EMILY THE CRIMINAL – Review by Lois Alter Mark

The offhanded title may make you believe Emily the Criminal is a comedy, but there’s nothing funny about this thriller which offers biting social commentary along with action and suspense. Aubrey Plaza Emily, whose paycheck as a food delivery person doesn’t make a dent in her crushing student loan debt. But she can’t pass a background check because of a past assault conviction so she’s trapped in this dead-end job — until a co-worker refers her for a “dummy shopper” position where she can make $200 an hour.

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THE WHITE LOTUS: Season 2 – Review by Susan Granger

For its Emmy-winning initial season The White Lotus was set at a luxurious Hawaiian resort. Now, The White Lotus: Season 2 moves to a deluxe Sicilian hotel, perched on the cliffs of Taormina overlooking the Ionian Sea. “It’s a different vibe,” clarifies series creator/writer/director Mike White. The first was focused on the guests vs. the employees – who has the money, who has the power – set against a colonialism backdrop. While still revolving around decadent, rich discontents, the second season is more about sexual politics with elements of a bedroom farce as people sneak in and out of hotel rooms.

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SPIN ME AROUND – Review by Rachel West

Allison Brie reteams with Aubrey Plaza and writer-director Jeff Baena for Spin Me Round, which despite a cast of comedic talents, fails to deliver on its wacky premise. When Tuscan Grove Italian chain restaurant manager Amber (Brie) is selected to attend a prestigious training program for staff in Italy, she dreams of being swept off her feet in a romantic European adventure. However, the trip turns out to be different than she expected. With elements of a thriller, dark comedy, violence, and slapstick humour, Spin Me Round is one complicated mess that can’t figure out if it wants the audience to be in on the joke.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 12, 2022: EMILY THE CRIMINAL

Aubrey Plaza commands the screen in John Patton Ford’s taut thriller/character study Emily the Criminal, which explores the idea of finding empowerment in operating outside the law. Plaza has always been a charismatic performer, whether she’s angling for laughs or going for menace by leaning into her innate intensity, and she turns the story of a frustrated woman who discovers a talent for credit card fraud into a gripping viewing experience.

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EMILY THE CRIMINAL – Review by Loren King

Even admirers of the always solid work from Aubrey Plaza over the years will be stunned by her riveting, nuanced performance in this taut thriller/character study about a young woman who, for complicated reasons, is trapped by her circumstances and turns to a life of crime. That’s the power of both John Patton Ford’s razor sharp debut and Plaza’s coiled but controlled performance.

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EMILY THE CRIMINAL – Review by Susan Wlsozczyna

A ballsy Aubrey Plaza plays it cool in the title role of first-time feature director and writer John Patton Ford’s Emily the Criminal. Like many a millennial, she finds herself choked with a load of student debt while sharing an apartment with not-so-friendly roommates. Not helping matters is a minor criminal infraction from her past that makes her undesirable as an employee.

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EMILY THE CRIMINAL (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Lauren Anderson

“You can’t make money any other way?” Emily the Criminal is one of the smartest films to debut at Sundance 2022. Produced by and starring the versatile Aubrey Plaza, Emily the Criminal showcases how far someone will go to clear themselves of personal debt — even if that means joining the dark underbelly of the scamming world.

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BEST SELLERS – Review by Susan Granger

Octogenarian actor Michael Caine is an absolute hoot as an outspoken, cantankerous author whose favorite expression is “Bullshite!” The comedic story ostensibly revolves around Lucy Stanbridge (Aubrey Plaza), a young editor who pins her only hope of saving her father’s boutique publishing company from bankruptcy on an elderly, alcoholic writer named Harris Shaw.

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BEST SELLERS – Review by Martha K Baker

Considering that Best Sellers centers on a writer, it falls apart largely due to the script. Anthony Grieco plotted the story about an old, drunk author. Harris Shaw has few redeeming qualities — he does not even rise up to Lou-Grant level of curmudgeon as a character. Nothing likable except his writing.

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BEST SELLERS – Review by Pam Powell

Young millennial meets old timer to win one another over. Yes, it’s been done before but not with the likes of Aubrey Plaza and Michael Caine and a script that hooks you, pulls you along for the ride and then reels you in to make your heart sing. That’s exactly what happens in Best Sellers, written by Anthony Grieco and directed by Lina Roessler.

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