The sound of popcorn, mixing of drinks, and conversation could be heard as film connoisseurs, and critics awaited the viewing of Emily the Criminal in the Plaza Theater lobby. The crime film features Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza and Theo Rossi, who is known for his performances in the Sons of Anarchy and Luke Cage.
Plaza portrays Emily, a college dropout struggling to make ends meet whose troubled criminal past haunts her. The storyline features a variety of twists and turns, leaving the audience laughing or continuously gasping for air, anxiously awaiting the next scene.
Director John Patton Ford told Movie Maker “I wanted to create something that felt more like the L.A. I saw when I drive around,” Ford said.
The film is based in Los Angeles and highlights a variety of cultures, the grittiness of downtown, and the working class. Rossi's character Youcef depicts an immigrant from Lebanon seeking an abundance of new opportunities in L.A. Youcef helps to guide the story by expressing to Emily his fears of moving to another country.
“People come here, no matter who they are, no matter what they’re doing, you can almost always assume they really wanted something. They wanted something greater than what they could get wherever they’re first from,” Ford said at the Sundance Film Festival.
Emily works in the food industry and aspires to work as a graphic designer. When the opportunity presents itself and goes awry, the storyline shifts leaving the audience in shock.
Audience members were engulfed in the film. One audience member says she was left sitting on the edge of her seat.
“There were many points in the movie where I was left on the edge of my seat, wondering what could possibly happen next,” Kennedy Jones, an audience member said.
The film scored 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The official streaming release date for Netflix is forthcoming.