Guest Movie Review: The Accountant (2016)

imageeliBy Eli Sanchez
Guest Contributor
Silver Screen Capture

Gavin O’Connor’s dark tale The Accountant (B+) is one man’s journey from childhood autism to becoming a mostly functional adult who is a savant with numbers but very socially awkward. As the story unfolds we find that this protagonist played by Ben Affleck is the product of an overtly militant father and a broken home. We never quite find out what Affleck’s real name is, but he’s known as Christian Wolff in present time and is a book cooker for criminals all over the world and has a small accountancy firm in the Chicago suburbs he uses as a front to keep things quiet. The film plays out as a bit of a hybrid of The Manchurian Candidate and Full Metal Jacket. Much of Chrstian’s life is told in flashback scenes or through the investigation of his misdeeds through the Treasury Department to try and track down his whereabouts and trace financial misdeeds throughout the U.S. system. Affleck plays the role well in that he doesn’t ruin it or overdo it. He is ably supported by Anna Kendrick whose character uncovers someone skimming money at her own firm, and Wolff is hired to investigate the loss. The plot keeps you guessing until the end, and the film adeptly ends with ambiguity. Lines are blurred between heroes and villains. There is less closure than stalemate, which is ironic for this autistic character obsessed with seeing events to completion. The film also stars J.K. Simmons, John Bernthal, John Lithgow, Jeffrey Tambor, Jean Smart and Cynthia Addai-Robinson in solid supporting performances that help carry the gravitas to its conclusion.

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 2016

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