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8 Movies Like Emily the Criminal You Must See

December 8, 2022

Emily the Criminal is a crime thriller that describes the main character’s journey into the world of crime. As Emily’s student loans begin to pile up, she tries to find jobs in different places. But her small criminal record makes the process difficult and her options are limited. Desperate to pay off her debts and live a good life, Emily becomes a bogus shopper. As the story progresses, her crimes continue to escalate until she reaches the point of no return.

Directed by John Patton Ford, the film shows how the system’s unfair practices breed involuntary criminals. The film comments on issues such as debt, capitalist politics and the ruthless nature of society. The story contains traditional tropes, such as B. a good person turning bad, people becoming victims of their circumstances, and much more. If you like such stories, we have compiled a list of movies for you. You can watch most of these movies similar to Emily the Criminal on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

8. Body Brokers (2021)

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The thriller Body Brokers (written and directed by John Swab) is about an illegal operation run by a foundation designed to help drug addicts. Suffering from drug addiction, Utah enters a treatment center where he hopes to redeem himself and start a new life. He soon finds out that the center is just a front for a big scam. The foundation takes in addicts with promises of treatment, but those people become recruiters who recruit others like them, and the cycle continues.

Like Emily the Criminal, Body Brokers shows how capitalism often ruins lives and plunges people into the abyss. It sheds light on how a person trying to fight the system sometimes becomes a criminal in order to survive or lose everything, including their life. Emily from the first film is related to Utah from the second film. Although the two face different problems, they follow a similar path to fix everything in their lives and hope for a fresh start.

7. Plastic (2014)

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Plastic is an action film that follows a group of university students who pulls off a credit card scam but soon gets into trouble stealing from someone powerful and dangerous. The group decides to pull off their biggest scam by targeting a larger character to get out of the mess. Though Plastic differs in tonality from Emily the Criminal, the commonality between the two films is credit card fraud.

While Plastic portrays him in a stylish and glamorous way, Emily the Criminal shows what’s going on in a realistic way. However, when the students get into trouble, the stakes become very real. The group’s decision to rob a more prominent person fits Emily’s mindset, which recognizes that the only way to solve a problem is to get caught up in a bigger problem. Both films depict crime in different ways, but the characters bear a certain resemblance and show how people act when cornered.

6. Cassandra’s Dream (2007)

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Written and directed by Woody Allen, Cassandra’s Dream is about two brothers who are in debt and turn to crime to pay them off. When things are going well for Terry (Colin Farrell) and Ian (Ewan McGregor), one loses a lot of money gambling. The two turn to their uncle Howard, who only offers them the much-needed money if they murder someone for him. The brothers agree, not realizing how this decision will change their lives forever.

Debt plays an important role in Cassandra’s dream and Emily the criminal and drives the plot in both films. Terry and Ian’s situation mirrors Emily’s, and all three characters make similar mistakes. However, Terry and Ian resemble the brothers who run the shop doll business in Emily the Crime. In both cases, the brothers come into conflict when it comes to too much money and risk. The four figures show that relationships and attachments don’t matter when big money and high stakes are involved.

5. Harsh Times (2005)

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‘Harsh Times’ is an action film about Jim (Christian Bale), a former soldier who suffers from PTSD and tries to get a job in the police force. However, when he fails the psychological profile test, Jim gets angry and decides to delve into the world of crime. Directed by David Ayer, the film delves into the psyche of a person who longs for something but doesn’t get it. Jim dreamed of moving in with his girlfriend and getting a steady job in the police force because for him the job and marriage were a chance at normality.

Consequently, Jim ends up on the other end of the spectrum when he becomes a criminal. Like Jim, John Patton Ford’s Emily has big plans and dreams for her future. But her debts get in her way. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to solve her problems, but soon becomes a criminal. So Emily’s and Jim’s resumes are comparable and give us a glimpse of desperate people trying by any means necessary to get what they want.

4. The Lookouts (2007)

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Written and directed by Scott Frank, crime thriller The Lookout revolves around Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) trying to keep a regular job in a bank. Chris used to be an athlete with a promising future, but due to an accident, he loses the chance to achieve his dreams. In addition, he cannot remember things for very long and therefore has difficulty leading a regular life. A chance encounter with someone leads Chris down a dark path, and he soon finds himself in the middle of a bank robbery.

The film shows how life can be turned upside down in just a few moments. Chris’ situation isn’t good, but he seems to be adjusting well to his new life. Unlike the title character in Emily the Crime, Chris doesn’t seem desperate to get his life back on track and achieve his goals. However, there’s still a part of Chris that longs to be a carefree athlete, indicative of the unresolved emotions buried deep within him. These emotions lead him to the bank robbery. Eventually, Chris and Emily find themselves in a similar situation where they question their decisions and have to make the tough decision of what to do next.

3. Hell or High Water (2016)

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‘Hell or High Water’ is a story about two brothers, Toby and Tanner, who are desperate to save their family ranch. So they rob banks and embark on a dangerous path. Directed by David Mackenzie, the film’s central theme is how poverty deprives people of their most basic needs. Toby and Tanner decide not to let their situation oppress them and to rise above them.

The mindset of the two brothers is similar to that of Emily, who also wants to control her situation and not let her credit rule her life. While the brothers rob banks, Emily commits credit card fraud to meet her needs. Although the two films differ in tonality, the core message is similar, which captivates the viewer until the end.

2. The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

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Directed by Derek Cianfrance, The Place Beyond the Pines follows Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling), a stunt driver who begins robbing banks to care for his girlfriend and newborn baby. Luke’s activities catch the attention of new police officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), who tries to apprehend the thief while working in a corrupt system.

‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ and ‘Emily the Criminal’ tell stories of people whose circumstances determine their actions. The films help us to empathize with the main characters, Luke and Emily, and at times even make the viewer root for them. In addition to these aspects, the two films also comment on the systems they represent. While Emily the criminal deals with student loans and unfair labor practices, Derek Cianfrance’s work explores corruption in the law enforcement system.

1. Good Times (2017)

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The crime thriller Good Time, starring Robert Pattinson, is about two brothers, Nick and Connie. When the two try to rob a bank, Nick gets caught and goes to jail. In order to free his brother, Connie takes various jobs that earn him enough money to bail out his brother Nick and embarks on a ruthless spree. In many ways, Josh and Benny Safdie’s Good Time gives audiences a closer look into the criminal underworld than Emily the Criminal.

Although Connie and Emily’s characters follow similar paths, they come from very different worlds. The two characters become more alike when Emily goes into the retail doll business. Overall, both films explore similar themes of loneliness, despair and the true nature of our society.