comparable to Emily.


‘Plastic’ (2014)

Plastic (2014) (1)

Plastic centers on a successful credit card scam which is being run by a group of university students from Britain. By taking a man’s briefcase, the group makes a strong adversary and is compelled to solicit the assistance of Frankie (Emma Rigby), a credit card business employee. The gang then makes an effort to raise £2,000,000 to pay off their debt but fails after a night of strippers and champagne.

Plastic shares the same mood and tone as well as tension as Emily the Criminal. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and fans, the movie is nevertheless a lot of fun to see because it masterfully blends action, thriller, and comedy.

‘Harsh Time’ (2005)

Harsh Time (2005) (1)

Harsh Time follows a former Army Ranger Jim Davis (Christian Bale) who finds himself reverting to his previous life of petty crime after a job offer from the LAPD falls through. While Jim is more interested in hanging out and generating money through little heists, his best friend, Mike (Freddy Rodríguez) is under pressure from his girlfriend to find employment.

Because Jim, the main character in Harsh Times, takes a similar path to Emily, there are some recurring themes in both movies about Jim striving to better himself while making some poor decisions, reminding viewers of Plaza’s character. Moreover, the film is bleak and cruel and not the kind of movie that draws big crowds or awards, even though it merits both.

‘Good Time’ (2017)

Good Time (2017) (1)

Good Time is a crime thriller movie directed by the Safdie Brothers and follows two brothers who rob a bank in New York. However, Nick (Benny Safdie), the younger mentally challenged sibling, is apprehended and imprisoned. Connie (Robert Pattinson) then determines that he must aid in Nick’s release and embarks on a rampage to attempt and raise the bail money.

The film is a fast-paced, adrenaline-filled trip with the brothers’ relationship at the core that constantly shows viewers their determination to leave New York for a better life despite their petty crimes. Hence, Good Time, which also explores crime, society, an poverty, shares several themes in common with Emily the Criminal that may please fans of the film.

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‘Body Brokers’ (2021)

Body Brokers (2021) (1)

Body Brokers follows Utah (Jack Kilmer) who is a homeless drug addict but is urged to “get clean” and go to a rehab facility. Utah is enlisted to attract other people to the center in exchange for payment since the business is a front that abuses program flaws. Due to the illegal and deadly nature of the activity, Utah must contend with both himself and others in order to survive.

Body Brokers, which has a complex main character, is comparable to Emily in that both protagonists experience tragic arcs while navigating a lawless, dysfunctional society. Additionally, the film successfully combines thrilling genre content with a significant narrative of how vultures in business preyed upon a helpless group of people in the name of the American dream which is quite similar to the 2022 film.

‘I’m Your Woman’ (2020)

I’m Your Woman (2020) (1)

I’m Your Woman is set in the 1970s and follows Jean (Rachel Brosnahan) a regular housewife who was married to Eddie (Bill Heck), a criminal. However, when her husband killed his boss, Jean is forced to become one and join the front lines of a gang war in the city.

I’m Your Woman, like Emily, also uses a clever lead female character that elicits conflicting feelings in the audience while maintaining hope in the main plot. Moreover, Brosnahan excelled in her part as the powerful female character, bringing the story to life. It is also a clever, well-written parody of the gangster-on-the-run cliché.

‘Ca$h’ (2010)

Ca$h (2010) (1)

When a suitcase containing money is thrown into their car, Ca$h follows Sam (Chris Hemsworth) and Leslie Phelan (Victoria Profeta) as they find themselves in a pickle. The Phelans have already spent the money, but they are unaware that the evil robber Reese Kubic (Sean Bean), wants it back.

Sam and Leslie must adopt an anti-hero persona like Emily in order to live against Kubic when Bean’s character is at their door demanding the case of money back. Despite not living up to its hype, the movie is enjoyable and has many intense and action-packed moments.

‘The Lookout’ (2007)

The Lookout (2007) (1)

The Lookout follows Chris (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who makes an effort to maintain his janitorial position at the bank. He was once a promising athlete, but an accident robbed him of his opportunity at glory, and he also has memory issues. Later, Chris gets himself involved in a bank heist when he runs across an old school friend and his gang.

Chris, like Emily, is forced to consider the morality of his actions and looks for atonement. However, Chris is manipulated and used as a pawn until he finds himself in peril, unlike Emily who has free will to choose her participation in the crime.

‘Zola’ (2020)

Zola (2020) (1)

Zola follows the titular character played by Taylour Paige, a waitress and stripper in Detroit who battles with life and money. Stefanie (Riley Keough), whom Zola later meets, persuades her that Tampa would offer them prospects. The opportunity to start a new life and earn more money tempts Zola, but it’s not what she thinks it is, and she soon finds herself in a precarious position that could end her.

The similarities to Emily are quite clear with both female leads being powerful and battling against horrible odds. Moreover, the main characters in the movie have conflicted emotions from the outset because they are both victims of fate and fall into traps of their own design.

‘Emergency’ (2022)

Emergency (2022) (1)

Emergency follows three friends who set out on the “Legendary Tour” to visit seven frat parties in one night until they come upon a teenage girl who is hurt inside a house. They choose to take her to the hospital despite the fact that they face the danger of being shot because everyone assumes they are criminals due to their ethnicity.

Emergency uses fewer complex protagonist characters and a more straightforward narrative style than Emily. However, like Emily, the movie nonetheless makes spectators feel conflicted emotions and compels them to connect with the lead characters. The film also discusses the issues with race and authority as it does, though not as subtly, in Emily.

‘Queenpins’ (2021)

Queenpins (2021) (1)

Queenpins follows a disgruntled housewife named Connie Kaminski (Kristen Bell) who launches a company selling coupons using the phony complaints she receives from food companies with the help of her unemployed friend Jojo (Kirby Howell-Baptiste).

The movie is less suspenseful than Emily since it contains more humor, but it has a lot of drama and plot twists, making it a thriller in its own way. Additionally, it has peculiar heroines with conflicted morality like Emily. Nonetheless, Connie targeted large corporations as opposed to Emily, whose crime would harm individuals, but the legal repercussions are equally as exciting as Emily’s.

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