Directed By: Gavin O’Connor
Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jon Bernthal, John Lithgow, Jean Smart, Andy Umberger, Alison Wright, Jason Davis, Jeffrey Tambor, et. al.
Math prodigy Christian Wolff does most of his business balancing books for criminal organizations and corrupt corporations, and in his downtime supplements his income with a legitimate accounting firm in a small town strip mall. When he takes a legitimate job looking for an embezzler in a company called Living Robotics, he meets Dana Cummings, the accountant who first noticed the discrepancy, and immediately feels a connection to her. As Christian and Dana attempt to unravel what’s going on in Living Robotics, they learn that their lives are in danger as they’re being pursued by an assassin hired to keep knowledge of the fraud under wraps. Also pursuing Christian are Treasury Department agents, one of whom has been searching for him since an incident some years earlier when they crossed paths while the agent was investigating a mafia family.
While meant to be something of a tour de force for Ben Affleck, his portrayal of Christian Wolff, a high-functioning autistic, he comes off more as dour and unaffected rather than the slightly quirky but still serious you can imagine he’s going for. Though this may have been more excusable had they spent a little more time showing his father’s tough-love conditioning that was supposed to have turned both Christian and his brother into highly trained killers. Affleck’s chemistry with Anna Kendrick, who plays something of a love interest in the movie, is evident, though a bit underwhelming. They never seem to lose that edge of uncomfortable unfamiliarity, even after they’ve been through a few firefights together. One of the real standout performances belongs to Jon Bernthal, who plays his character with a slight edge of sociopathy that seems to be just a hair away from total loss of control.
Most of the effects are limited to bullet strikes and background filler, and are all fairly well done.
While not a great movie, it’s also not terrible. Despite Affleck’s odd acting choices, the storyline is solid and keeps a relatively quick pace. It’s probably not one where you would mind spending the couple bucks to rent it, or even purchase it if it’s cheap enough.
The Accountant isn’t available free to stream anywhere at the moment, but it can be rented from Redbox or Netflix home delivery service, or purchased from a participating store or on-line retailer.
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