Emily the Criminal

John Patton Ford, USA 2022, 96’
Polish premiere
A Love Song I Love My Dad

Burdened with a large student loan, Emily (Aubrey Plaza) will do anything to get some cash. She goes down a dark path, committing petty financial crimes, and gets in the way of the local bosses of the underworld. She faces a desperate struggle to survive.

“Emily the Criminal,” by John Patton Ford, is a world-weary social problem fable about a young girl who enters the woods — make that, modern day Los Angeles — and confronts three big bad job interviews. One job asks her to be a crook, one job treats her like a crook, and one job pays so little it’s essentially stealing from her. The girl, Emily (Aubrey Plaza) is an embittered art student with $70,000 in college debt, a felony conviction for aggravated assault and essentially no leverage to negotiate her terms of employment besides the pepper spray in her purse, which won’t help much for the two white-collar gigs. The title of this chilly thriller announces which job she picks. Her circumstances explain why.

‘Emily the Criminal’ Review: Aubrey Plaza Is a Sympathetic Scammer in This Cold Character Study (

Michał Kaczoń


  • Annapolis FF 2022 - Best Feature Film, Actress
  • Deauville FF 2022 - Audience Award

John Patton Ford

John Patton Ford is a director and screenwriter who began his career in 2010 with the short film Patrol, about a local guard dreaming of being a policeman. Ford also starred in a short film entitled Beautifully Esther by Ricardo Korda in 2011. He is currently working on his second full-length film, Rothchild.


2010 Patrol (short)

2022 Na złej drodze / Emily The Criminal

Cast & Crew

director John Patton Ford
screenplay John Patton Ford
cinematography Jeff Biernam
editing Harrison Atkins
music Nathan Halpern
cast Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Jonathan Avigdori, Gina Gershon, Bernardo Badillo, Kim Yarbrough, Brandon Sklenar, Ben Rodgers, Megalyn Echikunwoke
producer Aubrey Plaza, Tyler Davidson, Drew Sykes, Katie Sanders
production Evil Hag Productions, Low Spark Films, Westwind Media
Polish distributor Park Circus/UIP
language English
coloration colour
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