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Movie Review

The Accountant also known as “El contable,” “The Accountant - Acerto de Contas,” “Računovođa,” “A könyvelő,” “El contador,” “Ksiegowy,” “Mr Wolff,” “O Contador,” “Saskaitininkas”

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and language throughout.

Reviewed by: Jeremy Landes
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive to Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Action Crime Thriller
Length:
2 hr. 8 min.
Year of Release:
2016
USA Release:
October 14, 2016 (wide—3,332 theaters)
DVD: January 10, 2017
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

What is autism? (off-site) / also see NINDS fact sheet (off-site)

various difficulties of autism

“autistic kids are not less than others, they're just different”

awkwardness with people

difficulties for a child who is constantly moving from house to house

genius / savants

assassin / murder in the Bible

death

sin and the fall of man

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

How can I decide whether a particular activity is wrong? Answer

sin

Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer

true goodness and righteousness

Do Not Enter

Featuring: Ben AffleckChris
Anna KendrickDana
Jon Bernthal …
J.K. SimmonsRay King
Daeg Faerch … French Bully (voice)
John LithgowLamar Black
Jeffrey Tambor … Francis Silverberg
Cynthia Addai-Robinson … Marybeth Medina
Alison Wright … Justine
more »
Director: Gavin O’Connor—“Warrior” (2011), “Pride and Glory” (2008), “Miracle” (2004), “Tumbleweeds” (1999)
Producer: Warner Bros.
Electric City Entertainment
Zero Gravity Management
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Although there are no super-mutants nor heroes from another world in “The Accountant,” the movie still feels like the origin story for a comic book character. Ben Affleck portrays Christian Wolff, a high-functioning autistic savant who serves as an accountant for criminal organizations worldwide, while usually staying undercover in a small Illinois town. Christian has no friends, and his nightly routine is extremely disciplined and sad. Flashbacks to his childhood under the leadership of his soldier father, who constantly pushed his sons beyond their limits, helps explain why this accountant takes self-defense so seriously.

When Christian accepts a job uncovering corruption at a robotics company and meets another accountant, Dana (Anna Kendrick), his habits and autism don’t allow him to express emotion. However, the actions he must take to defend her life set a plot in motion that’s full of suspense. I was reminded of films like “The Bourne Identity,” with its title character’s memory trouble while remembering how to use his fists and advanced weaponry. Wolff kills many people using creative methods, but shooting enemies in the head a couple times is his preferred method.

Ben Affleck does decent work in the title role through all the mayhem. I kept hoping to see more character traits/flaws behind his blank stares, but maybe they’re saving some of that for upcoming sequels. Director Gavin O'Connor introduces several interesting characters around Christian, like the ones played by John Lithgow, Jon Bernthal, Jean Smart, Jeffrey Tambor, and especially J.K. Simmons as a leader in the U.S. Treasury Department intent on finding Wolff. Without these supporting actors, “The Accountant” might just be another example of an actor seeking to impress by playing a handicapped character smarter than everyone, like Dustin Hoffman’sRain Man.”

The action plot was not surprising to me, despite three plot twists toward the end. The movie’s most interesting concept is that people with disorders like autism might have abilities many people would consider super-human, which could appeal to many audiences. “The Accountant” has a lot of violence and some swearing that earn its R-rating. Nevertheless, if you’ve been able to enjoy the types of action portrayed in Bourne or James Bond movies, it’s not likely the violence or language in this film will trouble you. The most disturbing parts of the movie detail Christian’s nightly routine, involving very loud music, a strobe light, and rubbing a stick over his leg, before allowing himself to take a pill at 10:01pm. It seemed to me that Christian was forcing himself to deal with these traumatic types of stimuli because his father forced him to always confront his greatest fears, which made me want to see him break free and experience love. Without these scenes, perhaps Christian Wolff would have even seemed enviable, because of his wealth and strength. I believe the scenes could trigger epileptic seizures in some people, though, so be warned.

Violence: Heavy to Extreme / Profanity: Heavy to Extreme—“Jesus Christ” (1), “Christ” (1), “Jesus, Mary and Joseph” (1), “God-d*mn” (3), “God” (1), “Oh God” (1), “h*ll” (5), f-words (21+), “mother-f****er” (2), s-words (8), “pr*ck” (1), SOB (1), “cr*p” (1), “a**” (2) / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive— I thought that the movie was good about showing what it was like to have disabilities. Affleck did a good job acting the disabilities. I felt that his father was absolutely too harsh on him. There was profanity and violence in it, but we have a right to defend ourselves. Affleck was also helping out other people whose lives were threatened. I started taking karate classes when I was young but was told I was too small. If have had continued to take them, I would have been bullied a lot less.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Bill Boylston, age 57 (USA)
Positive—This film has aspects of human drama which make it more than just a suspense thriller. There is violence and harsh language throughout the film, which portrays the lives of criminals and fits with the storyline. I am glad to have seen this film, for the excellent acting and suspense. It certainly portrays a life of crime in a realistic way in its consequences. I recommend seeing this film if you are prepared to watch a movie filled with gangsters, thugs and violence, as well as the drama of those lives involved with this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Liz B, age 53 (USA)
Positive—As the official review already implied, this movie is something of a “Jack Reacher” meets “Rain Man” amalgamation. I enjoy characters like those in “Taken” (Liam Neeson), Steven Segal, and Jack Reacher type movies, not for the gratuitous violence (which there’s plenty of), but because the main characters like those mentioned, and Ben Affleck in this movie, are the good guys, taking on the very real evil in this world. Affleck’s character is by no means perfect, but he has a good heart, humanly speaking. He has a mild personality and has the will and ability to exact punishment on evildoers who harm, or try to harm, innocent people! I know what the Bible says about violent men (Proverbs 3:31) and vengeance belonging to God (Hebrews 10:30), so I wouldn’t want to see this kind of vigilantism in real life. That said, I enjoyed the movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—RD, age 47 (USA)

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