A math savant uncooks the books for the world's deadliest criminals
and soon becomes the target of an assassin who's after his latest client.
The Accountant (2016)
Directed by Gavin O'Connor
Written by Bill Dubuque
Starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons,
Jon Bernthal, John Lithgow, Jeffrey Tambor,
Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert C. Treveiler
The Accountant is a hard film to categorize. It has elements of almost every genre and tries so much to be all of them and more. Somehow, it succeeds, like when you'd come to the right conclusion using the wrong equation on a math test. Maybe it's the exceptional cast, maybe it's the realistic characters. I highly doubt it was the script, which is quite convoluted and hard to follow most of the time. I can't put my finger on it, but something makes this film work. The Accountant is entertaining, despite its many flaws.
Ben Affleck continues to prove that he has evolved into one of Hollywood's most dedicated filmmakers, as his turn as autistic criminal mastermind Christian Wolff is unlike anything he's done before. He really feels emotionally disconnected and you can't help but feel sorry for his condition and how it affects his desire to be like everyone else. It's a very dedicated, very nuanced performance that I think will be in his top ten someday. The supporting cast is fantastic as well, especially Jon Bernthal, who has recently become one of my favorite actors, and J.K. Simmons, who always turns in a solid, memorable performance.
Now for the flaws. The Accountant doesn't really have much of a story. It tries to explain away the conflict by using John Lithgow's robotics company as the bad guy, but it never makes sense. The film ends just when it's getting to the good part and the final twist is actually pretty mind-blowing and worth the wait, even if you don't get any resolution on that front. The confusing script is balanced out by the fantastic performances, which round out The Accountant as a decent entry in Affleck's filmography, as well as for everyone else involved.