The Accountant Review
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Usually, filmmakers use accountants as comical clichés: dull, brainy guys with glasses and pocket protectors, who are only around to be the butt of a gag or two. But the main character in director Gavin O’Connor’s crime thriller The Accountant is far from the typical bean-counting stereotype.

The Accountant stars Ben Affleck as Christian Wolff, an autistic mastermind who’s made a fortune cooking the books for the world’s biggest, most powerful crime organizations. Working out of a tiny small-town office, he’s been able to fly under the radar. But as the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Director prepares for retirement, he’s determined to find the man known only as The Accountant.

Meanwhile, Christian accepts a job digging through the financial records of a robotics company that appears to be missing millions of dollars. And just as he starts to uncover the truth, the company’s employees start dying.

The Accountant mixes action, drama, and likable characters to tell a twisting, turning, but somewhat off-balance story.

Affleck’s Wolff is a fascinating hero, masking his social awkwardness in efficiency and computer-like brilliance. And he uses the years of intense training that his tough military father forced upon him both to protect himself and to control his actions. He works through his challenges—and, in many cases, turns them into strengths. And Affleck gives the role the right amount of heart, muscle, and vulnerability without overplaying it or turning the character into a stereotype.

Anna Kendrick may seem like a strange choice to play the eager young woman who first discovers the discrepancy, but she balances him out with her own brand of brainy awkwardness—the wide-eyed, excessively chatty kind. And, together, his carefully controlled discomfort and her sarcasm help to keep the tone of the film surprisingly light and easygoing.

Still, there’s an awful lot going on here—flashbacks to Christian’s troubled childhood, the Treasury Department investigation, the analysis of the robotics company, and the ongoing story of a ruthless killer (Jon Bernthal) who seems to be closing in. For most of the movie, the stories all build up together—some developing better and making more sense than others. But then, toward the end, it’s as though the filmmakers decided that things were moving too slowly—so, to make up for it, they threw in a bunch of twists and action sequences and shocking revelations. And while both parts of the film have some great moments, they make the final product feel jumbled and uneven.

The Accountant definitely isn’t the typical crime thriller with the typical hero; it’s full of surprises. But perhaps it tries a little too hard to be surprising—and the result is intriguing but somewhat overstuffed.

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