Aubrey Plaza plays a struggling artist who becomes part of a credit card fraud ring in Emily The Criminal, which has a bittersweet climax.
Directed by John Patton Ford in his feature film debut, the crime thriller follows Emily who is in debt and struggling to land a well-paid job due to a past felony conviction. After being connected to a “dummy shopper” service by a co-worker promising $200 an hour, she finds herself part of a criminal fraud ring which buys expensive goods through a credit card scam.
Alongside Plaza, the film stars Theo Rossi as one of the scam organisers Youcef, Megalyn Echikunwoke as Emily’s best friend Liz and Gina Gershon as Liz’s boss Alice.
What happens at the end of Emily The Criminal?
After Emily convinces Youcef to confront his cousin Khalil (Jonathan Avigdori) for clearing out the fraud ring’s funds and emptying their shared business account, Youcef is attacked and left injured. Khalil tries to kill Emily but she manages to stab him while pinned on the floor. As she threatens him, Khalil denies stealing the cash from the accounts. Emily presses further, which prompts Khalil to tell Emily that there’s some cash in the fridge (it’s unclear if this is the cash he may have stolen from Youcef).
Emily takes the bag of cash and leaves with an injured Youcef, who is bleeding from his wound. As they sit in his car, unable to find the keys, Emily panics when she hears police sirens and decides to take the cash and leave Youcef behind. The next day, police raid her apartment only to find she’s disappeared. It’s unclear whether Youcef or Khalil survived.
In the final sequence, we find Emily has started a new life in South America, a place she previously told Youcef she wanted to visit. While she’s seen painting again, Emily has also become a full-time criminal. She’s now playing the role of Youcef, instructing others on how to commit credit card fraud for quick cash.