Steven Escareno is an amateur film critic that writes about movies in his spare time.
8 / 10
- Acting was pretty good; especially on Ben Affleck's part. Although he rarely ever says anything in this movie, his body language and presence helps define his character immensely.
- Great script. Normally, it's not really that hard to predict how action movies will play out these days, but "The Accountant" is one of those rare few that constantly keeps you on your toes throughout the film, which makes it rather engaging.
- Direction was solid.
- Paced well. No issues there.
- Cinematography was excellent.
- Musical scoring matched the film's tone perfectly.
- Although the script does a great job keeping most of the story a mystery, throughout most of the film, it doesn't really reveal what happened between Christian and his brother. Granted, we find out what happened to his parents, but we never learn how he got separated from his brother, nor do we ever learn the full nature of their relationship. However, it's forgivable because that wasn't the focus of the narrative, so nothing is lost, by not elaborating on their relationship.
Calculate Your Choices
"The Accountant" is arguably one of the smartest action films ever made. It follows a young man by the name of Christian Wolff (played by Ben Affleck), who was diagnosed with autism and aspergers at an early age. The doctor feared that he wouldn't be able to grow up living a normal life, without special treatment. However, his father had different plans for him. Growing up learning from various specialists how to fight and defend himself, our main hero inevitably finds himself becoming an accountant for some of the most dangerous people in the world; ranging anywhere from drug cartels to money laundering for politicians. However, he uses a small town CPA office as a cover to hide his shady deals with criminals.
However, he's hired by a robotics company to go over their financial books for the past decade or so, but it soon lands him in a heap of trouble with some bad people. Unfortunately, it also lands a girl he meets in trouble as well, as Dana Cummings (played by the lovely Anna Kendrick) was the original accountant that discovered the error in the company's books to begin with. Now, Christian is forced into hiding, but he somehow feels obligated to protect Dana, even though they barely know each other.
Employing a little bit of his own vigilante justice on the people trying to kill them, while the US treasury crime enforcement division is hot on their trail as well. While I can't say what happens next without giving away too much, I will say that what transpires from here is both smart, and innovative to say the least. Just when you think you know what's going to happen in the story, it takes you for a loop that you never see coming. It's like a nonstop roller coaster ride that never lets you go until the very end.
Chalked full of mystery and surprises that'll keep anyone guessing throughout the film. Ben Affleck delivers arguably one of his best performances to date. While he doesn't say much throughout most of the film, he really doesn't have to because his presence alone sets the tone for every scene he's in.
In spite his character's limited dialogue, you're still able to feel every emotion and drive of the character perfectly. It's sort of like watching poetry in motion, as his actions and mannerisms alone say more about his character than words alone ever could. When he goes into his office, his secretary briefly mentions the possibility of setting him up with her daughter, which he brushes off to go to work. This reaction alone tells us everything we need to know about the character, and how out of touch with socializing with the rest of the world he truly is.
We get another example of this when we see both, Christian and Dana, alone together at a hotel. From the way the scene was setup, you could almost tell Dana was starting to develop feelings for Christian, in that brief moment he mentioned how he wanted her to like the place they were staying at. But unlike most people in this situation, Christian didn't pick up on the subtle social cues that would've allowed him to realize the intimacy of the moment, but rather he was too focused on the task at hand, which was solving who was chasing them.
While the doctors predicted at an early age that he may not be able to live a normal life, without proper treatment, little did they know how right they were. Although Ben's character rarely says a word, his presence helps us realize how utterly lonely his character is in life. However, that wasn't the only thing going for this movie.
The cinematography was brilliant in this film, as it helps create the dark undertones for the story, with it's dark tinted lens. Mixed in with a nice musical scoring that matches the film's overall tone, and you have yourself arguably one of the deepest action mystery thrillers ever conceived.
While I wouldn't say "The Accountant" is my favorite movie of the year, it's certainly one that's worth checking out.
© 2016 Steven Michaels
Suzie from Carson City on October 26, 2016:
Steven, Great review. You have convinced me this is definitely one movie I'll be sure to see. I do like Ben, but he's had both good & not-so-impressive performances. Since both you & Kathleen made a point of praising him in this movie, I can't miss it! Thanks. Paula
Scribbling Geek from Singapore on October 26, 2016:
I think the Accountant sort of demonstrated that Affleck could be a wonderful Batman, given the right script. He felt more Batman to me in this movie than he did in DoJ.
Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on October 26, 2016:
Yes. it is. Affleck rises to the occasion in this movie when so many of his others have offered few challenges for the actor. This movie is different, which is quite an accomplishment in Hollywood these days. I only have to look at my movie collection to see how few movies in the last few years I've wanted to buy to add to my collection. Don't know that I'll buy this one because of the violence (that wasn't gratuitous) but then, that's what I once said about "Gladiator" - now a favorite.