Why is Emily the Criminal rated R?

December 13, 2022
Lori C. 0
Film, News


Why is the film Emily the Criminal rated R? We discuss the popular movie and the reasons for its age rating. 

After its original premiere at Sundance early this year, the critically acclaimed thriller starring Aubrey PlazaEmily the Criminal, is finally available on streaming platforms such as Netflix U.S., YouTube, and Prime Video. The film marks the first full feature written and directed by John Patton Ford and, along with Plaza, features performances by Theo Rossi, Bernardo Badillo, and Megalyn Echikunwoke. As you might have guessed from the title, the film is not exactly what we’d call family-friendly. On the contrary, it may be the type of movie to indulge in after the kids are all tucked in and nowhere near your smart TV. 

What is the movie Emily the Criminal about?

Emily The Criminal features Plaza in the title role playing a young millennial woman at her wit’s end.

She’s drowning in student debt, and a previous criminal charge is stopping her from becoming gainfully employed outside of the exploitative side of the gig economy.

She keeps going to job interviews and relies on her friend’s empty promises to help get her what she calls a “real job,” but her past troubles make it hard to claw herself out of near financial ruin.

Desperate for money to make ends meet, she joins a credit card fraud scheme run by the charismatic Youcef (Theo Rossi). At first, she’s apprehensive about earning her keep in a less than legal manner, but the fast cash combined with her attraction for Youcef convince her to delve deeper into his illicit occupation. As her involvement in criminal activity grows, so do her greed and ruthlessness. 

Is Emily the Criminal R Rated?

Yes, this crime thriller received an R Rating from The Motion Picture Association of America, meaning it’s probably unsuitable for anyone under the age of 17. The film was created with a mature audience in mind and it’s not an appropriate movie for children or young people in their early teens. 

Why is Emily the Criminal Rated R?

The film received its R rating due to the incessant use of expletives by characters, including the protagonist. There’s also some brief drug, alcohol, and tobacco use included along with a couple of rather violent scenes. Of course, sexual content is also added to the mix. All explaining how this particular feature is the opposite of “family-friendly” and should be viewed by a mature audience. 

Is Emily the Criminal worth watching?

Since it first premiered, Emily the Criminal has been collecting a multitude of accolades, including a Best Actress award for its lead, Aubrey Plaza. The film received widespread critical acclaim for its style and the poignant story it tells. It’s particularly relevant today as there’s no shortage of real-life 20 and 30-somethings facing the same financial dilemmas depicted in the movie. 

Social commentary aside, Emily the Criminal has a lot of merit as a thriller. The pacing is ideal and will keep you on the edge of your seat. The characters are well-rounded, and the performances are nothing short of top-notch. There’s a reason this movie has been so overly praised by audiences and critics alike. On IMDB, its current rating is 6.7/10, while the film’s Rotten Tomatoes rating is 94%. My review here on Ready Steady Cut reads: 

“Emily The Criminal is a brilliant piece of art that’s particularly relevant to today’s world. It’s almost terrifyingly realistic and shows how far a person is capable of going when society turns its back on them.”

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